You don’t need to be fluent in a country’s language to do business there. But you do need to know about it, and the culture that surrounds it. TrueLanguage is here to help your team prepare to interact with new cultures and languages – download these free language info sheets for a brief first look at a few common languages for business.
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Have you ever wondered what goes on in the course of a translation project? How costs and lead times are calculated? How translation technology can keep your documents consistent over time, and even save you money? This short piece will walk you through a typical translation project from start to finish, and answer some common questions along the way. If there’s anything else you’d like to know, we’d love to hear from you!
Nobody likes the idea of spending money on a product or service, when it’s possible (or seems possible) to obtain it for no additional cost. How likely are you to hire movers when you’re changing residences locally, if you’ve got a friend with a truck? If your car needs minor repairs, and your uncle has the right tools and set-up, you won’t be in a hurry to pay a garage.
The same goes for translation services, for individuals and businesses alike – let’s talk about businesses here. Translation and localization aren’t always prioritized in a company’s budget. For a company with little experience in foreign markets, the decision to translate can come late in the process, when funds that could have gone to language services may have been spent elsewhere.
Our free guide explains both the appeal and pitfalls of managing translations in-house.
It’s obvious that access to quality healthcare goes an extremely long way in bettering a person’s health, but would you really think of language – and the translation of it – as being an essential tool for saving and improving lives? It’s something that might not occur to many people, but having the ability to move between languages not only enhances the sort of medical attention and overall healthcare that’s able to be provided to individuals, but can advance medical research as well. Here, we’ll look at the importance of multilingualism in medicine and why it really pays to approach matters in more than a single language.
Hospitals and Primary Care Facilities
For many of us, the most immediate thing we associate with our health is our access to and experience with medical facilities. When we go to our doctor for checkups or special tests, or to the hospital for emergencies or specific surgeries, we expect a certain level of care and expertise. The thing is, not everyone who visits such establishments speaks the same first language as the attending physician – or indeed any of the other members of staff.
Going to the hospital, especially, can be a scary experience for anyone, but imagine how awful it would be to walk into a hospital where everything was in a language that you either didn’t understand fully or at all. This not only makes the experience for the patient more traumatic, but also makes it harder on the hospital and its caregivers. If a patient doesn’t fully understand policies, then it becomes a virtual nightmare trying to deal with things like insurance, medical history, release forms, and billing. The doctor’s job, whether they’re a primary care physician or emergency room doctor, becomes a lot harder because the patient may not understand the specifics of their medication and continued medical treatment.
With all of this in mind, then, it becomes apparent that some degree of translation creates a better environment for the patience and also ensures better treatment for them. Hospitals and doctor’s offices would benefit greatly from having policies translated in the most common foreign language they deal with, along with signs and other information posted throughout their facilities. Having someone on hand who also speaks a foreign language can be of immense benefit and improve the efficiency, as well as the accuracy of the care given.
The world is full of major medical emergencies, often caused by devastating natural disasters. Nepal, for example, recently experienced a major earthquake and subsequent major aftershocks that left thousands dead, and even thousands more injured and/or traumatized. For those responding on an international basis, it’s certainly beneficial to have material to take with you that has been translated into the native language of the nation you’re visiting.
Relying on translators in the field is obviously going to be of great use, but having important medical information, as well as disaster relief information, present in the native language is of great import to the recovery process as well. During such disasters, there’s just as much of an emotional and psychological toll wrought on the populace as there is a physical one. Providing material in the native language that tackles these issues is truly instrumental in providing victims with the psychological building blocks necessary for recovering.
Medical translation has many benefits, one of which – and perhaps the most important – is its ability to advance medical research and trials. Medicine is truly an international field, with researchers all across the globe tackling a wide range of medical issues and sharing their findings with researchers and medical professionals throughout the world.
Through translation, medication and treatments recently developed in other nations can be approved for trial runs in other countries, thus expediting the process for achieving cures or better standards of living. Without proper translation, medical professionals, as well as government officials, can’t fully assess the information being provided to them, inevitably meaning that various trials, tests, and experiments can’t occur in countries that speak other languages.
Major research and development regarding serious diseases such as HIV/AIDS and a multitude of cancers take place throughout the world in countries such as the United States, China, and various European nations. While English is certainly a major language, it can’t be expected that every medical researcher is going to speak it.
In any case, the research is obviously going to be done in the native language, which is going to have its own particular nuances and specific medical words and phrases that are unique to that language. The misinterpretation of just one of these words or phrases can lead to anything from stagnation to outright disaster, highlighting the extreme importance of proper translation in the medical field.
Embracing everything that learning a foreign language has to offer can be a richly rewarding endeavor. Obviously, you’re going to take a lot away from it on a cultural and intellectual level, but the business and financial benefits of learning a foreign language may surprise you. No language is truly universal, and even for widely spoken languages like English or Spanish, it pays for native speakers to branch out from these languages.
If you’re wanting to get in on the action in various foreign markets, then having a great deal of knowledge regarding the language and customs is going to help you maximize success, even if the people you’re working with speak your own language. Which languages offer the greatest potential from a business perspective, though?
Germany has a remarkably strong economy, with vibrant business and investment opportunities unfolding constantly. Currently, unemployment in Germany is lower than it’s ever been since East and West Germany were unified nearly 30 years ago. This means that the country has an extraordinary high amount of employed people driving the nation’s economy through their own spending and investment, as well as through their industrial output. Banking and finance have become major sectors within Germany, as well as pharmaceuticals and manufacturing. The nation has also had one of the strongest – if not the strongest – GDP growth over the past several years, compared to other nations.
India has most certainly been on the rise in recent years, a fact that has created a perfect opportunity for investors and business individuals looking for long-term rewards and startup potential. The automotive market in India has been heating up, especially due to the fact that more and more of the population is becoming educated and is gaining access to better paying jobs.
As the standard of living rises and more people gain stable income, more people inevitably start looking for a vehicle to purchase. With the country being the second most populated in the world, one can imagine the potential for automotive investors or those wishing to start up their own vehicle manufacturing company.
India sits in the top three when it comes to purchasing power, meaning it has a strong amount of capital as well as resources at its disposal, along with a strong business sector looking for opportunities to invest these resources. The country’s largest economic sector is by far the service sector, with telecommunications heating up considerably in recent years.
With over 550 million Spanish speakers worldwide, and around 400 million native speakers of the language, it’s obvious to see the potential of learning Spanish. Looking at the economic potential of Spanish speaking countries and regions only solidifies the commercial benefits of
having some knowledge of the language and its accompanying peoples’ culture. Spain has had some economic trouble, in recent years, but is now on the rebound, providing an excellent opportunity for investors as native business interests intensely search for expanding business opportunities.
Apart from Spain, though, Spanish comes in handy throughout the Americas. Various Spanish speaking nations in Central and South America, as well the Caribbean, are seeing a lot of gains as their politics simmer down and their economies begin to expand. While the United States is officially an English speaking nation, Spanish is still spoken by millions of citizens, while plenty of business takes place between the U.S. and Mexico.
Even for those in the U.S. not wishing to expand into foreign markets, learning Spanish could be of great use in the domestic market, as it would open up opportunities to a very large demographic wanting to purchase goods and services, and invest capital, just as much as any other demographic.
English is definitely a major world language worth learning for the business conscious. It’s the official language of many countries, such as the United States, the United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand, as well as the de facto or de jure language of other countries and entities, such as Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Hong Kong, and Puerto Rico. Many English speaking countries and regions have a great deal of buying power and stable, vigorous economies, while others have more newly developed economies perfect for investors seeking to grow alongside these countries. The United States, in particular, hosts the greatest national economy of any country and holds a very strong buying power.
Even if you don’t speak any of these languages, or don’t feel you have the time or ability to learn them, you can still take advantage of everything they and their countries have to offer. By hiring a translation agency, you can have access to translators for advertising and document purposes, as well as experts who can help you arrange key foreign market strategies.
You may have thought, “I could totally do that,” when seeing or reading a story about a bed and breakfast, resort, or hotel, but inevitably comes the “I don’t have that kind of money” finishing statement. The thing is, though, that you may very well be sitting in the midst of your very own small-scale hotel: your home. Maybe you’re scratching your head or raising an eyebrow, but renting out your home – whether it’s a house, apartment, condo, or whatever – really is a feasible venture. Renting out to foreign travelers and providing them what’s known as a homestay is particularly rewarding, both from a commercial as well as a cultural point of view. How is it done, you ask? Well, quite simply enough, so read on to find out how.
Rules and Regulations:
The first thing you need to check on is whether or not you’re allowed to use your home as rental space for travelers. Even if you own your own home, you may be restricted by local ordinances, homeowner’s association policies, and other zoning laws regarding what you can do with your own home from a commercial standpoint. For those renting their space, these things still hold true, but you also have to make sure that your landlord is okay with it and that you’re allowed to sublease your space.
The easiest way to find out the legal particulars of opening up your home to travelers is by contacting your landlord, your homeowner’s association, and your local city government. It may be that all you need to do is acquire a couple of permits, and then you’re good to go. Also, be sure to check with your insurance company to see if damage from renters would be covered by your policy.
The Right Atmosphere:
Having someone stay in your home can be an intimate matter, especially if you’re planning on residing in the residence while they stay. Even if you’re thinking of renting out your space while you’re away, you have to be comfortable with strangers living in your space for a certain period of time. If you’re not comfortable with such an arrangement, then this is certainly going to become obvious to those visiting, ultimately making their stay anywhere from awkward to unbearable.
Treat those entering your home as you would any other guest, but kick it up a notch. Just as they would in their own hotel room, guests need to feel as if they have a certain degree of freedom in the space they’re in. They have to feel welcome to use plates and utensils, open cabinets and the refrigerator to prepare food, watch TV, and use the internet. While it is your home, you have to remember that these are paying guests and, in this situation, you need to be prepared to cater to their needs.
The Right Booking:
Be mindful to whom you rent out your home, especially if you’re not going to be there during their stay. Sites that help link renters with travelers, such as Airbnb or VRBO, will typically require identity verification from users, so you at least know you’re dealing with someone who really is who they say they are. You can also require information for a background check if you so choose.
It would benefit you greatly to talk to a legal representative to determine liability, as well as draw up disclosure and rental agreement outlines that you can use for all guests throughout the future. This will ensure that everyone understands expectations, rules, and consequences up front, which will, in turn, help avoid any drama or awkward issues later on.
The Little Things:
If you’re going to be away for some time and your property is going to be rented out for a week or more, then it may be a good idea to hire someone local to come and clean the space for you. This will come as a pleasant perk to the people renting from you and will help draw in more business in the future. Whether you’re staying in the home or planning on being away during your guests’ stay, it would be a good idea to make a little household guide for them. This could cover basics such as Wi-Fi passwords, where things need to be put back after use, operating the washer and dryer, and when the trash is picked up.
Hire a Translator:
If you’re wanting to reach as many potential renters as possible, then it would be smart to hire a translation service to create great advertising for you in various languages. If you’re renting your space out while you’re away, then you can also have translators create a household guide, or a small guidebook on the area for your guests that showcases places and activities you personally feel would be enjoyable.
Can you think of anything more thrilling than saying goodbye for a while to work and all of the mundane, everyday responsibilities of life, and going off to uncover the wonders of another country? Well, if you can, then it will probably take you a moment to think of something, because for most people visiting another country is a desire they hold on to throughout life. Helping to make these dreams come true is an amazingly rewarding endeavor, all on its own, and if you enjoy traveling and want to help others with their big travel plans, than starting up your own travel agency may be just up your alley. Seem a little farfetched? No worries –it’s nowhere near as daunting as it seems.
Take the Plunge:
More than anything, you’ve got to be ready and willing to give this your all; otherwise, you’re likely to fall short. The great thing is that giving it your all doesn’t necessarily mean tackling something huge right out the gate. In fact, when it comes to starting up a travel agency, the best bit of advice you can follow is to keep things intimate. After all, there’s always room to expand later on down the road. For now, the important thing is to get yourself established, gain some experience and exposure, and start making some decent returns on your investment.
Instead of trying to take on travel destinations all over the world, pick a certain region and specialize in trips to select destinations within that region. This will not only keep your plate from piling up, but will also let you focus more of your attention on learning the technical as well as cultural details about the area, making you and your team more well-informed.
Check Out the Competition:
Take your cues from agencies that are already well-established, as well as others who have recently started operation. From the well-established agencies, you can see everything they offer clients – from package deals to the sort of tours, activities, and entertainment they arrange for their clients. If you see certain things that these agencies have been doing for some time, then it’s likely that these are tried and true things that may serve you as well as they have served them. From agencies that have just started up and have only been running a couple of years, you may be able to assess through reviews the sort of stumbling blocks they’ve hit and, therefore, have more of an idea of what to avoid.
Determine Your Path:
Do you want something that’s more of an in-home startup – literally, or do you want a more comprehensive agency that may require a little more investment? If you’re looking for something that you can do from home, then it’s relatively simple to start a small business where you can arrange tickets, itineraries, reservations, and other services for clients from home on your computer. There’s not a lot you can’t do, in this day and age, with the aid of the internet, after all. Having more of a physical, commercial presence allows you to take on more and puts you in a prime position for greater returns. Corporations and various groups are far more likely to seek out your business if you have a physical agency to walk into.
Don’t limit yourself to the kinds of clients you’re able to attract. Obviously, people all over the world want to get to know a country other than just their own, and catering to various markets can help increase your clientele. Seek out the services of a translation agency, such as True Language, that can help you create marketing strategies in other languages that also appeal to those specific cultures. As you expand, consider hiring foreign language speakers who can help deal with arrangements and customer service. Plus, even if clients do speak your language, it’s great to create advertising and various other marketing strategies in their own language, as it gives the impression that you’re more serious and sincere about seeking their business.
Make Use of Technology:
Technology is certainly your biggest ally in starting up a travel agency. You need to ensure that your website is visually appealing, as this helps you create the right sort of atmosphere and convey the sort of company you are. Even more importantly, though, you have to make sure that your website is easy to navigate and that it provides all of the vital information necessary for travelers. Mobile devices are a part of everyday life for many people, nowadays, so it’s a good idea to make sure that your website is compatible with such devices. Use social media sites to network (even using translation services, again) and build your brand image.
Everyone dreams about getting away from the ho-hum, 9 to 5 work life and taking on something a bit more out of the box, but not everyone turns these dreams into reality. However, with some knowledge, a lot of dedication and hard work, and plenty of positive thinking, anyone can change their life and dedicate themselves to something far more enjoyable and rewarding. One venture, in particular, that comes with plenty of enjoyment and fulfillment is that of starting up your own resort getaway. Whether it’s expansive or small and boutique-like, with the right set of advice your dreams of paradise can, without a doubt, become reality.
Making a Game Plan:
You don’t want to go into this endeavor like someone jumping into a pool without even looking to see if there’s water in it. Success always comes with some degree of planning and research, and, no matter how tedious it may be, it’s something you’re just going to have to get out of the way. The best way of looking at this stage of development is that all of the time and energy you’re spending on all of the tedious stuff gets you that much closer to a great return on your investment and the certainty that your new career choice will become a sure long-term thing.
The very first thing that you need to do is assess your capital. Go over all of your finances, from the money you have in savings, and how much you could get from selling your home and any other possessions if you’re going to be moving to your resort and managing it onsite, to the debt you have and your credit situation. Credit is extremely important, if you’re going to be taking out any kind of loan, and, if you’ve got a mountain of debt, it may be rather difficult to get a bank or lending company to agree to loan you anything. That’s all right, though – just think a little smaller. A lot can be achieved with a limited amount of capital; you just have to make smart choices.
One such smart choice is where you’ll be setting up your resort destination. This is where your research really comes in handy. You need to find out what countries or areas within your own country are top tourist destinations. What are people visiting these areas looking for? Knowing your target audience will allow you to understand the kind of location you need to be looking for, what your resort needs to provide by way of amenities, as well as overall aesthetic and atmosphere, and how exactly you need to market yourself to the people you want to attract. In fact, when it comes to marketing, it would benefit your business greatly to hire the services of a translation agency that can help you reach multiple markets in various countries, thereby extending your business potential and making your destination more international.
If you’re going to be setting up in a more urban area, then look for locations that provide decent access to various attractions, activities, and amenities in that area. If you’re looking for a more rural setting, then you need to be sure that you can either provide a lot of great activities, and/or amenities on site, or that your location will be close to various dynamic outdoor activities.
Building Your Resort:
If you have the capital to invest in something really grand, then by all means go for it. However, since this is a new venture, it’s important to remember that going over the top may not reap the sort of returns you’re looking for. If you’re looking to attract a more elite, high-end crowd, then you most certainly need the right look, as well as the right amenities, such as a spa, room service, specialty activities like private snorkeling adventures, and so on. As already stated, though, you don’t have to fork over a ton of money to build your dream resort.
Many locations, such as countries in Central America and Southeast Asia, come with very affordable property values. You could buy a decent bit of land and build a number of well-designed cabins or cabanas, install a pool, and even a yoga studio, as well as have a bar and small dinning establishment. Make each cabin feel like its own private little oasis. Look for properties that you could get for a great deal, and then convert, thereby avoiding having to build completely from scratch. You don’t even have to invest a great deal in activities at the start. Simply taking people on guided tours, arranging transport to certain activities or cultural sites, and providing some sort of evening entertainment can really bring a lot of bang for very little buck.
Being in the hospitality and travel industry, you don’t need us to tell you that doing business with people from varying backgrounds, cultures, and languages happens on a daily basis. Also, these industries are usually competitive, and you rarely want to see customers take their business elsewhere.
a small business owner, you understand that clear, concise content is essential for reaching your customers and potential clients. Web traffic to your company’s site or blog can make all the difference in the success of your business. With the World Wide Web, you can reach almost anyone on the planet who may be searching for a product or service your company offers. Even those who may not be searching for your specific product are likely to stumble across your website.