British boy band One Direction have been instructed to learn the basics of several foreign languages to avoid embarrassment when embarking on promotional tours abroad.
The band, formed on the UK’s X-Factor in 2010, have become extremely successful overseas, acquiring large fan bases in America, Europe and Asia.
However, their lack of communication skills became tabloid fodder in January when band member Zayn Malik tried to get off sick from a press conference due to his embarrassment of not understanding the language. After he left, the remaining members – Harry, Liam, Niall and Louis – continued to be bemused and uncomfortable in front of the Japanese media.
A source close to the band stated, “The press conference in Japan got embarrassing because the boys’ culture shock was so obvious”.
“Over the weekend (19 – 20 January) they vowed to learn at least 20 of the most common words in the languages of the countries they are visiting before they land there”, they added.
Learning via YouTube?
The source also commented to “The Sun” that in order to “get by” in the countries they visit and tour in, “They’re just going to use YouTube videos to brush up on their language skills and think that’s going to be enough”.
However, this assertion seems overly optimistic. Whilst there are great resources available online, there is no guarantee of the accuracy of the information being provided, and without formal qualifications it is quite possible to lead to further miscommunication and embarrassment.
When individuals or companies feel like they need to improve their level of communication with foreign speakers, it is recommended to consult professional translators and linguists who have expert knowledge of language and culture.
This way, you are guaranteed to be provided with up-to-date and accurate language skills that will further your business relationships while at the same time appreciating the complexities of other languages.
At Today Translations, we have a team of professional translators, interpreters and linguists with many years of cultural knowledge. Their fluency and linguistic knowledge is combined with cultural understanding to create in over 160 languages.
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