How Language Training Impacts International Assignments

January 27, 2016 / by Lindsay Mullen


Relocating to a new country for the first time is an exciting time for assignees, but many find themselves lost (both figuratively and literally!) upon relocation—especially if they’re not well-versed on the language spoken in their new home. We’ve written extensively in the past on how language learning can promote a sense of belonging and assuage culture shock as an assignee gets used to life in their new country.

But how exactly does language training help assignees in their day-to-day life? Here are three ways Mango can help assignees feel at home in a new city and ease their transition.

Gain confidence in a new home

With Mango, assignees won’t just be passively learning—they’ll gain the confidence to take control of their language learning journey. Mango provides specific examples of local customs and useful phrases that will help them anticipate some of the changes of relocation. By getting a larger sense of how their new life abroad may function, your assignee will be much better equipped to walk into their new office (or local grocery store) with confidence. Mango gives learners the tools to navigate everyday life through culture notes, useful phrases, bite-sized learning opportunities—and the confidence to further their language learning themselves. Even if we don’t directly teach your technology maven assignee relocating to Japan the word コンピュータチップ (computer chip), she’ll have the vocabulary to ask a new colleague the word.

Learn to speak like a native

Prepping assignees on common words will help them walk the walk abroad, but will they truly be prepared to talk the talk? While speaking like a native might sound like a pipe dream for new language learners, new grammar rules and different pronunciations make learning the local accent just as crucial as a hefty vocabulary. Many languages are far from phonetic and have a variety of words that sound almost identical to the untrained ear. For those assignees who are tired of mixing up their Hungarian ty and gy sounds, enter Mango Live. Mango Live helps your assignee bridge the gap from learning a word on paper to learning proper pronunciation. If your assignee is having trouble mastering those tricky Arabic back-of-the-throat consonants, tell them to hop online (or on their mobile device) and tap a dedicated Mango teacher by joining a virtual classroom.

Learn at their own pace

Mastering tricky words and unfamiliar tenses can be a little...tense. Fortunately, learning a new language doesn’t have to be all work and no play. Mango Premiere helps reward users with fun lessons, cultural opportunities and even provides access to foreign films. Instead of repeating words out loud, Mango will connect your assignees with relevant clips and lessons to help solidify lesson plans and make them applicable to everyday life. Since Mango is available on mobile devices, users can learn about provoz in the Czech Republic all while sitting in provoz (traffic)! Encourage your assignees to set a little time aside to practice their language skills-- even a short daily commute will help dramatically improve their communication abroad.

Learning a new language can be tricky at times, but there’s no better way to truly feel like a local and have some fun than zu sprechen (to talk)! While prepping assignees to learn a new language will help mitigate culture shock, it’s important to be on the lookout for warning signs your assignees aren’t adapting. Check out 10 Signs Your Employees Are Experiencing Culture Shock for more tips.

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Topics: Corporate

Lindsay Mullen

Written by Lindsay Mullen

Lindsay Mullen is CEO of Prosper Strategies, working behind the scenes to support the Mango team's world of lovable language learning. A language aficionado herself, Lindsay oversees a team of marketers fluent in public relations, content development and strategy (and they speak some German, French, Spanish and Chinese as well.)

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