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INTERNATIONAL NEWS: A third of SMEs believe only English communication is needed to expand overseas

Some 32 per cent of UK SMEs believe implementing an English-speaking website and other communication materials would suffice when attempting to trade or expand their business overseas, according to a new survey carried by translation and transcription provider, Global Lingo.

Almost one third of the 1,067 UK-based SME owners said they would feel confident trading or expanding overseas only using English language communication tools; with over half (55 per cent) belieiving English was the ‘international language of business’.

However, 59 per cent admitted their main concern regarding trading overseas would be the ‘language barriers’, while 21 per cent confessed it would be the lack of local knowledge and business practices that they would ultimately face.

Despite these findings, 29 per cent of the SME owners said if they were to decide on expanding their business or trading overseas in the near future, they would rely solely on the English language for their website, marketing tools and other communications material.

Global Lingo carried out the study alongside its campaign to boost UK trade overseas. As part of the campaign, the company is currently offering 100 UK businesses up to 1000 words of free translation and proof reading, on a first come first serve basis.

Richard Michie, MD of Global Lingo said: “As our research shows, many businesses could benefit from taking the time to explore the various linguistic options available to them. This is precisely the reason we are offering our exclusive giveaway to businesses, hopefully raising awareness of the current lack of communication between UK businesses and their potential customers overseas, and bridging the gap to enable businesses of all sizes to take the leap and expand their services globally.”