Speaking to people in their mother tongue is the most persuasive way to reach out to the target audience. It is something that many religious and political leaders around the world throughout history understood. Nelson Mandela gave the perfect explanation to it. He said that talking to a person in his language means that it goes straight to the heart of the person, whereas your ideas will go straight to a person’s head if you talk to him in a language that he understands.
Effective use of the mother tongue
The world celebrated the International Mother Tongue Day on February 21. In retrospect, people are recalling what makes the mother tongue more effective in reaching out to people who speak the same language and how significant it is.
South Africa has 11 official languages, Zimbabwe has 16, which includes its sign language. There are also countries where large communities speak a first language that is not necessarily the country’s official language. For example, in California, about 25 percent of its population speaks Spanish.
It is understood that most thoughts and dreams of many people are initially processed in the language they have known during the early years of their life. Thus, it is logical to assume that the easiest way to subliminally influence a person is to directly talk to him in his mother tongue, where the language has the least amount of filters. Likewise it is important to note that most people will revert to their mother tongue in moments when instinctive emotions are displayed, such as wild passion, anger and immediate fear.
This is one of the reasons why international companies and marketers are using localization. It is a way to work and use the local language and the mother tongue to touch the hearts and minds of the local target audience.
Done professionally and efficiently, localization brings about an immediate, positive effect to consumers. What subjects are sure to bring about strong emotions from consumers? Often these would include pride, lust, love, self-preservation, self-worth, maternal instincts, health and security. It does not matter if they are bilingual or multilingual, they would always be touched where it matters the most in a language they instinctively know by heart.
In which language do you think?
It is not abnormal to make things more complicated by using another language. However, it is truly easier for people to be reassured and stay relaxed in their initial language simply because their level of understanding is higher. Just like when doing research, people become more powerful in making the right decision when accurate knowledge has been obtained. Keeping this in mind, it is easier to understand why governments insist on having legal contracts written or translated in their own language, in which they could quickly relate. In the same manner, it is for this reason that is it easier and more effective to have news that could positively or adversely affect someone else’s life is better delivered in a language they could easily understand, to avoid the drawing of wrong conclusions. In such cases, they also find assurance and comfort, when their mother tongue is used.