Emerging Language Trends in the Major American Market
Due to recent immigration currents along with the explosion of innovative technology that keeps multinational relationships connected 24/7, there’s never been a stronger need for professional interpreters and translators who are in tune with emerging language trends in the major American market.
A 2017 post on businesswire.com states, “The US holds various strategic, economic, and business relationships with many countries, such as countries in APAC and Europe, which results in diversified business communications. As a result, it is essential for companies in the US to invest… to ensure efficiency of business activities.”
It’s not a complete surprise that most of the emerging language trends in the U.S. are directly aligned with the most common, non-English languages spoken here – largely the result of immigration trends. According to Pew Research, more than 59 million immigrants have entered U.S. borders over the past 50 years, and around 14% of the total American population was born in another country. Additionally, since the year 2000, nearly 30% of the national total population growth is the result of immigration.
Is your brand serving its target markets’ Top 7 non-English languages?
In order to keep on the cutting-edge of any trend, companies need to be well-prepared. When it comes to serving your target markets’ non-English language needs, preparation means collaborating with an experienced language services provider who is qualified to provide accurate interpreting and translation services for your audience’s language preferences.
Although your non-native speaker might be “fluent” in another language, research shows that people prefer to do business in their native tongue. Is your company producing fluid, relevant, and compelling content to attract followers who speak these Top 7, non-English languages? If not, it’s time to align yourselves with qualified interpreters and translators.
1. Spanish – 40.5 million speakers
In an article about Hispanic influence on the American market, Nielson researchers write, “The multi-faceted Hispanic consumer is widely recognized as a cornerstone of any growth initiative for virtually all U.S. industries, and for good reason.”
More than half of all immigrants who entered the United States between 2010 and 2016 were of Hispanic origin. Most hail from Mexico, leading recently to conflicts at the southern border, as well as Central and South America (Argentina, Peru, Columbia, Chile, and other Latin American countries). These immigrants speak a variant of Spanish that is completely different from that of Spain.
It’s essential that your company provides Spanish translations for all of its written content, and that you consider using subtitling and transcription services for fluid voiceovers on existing, English-language video content. An even better proposition is to have native Spanish-speaking translators and/or interpreters on hand when meeting with representatives from other countries in executive briefing centers.
2. Chinese – 3.4 million speakers
Second in the language mix is Chinese, and that includes both Mandarin and Cantonese. Considering the tensions that continues to elevate between China and the United States, and between China and Taiwan, it’s essential that U.S. corporations understand why language accuracy and respect for language and cultural differences have never been more important.
As we wrote in our recent post about the growing demand for Chinese translation and interpretation services, “There is no room for errors or inaccuracies in word use, grammar, or tone. This is a time for Chinese language services diplomacy at its finest.”
3. Tagalog – 1.7 million speakers
Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines, and its myriad of other language influences – including Spanish and English – paint a clear picture of the island country’s colonial history. In addition to language, companies should understand that Filipino business culture differs in several ways from American business standards. Your language services provider should provide professional language services along with lessons in Filipino business etiquette so you put your most respectful foot forward.
4. Vietnamese – 1.5 million speakers
Just five years ago, Vietnamese was considered the sixth most commonly spoken foreign language in the U.S. Now, due to continued Vietnamese immigration, it has risen to the #4 spot. Like Chinese, Vietnamese is a tonal language, which means vocal inflections can completely change the meaning of similarly written words. As a result, you should only use native-speaking, Vietnamese interpreters and translators to ensure your message is relayed accurately, with relevant phrasing, idioms, accent, and tone.
5. Arabic – 1.2 million speakers
We opened our post on Arabic translation and interpretation with, “Arabic translation is an entirely different ballgame when compared with the Western European languages…” and that’s the truth. With a language whose written characters share little in common with the Latin alphabet, is read “backwards” in relation to ours, and with stringent public, cultural, and moral constraints, language accuracy is a must. Equally important in the heated geo-political climate between the U.S. and the Middle East, diplomacy is essential.
6. French – 1.2 million speakers
The French language (along with Spanish) is considered a language of international business. While it may be #6 of the list of top foreign languages spoken in the United States, it is one of the most commonly spoken languages worldwide, with native speakers residing in all the major continents – including Africa.
Our culture refers to French as “the language of love,” and we have seen first-hand how competent, qualified French interpreters and translators can certainly increase the love between international brands, their followers, and their prospects.
7. Korean – 1.1 million speakers
Korean is a unique language in that it stands alone, having no other surviving linguistic relatives. Despite Seoul’s geographic proximity to China, Japan, and Russia, the country’s formidable topography – including rugged volcanic mountain tops and island isolation – kept the Korean language unique in relation to the rest of the world’s languages.
International diplomacy: a language worth serving
In addition to these top seven, there is one other language that is worth investing in by hiring experienced, high-quality interpreters and translators; that is the language of diplomacy.
As the world continues to shrink via the powers of digital technology and increasingly convenient travel options, vast differences in languages, cultures, political, and religious ideologies, and the discrepancies in socio-economic power find themselves rubbing up against one another more than ever before. This can cause unmitigated divisiveness if we aren’t careful with our words and actions.
The interpreters and translators here at Chang-Castillo and Associates provide impeccable interpretation, translation, and other language service solutions for just about every language on the planet. We are passionate about accuracy, professionalism, and the spirit of language. Contact us at +1 (877) 708-0005 when you’re ready to meet the emerging language trends in the American market and beyond.