Posted On March 12th, 2013
Where to find multi-lingual call centres?
There is no shortage of destinations for English-speaking call centres. Many British, American and Australian companies have already outsourced their operations to locations in Asia, Africa, The Caribbean, South America, Eastern Europe and there are also plenty of onshore locations too. The major challenge is in finding other European and Asian Languages and so this is our guide as to where to find them. There was a time when pan-European call centres would be located in countries such as Belgium, The Netherlands or Ireland but these locations are increasingly expensive for multi-lingual resources.
Germany is Europe's largest economy and therefore needs plenty of call centres to service their population. Outside of Germany, all of the common destinations are in Eastern Europe. The most popular destinations are in Poland, Romania, The Czech Republic, Hungary and Bulgaria.
Spanish is fairly easy to service due to the fact that it is the primary language for most countries in Latin America. Common destinations include The Dominican Republic, Mexico & Colombia. Spanish can also be sourced in some countries in Eastern Europe and there is a sizeable Spanish-speaking population in many parts of The United States. Although a former Spanish-colony, The Philippines is not such a good location for Spanish although there are some resources there.
Many people immediately think of France's former African colonies as the place to service The French market. However, these are becoming less popular due to the political instability in many of these locations. Due to strong historical ties, Romania is the only place in Eastern Europe where French resources can be found in any significant numbers.
There are only 2 countries suitable for Italian; Albania and Romania. Albania does not have a large call centre marketplace but Romania does.
If you want to service Portugal or Portugese/Spanish, the best location is Brazil or in other South American towns bordering Brazil. Eastern Europe has some resources but they are not as bountiful as for the other languages. Despite assurances from Indian vendors, India is not a good location.
South Africa does have a small Dutch-speaking population due to historical ties and there are small pockets of Dutch speakers in places such as Hungary and Poland.
The Baltic nations such as Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia are the only area where you can source larger numbers of speakers of these languages. There are much smaller numbers in Poland and Bulgaria.
Russian is fairly easy to source outside of Russia but the preference is always for those countries within The European Union. Again, Romania comes out strong for Russian as does The Czech Republic but Prague can be expensive for these resources.
Chinese is always best served within China unless other languages are also required. China does not have strong language skills outside of their indigenous languages. It's fairly easy to service Chinese in Malaysia. There are also some Chinese resources in The Philippines if you're looking to service Chinese and English.
India has a huge call centre market and so it's always preferable to service within India itself especially due to the large number of different languages and dialects spoken. Various Indian languages can also be serviced in Pakistan and Malaysia.
It's very difficult to service Japanese outside of Japan. There are small numbers of Japanese speakers in The Philippines.
Almost all Korean language call centres are located in Korea although there are a handful of Korean speaking agents in The Philippines.
Bahasa is spoken in Malaysia and Indonesia although they are different languages in each country. It's fairly easy to service Malaysia in Indonesia and vice-versa.