PR multilingual

Are you langui-dexterous?

Hello, Bonjour, Buenos Dias, Hallo!

When I joined Tyto the great appeal of the agency was its Pan-European culture and a strong emphasis on language skills.

The team is made up of black belt communication professionals who bring their PR expertise across different markets. English, French, Spanish, German, Dutch, Italian or even Japanese are some of the languages spoken at Tyto.

Being a French native and working in PR in the UK and France, I have learnt to switch between French and English and occasionally to Spanish.

To describe this way of working, I like to use the term “langui-dexterous” which implies the ability of thinking and working in different languages. Here is why being “langui-dexterous” makes all the difference.

Speaking English is compulsory, but it is not enough

English is the language of global business, internet, tech and science, and has become universal. Its predominance can give the impression that no other languages are required, however, this is a misconception.

By reaching out to an audience in their native language, a world of opportunities opens up. Content written in the targeted audience’s language has a greater chance to reach its aim as most prefer to read in the comfort of their mother tongue.

This is especially true online where English has become the language of the internet. A recent report from the University of New South Wales showed that English speakers dominate the internet, but only by a small margin. They make up 28% of internet users, followed by 23% of Chinese speakers and 8% of Spanish speakers. Yet the content available online is 56% in English.

This means that the majority of internet users are being targeted in a language other than their own. By speaking directly in their language, you can be sure that your message does not get lost in translation.

Being langui-dexterous sets you apart

There is a great self-satisfaction of working with multiple languages. It is challenging but incredibly rewarding to be able to convey an idea in a different language.

Being multi-lingual makes it easier to be open-minded and consider what the others think or believe in. It is possible to put yourself into other people’s shoes and frame the right message to connect and influence them.

In addition, speaking a foreign language with an accent when communicating an idea helps your audience to remember you. It is not only what you say that matters, but how you say it, and an accent is definitely a bonus.

For now, only humans can be truly “langui-dexterous”

AI is set to transform the way we communicate across different languages, but we are only at the start of this next communication revolution.

However, the strength of a multilingual team goes further than the ability to communicate a message across markets. Speaking another language means being more understanding, having more empathy, and better considering different audiences.

This ability is likely to set us apart from the machine for a long time. Sentiments, nuances or tones of voice are not easily transcribed by a line of code… yet.