Are international language barriers gone?


Do you think you could ever learn to speak in foreign language. Learning at school in Australia 1960’s gave me some limited choices. I chose French rather than Latin as I figured if ever I was in France or a French speaking country I could understand people.

Since I have lived, worked and travelled in many counties. Except for parts of Vietnam, and Canada plus of course France itself, knowing French has had quite limited value.

I do know my limited brain somehow interferes with my ability to learn more languages.  Hence English remains my dominate choice, even though work in Asia where Thai, Indonesian, Cantonese & Mandarin all dominate as the colloquial preferences that surround me.

Even so, believe it or not I can communicate in most and more without ever attend any classes or langauge  school.  And so can you!

For example  I am reading a new book called World Class ITnow that I would recommend. Here is a pr?cis of a book review I was sent recently that in turn I sent on to a Thai colleague.

IT gets boiled down to 5 core principles (Mitch Betts Dec 21, 2009)

There isn’t any flashy writing or trendy technology here. A new book World Class IT (Jossey-Bass, 2009), by consultant Peter A. High, provides solid — dare I say timeless — advice for CIOs trying to manage IT for business success.

The book takes the CIO’s complex world and boils it down to the following core principles (stated here verbatim):

  1. Recruit, train and retain world-class IT people.
  2. Build and maintain a robust IT infrastructure.
  3. Manage projects and portfolios effectively.
  4. Ensure partnerships within the IT department and with the business.
  5. Develop a collaborative relationship with external partners.

image Highsays new CIOs should tackle those issues in the order presented above, starting with people and then moving on to developing a reliable IT infrastructure. High says the journey from ordinary to world-class IT can take several years, and even then you can’t rest on your laurels.


To make it easy for my colleague I translated it to Thai by using Google translate.

IT ????????????? 5 ??????????? Mitch Betts 21 ??????? 2009 06:00 ET ???????????????????????????????????????????????. ??????? World Class ???? IT (Jossey-???, 2009) ???????????? Peter A. ?????????? - ???????????????????????? - ????????????? CIOs ???????????????????????????????????????????. ??????????????????? CIO ??? boils ?????????????????? core (?????????????????????): ?????????????????????????????? IT. ?????????????????????????????????????????????. ??????????????????????????????????????????????????. ?????????????????????????????????. ???????????????????????????????????????????. ???????? CIOs ??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????. ???????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????? laurels ??????.

This literally took seconds using the free Google translate tool, which has most written Languages. To do this I just copied and pasted the text to a html page and Google did the rest. image

The practical implications of this are that language in business is no longer a barrier as we can communicate with literally anyone. Yes it is that simple and these days even my french has improved.

From my stats I know readers of our my blog come from many non English speaking counties. So I am quite sure they already know well about translation tools. But for most English based countries readers there, I would ventured to say, would not see the value of subscribing to and translating to, say a Russian website.

I do and  I am often pleasantly surprised by some of the high quality and leadership information I get when I translate some of these sites.

Give it a try and perhaps see if you can find new opportunities to link up and grow.

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