1. Why bother? They all speak English, don’t they?
Some do, but most don’t.
If you’re selling to customers in another country, or, if you’re a multinational, having to train or communicate with staff overseas, the chances are most of your audience won’t understand you.
There are a few nationalities who are known for their expertise as linguists – the Dutch and the Swedes, for example.
But in most important markets, particularly the developing markets of China and Eastern Europe, although some younger managers will have reasonable English, even they may struggle when it comes to technical terms.
Also it’s a question of the impression you make. What does it say about your attitude to overseas customers?
As the former German Chancellor, Willy Brandt, put it: “If I’m selling to you, I speak your language. If I’m buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen”