Hostesses that fluently communicate in a foreign language are invaluable at international events. In most cases English is enough, but the level of competence necessary can vary from job to job. In order to describe the language requirements, you’ll find it useful to refer to the CEFR scale.
The Common European Framework of Reference for Languages (CEFR) is an international guideline on the base of which language proficiency can be assessed. The scale is divided into 6 levels, gathered into 3 groups:
- A1 – A2 Basic User
- B1 – B2 Independent User
- C1 – C2 Proficient User
|A||A1||beginner||Users at this level:|
|A2||elementary||Users at this level:|
|B||B1||intermediate||Users at this level:|
|B2||upper intermediate||Users at this level:|
|C||C1||advanced||Users at this level:|
|C2||master of proficiency||Users at this level:|
On jobs that don’t require translating, the minimal level of language proficiency is B1 for events in Poland and B2 for events abroad. Liaison interpreting (simultaneous or consecutive methods are better left to professional interpreters) requires at least level C1.
When assembling a team for a multi-language event, some clients of hostess agencies make the mistake of setting a requirement for hostesses to speak several foreign languages fluently. It’s particularly common when it comes to staffing international trade fairs abroad. It’s a form of backup for when a guest doesn’t know the dominant language of the event. It’s far better, however, to employ a few hostesses proficient in different languages, so that they can help each other. Constantly switching between a number of foreign languages can be tiring and confusing for one hostess.