Global Presence Requires Translation:
How can you ensure a positive return on your investment?
Most organizations have global presence as transportation, communication and technology developments continue to boost international business. Organizations have learned that focus on culture and language is essential for global success and that success hinges on professional translation. How can you ensure a positive return on your investment? We’ll explore the in’s and out’s of translation spend and how that spend can be seen as a positive ROI.
⇒ According to a survey by the Common Sense Advisory, almost 90% of people who don’t speak English won’t buy from an English-only website.
For international businesses to be competitive in foreign markets, their products and services must be available in the local languages spoken by their target market; more essential is that the translation be accurate and inclusive of cultural nuances so the reader actually understands the content. After all, people can’t buy what they can’t understand!
We saw a 43% increase in web traffic with 48 hours of launching the multilingual site. Within 5 days, the download rate of our whitepaper increased 10 fold. We have proven the return on investment for translation and are committed to our long-term global success.
— Pete, Director of International Communications
≡ Understanding is priority
Target markets will vary even in countries that are close to each other. When customers speak your primary language as their second language, they may understand you but customer loyalty and your brand image will be at risk. It will take them more time to understand what you are trying to say in your own language. It’s possible that they will feel like second-class clients because you did not try to make it easy for them to understand your instructions, products and labels, advertising and marketing materials or the content of your website.
Understanding foreign customer sensitivities is a priority; otherwise, you’ll have frustrated customers. Ingrid Christensen, President and Founder of translation and localization services INGCO International confirms, “it’s vital that businesses put themselves in their customers’ shoes and provide perfect translations of products and services that look and feel as though they were originally written in that language.”
≡ Translation matters
Most businesses understand the importance of translation. Check out Fortune 500 companies by visiting their websites and you’ll notice that they are in multiple languages and most are likely to employ staff who speak languages spoken by multilingual consumers. These companies are able to meet the expectations of shareholders and their consumers because of translation. It’s clear that global organizations understand the return on investment that translation brings.
Companies based in the United States often times find translation essential when marketing to their in-country market as well as their employee base. INGCO International references clients that, for example, translate training material into as many as 40 languages for employees that have limited English-speaking skills in the United States.
Major companies are able to sell their products to diverse customers because they can communicate with employees that speak multiple languages and produce the goods and services that allows the company to sell them to clients that speak multiple languages.
If your organization operates globally, you likely have executives to manage the local branches with the confidence required to adapt your business to meet current demands and react positively to the ever-changing business scenarios.
One of the key areas that needs investment is translation, and this should be a long-term undertaking. Translation facilitates the connection and interdependency of business processes which is why it is proven as a positive return on your investment.
Christensen explains, “If you have offices and teams working around the world, they need to be able to communicate. Not everyone speaks English and you’ll need your training materials, software and business communications translated so your local employees understand them.”
In the past, organizations were limited to sourcing from a handful of suppliers, many of whom speak one common language. With the help of translation, procurement and supplier sourcing departments can access additional sources of raw materials and contact better suppliers that could not reached previously due to language differences.
≡ Legal issues shouldn’t be overlooked
By translating your brand name, product information, marketing materials and other written documents into the local language of your target markets, your brand and company become internationalized. Translation also ensures that you are compliant with local laws, culture, beliefs and traditions. Translation is an important financial decision and legal issues from bad translations should not be overlooked.
You establish a local presence by localizing your information. Translation allows you to speak to your local audience in their own language, in the style, meaning and tone that are familiar to local consumers, with your collateral materials optimized for each of your target audiences. The return on your investment with quality translations will prove fruitful when applied effectively.
≡ Effects of poor translation
Says Christensen, “At INGCO International we offer 100% human powered translations, which safeguards for accuracy and cultural insight. In business, it’s critical to work with a professional and experienced human translation services provider. They have the proper linguistic knowledge and deep understanding of the culture of your target audience.”
The legal ramifications of poor translation are immense. They could affect your professional brand image and you risk either losing customers or becoming a laughing stock. We can all tell hilarious lost-in-translation stories and we know that no one wants to be the brunt of those jokes.
Translation is a long-term investment to promote stronger and better cultural understanding. Professional translation enables you to engage with different demographics successfully. You’ll be seen as a company that cares for its products and consumers, by providing them the right information in a language they can fully understand and see a positive return on your investment by reaching a greater target market.