Spanish in the Workplace: Importance of Bilingual Communication in the 21st Century

by David Lisenby - Date: 2006-12-29 - Word Count: 366 Share This!

The ability to communicate in both Spanish and English continues to become an increasingly-important factor for the success of businesses in the U.S. A number of industries are marketing heavily to the American Spanish-speaking population, notable among these being banks and financial service companies. In other fields such as construction, food service, and landscaping, a majority of businesses rely on the Spanish-speaking workforce as a source of employees. Throughout the U.S. businesses are looking to attract Spanish-speaking customers and improve communication between supervisors and Spanish-speaking workers. Both goals should be addressed seriously and strategically by improving the ability of employees to communicate in both languages.

If your business falls into the category of those wanting to attract Spanish-speaking customers, it is probably important for you to know about the "Matricula Consular." This identification card is carried by millions of Mexicans residing in the United States who rely on it as their primary form of legal ID. The word "matricula" is Spanish for "registration," while "consular" refers to the Mexican consulate, where the card is distributed exclusively to Mexican citizens living outside of their home country. Advertizing that your business accepts the Matricula Consular is likely to be one of the best ways of attracting Spanish-speaking customers. Most major U.S. banks now accept the form of ID. It's now time for other financial institutions to follow suit.

The year 2006 saw the media flooded with the Hispanic/Latino presence in the United States. During the strike of May 1, 2006 hundreds of thousands of latinos stayed home from work and and abstained from making any purchase. While the event did not cripple the country, latinos certainly succeeded in alerting the country to the vital role they play in the U.S. workforce and emphasizing the importance of their collective buying power to U.S. retailers. The strikes were organized in major cities coast to coast in response to national debate over immigration reform.

If your business is one that employs Spanish-speakers, they are likely to be supervised by native speakers of English with limited Spanish proficiency. It is important to train your supervisors and managers in Spanish language proficiency so that communication does not become a barrier to the success of your business.

Related Tags: business, learn, spanish, communication, hispanic, latino, mexican, bilingual, matricula, consular

For information on Spanish language instruction for your business, please visit

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