If your company is planning to move some employees from the United States to another country where a language other than English is spoken, look for the services of a custom relocation company that offers language training. Even if English is commonly spoken in the new country, or if your division there will use English, it's better for your employees to have some grasp of the main languages there. Not only will that help them with practical issues like buying groceries, but it will enable them to get used to the country more easily. Plus, it can help avoid confusion if the languages there are not the standard versions -- a situation that's all too common.
Preparing for Dialects
Most of the time, the language that you get in a self-study course is the standard, "official" version of a language. It's the literary language, the one used by newscasters, and generally the one taught in school grammar classes. However, not all locations in a country speak that version. Each location will have its own dialect, and in some cases, the dialect will vary tremendously from the standard version. This can create a lot of frustration because the people in the country will probably understand the standard version that your employees learn to speak, but your employees won't understand the local version when people respond.
A very good example of this is Japan. The Japanese textbooks you pick up are going to be in standard Japanese, and if you send your employees to the Tokyo area, the dialect there (Tokyo-ben or Kanto-ben) will pretty much match standard Japanese, with maybe some slang as an exception. But in everyday transactions, standard Japanese and Tokyo dialect will be close enough so that your employees won't really notice a difference.
However, send them outside Tokyo, and they're in for a shock no matter how fluent they become in standard Japanese. Kansai-ben, or Osaka dialect, is the classic example, with some words meaning the opposite of what they mean in Tokyo, for instance. In other areas, the distinctions are even deeper, such as in the Tohoku region in the northern part of Honshu -- the dialect is so different that TV shows set there need to use subtitles so that people in other parts of Japan can understand the dialect.
Custom relocation services can arrange to have employees undergo some basic dialect training. Be it Japanese or another language, knowing how the regional dialect differs -- and maybe even being able to speak some of it -- will make integrating into the country a little easier. Local speakers might be more inclined to chat without worrying about remembering to use standard dialects with the employees, for example.
Standard Is Fine -- Just Get the Employees Language Training
If the only language training the service can provide is in the standard dialect -- common for more obscure languages -- that's fine. Knowing even the standard language will make your employees seem friendlier and more open to being in the country, instead of keeping them contained in an ex-pat bubble that they can't really venture out of.
While the main practical issues of moving your employees abroad, such as visa paperwork, are definitely important, please remember the more social aspects of having employees abroad. Find services that prepare your employees for everyday life and friendships there, too.
For more information, contact Humboldt Storage & Moving Company or a similar company.