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What Language Can Cost

February 1, 1997
Related Topics: Expatriate Management, Basic Skills Training, Featured Article
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If language training is an investment in the success of the expatriate on international assignment, then how much does a good investment cost? That, of course, depends on what kind of training is used, who provides it, where it takes place, how long it goes on and how many employees are participating. Here are a few examples of costs for language training, self-instruction, translation and interpretation:
  • Ten-day immersion program for one individual, including all materials (any language): $4,500.

  • Guerrilla linguistics—a written phonetic list of 30 to 40 key terms and phrases: $500-$1,000.

  • Two-part, self-instructional, beginning Japanese course of 24 cassette tapes (30 hours) and two texts: $430.

  • One hour of interpreting time (any language): $325.

  • Twelve-week (48 hours), university extension, intermediate Spanish conversation class: $280.

  • Three-part "executive" Japanese self-instructional course of six cassette tapes (5 1/2 hours) and three texts: $225.

  • "Russian for business" self-instructional program of three cassette tapes (three hours) and phrase book: $65.

  • Document translation: About $.25 per word for translations to or from French, Italian, German or Spanish (FIGS); more for other languages.

Workforce, February 1997, Vol. 76, No. 2, p. 39.

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