At ThoughtSpark, we have a shared appreciation for languages and travel (incidentally, a real advantage for our multilingual PR offering). During a chat in the office (a reminder of why physically seeing each other remains valuable!), we talked about the language we’d like to learn next. And then we thought, why not learn a language together?
With Germany a key market, both for us and our clients, learning the German language was ideal for this initiative. We also have an office in Berlin, headed up by our director Jess, who has already made impressive progress with the language since moving to Germany four years ago. For the rest of us, German was entirely new, since we mostly speak Romance languages, namely French, Spanish and Italian.
Once the classes were in full swing, we checked in with the team about their experience of learning German, and here’s what they said!
“I’ve always had preconceptions about learning German. As someone more familiar with Latin languages, I was daunted by the learning process – and I have to say German is not the easiest language to learn! However, contrary to my expectations, I have truly enjoyed our German lessons and found myself intrigued by the language, its precision, and similarities with English! Learning a new language is always hard, but taking lessons with the team gives you a great boost of motivation, keeps you accountable and makes the learning process way more enjoyable!”
“Though I can say I’m well-travelled (30 countries and counting), I’m the only member of the team without another language under my belt – so it has been fun to learn together with everyone starting at the same level. It’s been interesting to see us (slowly!) improve as we’re able to tie together more pieces of what we have learnt.
It’s a great initiative – not many companies offer this kind of unique opportunity for professional development outside the core skills required for a role. There are definitely opportunities to use German here at ThoughtSpark – for market research, for instance – and I’m sure even basic German skills would be considered an asset in the broader business world.”
“I’ve really enjoyed getting to grips with the German language. I would recommend corporate language lessons to other companies, as long as participants are aware that, as with all learning, you have to be able to put your own time into it. Language lessons are not only a great way to develop practical skills, but also serve as a team bonding exercise.”
And what about me? Much like Federica, I have always been daunted by German and its extra-long vocabulary. However, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the classes and have decided to continue pursuing German in my own time. Somehow there’s always a new grammar rule to learn, but that makes it all the more satisfying when you manage to remember and apply it! Additionally, learning a language with others quickly breaks down barriers, as you have to put aside insecurities and attempt new sounds or string together a basic sentence.
Most importantly, though, we hope our efforts will strengthen our client relationships and improve our understanding of German culture. As Entrepreneur notes, “Multilingualism bridges the cultural gap and opens the door for more significant investment opportunities, partnerships, global customers and foreign office expansions…The ability to communicate with and understand your employees, co-workers or customers, is absolutely essential in the business world.”
Learn how our expert team of native speakers approach press relations in Germany: https://www.thoughtsparkagency.com/2023/02/13/pringermany/
Interested in joining the ThoughtSpark team? Take a look at our latest opportunities: https://www.thoughtsparkagency.com/join-our-team/