The Effect of Language on International Marketing

Essay by dinaghafirUniversity, Master'sA+, April 2004

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* Introduction

* Definition of Culture

* Significance of Language

* The Impact of Language on Communication Decisions

* The Impact of Language on Product, Distribution and Pricing Decisions

* Examples of Language Blunders Made by International Marketers

* Conclusion

* Recommendations

* References


Marketing in the simplest description attempts to understand customers in terms of what they buy, when they buy, why they buy, how much they buy, where they buy it, and with what they buy. Internationally, this means understanding culture. How marketing efforts interact with culture determines the success or failure of a product. "There are many examples of cultural differences that have affected marketing success or failure." (Buzzell) The relationship with culture comes into play with the realization that each of the consumer behavior factors noted above varies from culture to culture.

One of the most influential cultural elements is language. "Every form of culture is identified in terms of language."

(Umoren) In short, every language serves as a vehicle of the culture of the people who speak that language. Consequently, global companies, when entering a foreign market, need to know what is the message they are trying to convey and what is the message they are actually conveying about their product.

Definition of Culture

Culture is the learned way of group living and the group's responses to various stimuli. It is also the total way of life and thinking patterns that are passed from generation to generation. "A cultured person is one who behaves in a becoming way according to his society's standard of behavior; one who has cultivated taste for what society judges admirable and worthy of the human spirit." (Umoren) It is the patterns of behavior and thinking that people living in social groups learn, create, and share.

It encompasses norms,