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Do you want to go Global? Here’s How!

Use a Translation Company to go Global

Last updated on October 24th, 2019 at 06:33 pm

Language Translation Services to go Global

Communication Starts with Language

You’re planning to take your company international!  Where do you start on that journey?  Language is a great place to start, and our translation agency would like to give you some tips on taking your company global from a linguistic standpoint.

The International Trade Administration estimates that over 70% of the world’s purchasing power is outside the United States.  There are over 6,000 languages in the world.  That sounds overwhelming, but using a trusted translation company makes that vast multilingual market accessible.  From Spanish translation to Simplified or Traditional Chinese, to Arabic or Russian, our translation services will make your message clear and local.

The Importance of Language Services in the International Market

Other than the fact that we’re a translation company, why are we taking a linguistic standpoint when talking about how to take your company global?  Because language is how we communicate ideas, our product, services, and mission.   Without language, whether spoken, written, or signed, we can’t make friends, do business, ask for help, or help others.

Our cultures and thought processes are deeply influenced by the nuances of our languages.  For instance, some languages have gendered nouns, and some don’t.  Others have formal and informal forms of speech. Some use a different alphabets and others are written “right to left”.  Thus, knowing all these elements and how to navigate them requires the use of an experienced translation company with an array of solutions to support your international endeavor.

If you’re planning to take your business international, the languages, values, and culture of your market need to be understood on a deep level, so they are all managed consistently through all your content and channels of communication.

Tips for Taking Your Business International

A Linguistic Perspective

Taking your business international should start with the ability to communicate internationally.  We’ve collected a few of the most important elements to consider when planning to take your business global.

  • Include early in your plan the creation of multilingual content. Translation of content should not be an afterthought, since it takes time and several revisions.
  • Create an inventory.  Think about all the types of content needed: website content, marketing collateral, translation of video training, translation of instructions, and legal contracts.
  • Select your audience with care and take time to know and understand them.  We have spoken about this important topic multiple times in our translation blog. Some of the articles to go deeper in the theme are listed below.
    • The Importance of Knowing Your Audience in the Translation Process
    • Website Translation and Localization I: Establishing Your Audience
  • Be careful selecting the language or set of languages to use for your multilingual content.  Go deeper selecting the appropriate variations of the language.  For example, if you need Spanish and French, which zone are you targeting?  Europe or Canada for French translation?  Or, Spain, Latin America, or both for Spanish Translation?  Having those answers will help you select the appropriate variation or the neutral from of the language.
  • Work with professionals.  Select a Language service provider that can support you with interpretation and translation services, one that has the team of professional translators and expert linguists for your content.  Work with professionals, and analyze your options.  Cheapest is not always the best alternative for quality, array of solutions, and tools.
  • Do not cut corners.  Develop good content, and follow best practice for quality translation: use a translator and a proofreader for at least 2 passes to revise your multilingual content.
  • Revise the translation again after publication.
  • Keep your different language versions in synchronization with the main content language.  It is not only about the initial translation, so consider and plan for the ability to keep your multilingual translation updated to changes with the original source.
  • Be mindful of the packaging and instructions, like tags and advertising.  Every detail counts.
  • Ask about the use of glossaries and translation memories.  There are many CAT tools in the market, and tools for consistency and quality should be used in developing your multilingual content.
  • Develop a style guide for your company and brand, and adapt it to the languages and cultures included in your multilingual plan.
  • We have touched on these themes before in our translation services blog.  Some relevant post for localization are listed below:

Again, we want to enforce the idea of taking time to plan, select your language translation needs, and go with a partner that can support you every step of the way. You will need the right support for language translation services and the resources and depth of options to react and adjust to your needs in a global world.

Reasons Why You Should Go Global

A few reasons why you should take your company global:

  • Going international expands your market.  It may seem obvious, but think of it this way: Broadening your client base to include other countries and languages makes your company less reliant on the changing economy of one nation.
  • Taking your company global multiplies your connections.  Translating your business is a perfect way to make local connections that will help your company fit in and prosper.  By speaking their language, you can quickly make friends and develop relationships with local business owners and find resources in that area.
  • Making your business global improves your brand.  Customizing your image and offerings to a foreign market improves perspective and enriches understanding of consumer desires and behavior.  Website translation and localization gives you international exposure, so you can better study your competitors, local needs, culture and values.  Your company will be more appealing to the new market.  Be mindful of the need for international SEO, and select the appropriate keywords for the language and region to enhance your visibility.  Think about the same elements of your local internet marketing to develop your global internet market.

Where to Start?

Before you begin looking into what languages to translate your business into, start by taking a good long look at the market.  What locations and places have the demographics you’re looking for?  How much do they use the internet?  What is the market saturation like for your industry?  How easy is it to do business there as a foreigner?  What will local governments require?  Consider logistics such as your ability to ship to certain geographical areas.  Is your product even legal or needed in that region?  Financial and legal implications are important elements. Resources needed and different approaches to investment and deployment should be analyzed.  Start with one or several regions, local support and distribution, local employees, and cash flow should also be considered.

You may find yourself up against more immediate barriers than language services, so make sure to do careful market research and financial analysis before packing your bags.

Who to Target and How?

We mentioned that language communicates ideas, so you need to make sure that you’re communicating the ideas clearly and with the right approach to the culture receiving it.  It is so easy, even in one’s own culture, to come off the wrong way.  Take that to a global, multilingual level, and you have to tread even more carefully.  Following, we have a couple examples of companies that localized poorly and one that localizes well.

Failed International Marketing and Localization

Tesco, a British grocery and convenience store, prominently displayed bacon-flavored Pringles during the 2015 month of Ramadan.  The phrase “Ramadan Mubarak” or “Happy Ramadan” was placed directly on the array of chips.  Tesco quickly removed the displays after being amply informed of their mistake via Twitter.

In 2014, Cadillac released a commercial that is still widely available online.  The ad heavily implied that Americans are the only people deserving of a Cadillac because Americans are driven and hardworking while others are passive and indolent.  The reaction was more amusement than outrage, and Ford took the opportunity to release an ad of their own that praised intersectionality and human connection.

Successful International Marketing and Localization

Austrian beverage company Red Bull gets involved in local communities globally by hosting sporting events.  And they don’t play soft.  From kitesurfing in South Africa to BMX in Estonia to skateboarding on the French Riviera, Red Bull’s events get attention, attendance, and lots of people who are already loving the energy of the event and are ready for some liquid energy.

To follow Red Bull’s example, get close to the local community and let them know that you are passionate about your mission and just as passionate to get to know them and communicate with them. Especially show your commitment, investing in communicating well in the right language and respecting their culture.

When you are localizing a product or service to another region, many aspects come into play, like language, cultures, what they eat and don’t eat, the colors they prefer and their symbolism, their values, what they celebrate and what is prohibited.  So, you need to partner with a translation services company that helps you navigate the translation and localization process.  That is what quality localization does, which is only one of the services a professional translation agency brings to the table.

Global Commerce Starts at Home

Going global is not just an action but a mindset.  The sooner you can instill into your company the mindset of working globally, internationally, multiculturally, and multilingually all the time, the more goodwill you will find and the larger your perspective will be.

The right translation company will help not only in the languages you need, but the cultures and values that speak to those languages.  Language services affects every part of your business when you go international, from finances to ecommerce to marketing.

Contact JR Language today to introduce your brand to the world.  We promise efficiency, attention to detail, accuracy, and effectiveness in our work, from legal translation to phone interpretation.

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Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie Ruffolo
Jackie was born in Venezuela. Jackie has a BS in computer engineering; As President of JR Language, she spends time researching new technology and productivity tools for the Company. She holds a certificate of Localization and Project Management- Localization. Through her many years of experience working in multilingual corporate environments, she understands firsthand the value of bridging language barriers in creating smooth communication that allows for productive and happy work environments. She is fluent in Spanish and English, and is a frequent contributor to both our English and Spanish blogs. Jackie loves nature and to be outdoors.