You may be a wizard when it comes to boarding passes, booking hotels and moving through various time zones, but your flair for corporate travel won’t take you very far if you offend your international colleagues. Most global marketing professionals know their words and phrases can either make or break them - cultural nuances change the meaning of our messages. But, the colors you use, either through your personal appearance or marketing peripherals, may speak even louder than your voice.
Tags: Cultural Knowledge
Keeping a project on-time and within budget is key for any successful project manager. But before a project can get started, the bid must be completed. Understanding key factors which directly affect pricing can be of tremendous help to get the project started more quickly. Here, we shed light on three key factors that directly affect the cost of translation: language, complexity and deadlines.
In today’s world of easy travel, we can jump on a plane and get to our destination in a jiffy, but do we ever take a minute to think about how we will be perceived when we arrive? In the U.S. you might be able to grace the stage for a TedTalk in Converse High Tops and an expensive blazer, but in other countries this simply won't do.
Companies spend millions of dollars managing their reputations online to reduce negative press and increase appeal to a global audience. While the costs of a poor reputation are immense, reputation management represents a big expense for companies. While paying to clean up a poor reputation whether true or false, some thought should also be placed on how to prevent reputation loss. For brands with global footprints which span over multiple languages, finding a quality translation service is one point where companies need to be vigilant. Proactive reputation management includes proper vetting of all vendors, but when you cannot read a vendor's output in your own native language, reputation management can be even more complex.
Remember that time in 1977 when President Jimmy Carter abandoned the U.S.? No? Oh yeah, that’s because it never happened. But that’s what he said in his address during a visit to Poland – in the first trip of his presidency. At least, that’s what the Polish audience thought he said. What he actually said was, “…when I left the U.S.” It’s just the difference between going on a business trip, and turning your back forever on the country you have been elected to represent. It’s also a real-world example of an interpretation mistake caused by a lack of cultural understanding.
Through professional and culturally relevant translation you can break through language barriers to not only communicate your thought but also do so in a way that helps the listener engage in a meaningful way. The translator should take the burden of not only translating the very words of the message, but also be sure they are conveying the meaning. Cultural awareness is imperative because culture is much more tightly bound to language than most people understand at first glance.
You don’t have to travel far to know you’re no longer at home. Language is the first consideration most have when they travel abroad. But any seasoned traveler can tell you that even if the language doesn’t change, cultural experiences can be radically different in a new country. Ever visited the loo* in England, or been asked if you were free in the avro* in Australia? You can learn a language and study up on your slang, but there are still other cultural differences you should consider when doing business around the world.
It’s often joked that the U.S. Mason Dixon Line is the division between “y’all” and “youse guys.”
This joke is an oversimplification, of course, but it serves as an illustration of the types of cultural divisions in linguistics that exist all over the world. Braces in Britain are quite different from braces in the U.S. So are chips. And most languages don’t even have an equivalent of the Scottish “tartle” - that second of hesitation when introducing someone, because you forgot their name.