This is something managers and product owners should definitely be aware of, especially if they are looking to create virtual assistants and immersive voice experiences for their customers. Not every NLP (Natural Language Processing) developer can be a good NLU developer. Sure, it is essential to have a well-developed pipeline in a language model created by a NLP developer, but it does not mean that an NLP developer automatically has extensive linguistic knowledge of a specific language.
If you compare Chinese Mandarin and English, the syntax might be similar: a sentence is often constructed with a subject plus a verb. But the Chinese language is very poor in morphology, and what complicates things, even more, is that it contains a vast number of homophones (words that have the same pronunciation but different meanings, for instance, “pair” and “pear” in English).
And on top of that, Chinese is an ideographic language, meaning a character can represent its meaning without reflecting the pronunciation. Without characters the sound itself does not necessarily represent the semantics, i.e. the meaning of the word. Thus, an English-speaking developer cannot simply transfer their knowledge to developing a Chinese NLU. Another example would be languages such as Japanese where the verb suffix can reflect the meaning of the word.