As a world, we have never been more connected to one another. With the expansion of the neoliberal model of trade, more and more countries indulge in cross-border trade. Trade in commercial service alone grew by 9.7%. Globalization and economic interdependence are considered to be beneficial for all the countries involved. Organizations like the World Trade Organizations have been formed to facilitate trade deals between nations.
It goes without saying that in such an interconnected world, one must attain business exposure in different languages.
Why is international business exposure important?
You might classify business exposure as merely operating in another country and making profits. However, there is more to it. Business exposure allows you to learn new skills. There are many companies out there that acquire firms from other countries solely to gain their knowledge and insights. This is a benefit that only international business exposure can give you. There is a lot you can learn from different countries. Knowing their language and absorbing the knowledge they have to offer is what your business might need to get to the top.
But, isn’t English enough?
There was a time when English was thought to be the sole business language owing to the USA’s unipolar status in the world. However, the rise of China and the stagnant growth of USA has led to the formation of a multipolar world. Additionally, with China’s economic expansion in terms of the One Belt One Road initiative, the need to learn Mandarin is increasing.
Now, many think that to negotiate deals with the largest importer and exporter of the world, you might have to learn their language. So, the status of English as being the global language is now being threatened. Therefore, to get the business exposure you need today, you must learn to work with different languages.
How to do so?
There are various ways you can get business exposure in different languages. Here is how you can do so.
Learn foreign languages
Learning a new language will open a lot of doors for your business. Depending on who you transact and trade with mostly, you can learn a language or two to ensure that you negotiate with them in their language. There are various schools and institutions present that help people learn new languages. While it is true that learning a new language can seem more challenging as you grow old, it is still doable. You will have to put extra effort and would have to ensure that you use it enough not to forget it.
To train your future generation to fit well into the system, it is now advised that bilingualism should be encouraged from early on. This is because it is easy for children to learn languages and retain them for the long-run.
Use a word translator
Let’s say you operate a multi-national business. You have business units all across the world. Now, you can’t go learning all the languages, right? In such instances, you can rely on word translators to get the job done for you.
This helps you in deciphering the meaning of documents from your international offices or converse with potential clients and partners in a language they understand without learning it yourself. There are various word translators you can use. Options like The Word Point have gained positive reviews from the masses. Decide which translator you wish to use depending on how accurately it translates a given text. The last thing anyone would want is for the real meaning to be lost in translation.
While you are at it, make sure you choose your word translator very wisely. You might be tempted to pick the service that offers the lowest cost. But, generally, there is a trade-off between quality and price. No one wants to lose business only because they misunderstood their vendor or client, would you? In the long-run, a low-quality word translating service can cost you more than the money it might have saved you initially.
The need to translate your website and product offering in different languages
It isn’t just important for you to gain business exposure in different languages. Instead, if you wish to benefit from globalization, you must also deliver your service in multiple languages as well.
There is always a trade-off between standardization and localization. Yes, you can achieve low-cost production through standardization. But, in today’s world, you need to localize your offering as well. This is why many companies, including Samsung, have a transnational model, whereby the product is somewhat standardized, but the communications are not.
This is why it is essential for you to translate your website and other communication to the language of the country you are operating in. Various research has shown that people are more likely to do business with a company that speaks their language. Therefore, if you wish to increase your market share in a foreign country, the first thing you need to do is translate your website and other communication to their language.
Is translating enough?
There is more to localizing promotional communication than merely translating it. For instance, KFC’s Finger-Lickin’ Good when translated into Mandarin resulted in the phrase “Eat Your Fingers” in the 1980s. This shows how catastrophe can strike if phrases are just translated word to word. Instead, it is essential to understand the culture and expression differences that exist between countries. Therefore, relying solely on a translator to do the job for you is never a good idea. Instead, you must do your research about the country and its values before pushing promotional ads.
You can easily get business exposure in different languages by either learning the language or by using translators. However, you must decide whether this is enough to benefit from the knowledge that international markets have. If you were to ask us, we would say that this is just the start. Gaining business exposure transcends merely reading up articles or operating in a foreign country. It includes immersing yourself in their culture and values to understand each country’s way of doing business. Only then can the business exposure you gain mean something.
Evie Harrison is a blogger by choice. She loves to discover the world around her. She likes to share her discoveries, experiences and express herself through her blogs. Find her on Twitter:@iamevieharrison