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Acquiring a PR agency in Germany – learn the language


Written by Paul Stallard

Linked to my top five tips listed in a recent post.

Learn the language – or ensure you know someone that does

I didn’t study German at school or college so I started with zero knowledge. It takes an hour to drive to the Berkeley office in the morning so I spend this time listening to German podcasts. At lunch I can often be found testing myself on my Duolingo app. Although I can now order a beer, and say that I don’t like camping in German, that obviously isn’t enough to speak with accountants, solicitors, bank managers, landlords and partners in the region.

Most people I met speak excellent English but there were some nuances of language where it was necessary for the point to be made in German. This was where I was lucky enough to have a German colleague who spoke excellent English and who I trusted to have alongside me at most meetings. Without having a ‘translator’ with me, the process would have taken twice as long, and I could have agreed to something that wasn’t right for our business.