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Communication with foreign worker in German companies

Tom Blüher

About 824000 vacant jobs existed in Germany in October 2018. Especially mid – sized companies have a problem with the skilled labour lack. A solution of this problem could be foreign workers what is already often practising in our globalized world. So, 9,4% of all worker in Germany have a foreign nationality.1

When I have made holiday work at Crottendorfer Räucherkerzen GmbH they were very happy when skilled workers from Czech Republic wanted work and many other companies happens the same.

However, how does the communication work?

Of course, it would be the best if you were able to talk in mother tongue. Nevertheless, this is not always the case because German has a difficult grammar and furthermore it’s not that important in the world like English or French for example.

I think the second best way of communication would be if employee and employer know both a common traffic language, especially English. This principle can work well because all around the world you learn English as a second language. Nevertheless, in the example I mentioned with the Crottendorfer Räucherkerzen GmbH, the skilled worker from Czech Republic could not speak English and only a bit German.

Because of this, there is the possibility to communicate with hands and feeds. Show of hands and simple words are a big component of this communication form and a requirement is that the foreign labour has already experiences in his work field, too.

One last way is to use a translator. But for this you need a simple work which you don’t need to explain because the dialog does not work well when you always have to translate before you can talk.

In general, I would say that foreign workers are positive especially if our economy cannot find enough workforces. Language barriers can be overcome by the above-mentioned possibilities.

Tom Blüher wrote this text. He speaks so little, his classmates at the BA-Glauchau don´t know the sound of his voice.