Have you ever traveled to a foreign country? If you have, you know that it is important to do a little preparation for your trip, including learning some minimum language skills uk email lists[/b]][b=http://www.latestdatabase.com/uk-email-lists/]uk email lists[/b]
. At least you need to have a Berlitz phrase book or a translation tool of some kind, or arrange a guide or host to take you to places and speak the language for you, and translate their responses so you can understand them.
The most embarrassing thing is when you learn one phrase - like "Bonjour, comment ca va?" and then someone answers you - and you don't understand their answer! I have always loved language, and traveling, and it must be from the 4 summers that I went to Europe with my family. My dad was an author and professor of Ancient Biblical languages and he was recruited to help in the '70's to translate the Old Testament into a new version of the Bible - the NIV. We and a group of other families were blessed to be able to go to Scotland, Spain, Greece and Belgium (4 summers in a row) and travel a bit as well. I got to see the Eiffel Tower in Paris - which began my lifelong love of the French language. When I got to college, I decided to major in English literature and minor in French - (almost a major considering I took 7 out of 8 semesters)...and got to go to France again, this time as a young college graduate in the summer of 1988, as part of a missionary team to the suburbs of Paris - Franconville and Eaubonne. Now remember, I had been learning French for the past 4 years, and I STILL had a little trepidation about speaking French to REAL French people. But I had plenty of practice, and lived with a French family that knew a little bit of English (supposedly the husband had it in 8th grade or something). I have memories of the Smurfs (in French it is "Stroumpf"), ET ("telephonez la maison"), and baguettes and hot chocolate for breakfast in the mornings. And a lot of biking to different places, where I, typically, needed to communicate in French. But sometimes, people would realize (almost immediately) that I was American, and want to speak English with me. Which made things easier for me, but didn't help me learn French! In one store, they heard my accent and asked if I was German...I ended up speaking in English to them! So...I tried to practice their language with them, and then helped them to learn a bit of mine. There is NOTHING in the world like learning a new language. Where there is confusion and misunderstanding, there develops a kind of synchronicity, a common ground that the two of you can stand on and learn from each other. Where there was mistrust and stereotypes, now there is a new understanding and an empathy that wasn't there before. I am so happy that I have had those experiences in other countries, and would love to go back, because I love to stretch my comfort zone, learn new things, and find out how the other half of the world thinks! We are so lucky today to have access to people in other parts of the world RIGHT NOW. I can go on Skype and talk to someone in Singapore or Australia, or in Colombia or the UK. You can do this for business or pleasure, and there are millions of people who would love to talk to YOU - IF you can give them a reason to. Now, if you decide to do this, and venture out into unknown territories, you DO have to have a common language. So hopefully the person you are communicating with knows at least a little English. Or, in my case, I have a friend in Algeria who want to practice her English and give me practice speaking in French, and as we do this, we learn about the other person's culture and ways of thinking. She and others (including an older black woman named Stella in Alabama) have helped me revive my French conversational skills (which until this year lay dormant) and now I feel more comfortable in speaking French again, even though I have a long way to go to feel fluent. And beyond French, I went to Italy 5 years ago, and learned some Italian for that and some while I was there in that beautiful country. And most recently, I went to Mexico this summer for a week, and so I learned a little more Spanish and now speak to other teachers online from Colombia (mostly in English but I love to learn new Spanish words as well.) OK, so here's the question you are probably asking yourself. I am not a tutor or an international business man or woman, so why would I need to learn the language of partners or clients overseas? I don't know who I'd talk to on Skype from another country, and I just don't have the interest to do that. So let me ask you this - isn't learning a language for your BUSINESS important? In a broader sense, we need to learn the language of WHATEVER business we are in, including the "lingo" of your particular industry. If I say, "facebook me and we can chat", or we talk about social media, or internet marketing, or list building and email campaigns, or "how many clicks do you get when you do PPC marketing?"...that is a whole area of "language" that people need to familiarize themselves with if they expect to be successful in this type of business! Many entrepreneurs these days specialize in social media and communicating with other people online, some with teaching others how to speak that "language" so they can develop their own "brand", and some offer to do it for them... but the client needs to have some knowledge of how it works and what the benefits are, or they won't see them as a valuable asset! If they say, oh social media doesn't work, it's all a big waste of time...they won't hire them or listen to their point of view. They will be stuck in their own limited ideas of what makes business successful, and with technology going the way it is, they will be left behind in the business world, clinging to their "old school" ways of business. It's AMAZING what even major Fortune 500 companies are doing to use Facebook to their advantage, and making it so useful to their bottom lines because they can collect data on each individual "liker" that they have NEVER been able to before! Even the ads are geo-targeted and relevant to you and that is so much better than mass emails or general info. So if we want to be in business today, we need to speak the language of technology, to understand how to use it to our advantage and make it our ally, just as if we were speaking to someone in a foreign country. Many people are on Twitter these days, and I just recently read about a girl who gathered 17,000 Twitter followers just by "following" them and making her 140 character tweets relevant to their lives and their interests. She has built a big following because they have "common ground" - they understand each other and want to continue to connect. The great thing about language is, whether it is a foreign language, or a business "language" - once you learn it and are comfortable with it, you can use it to build relationships, and be successful in your business and in your life. Laurel Nicolosi is the creator of Best Life Possible.com ( [http://www.bestlifepossible.com] ), a website dedicated to making your life the best life possible! She has authored health and wellness blogs, articles, websites and radio shows on how to be healthy and green and how to make money online with free or low-cost programs. She also tutors online and locally, specializing in