With the world more diverse than ever before, as barriers continue to be broken down and no longer exist in the same way they once did because of technology, there has been a greater emphasis on being able to communicate with effective methods.
Language has always been an important component of communication, as the words used are what help messages to be received in the correct way. However, with so many different dialects spoken around the world and many languages having mini-languages within them due to certain demographics and subcultures, it can be difficult to communicate with everyone worldwide.
As a result, we have seen that certain languages have perhaps become “more important” than others. For instance, the business world will often communicate in English, which may also be used as the main language for world organisations. Influential figures who may not have this tongue as their native dialect will have learned it, as it will have allowed them to be heard by more people around the world, thus potentially increasing their influence.
World leaders and industry figureheads can often be among those who are the most influential on the planet. The Turkish President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, is perhaps one of the biggest examples in terms of modern politics. Although he only speaks Turkish, he has managed to transform global politics with his 20+ year reign in power in the country with his impact.
How does being multilingual make people more influential?
Of course, there is an argument that Erdogan can be an anomaly when it comes to the use of language and influence. As mentioned, those who can converse in multiple languages are more likely to be considered more influential, as they can be understood by a greater number of the world’s population. For example, if the Turkish president could communicate in English and his native tongue, he could potentially have his message understood by around 2 billion people. These figures are based on around 1.5 billion said to be able to communicate in English, while almost 100 million can speak Turkish.
Naturally, this shows that there can be numerous advantages to obtain by being multilingual. While political advantages can be achieved, there can also be business opportunities that are presentable, too.
Leaders, including Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg, have shown that they can communicate in various dialects, thus helping them to grow their respective businesses into the global powerhouses they are today. As they are able to effectively communicate with others flawlessly, this makes them influential people that many want to network with and continue to listen to.
The multilingualism of influential leaders can help them to create new business opportunities or have a greater impact on the world because they are likely to be more appreciative of cultures that exist, too. They are more likely to have a greater understanding, which they can then look to appeal to, thus creating a higher level of influence that they may have.
Policymakers in international governments that cover a region – such as the European Union – will likely have a better understanding of each culture that can be experienced across each country, thus allowing them to create agreements that can benefit the entire area and be as effective as possible for everyone involved.
Speaking a different language to the native tongue is also considered a skill and one that can be beneficial to an individual on an intellectual level and not just in terms of their lifestyle choices. People who can take on board new vernacular and use it may be able to be more creative with their brains, which can help them possess the skills that are required to be influential. If they are able to communicate in a second or third language, they may be able to solve problems or come up with decisions that having only one language may not allow. It can also give them a greater perspective.
It is clear that being multilingual is a highly valuable skill and one that can make a person extremely influential. Although there have been some exceptions to the rule, those who can speak more than one language can communicate with a greater percentage of the world’s population, thus allowing them to open up opportunities.