Bad language damages trade

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Brits like to joke about how bad they are at speaking foreign languages - but it’s no laughing matter if it stops them exporting.

A recent survey found 61 per cent of non-exporting companies in the UK admitted language was a barrier to international trade. While French is most commonly spoken, just four per cent of bosses can negotiate in it.

With export thought to be the nation’s best route back to financial health, these figures are worrying.

But there is help. Find out what switched-on companies do when orders arrive from abroad, in Business Monthly in The Star on Wednesday.