English is considered by many as the global language of business. However, to excel in international commerce, effective multilingual communication is of paramount importance.

Willy Brandt, a former German Chancellor once said:

If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen*!

*then you have to speak German

This simple concept is easily overlooked, but learning this lesson today will save both time and money tomorrow.

For many people, communicating with international clients for the first time can be a daunting task. However, expanding beyond your domestic market is a challenge that should be embraced rather than feared. With the right knowledge, reaching out to new markets should be straightforward and problem-free.

The key to success is planning, so ensure you give attention to these two key areas when building your campaign


It may sound simple, but languages vary by both country and region. For example there are seven widely spoken variants of Chinese. If you don’t have the appropriate skills within your business to understand the intricacies of language, don’t take the risk. The smallest mistake or misunderstanding could have severe consequences. Use a specialist; it will probably cost you less in the long run.


Often overlooked by companies who are new to international business, understanding the nuances of local culture will have a great impact on the success of your campaign. Explore the religious, political, and social aspects of your target market. Take the time to understand your customer; they will respect you for it.

By focusing on these two areas, your chances of success in international markets are greatly increased. There is a world of opportunity waiting for you, and there’s no better time than today to take your business forwards.

So, if you want to sell abroad, please don’t assume that everybody speaks your language. Make sure your document  is understandable to your foreign buyers.

Remember, your prospective client may say :

If I want to buy something from you, I will speak my own language. If I want to sell you something, I will speak yours.