In any business, communication is the key to success, whether it’s with your business partners, workers, or clients. It’s even more important when your business is expanding internationally, since cultural differences and translation mistake may hamper proper understanding. If your business is in the legal, medical or educational fields, accurate and reliable translations can be essential for building your reputation and partnerships.
Even though there are many kinds of translation software available, which may reduce costs, there is no substitute for professional translation and interpretation services. Translations must be culturally appropriate as well as industry appropriate. Professional translators who have the skills for both can prevent embarrassing and even dangerous mistakes.
Why Your Business Needs Professional Translation Services
While it’s true that accurate translations are essential for success in global business, the reverse is also true. Mistakes in translating medical, legal, financial and educational documents, discussions and presentations can have serious consequences. Even harmless mistakes can have the effect of making your company a laughing stock in a new country.
One classic example of an inappropriate translation is the Pepsi ad with the slogan “Come alive with Pepsi.” The Chinese translation, however, didn’t get it quite right, and proclaimed that “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from dead.” Given the reverence in Chinese culture for ancestors, this was not received well, and the entire campaign flopped.
While this example has its funny side, there’s nothing funny when translation errors can result in serious mistakes in legal, medical, financial and diplomatic contexts. These can affect the reputation of your business as well as the bottom line. Sometimes a tarnished reputation can cost more than lower sales figures.
This is why it’s worthwhile to invest in professional translation services for various purposes such as conferences, phone conversations, interviews, training, and document translation.
Types of Translation Services
Different kinds of translation services are needed for different purposes. You may need to translate documents and contracts, legal notices, technical or medical literature, and educational materials. Less formal materials like advertisements, product information and scripts need a different kind of approach to translation. You may also need interpreters for conference and meetings.
While a single software package cannot handle all these translation needs, a professional translation company has the staff and translation equipment necessary for all situations. Translations must be appropriate for the culture and they must employ the correct terminology for the industry. Some of the services you might need include the following:
Accurate and reliable translations are needed for financial, legal, medical and technical documents. These can include important documents like contracts, financial reports, audits, correspondence, training manuals, and legal filings. In the medical field, clinical trial reports, diagnoses, journal articles, insurance claims, and licensing agreements must all be translated with a high degree of accuracy.
From a marketing point of view as well, you will need services such as website translation that can help you connect with your international audience. Website translation can include content translation, video subtitles, and currency conversions. It can also ensure that the site is culturally appropriate by removing inappropriate images, icons, and text.
2. Simultaneous and Consecutive Interpretation
When doing business internationally, you may need interpretation for a multilingual audience. Meetings, conferences, interviews, training, and press conferences need culturally appropriate as well as industry-specific translations. Interpretation services can be simultaneous or consecutive.
In consecutive interpretation, the translator waits until the speaker pauses or stops to present a translation. This takes more time and is suitable for phone conversations, small groups and official settings like tours and interviews. With simultaneous interpretation, the translator delivers the message at the same time as the speaker. The translation is delivered to the audience via headphones and the PA system. This works better for public events like conferences and presentations.
3. Interpretation Equipment Rental
For simultaneous translations, some specialized audio-visual equipment is needed. This includes a soundproofed booth for the translator, which can be full sized or a table-top version. This is used along with an interpreter console, interpreter microphone, wireless transmitters and wireless headsets for the audience.
For consecutive interpretation, you will need just a regular sound system for the event. This will include amplifiers, loudspeakers, PA systems, microphones of different kinds, speaker stands, projectors, and projector screens.
When you decide to expand your business globally, you’re opening up new opportunities and possibilities. Professional translation and interpreting services can help you to communicate with your audience and to establish your name and brand internationally.