Tagged: language

The Bilingual Entrepreneur

bilingualDigital connectivity has changed the way we do business. As we become more interconnected and technology savvy, we are seeing the world become smaller as countries are becoming more dependent on each other. Global travel has become fast and easy, which makes it more important for entrepreneurs to become aware and adaptive to different cultures.

Global trade has also changed, it has become easier to buy and sell goods around the world. Technology has made it easier for entrepreneurs to connect with suppliers, partners, and customers and helped business truly grow to its full potential, and open doors to markets that might otherwise have remained out of reach.

In such a global environment, it is important for entrepreneurs to understand the importance of learning a foreign language. Nearly 80% of business leaders surveyed believe their overall business would increase notably if they had more internationally competent employees on staff and knew how to speak at least one foreign language.

As an entrepreneur, while looking at learning a foreign language for the purposes of business, one needs to look at which ones will best fit their needs. Here is a list of the top 5 most languages all global-minded CEOs should be learning.

1. Spanish
Spanish has official status in 21 South American countries and also the official language of Puerto Rico. Spanish is also now the second most popular language at A-level after French, having overtaken German in 2005. Mexico has over 20 per cent of all first language Spanish speakers, while the USA, with 30–40 million native speakers of Spanish, is the country with the largest Spanish speaking minority.

2. Arabic
Arabic is a Semitic language. With over 230 million native speakers and a further 100–200 million people across northern Africa and western Asia for whom it is their second language. It also ranks as the fourth most widely spoken language in the world. Arabic is used as an official language of the United Nations, International Criminal Court, African Union, Arab League amongst others.

3. French
Popularly know as the Romance language, French is spoken by more than 70 million people as their first language, although it is estimated that a further 100–200 million people around the world speak French as a second language. Also, in terms of internet usage, French is currently the language of choice for 60 million users, making it the eighth most widely used language on the internet.

4. Mandarin Chinese
The language with official status in China, Taiwan, and Singapore, Mandarin Chinese (Putonghua), is the most widely spoken in the world with 800 million speakers, mostly in China. By 2020, China will be one of four countries accounting for over half of the world’s population of 18–22 year olds making it a priority country for international education.

5. German
It is one of the working languages of the EU and an official language of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe. German is the sixth most common language on the internet, with more than 75 million users.

Reference: Languages of the future.

Mind your language

Mind your languageIn the advertising and marketing world its important to be cautious about the kind of language and tone you use while communicating with your internal and external customers. Any company or enterprise, irrespective of the industry, has to be aware of the fact that they have to maintain a consistent brand image. The language and the tone of communication plays a very critical role in defining and maintaining that brand image. Brand language is the body of words, phrases, and terms that an organization uses to describe its purpose or in reference to its products or services.

While defining a brand language for a company it is important to be careful about the choice of words and the tone used. Here are the 5 benefits of choosing the right brand language for your company:

Its all about Keywords: Ask your customers this: What are the words that come into their minds when they think about your business or brand? For example over 80 percent of the world’s population directly associates “dreams,” “creativity, “fantasy,” “smiles,” “magic,” and “generation” with the Disney brand. So its important to carefully chose the words that you use while communicating with customers. Its like offering a visual cue i.e. the moment someone sees your brand or company, they should associate it with certain keywords.

Build Relationships: Your tone will clearly signify how good you are with your own company objectives and the brand. Many brands use formal language, and that directly reflects in the way they deal with their customers. A more relaxed, friendly or catchy tone should be used if the company actually lives those values. So if your tone does not reflect your company values and your personality, your communications will always appear awkward.

Be positive – The key to successful branding is to chose words and a tone that gives a positive effect in the minds of the customers. When positive words become strongly associated with particular brands, these words can become assets, to the extent that competing brands may find the words difficult to use. For example words used by brands such as Kellogg’s and Gillette i.e, healthy, masculine etc.

Make it simple yet sharp: It is important to use a language that is easily understood by the masses but it should have sharp edges that cut across the normal patter of communications. Take your language cues from your company values, your brand personality and most importantly your customers. Listen to what customers say about their experiences and use those as keywords. With the advent of the internet, companies and brands have become extremely involved in social media and online listening and are actively monitoring the  most searched words, hashtags that people are interested in, most popular categories under a business and industry etc.

– Build a Perspective: It is not about what a company says, its about what your customers here or perceive. Words used should build a perspective in the minds of the customers. For example when we think of Kellogg’s we think of words such Breakfast, Snacks, Recipes, Cereal etc, but the perspective it offers to its customers is healthy and uplifting. So its important to always keep the perspective in mind while choosing the words to be used to define a brand, because at the end of the day its all about your customers.

How important is it to learn to code ?

How important is it to learn to code

How important is it to learn to code

It has been estimated that by the year 2020, there will be 1 million more computer science jobs than students learning the skills to fill them. As an entrepreneur you might not be in the tech industry, but chances are this talent shortage will hit you in a big way.

Coding skills are becoming ever more important and is quickly turning into the core competency needed in the current global economy. This is leading individuals and students to seek out new ways of learning to code, start-ups and non-profits to find ways to help them and businesses to search for innovative approaches to finding the coders they so desperately need.

In the coming years, the number of coding jobs is only expected to increase. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 913,000 computer programmer jobs in 2010. That number is expected to jump 35% from 2010 to 2020.

With the increasing demand growing for students with skills in computer science and programming, Code.org, a non-profit that promotes computer science education, launched the “Hour of Code” a unique initiative as part of the annual Computer Science Education Week from December 9-15.

This initiative will reach across 33,000 schools in 166 countries, which will all set aside at least one hour this week to teaching computer science. The initiative provides a fun and engaging introduction to coding aimed at absolute programming beginners, and gives teachers the tools necessary to bring the Hour of Code to their classrooms and advocate for computer science class options in their school district.

Backed by President Obama, as well as House Majority Leader Eric Cantor, it’s hoped that the initiative could help bridge a growing divide between Silicon Valley and US school curricula. “Don’t just download the latest app, help design it,” says Obama, inspirationally!

Make a decision: PHP or Ruby on Rails

PHP is a general-purpose server-side scripting language originally designed for Web development to produce dynamic Web pages, whereas Ruby on Rails, is an open source full-stack web application framework for the Ruby programming language. So the primary difference to keep in mind is that PHP is a LANGUAGE and Ruby on Rails is a FRAMEWORK. In a border sense, PHP & Ruby cannot be compared.

PHP is simply a programming language. However, it is an extremely flexible and useful language. PHP uses very little memory and performs quite well. It is also a mature language with a wide variety of extensions and library modules. Originally developed as a scripting language to be used in HTML pages, PHP has gradually matured and now includes full object oriented features. However, some programmers feel that PHP encourages sloppy coding because of its script-like roots and lack of a clear object oriented strategy from the beginning.

In contrast, Ruby on Rails is a framework developed in the Ruby programming language. Ruby was designed from the ground up with object oriented design in mind. It has a very tight and clear syntax and programming in it can be down simply. Though, sometimes it can also be extremely inflexible. As a programming language, Ruby often runs more slowly than PHP and requires more memory. Rails is a framework that provides a number of features that are useful for the rapid development of web applications.

So at the end of the day, it all depends on the platform that you already know, that will do what you need and that your clients need.