The 4th Most Powerful Language in the World: Spanish

Knowing Spanish helps grow business. 

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For many, separating personal and business lives is routine. However, in Mexico, business colleagues often blend the two. There is a high expectation of hospitality as a way of building a personal relationship, the first step in establishing a business relationship. Learning the nuances of any business environment will help you to power up your first impression.

Spanish is Mexico’s official language, and #4 on the Power Language Index we use to guide our language countdown series. Mexico remains one of the top US import-export partners, and using Spanish can be beneficial when doing business with firms there.

Heritage and culture are prized by the world’s 470 million native speakers of Spanish. From Mexico City to Madrid, learning the language can aid in your ability to travel widely, to converse with business contacts in major global markets, and to stay abreast of international relations that impact business.

Speakers of other languages see and use many Spanish words in daily life, including place names—Los Angeles (city of angels), Amarillo (yellow), and Florida (flowery). Many words sound familiar, such as organización, educación, and imaginación. The way a word is written is the way it is pronounced, making Spanish a phonetic language, and one of the easier languages to learn.

Pronunciation and intonation of Spanish varies as it is spoken in Spain vs. Latin America, but don’t worry, that shouldn’t get in the way of communication.

When meeting and greeting Mexican colleagues, using these key phrases and business protocol tips will help to make introductions go smoothly.

  • The most common and accepted greeting among Mexican businesspeople is a handshake or slight bow.
  • “Here is my card.” in Spanish is Aquí está mi tarjeta de presentación.
  • Use professional titles when addressing contacts in both business and social contexts.
  • If someone doesn’t have a professional title, use Señor (Mr.), Señora (Mrs.), or Señorita (Miss), followed by the father’s surname.
  • To offer your name, say Hola, me llamo __________.

If global markets are on your business to-do list, sign in to a free two-week trial of GlobeSmart® from Aperian Global, using the promo code INTROIQ. This easy-to-access online resource can help improve your work effectiveness in many multilingual and global settings.

We hope you return next week when we will highlight the #3 most powerful language in the world.

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