The importance of accurate translation in a global market
If you have bought anything new lately that has been manufactured overseas, the chances are that when you read the manual, or even the ‘welcome to your product’ flyer that was included in the package, you know that it wasn’t written by a native English speaker. Nine times out of ten you don’t mind, it makes no difference to your enjoyment of the product and the instructions for getting in touch with the seller or manufacturer should it not work properly are clear enough. But even if we don’t mind we notice it; we may find it amusing, or it may irritate us. And most of us think that it would be a much bigger deal if…
If what? If we are trying to do business abroad? If we are trying to meet new clients in an international market? If we are trying to stay ahead of the competition? With Brexit looming ever nearer, not to mention the rest of the world and the business opportunities that presents British companies with, it is ever more important to get materials right first time. An update to the 2011 Census, published in 2013, shows that in the UK only 7.7% of us speak a foreign language.
If can say what we want in English though, why is accurate translation important?
- Being able to talk to your audience. From consumers to corporate businesses, getting your message across is fundamental to doing business. If you can’t explain what you are offering, how will you convince people to buy your product or service?
- Show you understand the market. Show your customers and business partners overseas that you understand them and their culture. Accurate translation will use the right idioms and expressions to get your message across in a way that directly (and incorrectly) translating the English one will not.
- Getting the paperwork right. When you are working in an international market there will be legal documents and company registration paperwork that need to be prepared and approved. Stay on the right side of the law by getting it right and being clear about what your business does or how it operates. It is also important for customs purposes to get the paperwork right so that you don’t end up with your products stuck in customs on a technicality with customers waiting for their orders.
- Staff recruitment. If you have offices or representatives in a foreign market you want to be able to recruit the right people for the job and keep them.
- Safety. If you are selling products you want the manuals and product descriptions to be clear about how they should (or should not) be used and what the dangers of misuse may be. Getting it wrong can have serious consequences if the message is unclear and misunderstood.
Let us help you get it right
To get it right first time, talk to us a Language Link UK. Our linguists network is here to help you grow your business wherever you want to go. To get in touch use our contact form and we will get back to you straightaway.