The Importance of Translation for a Company Owner
Do you own your own business? Are you thinking of expanding your business and selling goods overseas? Maybe you think you can purchase cheaper raw materials or even finished products in some other country and make a profit by selling them for a higher price in your own home market?
If the answer is ‘yes’ to any of these questions, then you will need to consider the importance of translation.
The translation is an absolutely necessary step if you need to communicate your business with potential markets overseas or deal with manufacturers overseas. This applies to a certain extent even if you are thinking only of dealing with English language countries. The reality is that consumers relate strongly to messages that they understand. You may think that your English is the same as anywhere else where people use it as a first language but there are subtle differences that can put people off. This is never truer than when you construct a website to sell your goods. The language you use is oriented towards your home market, not a foreign one.
The importance of translation is, of course, magnified several-fold when considering selling or buying from a country where English is not the main language. English language proficiency ranges from high in places like the Netherlands and Scandinavia down to the mid-30s (%) in France, and less in Spain and Italy. It drops drastically in places like Russia, where only 5% of people are reasonably fluent in English and far less in Korea and China.
The latter are all huge markets. Depending on what your business is, there may be huge gains that can be made if you can do business with them. But you need a good translation service first!
Don’t even think of Google translate or any of those free computer-generated translation tools!
There is a lot of temptation for any company owner thinking of expansion overseas using a free or cheap computer-generated translation tool. There are several around and for sure they are gradually getting better and more intuitive. The only problem is that they are not yet good enough for serious business purposes.
Recent history is full of bloomers that people have made particularly businessmen and women trying to cut corners and use free translators. It all looks perfectly good when you type a marketing message in or a business proposal and punch a button. Outcomes the translation in French, Arabic, Thai or Chinese in a trice. But how would you know how authentic the translation is? At best it would probably seem simplistic and clumsy to the reader. At worst, it might confuse, send the wrong message entirely, or even offend.
If you want some advice as an expanding company owner, pay for a good translation service to do your translation for you. You won’t regret it.