Do American customers need a second business language?

Do American customers need a second business language?

April 15, 2015

Multilingual call center outsourcing is gaining popularity among businesses wanting to accommodate the varying needs of their diverse customer base. It s even becoming a necessity in countries whose people speak more than two languages. For English-speaking countries like the USA, is a second business language equally needed, considering that it has the world s largest population of English speakers?


The answer may differ from company to company, of course, but since it s a huge cultural melting pot, businesses catering to the US market could definitely use a hand from linguistically skilled professionals.

Bilingualism in America

While English is the most commonly used language in the US, bilingualism is also prevalent. The country s main languages composes of languages brought by immigrants centuries ago, in addition to English. Native and indigenous tongues are even recognized official in some states, while others like Louisiana and New Mexico are de facto bilingual—French and Spanish are legally recognized in the two respective states.

What the American market speaks

The US population, having a rich cultural diversity, composes of people from all colors and ethnicity. So, it s no surprise that Indo-European and Asia-Pacific languages are widely spoken across the country.

According to a 2009 survey by the US Census Bureau, Spanish tops all other foreign languages prevalent in America, with 35 million people or 12.4% of the total population speaking the language fluently. Other main immigrant languages include Chinese, Tagalog, French, Vietnamese, German, Korean, Russian, Arabic, Italian, and Portuguese.

What other business language should you use?

Choosing another language as a medium for business and customer service transactions depends on the audience you cater to, aside from other considerations such as availability of language resources and bilingual workforce. Regardless of the language you decide to embrace, bilingualism is a powerful trait to have in the US where 30% of all economic activities involves international trade. So, what second language does your multilingual and multi-cultural customers need?

As one of Open Access BPO's content writers, Julie Pearl shares her BPO knowledge through her blog posts, research papers, and other resources. She writes about outsourcing news and call center management tips and insights.

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