Cross-Cultural Communication

Nicaragua is a Spanish speaking country.

During the revolutionary years of the ’80s, anything American was rejected, including English, creating a generation of Nicaraguans with weak English skills.

Since the end of the revolution in 1990, speaking English once again became popular, and many Nicaraguans today study English, both in schools as well as in special language classes.

“This deficit will be overcome in the short term, and should not be considered a detriment to business operations in Nicaragua.”

Many businessmen are U.S.-educated, and most speak some English.

It is, however, important to note that speaking Spanish in the working environment, particularly by non-Nicaragua managers is particularly respected and appreciated by Nicaraguan workers. It shows more than a passing interest in the country, its people and culture. If facilitates day-to-day communications, eases worker relations and strengthens the chances for a successful business endeavor.

On a side note, employer contributions for English language training are also considered an important benefit in any work environment. While this type of support is often made available to workers who are expected to use English in their work, it is wise to offer support to all employees. Most Nicaraguans see learning English as an important step in increasing their earning potential. Offering this benefit strengthens employee loyalty, attendance and overall performance. The fact that it is offered to all workers demonstrates to all workers a commitment to the improvement of the skills of everyone; rather than a self-interested benefit offered to the few employees who require this skill to adequately perform their functions.