Hello! Bonjour! ¡Hola! Labas! Kaixo! Salam! Jambo! Namaste!
We’ve known for a while that we work in a culturally and linguistically diverse office. It’s one of the reasons we love working at FusePump. Today is International Mother Language Day – a day to celebrate linguistic and cultural diversity – and in preparation for our little celebration of the day we’ve done a quick experiment to find out how many languages we speak between us.
Over the last week people have written their names, and the languages they speak, up on our whiteboard. The results were more impressive than we had imagined.
There are about 50 of us in the FusePump office, but the team here grew up speaking at least 17 different mother languages. Over half of our team are bilingual, and we’re fluent in over 20 world languages. And when we say world…
Global people, global thinking
We speak 12 European languages, spanning Western Europe (English, Spanish, Italian, French, German) to Eastern Europe (Polish, Lithuanian, Hungarian). Team members are also fluent in Welsh, Basque, Catalan and Greek. We’ve got Arabic, Mandarin and Cantonese covered as well as Gujarati, Punjabi, Hindi and Konkani. We also had FusePumpers growing up speaking Twi, Mauritian Creole and Swahili.
Throwing into the mix a few basic skills in Portuguese, Vietnamese, and Bisaya (Cebuano), and we have a good portion of the globe covered in one way or other. And don’t even get us started on programming languages!
Whilst a significant portion of our team grew up in the UK, having team members from such different backgrounds also shapes how we work. For a start, we can confidently work with partners and clients across the world without so many linguistic or cultural barriers. Sourcing opinions from a diverse workforce also – according to a study from Forbes Insights – helps drive innovation, and we have consistently found that different ways of thinking have helped us to find new solutions to problems.
A certain je ne sais quoi
For the team here, the most obvious impact of having people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds is that we have a really fun and vibrant office. Today, on International Mother Language Day, we’ll be learning new words from colleagues so we can greet each other in our mother tongues. So, if you want to ask us about our ecommerce solutions, or just say hello – in whichever language – we’d love to hear from you.