It’s not too often that a client comes along who could be a poster child for language training services. Todd Krause, client of LTC Language Solutions, fits the description. In 2020, Todd became the owner and operator of a local franchise, The Cleaning Authority, in Fishers, Indiana. Todd has about 50 employees who originate from various Latin American countries. Without hesitation, he recognized and respected their languages and their cultures.
Wait, what? Languages, plural? Cultures, plural? Don’t they all just speak Spanish?
It is typical for many Americans to assume that Spanish speakers (in the United States) all speak “Mexican.” In fact, they do not, as Todd has been quick to understand first-hand. Todd has been learning the Spanish language to be better equipped to lead, manage, and respect the people in his organization. He has been improving his Spanish speaking skills for months with LTC, and he often looks to his staff for clarification and practice. Surprisingly, when he polls his staff about a specific vocabulary word or idiomatic expression, he is met with startlingly different understandings. Employees from different Latin American countries will admit that some of the Spanish words used by other employees are unfamiliar to them, and even they would have to ask for clarification!
Todd respects these differences and is motivated by them. He comes equipped with an unusually healthy awareness and respect for the cultures and languages represented by the people he manages. His five Spanish-speaking managers have been taking English classes with LTC for the better part of 2022. In his office lobby, he proudly displays a large flag for each country represented by his employees, about 11 or 12 flags and counting.
Several years ago, Todd was intrigued by the motto printed on license plates in Quebec which reads: “Je me souviens.” It literally translates from French to English as “I remember.” He asked random people on the streets of Quebec how they understood the motto. Naturally, he received various explanations depending on who he asked, but he surmised that it could be generally accepted that the French-speaking people of Quebec are saying: “I remember our culture, our heritage, our history, and our language.”
Fast forward to today, and we see this motto edited and adopted for his Spanish-speaking employees. In the lobby, above the proud display of national flags, reads his company motto:
Recordamos nuestra cultura, nuestra herencia, nuestra historia y nuestro idioma
Translation: “We remember our culture, our heritage, our history and our language.”
It is not surprising that in March 2022, Todd was awarded Franchisee of the Year in the category of Diversity and Inclusion. It is also not surprising that he is affectionately referred to as Chingón, a Mexican slang word that has many connotations and interpretations (noun or adjective). In Todd’s case, his managers respectfully told him that it means he’s a badass.
I agree, as I have witnessed their appreciation for his gift of English language classes. I have witnessed his openness and willingness to learn their language and culture. I have witnessed his singular humility before the pluralism of cultures and languages represented in his company and his country. Way to go Chingón!
To learn more about LTC and language training call us at 888-456-1626.