Speak Foreign Languages – Learn from the Perfect Country where Precision Rules
Picture a country where everything is perfect. Trains run on time. People speak a number of foreign languages fluently. Most of the multilingual information is available publicly. You can communicate in local languages but also very well in English. Food ordered at any place tastes like a meal in a top-notch restaurant. Customer service is second to none. The countryside is breathtaking and you enjoy every minute of it while gasping for air when hiking up yet another majestic mountain. Small picturesque towns are sparkling clean and mountain chalets so cute when covered with flowerbeds wherever you look.
If you have visited this country, you already know which one I’m talking about! If you have not yet, go there soon! Make it before they close the borders – again!
Switzerland is truly amazing.
Travel Issues During the Coronavirus Crisis
During my 2-week-long trip in the Swiss Alps, I was looking forward to finding out how this mountainous country functions in several official languages. It does so very well!
Since I live in Canada, and Switzerland is not exactly around the corner, I had planned my trip for summer 2020 far ahead. However, when the coronavirus crisis came, it became very uncertain whether I could travel from Canada to Switzerland. So many things happened!
- Switzerland closed its borders.
- People were not allowed to travel, plus they were worried about travelling.
- Air travel between Canada and Europe was cancelled.
- There was a great deal of uncertainty in regards to border closures.
- When Switzerland opened up to EU countries, Canada remained on the list of high-risk countries.
- Tourists waited anxiously for the Swiss authorities to issue news about the need to quarantine or to take mandatory COVID-19 tests.
I was waiting anxiously as well. It took a lot of work to change my flight tickets, make new hotel reservations or cancel old ones, not to mention trying to ask for hotel refunds. At the same time, I kept following various websites from the Swiss authorities and travel portals that promote Switzerland abroad.
Luckily, these websites are in English! Only thanks to their localized websites was I able to get the latest updates on the coronavirus situation and travel restrictions. I am convinced that their localized websites in French, Italian, German and other languages have helped many tourists around the world.
Need for Multilingual Information
From this perspective, the Swiss communication channels very quickly and efficiently reacted to a new situation and regularly updated the information in at least 4 languages. This was a huge help, not just for myself, but also for many other travellers who impatiently waited for any news on whether they could enter this beautiful country.
I also followed conversations on social networks where a lot of tourists voiced their concerns about having spent thousands of euros and dollars and potentially not being able to get any travel refunds.
The ability to inform tourists in a number of foreign languages has helped alleviate these concerns and avoid the fear of travelling at a time of crisis. Consequently, this materialized as profits for the travel industry that yearly contribute to the country’s GDP. It also helped to cut down the negativity that was quite clearly coming through in some of the Facebook posts. By informing tourists from around the world, myself in Canada included, travellers found the courage to actually travel to Switzerland. Even despite the expected travel delays and flight cancellations that have become the norm in 2020.
Communicate with Tourists in Their Native Language
Switzerland did well in terms of multilingual updates to the world. Travel representatives and official authorities utilized the internet to spread important messages in a number of foreign languages. This created a feeling of trust in tourists, as they could read the right information in the right languages, at the right time. They were given the hope that they would actually manage to enjoy their dream vacation in the majestic Swiss Alps!
How You Can Inform Your Readers in Foreign Languages
If you want or need to inform a large group of people in another language, provide them with information that they can fall back on time after time. Publish it on your website in several foreign languages to reach its maximal potential. In times of uncertainty, people want to be well informed, preferably in their native language, or at least in a language that they speak fluently. If you want to react efficiently to a quickly changing situation, consider using the services of professional translators for the translations of your news posts and articles. Then you’ll be able to publish updated information in several foreign languages at the same time. At LingoStar, we have been providing these services for the last 16 years.
Foreign Languages at Your Service
So how can you manage to make your company truly multilingual? At LingoStar, we have written a detailed guide for creating a multilingual website A Beginner’s Guide to Multilingual Website Translation. Here, you will find practical advice on how to easily arrange for the cultural adaptation of your website or articles in a foreign language.
Alternatively, download our free ebook with some basic tips on website translation so you understand what it’s all about.
Re-think the way you’re updating your audiences. Include multilingual versions! Switzerland has succeeded!
Take care and Greetings from Switzerland,
Lenka de Graafova, Managing Director of LingoStar Language Services Inc.