According to an article in The Washington Post, half the world is bilingual, but only 20% of the US population can speak more than one language. Reports show that the US is lagging behind Europe, where around 56% of the population speaks more than one language.
Despite the US being a diverse nation, we continue to call out people for speaking in other languages. In 2020 alone, a restaurant customer threatened to call immigration on the South American waiting staff; one Walmart customer reprimanded another for speaking to her kids in Spanish, and a Border Patrol agent asked for the IDs of American citizens who happened to be speaking Spanish.
Why is the US still struggling to accept languages other than English even though our population is so diverse?
Let’s take a look at how embracing other languages can make us more inclusive:
Many low-income families in the US comprise immigrants who speak little or no English. These families have limited access to critical information because it’s not available to them in a language they understand.
Whether you’re an immigration lawyer, a health expert, or a retail salesperson, providing information in a foreign language can help you reach out to those who need your services the most.
Wouldn’t traveling be easier if you were able to speak to locals in their language? You’d be able to go to any corner of the world without worrying about asking for directions or ordering food.
Embracing multilingualism can mobilize people. If they knew multiple languages, they’d be able to travel to foreign countries, converse with locals and learn new cultures. It’s no wonder that researchers have found that learning a new language makes you more tolerant and accepting of those different from you.
Speaking different languages and understanding new cultures also opens up new business opportunities for entrepreneurs.
Studies show that consumers are more likely to respond to products and services offered in their languages.
If you’re an entrepreneur in the US, it’s in your best interest to take advantage of certified translation services and offer language options on your website.
Preferred Translation provides website localization services across the USA, including New York, New Jersey, Massachusetts, Maryland, California, and more. We can help your online business reach customers all over the globe! Get a free quote today.