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Tag Archive: export

  1. Four Ways Translation Can Help Businesses to Grow

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    Translation is integral to selling goods and services abroad and is increasingly listed as a key factor to helping businesses expand. Here are some of the main reasons translation can have such a positive effect on growth:

     

    1 – Attract New Customers

     

    Consumers purchase first and foremost in their native language. Ensuring websites and marketing materials are professionally translated into key languages will dramatically increase a company’s ability to attract overseas customers. Companies who only have their websites in English are missing out on over 70% of internet users who search online in other languages.

     

    TIP: Companies should consider their potential markets and choose suitable languages to be included on their website. The following languages are the most frequently used by internet users worldwide after English: Chinese, Spanish, Arabic, Portuguese, Japanese, Russian, German and French.

     

     

    2 – Communicate More Effectively with Existing Customers

     

    Communicating with existing customers in their native language avoids misunderstandings, improves customer satisfaction and helps increase customer retention and sales. In order to be competitive, multilingual customer care is an essential part of today’s business.

    TIP: Having a feedback survey translated can be an inexpensive but highly effective method of communicating with international clients whilst emphasising their value.  

     

    3 – Communicate More Efficiently with Suppliers

     

    Professional translation ensures accurate and clear communication with suppliers, helping to avoid misunderstandings, aid negotiations and strengthen relationships. Misinterpretation of pricing or quantity can have major cost implications for a business.

     

    TIP: Google Translate can be useful to get an idea of context for an email or letter received in a foreign language. Computer translation however is not accurate enough to provide a reliable translation and can often produce serious mistakes leading to a misrepresentation of the original text.

     

     4 – Communication with Employees

     

    If a business is already international, there is a high chance it will have employees outside the UK. It is best practice to ensure any important HR documents or contracts are provided in the workers’ primary language, even if they have a good level of English. This will help to avoid potential misunderstandings and reinforces their value within the company. Inside the UK, many British businesses now rely heavily on foreign workers. Language barriers not only cause communication difficulties but can also hinder productivity and staff retention rates. Poor communication will not only affect the efficiency of a workforce but can also be detrimental to the safety of employees.

     

    TIP: Multilingual health and safety notices are essential for companies with a diverse workforce.

     

     

     

    Total Linguistics Ltd.

    0114 213 4646

    ask@total-linguistics.com

  2. How to Approach Culture for International Trade

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    Former American President George Bush once presented Li Peng, the then Chinese Premier, a gift of cowboy boots embroidered with the American and Chinese flags. Unfortunately for the American President, in China, feet are considered the least sacred parts of the body. A gift of shoes embossed with their nation’s flag was a disastrous cultural blunder and a huge oversight by the President’s office.

    To become an expert in every culture around the world is not viable for any SME.  However, in order to build longstanding successful relationships with overseas clients, it is important that businesses take the time to consider the customs and traditions of their export markets.

    Culture establishes the norms of social behaviour in a country and therefore determines the way a business should handle negotiations and customer interaction, which products and services are suitable and how to approach marketing.

    Here are a few of the key cultural considerations to take into account before exporting to a new country:

     

    Social and Cultural Traditions:

    Ensuring social and cultural traditions are researched will prevent a new market flop. This covers an extensive list of possibilities from acceptable behaviour and whether a population is inclined to follow the latest fashions to what and how often the inhabitants eat. Some of these may seem obvious, for example, an advertising campaign in Islamic countries with models revealing too much skin would be wholly inappropriate. Other things are less obvious and require careful research, for instance, colours are extremely symbolic in China. Avoid using the colour white on branding or marketing as the Chinese associate it with funerals.

     

    Educational Standards:

    Educational standards are evidently important for assessing the spending power of a country. However, it will also determine other areas such as how to address the tone of a marketing campaign. In the case of countries with high illiteracy rates it will shape the type of marketing employed. In these countries, adverts with large amount of text would be ineffective.

     

    Religion:

    Businesses must appreciate the importance of religion in many export markets.  Sharia law, for example, is incorporated into many Muslim countries and influences not only politics and economics but personal matters such as hygiene and diet. For example, many personal care products, cosmetics and medicines would be considered illegal under sharia law as they contain alcohol and are therefore not considered Halal.

     

    Gender:

    Some cultures still have very defined gender roles. Businesses need to be cautious of this when outlining their target audience and marketing a product or service. Marketing that may appear unisex in the UK could alienate an entire gender in other countries.

     

     

     

    Market research studies are a useful approach for understanding culture in new markets and developing export strategies. Through acquiring a thorough understanding of a country’s culture, businesses can determine if there will be potential demand for their product or service.

    The other key consideration that sits alongside culture is language. Language and culture are intertwined and both need to be employed to create an effective export strategy. Translating marketing material, packaging and instructions into a target market’s key language is the first logical step. Ensuring that text isn’t just simply translated, but also written in a style and manner appropriate for the culture of the export market is vital too.

    At Total Linguistics, our native translators are not only experts in marketing and localisation, but they are also the target demographic of many of our exporters. This allows us to develop effective and successful international marketing campaigns alongside our clients.

    For more information about our translation services please contact us:

     

    Tel: 0114 213 4646

    Email: ask@total-linguistics.com

  3. Business Benefits of Foreign Language Training for Employees

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    Providing foreign language training for employees brings an abundance of benefits for both your company and employees. Here are just a few of the reasons your company should consider foreign language training.

     

    Customer Engagement, Satisfaction & Retention  

    For employees who master a language to a high level, the ability to communicate with new and potential overseas customers has huge competitive advantages. From marketing to customer support, languages can present new business opportunities, increase sales and improve retention of existing customers. For employees who are just grasping the basics, customers and international colleagues will be grateful and often pleasantly surprised at their new found skills.

    Freight forwarder FrigoLogistics in Sheffield approached Total Linguistics to provide German courses for their employees.

    “We decided that it is rather selfish of us to expect everyone to speak and email us in English and started the first German course. Our colleagues are delighted that we are learning their language.  As our German improves this will also help with speaking to German hauliers. Some of our staff travel to Germany a few times each year, so learning German has proved invaluable for this.”

     

    Employee Engagement, Satisfaction & Retention

    Language training for your staff is not only directly beneficial to your organisation but also acts as an excellent employee benefit. Language training enables staff not only gain a new skill but to develop personally and professionally. Group language courses have the added benefit of providing an opportunity for team building which helps to improve internal communication, morale and productivity.

    Global Law firm DLA Piper use Total Linguistics for French and Spanish training for their employees throughout the UK.

    “Everyone looks forward to the classes each week and it’s been a great way for all the staff not only to learn a new language but also to interact with people they didn’t necessarily know well before. The groups have all made fantastic progress and they all run over a lunchtime so there’s no interruption to the working day.”

     

    – Learning a foreign language can increase creativity amongst your workforce.

    – Employees who learn a language will also develop an understanding of foreign culture, politics and business practices.

    – Learning a second language helps to improve your employees’ English too! It encourages learners to think about areas such as grammatical construction and ultimately will lead to a better grasp of their native language.

    – Providing language training can help to prevent staff from developing memory disorders such as dementia and Alzheimer’s.

    – Learning a language will help build employee confidence in dealing with overseas customers.

    – Language training will make employees feel valued and gives learners a great sense of achievement.

     

    Here at Total Linguistics we feel strongly about the benefits of language training for companies. We are committed to helping British businesses remain internationally competitive and tailor all our language training to the needs of each client.

    Please contact us for further details on our see our Language for Business promotion page or contact us directly on 0114 213 4646.

  4. The Benefits of Website Translation for British Exporters

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    If you have a product or service that is already exported or that you aspire to export, having a website that new or existing international buyers can find and comprehend is becoming increasingly essential for both marketing and customer satisfaction.

     

    Marketing Benefit

    Websites are the first point of customer contact for the vast majority of businesses today. Consequently, companies invest a lot of time, effort and money creating them. Having done all this, it’s important to maximise potential traffic and therefore sales.

    Prospective clients may speak English, but the chances are they conduct internet searches in their native language. In fact, around 70% of internet searches are not conducted in English. If your website doesn’t contain text in their mother tongue then it is unlikely these potential clients will find your website.

     

    Consumer Experience

    Whether or not your customer can read in English, by offering information in your buyer’s native language is not only practically more convenient for them but it also portrays an excellent image of your business. Clients will appreciate the efforts taken to provide a translation, whilst it also eliminates the risk of any misinterpretation. For potential clients who can’t read English or who otherwise would not have come across the website, this is a chance for them to learn about your product or service that without a translation would have not existed.

     

    Automated Website Translation

    It is important to avoid automated website translation software as this will only provide a literal translation of your website. In some cases it may even mistranslate text and have a detrimental effect on your company image. Website translation should be done by a native professional with knowledge of your specific industry and ideally proofread by a second translator.

     

    Costs of Professional Website Translation

    It is often assumed that professional translations are expensive. This isn’t the case as website translation can be very affordable. In addition, it is not always necessary to have all the text on your company website translated. If your organisation doesn’t have the budget for a full website translation it is a good idea to start by creating a ‘Welcome and Essential Information’ page that can be translated into a couple of key languages.

     

    Here at Total Linguistics we are happy to advise on what is right for your company. We can not only provide an accurate and professional website translation, but we can also ensure the contents of your website is suited to the cultures of your international clients. We also work closely with a number of local website designers to provide further assistance on areas such as foreign domain names and international search engine optimisation.   

     

    Please contact us for further information about website translation or to discuss your company’s requirements.

     

    ask@total-linguistics.com

    0114 213 4646