Why Translation Is Important To Your Business Future

Why Translation Is Important To Your Business Future

Tuesday, June 17th, 2014

Globalization is the newest buzzword in business, these days. Is your business ready for globalization? You may have the computer network necessary to communicate with other continents, but there is a lot more to it than that. You need to be able to interact with businesses in other cultures. This means that you may need a translator.

Turns of Phrase


Have you ever tried to use online translators? Seriously – it’s often easier to read the original language than it is to decipher the mechanized translations. They simply do not make sense, and, at best waste your time. The worst case scenario is that you completely misunderstand your contact, and loose a customer or partner.

Real translators change all of that. They understand turns of phrase that are interpreted literally by mechanized translators. They can also take into account the context of the communications – another shortcoming of mechanical translation. With clear communication, professional dialogue can move beyond guttural semi-understanding. Business plans become clear, and it is much easier to establish roles and goals between the various offices.


Understanding different cultures plays strongly in increased – or lost – sales in a global community. The story is an old one, but still appropriate, of Coca Cola’s first foray into the Spanish language market. It did not do so well as a brand, and the bosses could not figure it out. That is, until a worker in the warehouse told one of the supervisors that, in his language, “cola” means “tail”. Coca Cola started marketing itself as “Coke” in Spanish language countries, and the sales skyrocketed. Whether or not this story is true, it certainly makes a valid point.

Another story is about Kentucky Fried Chicken. Their slogan, “Finger Lickin’ Good” translated into Chinese as “Eat Your Fingers Off”. Not a very tasty idea. The Chevy Nova was marketed in South America as the “Caribe” – because “nova” means “it won’t go”.

So, if you want to have healthy sales on a global basis, make sure to have your translator or translation agency in the UK look over not only the names of your products, but the descriptions, as well. The description can go really wrong. Hilarity may ensue, but it is not so funny when sales fail to live up to expectations.

Cross-Cultural Communication

Even facial expressions and everyday gestures can make a big difference in your global success. While a translator or may not be qualified to counsel you on cross-cultural communication, he or she, if a native of that country, may, indeed, be able to give you valuable pointers. For example, in some countries, using your right hand to eat during dinner is considered an insult. In other countries, nodding the head up and down indicates disagreement or “no”, while shaking it side to side indicates agreement or “yes”.

Translators are an invaluable asset in our global economy. Do not underestimate the value of a great translator, who can help you with business partners and sales in your business expansion.

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