Speaking the Language of Research: Why languages matter when conducting global research

Nikki Lavoie
Sky Consulting

Introduction: The rise of the English-only approach to international research

Research across borders

Globalization in the world of commerce is nothing new; however, as companies start to understand the value and importance of reaching multiple markets and as ease of communication with the world at large continues, we, as researchers, find ourselves in a precarious position: trying to simultaneously discover cultural nuances and to amalgamate them into a common, global understanding. With this complex need for broader reach across diversified markets and consistent, robust data, certain rising trends that threaten to derail efforts to uphold quality research standards.

One such trend is the execution of global or multi-country research using a singular language—typically English—regardless of the native languages of markets being explored. In short: increasing numbers of studies are being conducted in English, even when English is not the local native language.