Why it's important to implement language policies into your organization?

Mar 18, 2021
Thought Leadershhip

What is a Language Policy?

Before we start talking about Language Policy for an organization, it's important to know what Language Policy is. Language Policy has been defined in many different ways. The definition that best describes our purpose for this article comes from Kaplan and Baldauf (1997), “A language policy is a body of ideas, laws, regulations, rules and practices intended to achieve the planned language change in the societies, group or system". 

Language Policy for an Organization and its Benefits 

A Language Policy is a critical component of a larger Corporate Communication, Human Resources and/or Customer Service Policy that identifies the Corporate Vision in regards to global markets, multilingual communication with both clients, staff and contractors. 

A good Language Policy provides a better communication within the company by increasing efficiencies and decreasing legal risk associated with miscommunication and lack of organization within the company.  It also provides consistency in procedures and terminology so everyone is on the same page. 

Another great benefit is that documentation is in a central location making it accessible to everyone therefore, affects positively the efficiency and effectiveness of the team. It also provides a great opportunity to increase sales to multilingual markets outstanding customer service to this international clients and employees. The outcome, finally, higher customer satisfaction! 

In modern times and given to the global pandemic of Covid-19, most of us are working from home; in different countries, speaking different languages and have different cultures. For this reason, it is critical to be able to establish a clear communication through given language policies. Here at Multi-Languages Corporation, we believe the following elements to be essential for an effective Language Policy:

  • Official language for corporate communication
  • Identification of current and target markets
  • Recognition of customers’ expectations
  • Corporate Values related to diversity
  • Documentation – central repository
  • Personnel
  • Legal
  • Sales and Marketing
  • Translation Process and Management
  • Interpretation Process and Management
  • Terminology
  • Quality Control
  • Technology recommended
Many employees must figure out the best way to communicate efficiently despite their differing cultural and linguistic backgrounds. Considering the importance of effective communication for collaboration and team performance, it is very important to implement the right Language Policies to facilitate communication in your organization. Especially now, when the communication is not necessarily face to face and that the trend has become video conference calls. Specifically, your marketing department needs to have a solid language policy to effectively communicate to your current and prospective customers. This is the start of building the trust needed to develop good relationships and ensure the right message is being delivered. 

An organization's correct functionality may depend on whether or not the language policies are being accurately applied.  

Lola Bendana is the Director at Multi-Languages Corporation, dedicated to helping companies meet their language needs. Their services include a complimentary review of a company’s language policies to recognize the impact of virtual workplaces and new communication needs.

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Lola Bendana

Director Multi-Languages Corporation




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