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Languages at work
Languages at work

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3 Foreign communication

In this section you will see how fluency in a foreign language is not necessary in order to communicate.

Activity 10 Everyday languages

Timing: You should allow 10 minutes

Think about where and when you have encountered foreign language. On these occasions, how much were you able to understand – nothing, a few words, the general meaning to the whole conversation? You may have experienced this watching television, listening to the radio, or reading the newspaper, perhaps in a foreign country. Write down some examples.

Activity 11 Brain stretcher

Timing: You should allow 10 minutes

Now it's your turn. Using the following vocabulary list, translate the sentences below.


Vélo  cycle (French)

Queso cheese (Spanish)

Spinaci spinach (Italian)


  1. If ‘Jene ferai pas de skateboard dans les couloirs’ means ‘I will not skateboard in the corridors’, how would you say ‘I will not cycle in the corridors’?

  2. If ‘Comer chocolate todo el dìa’ means ‘Eat chocolate all day’, how do you say ‘Eat cheese all day’?

  3. If ‘raviolini de carne’ means ‘ravioli with meat’, what would ‘ravioli with spinach’ be called?



  1. ‘Je ne ferai pas de vélo dans les couloirs.’

  2. ‘Comer queso todo el dìa.’

  3. ‘Raviolini de spinaci.’

You will see from these answers that, in the foreign languages we've used, there are structures that are very similar to English. Languages are accessible to all.

Activity 12 Promotion

Timing: You should allow 60 minutes

Have a go at designing a poster to promote a product of your choice to a foreign market. First establish what produce is going to be marketed, and where. Then create an advertising poster that includes a picture of the item and also a slogan. Use dictionaries or online translators to help you.

Online translators

Activity 13 Closing session

Timing: You should allow 15 minutes

Write down, in one sentence, what you have learnt in this session. You may wish to post your findings in the Comments section below. Talk about the usefulness and the accessibility of foreign languages.