If you’re expanding your business into new markets, first of all, congratulations! It’s an exciting time with new challenges ahead. I’m sure you’re ready for most of the challenges that come your way, but things like language barriers can get in the way.
Writing documents like contracts and training manuals is easy in your first language, but when you have an international business plan, you can’t just use a translation app! You want to be able to deliver the same standard no matter the language. If this sounds like something you’re struggling with, maybe you should consider implementing translation into your business plan.
Bilingual Staff Aren’t Enough
Before expanding, it’s fine to ask your staff to translate a few documents now and then. Suddenly every second email is in a different language in areas your bilingual employees aren’t familiar with. Translators on staff are key to international business plans for situations like this. They are experts in their field and have studied translation.
Lost in Translation
Machine translation is capable of translating a word or two, but when it comes to interpreting language, machines aren’t up to the job. People can understand intention and nuances in language; apps like Google Translate can’t. It’s hard to take a document seriously when there are obvious mistakes, so don’t take the risk. A qualified business translator can help maintain the same standard of work in every market.
Localisation is useful when trying to market to different cultures. In English, we laugh by typing hahaha, in Spanish it’s jajaja, in French it’s MDR, and in Japan they type www. By hiring translators, you can make sure your message will come across as intended. And don’t forget, people prefer being talked to in their native language, so when marketing for a different culture, human translation is essential. Machines don’t understand humour and customs. Well, not yet anyway!
You can tell when something has been translated can’t you? If you can’t - it’s a good translation! Hiring professional translators will give you the chance to expand not just internationally but globally! A wider audience means increased sales and a better profit. Before you hire translators, think about what markets you want to tap into. For example if you want to extend your business to China, consider translating your website into Chinese. Website translation is a good place to start because it will increase traffic and your online presence.