Case Study: In-company Language Training Developing language skills for international success


Abercrombie & Fitch Co. (NYSE: ANF) is a leading, global, omnichannel specialty retailer of apparel and accessories for men, women and kids through five renowned brands. The iconic Abercrombie & Fitch brand was born in 1892 and aims to make every day feel as exceptional as the start of a long weekend. The other brands are Abercrombie Kids, Hollister, Gilly Hicks, and Social Tourist.

The brands share a commitment to offering products of enduring quality and exceptional comfort that allow consumers around the world to express their own individuality and style. Abercrombie & Fitch Co. operates approximately 730 stores under these brands across North America, Europe, Asia and the Middle East, as well as the e-commerce sites,,,, and

Lara Panzini has been organising their language training since 2009, in London and abroad, delivering intensive and extensive language training face to face and online.

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CUSTOMER’S REQUIREMENTS for intensive onboarding language training

  • To enable managers, the majority of which were complete beginners in the language, to reach high level language skills to an operational level. Specifically to be able to recruit and train local staff.
  • To provide managers with an in-depth understanding of the target culture and working styles.
  • To prepare managers for the practicalities of living overseas and alleviate any concerns they may have about their new environment


The main challenges were seen as:

  • Designing a consistent training approach to be delivered anywhere in the world, with content and materials tailored to enable managers to live and work abroad.
  • Integrating Cultural Awareness in all our language programmes,  to ease as much as possible the transition.
  • Delivering a succinct yet high impact training programme to accommodate the limited time available: 4 to 12 weeks.
  • Protect the high level of confidentiality of their expansion programme when selecting and training partner schools abroad.


Working closely with the Abercrombie and Fitch Team, we produced a language training programme which combines general language skills and work specific language competencies, bearing in mind that most managers started as complete beginners and had to achieve an operational level by the end of the programme.

As for the majority of the selected managers, this would be their first experience of living and working abroad, cultural awareness is integrated in the language programme and not delivered separately. This is because we believe language and culture are inextricably linked. 

We organised:

  • Intensive language training programmes, 6 hours a day for 4-12 weeks, depending on the language.
  • Weekly tutorials and progress assessment.
  • To include in the training as many practical tasks within their surroundings to enable managers to interact with local people and test their language skills in the real world


Feedback on all programmes has been consistently positive over the years. 

The project value lays in Abercrombie’s highly branded managers (their eagerness to learn a new language and living abroad, their total dedication to the success of each opening in a new city), and teachers dedication (linking every new piece of language to its effective use in a work situation) including organising tasks outside the classroom. 

The key points are:

  • Clear and realist objectives
  • Strong curriculum
  • Careful selection of schools around the world
  • Highly professional language trainers


In-company Language Training Evidence of Learning through Videos


We organised a Spanish language course for a large American retailer. Participants were primarily multilingual, living and working in different offices around the UK and Europe, mainly young professionals. Due to their different locations, we opted for online lessons. As lessons were just 45 minutes long and once a week, we decided to focus on evidence of learning to maximise participants’ exposure to the language and group work.


The main objective for our corporate client was to offer their staff lunch time lessons to raise morale and give them an opportunity to learn with other teams from other offices. Lessons were to be taken during their lunch break so just 45 minutes each. Lessons had to focus on communication and interaction.


  • 45 minutes for each lesson
  • The course was to be delivered live online
  • 10 lessons in total
  • Multilingual participants
  • Some participants had already some knowledge of Spanish
  • Participants had different expectations
  • Absences linked to COVID and work commitments


As lessons were short and just once a week, we decided to experiment with an online platform called VideoBit to help participants evidence their learning each week. Lessons focused on the basics of Spanish with focus on communication. After each lesson, the tutor posted a short video, maximum 60 seconds, with an example of what they should post as their homework. This was a fun and relevant way to engage participants scattered across Europe and the UK to connect between lessons, learn from each other and showcase what they learnt each week.


Thanks to our fantastic teachers, participants achieved:

  • A basic knowledge of Spanish
  • The ability to interact in simple everyday situations
  • The opportunity to interact with their colleagues
  • Showcase their learning each week

Technical Translation for Car Manufacturer Managing large projects and tight deadlines


This large and well-known car manufacturer was looking for a trustworthy translation provider to support the launch of new car models in 5 European countries in 2021. The material to translate was highly technical, destined to internal and external customers: training material for engineers and dealers, owner manuals and materials for customers. This also included training videos for which we provided subtitling and voice-over.


Meeting deadlines was of paramount importance for our client as the documentation had to be published on time to support the sale of each new car model around Europe. After agreeing the projects’ timetable and target languages for each one, we agreed how much time was going to be allocated for translation and formatting. Translators had to be “local” to guarantee language accuracy and appropriacy. Editing is an essential part of every project as each document needs to feel as if it was written for that market. To support this process, Impact developed technical glossaries and developed a translation memory to ensure consistency across projects.


  • Fast and reliable translation
  • Tight deadlines
  • Large volumes of text in 5 target languages
  • Teams of translators, editors, project managers and formatters across Europe
  • Time management for different content per language
  • Smooth transfer of finished documents


Since 2021 5 different projects were delivered on time for a total of 16,000,000 (2021) 4 millions (2022) words over just 6 months. All the client’s engineers were able to check the material for consistency and add their edits within the given time. Although some of our translators were affected by COVID directly or indirectly, the work flow, quality and delivery met the standards required. All the client’s engineers had easy access to documents, which made the process transparent and easy. Our flexible model enabled us to deliver precisely what the client wanted.


Thanks to a highly professional team and efficient management, our client:

  • met the launch date for each car model
  • reduced the cost of project management by trusting us with that across Europe
  • delivered quality material in all 5 languages
  • stayed on budget

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