Playing down one's linguistic skills - no matter one's facility - may prove beneficial in certain business communications, according to the Deseret News. Certain cultures value modesty. Also, some professionals may frown upon a beginner's stumbling attempts at their native language.
For instance, American business professionals may want to decide against communicating in beginner's Japanese with their clients. Such attempts may risk one's looking less than capable, particularly if he or she is not fluent or in grasp of the nuances of the language, according to the news source.
An automated translator or online translation tool would be handy in such a situation, as it could facilitate easy communication between parties. English-speaking professionals can shield themselves linguistic missteps, the Deseret News adds.
However, not all cultures perceive beginning speakers as incompetent. They may even appreciate the attempt of an English-speaker who tries out non-fluent language skills.
Language errors can be incredibly costly to a company. In his book Blunders in International Business, David A. Ricks notes that translation mistakes are some of the most common in professional communication. Ignorance of multiple meanings of a word, for instance, can potentially lead to gaffes, insults and broken deals.