"Those who know nothing of foreign languages know nothing of their own."
- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Knowing your business partners' languages doesn't just help you communicate. It shows a commitment and respect that are bound to make a good impression. Echo International's comprehensive language training programs and intercultural consulting services give your professionals an edge in understanding the world that could provide the key to international business success.
Echo International's language programs are custom-made for our clients. We tailor or courses to your proficiency level and professional needs - no matter which language, culture or industry you are in.
Our instructors and management team
Echo International's Language Training Management team ensures that students are assigned to the most qualified and appropriate instructors to meet their individual needs and learning styles.
Our instructors are highly qualified and experienced language specialists who employ the most current language learning methodologies. They come from a variety of professional and educational backgrounds, with extensive experience teaching English as a Second Language or teaching a foreign language in the United States and abroad. Many of our instructors also hold specialized medical, legal, engineering, IT, or business degrees.
Moreover, Echo instructors have a true passion for teaching and are able to readily adapt their styles and methodologies to best support their students. They understand the challenges you will face and how to overcome them.
The Echo method
Personalization is the key to language instruction. Echo's management staff will conduct a proficiency assessment and in-depth needs analysis with each student before starting a program. Since students have different needs and goals, we ensure that their curricula are tailored to meet those goals, realistically and feasibly. We pride ourselves in getting to know our students on both a personal and professional level, allowing room for the curriculum to evolve with the students' objectives and improvement.
Echo believes in learning by doing. Students speak the target language from day one. They put the language learned in the classroom to practical use in real-life situations. Classroom-based instruction is blended with relevant outside excursions.
At our corporate headquarters in downtown Pittsburgh, you will find a relaxed and supportive learning environment. Our instructors will help you take advantage of the city's diversity and charm - which will only add to your overall learning experience.
"The worlds in which different societies live are distinct worlds, not merely the same world with different labels attached." - Amy Tan
Understanding your business partners' countries and customs is a critical component of international business success. When you understand the cultural outlook of markets that are different from your own, communication is smoother. Relationships are stronger. Business is more efficient. Your ROI increases.
Echo International has been helping companies overcome cultural and linguistic barriers for nearly thirty years. We can help you and your organization acquire the right intercultural competencies for establishing strong working relationships with subordinates, business associates, and clients.
Intercultural Training and Country Briefings
Even in our wired, computerized, interconnected present-day world, foreign countries somehow manage to remain foreign. Because of this, companies need a hands-on guide to doing business with partners of different cultures. To meet this need, Echo International offers a variety of intercultural training programs and country briefings.
In these sessions, highly qualified and experienced speakers give you relevant, up-to-date specifics on your region or country of interest. They examine in detail the critical forces that affect cross-cultural business interaction. The programs are tailored to meet your particular objectives and needs.
Before designing an intercultural program for you, Echo International assesses your cultural competencies, evaluating a wide range of factors: familiarity with the target culture; awareness of your own and other intercultural values; international leadership skills; ability to adjust negotiation, communication, presentation, and management styles to the target culture; and attentiveness to non-verbal cues in international interactions.
We help participants to gain confidence in their ability to communicate, interact, and behave appropriately in the target country or region. All presenters are experts in their culture and subject areas, and their talents and knowledge make the training a rewarding and memorable experience.
Echo Insight, a division of Echo International, provides high-quality political, cultural, and business infrastructure training to corporations and individuals in an easy-to-use, engaging web-based format. Echo Insight is dedicated to educating professionals about other countries, enabling them to improve their relationships by developing a legitimate understanding of the people with whom they do business.
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Click here for more on the Echo Insight China e-learning course.
What issues do you need to consider as you enter global markets? Foreign markets require documentation and web presence in languages that may be unfamiliar to you, but this is just the tip of the iceberg. What are the local business practices? Have you positioned your product and service offerings so they align with local cultural expectations? How do these factors influence decisions related to customer meetings, staffing, competition, advertising or R&D? Echo can help.
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Cultural Impact Assessments
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug" - Mark Twain
When Rolls-Royce planned to introduce its Silver Mist car in Germany, they didn't realize at first that "mist" in German means "rubbish" or "manure." (Luckily, they corrected this error in time.)
This is just one example of the pitfalls that can affect international marketing. Colors, visual symbols, offensive or ridiculous product names - any of these things can trip you up abroad.
With our Cultural Impact Assessments, our experts will save your company embarrassment and millions of dollars in lost business. Our global team of linguists and subject matter specialists will solve any potential problems before they appear. Analyzing your proposed ad campaign, website, logos, trademark names, slogans and taglines, we will help you find your way safely through this potential minefield.
Learn more about this topic in Marketing Pittfalls and How to Avoid Them on our Thought Leadership page.