An article in today’s Times says, “Business leaders have said it is essential that foreign languages are taught in schools because they can help export efforts.” We are tempted to say “duh” but that would be unfair. The reality is that we simply don’t have enough kids learning foreign languages and business does not do enough to explain why it’s a great advantage to be able to speak more than one language. The fact that English is the lingua franca (a bit of a clue there) for the international business community is often used as an excuse, but it really shouldn’t be.
The Times article quotes from several prominent Scottish business leaders who were appearing in front of the economy, jobs and fair work committee at the Scottish parliament. These included Karen Betts, chief executive of the Scotch Whisky Association and Paul Sheerin, chief executive of Scottish Engineering. While the emphasis was, understandably, on exports, a key point was admirably expressed by Neil Francis, interim chief executive of SDI, who said: “Examples of success are important. The more we can do to celebrate successes, the more other companies will see the opportunity.”
We could not agree more. There are lots of examples of Scottish and UK export successes and the role that translation companies have played in helping make these happen. Over the rest of this year we intend to bring some of these to you – so watch this space!
Mark Diamond, Global Connects