Local businesses invited to 'Go Oriental'

Issue date: 24 November 2005

Issue date: 24/11/05

The Regional Languages Network South West (RLN SW) is holding a FREE event at its West of England hub at the University of the West of England to help local businesses improve the way they deal with overseas customers.

The theme for the special briefing on Friday 25 November will be the language of Japan and the business culture of China – both key trading partners for many businesses. The event is aimed at helping local businesses to bridge culture barriers and take advantage of trading opportunities with their international customers.

The day will start with a Japanese-style breakfast from 08.30 followed by a programme of activities which includes a language taster course in Japanese to see how much of a new language can be learned in 30 minutes.

This will be followed by a brief discussion about whether learning a language (Japanese is just an example), or using an alternative strategy would make most sense for an individual company’s needs.

Dr Peter Gold, who heads the local hub of the Regional Language Network South West, said: “Our aim is to make businesses think about tackling language and cultural issues to improve trade and make the most of new business opportunities in other countries, and to help them find solutions for their particular needs.

“We hope that the event will demonstrate to local businesses that taking a few simple steps to communicate effectively with customers from other countries can ultimately make a valuable contribution to the bottom line of their company. The same can be said of local businesses involved in the tourism industry.”

The event will also offer a half-hour briefing session on doing business in China, followed by a consideration of the value of such briefings for conducting business successfully in overseas markets.

The discussion will tackle questions such as: Can using languages make a difference?
Is learning a language the best option? Why are business culture briefings important?
Where to go for advice and help?


Editor’s notes

The event will take place on Friday 25 November from 8.30 to 11am at the Octagon at the University of the West of England’s Frenchay Campus in Coldharbour Lane, Bristol. See: http://www.uwe.ac.uk/aboutUWE/campus for directions.

Businesses interested in attending the free session or discussing their language needs should contact Rose West or Kate Mann on 0117 32 84321 or by email: rln@uwe.ac.uk, to register their interest.

The RLN South West was set up in the wake of an audit of South West firms which found that an astonishing 20 per cent of internationally trading companies admitted to having lost business because of a language or cultural barrier.

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