Going global? Turkish could be your golden ticket

| February 17, 2017



If you have ever visited the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul, Turkey, then you have seen how lively the salesmen can be. You may have haggled with a carpet salesman to make a deal on a beautiful Turkish carpet, or perhaps it was for a few boxes of lavish Turkish delight; but which language did you bargain in? If you are not a Turkish speaker then you probably spoke to the salesman in English and realized that he can speak English very well.

Most likely the same salesman knows about seven other languages and uses them all on a daily basis. Though the Grand Bazaar could never be considered as an official united firm, there is no argument against the fact that the shops process hundreds of thousands of transactions per day. The businessmen who work in these shops have realized the advantage of being multilingual, and based on that skill they could be some of the smartest salesmen in the world.

This brings us to the question of language learning and its contingency to successful business. There is the obvious notion that learning another language will immediately increase opportunity to connect with customers. Why is language learning so critical to the business world? Why should Turkish be the next hot language to the growth of business? For so long language learning has been linked to careers like the Foreign Service, academia, politics, and the like. For a while many people who were interested in excelling in business were simultaneously invested in learning Chinese. Many people do not talk about Turkish as a language that is applicable to the business world, but I think that now and especially in the near future, being proficient in Turkish will be an outstanding boost in going global.

Turkey is in the limelight for international business at the moment. Given its geographical location, its industry and booming economy, seemingly the country has reached a potential in commerce that resembles a hub on a modern day Silk Road. To understand good business, we can consider the dynamics of the ancient Silk Road and how important it was for merchants to be multilingual. Then it’s easy to understand that if we Americans plan to conduct our business internationally, it is just as important for both seasoned and new entrepreneurs to be able to communicate with their foreign partners and customers. At the moment, Turkey’s economy is booming and as it looks, it is quite sustainable. In the last decade its GDP has tripled, pushing it toward the goal of becoming one of the top ten economies by the year 2023. Because of all of this, Turkey’s friendliness toward US companies is understandable. Over 1,000 companies have opened branches in Turkey. Turkey is a highly industrialized country, has an open economy and is considered an emerging market by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Startups and companies that have crossed international borders reach 95% of consumers outside of the United States. The international buyer is more likely to want to purchase the US good over any other internationally marked product if they have the choice. In our globalized world, companies have increased their desire to employ those who know a second language for the simple fact that learning a second language helps to build the bridge between business and culture. At any point in time, two people who come from different countries but are also able to communicate with one another have participated in making the world a smaller place. Entrepreneurs who are able to communicate between languages are considered trans-globally valuable, and thereby become instruments of cultural exchange. Furthermore, with the sharing of business ideas across cultures, firms are able to expand their network by interacting with foreign buyers, investors and employees.

Ideally a plan can grow to become a trans-national reality if language barriers are broken. A critical language like Turkish is not only useful for fostering better foreign relations, but it also is necessary to the foundation of lasting business partnerships in our modern world. Turkish is among the world’s 15 most widely spoken languages, spoken in many countries throughout Western Africa, the Middle East and Central Asia.  Turkish is among the world’s 15 most widely spoken languages, spoken in many countries throughout Western Africa, the Middle East, Europe and Central Asia, in countries like Russia, Nigeria, China, Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Azerbaijan, the Balkans and Turkish Cyprus. In total 300 million people speak Turkish as their first language worldwide. Turkish is an official language of the European Parliament. Additionally, Turkish has also become a popular language to study in the United States. Several private and public institutions encourage Americans to learn Turkish to high proficiency in hopes of bettering cultural relations between the United States and Turkey on a wide array of realms. At the same time, young Turks are incredibly employable to western firms. Turkey has a large middle class population, with half of it being under the age of thirty-five. This means that consumerism in Turkey is explosive.

In the last decade Turkey has been a pivotal country for international trade and commerce. Its proximity to the Middle East, Asia and Europe lends hand to the cultivation of a rich culture that borrows from the entire region. More so, Istanbul, Turkey’s largest city is the only city in the world situated in both Asia and Europe, making it an excellent hub for international business. If Americans begin and continue to study Turkish to a high enough proficiency, and across many academic fields, we may soon find American-Turkish business relations at an optimum high.

Category: Art&Culture

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