Thursday, September 22, 2011

Business Abroad

When traveling to a foreign country, you are guaranteed to experience different customs and cultures. Visiting other countries as a tourist and adjusting to the different customs and language is challenging enough, but if you hope to conduct business in a foreign country, it is important to do your research.

The first thing people think about when they start planning to do business overseas is the language barrier. It is next to impossible to get a business venture started in a foreign country if the different parties cannot understand each other. Making sure that everyone can understand each other is key for your business’ success. The safest solution to the language barrier issue is enlisting the services of a professional translation company. When dealing with sensitive issues like contracts and business negotiations, it is not a wise decision to trust some random person who claims to be fluent in some language.

Though language is a major factor, it is not the only issue when dealing with foreign partners or clients. Granted some countries share similar customs with the United States, but others have tremendously different beliefs and traditions that Americans could not even imagine. Even if you do extensive research on the country in which you are visiting, you still run the chance of offending someone with the slightest action. Especially in Asian countries, it is vital that you watch your actions at all times to limit the chances of offending anyone. In some countries, like Japan, people rely more on non-verbal communication and body language than on the spoken word. They pay close attention to the way you say certain things and how you react to others.

To help generate goodwill, it is wise to learn as many habits and rituals as you can about the country in which you hope to conduct business. In Japan, everything from how you talk to people to blowing you r nose is different than in America. It is considered rude to look someone in the eye while talking to them, especially if they are of higher rank than you, and blowing your nose in a public area is unthinkable to them. Such small things that you may have never thought of could jeopardize your business in a foreign country, so you must prepare ahead of time.

Culture shock from such different customs is bound to occur. If you research the country ahead of time, however, and recruit the help of professional language translation services, your chances of your business venture succeeding will be greatly increased.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Translations Services & ISO Certifications

The International Organization for Standardization (ISO) is an international standard setting group composed of representatives from a variety of national standards organizations. The ISO issues different certificates for businesses that operate within certain quality standards. Businesses that wish to receive an ISO certificate must undergo a thorough auditing process by a third party registrar every year. This audit ensures that the company is conducting business according to a set of requirements, which is not based on the company’s size, or their public or private status. As Charlene Nagy, from Confluent Translations, stated, “While many companies that are required to have ISO standards in various fields are now requiring vendors to be ISO certified, they must remember that certification is based on the company’s procedures, measurable results and processes for improvement it is not necessarily a guarantee of quality.”

The ISO 9001 certificate is specifically issued to companies for meeting the standards of having a quality management system. For businesses such as a translation services company, attaining an ISO 9001 certificate shows their dedication to producing quality results each and every time they provide a service. However, some companies will try and make themselves seem more qualified by listing several other certifications from ISO, such as the one pertaining to medical devices or environmental management. These are not relevant to their companies’ practices and therefore don’t add any additional value to the services they provide.

Consumers have to be cautious because some companies are taking advantage of the fact that most customers don’t know what each individual ISO certificate stands for. For instance, a translation company could list on their site that their qualifications include an ISO 9001 certificate, along with ISO 14001 and ISO 29001 certificates. At a glance, this could make this particular company look more qualified than a company that just simply lists the ISO 9001 certificate. However, those two extra ISO certificates are for environmental management and quality management systems for petroleum and natural gas, which have no extra benefit or qualifications for running a successful and quality foreign language translation company. This has recently become a growing trend, and it is important for consumers to recognize which ISO certificates are relevant to the different types of services offered by businesses. So when looking at service companies, it is always a good idea to not only look at their certifications, but also examples of their work and reviews from previous customers.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Importance of Medical Translations: Why Invest in a Professional Translator

It has been said that English is the hardest language to learn. However, learning any language can be difficult. Because it is so hard and time consuming, few people can actually speak several languages fluently, and those who can are very important and respected.

Though there are few foreign language translation experts, there is no shortage of imposters. A quick Google search generates countless free internet translators and cheap human ones. Before entrusting your important documents to websites or people whose only qualification is that they took three years of French in high school, be sure to weigh your options. Regardless that free translations services can be found easily online, it may end up costing you more than paying for a service would have. Misunderstandings can arise too easily for you to trust an amateur to translate important work.

Think of how many misunderstandings occur when the two parties are using the same language; imagine how poorly an inexperienced translator would convert the languages. Not only is it difficult to get the words in the message across in a translation, you must factor in the tiny nuances of different cultures and regions. In some Asian countries, people can say something that seems lucid and easily-understood, but it can mean something totally different, which only a skilled translator will be able to notice and look for. Many languages also use certain words in specific circumstances to show respect or to mean certain things, which amateurs would not know to use.

When you need something translated, especially if it is an important piece of business writing or detail-sensitive, it is vital that everything be translated perfectly. Many free and cheap companies or websites can translate a document's overall message, but skip the details that make it important. Though it may initially seem expensive to acquire the services of a professional foreign language translation company or experienced individual, what you'll spend in money, you will save in time, hassle, and lost business caused by misunderstandings

Importance of Medical Translations

Medical translation is extremely important in the production of medical documentation. Medical and health care workers rely on documentation every day to be able to use devices and equipment and even medicine correctly. Medical translation services help communication go smoothly between these medical and health care workers that don't speak the same language.

Some services provided by medical translation companies are medical device manuals and interfaces, clinical research reports, patent documentation, and much more. For instance, manufacturers of medical devices that export products to Europe or Asia have strict safety and language restrictions. Some of these regulations require all the documentation with the medical devices to have a translated version into the native language of the country or region where the devices are going to be sold.

In the international market, and also in the United States, there is a high demand for medical translation companies that can provide consistent, quality results. It not only consists of translating text from one language to a different language, but also incorporating the specific industry jargon or slang and any other cultural differences of the specific country. There is very little room for error, as a small mistake could lead to disastrous and potentially harmful results.

When choosing a translation services company, medical businesses should work with translators that not only have extensive experience and background in the production of medical documents, but also have native speakers of the target language. This should ensure that the translations will be culturally accurate, which is especially important in the medical field where there is absolutely no room for error or misinterpretation. 

Friday, September 9, 2011

Translation Services in the Military

The United States military largely depends on information gathered from foreign newspapers, magazines, radio broadcasts and much more. All of these sources are in foreign languages and therefore will need foreign language translation services to determine if there is any useful and important information.

In the time of war, it is especially crucial to have translators that also have basic field training so they can be on the front lines working with the soldiers. With the situation that America is in right now with Afghanistan and Iraq, the need for translators that know several different Middle Eastern languages and dialects is extremely high. However, these war time jobs can be a risky career since you can be exposed to the dangers of the front line of battle. There are more than two thousand Arab Americans that are employed by the US military to work in Iraq as translators. These translators are constantly at risk because they are viewed as traitors to the insurgents in Iraq.

Despite the dangers, it doesn't take away from the fact that translation services are extremely important to the military. However, being able to get reliable translations is also important in many different aspects of life, such as in business and trades. Without quality translations, it would be extremely difficult to communicate accurately between business partners, or trade associates. So not only do translators help our military but they also provide valuable services that benefit the entire global business market.

How to Become a Translator

Having a career as a translator can expose you to many different types of industries. There are tons of available positions in pharmaceutical companies, as well as engineering and government positions. Translators must need to be fluent in at least two languages, and have a bachelor degree in an area that is appropriate for the field you want to work in. Although some translators choose to only focus on being fluent in two languages, there are many who choose to broaden their skills and learn three or four different languages. Although it is not required, gaining different certifications can add to your credibility and allow you to stand out from the crowd of other applicants.  As well as knowing the language, it is also beneficial to be familiar with the culture of the language, this will help avoid any error is different cultural meanings of the same word.

There are many available opportunities on the web to complete courses for different certifications. These web certification programs make it easy for you to choose if you want to continue your education conveniently and hassle free online while you work during the day or night. However, most companies like to encourage and supply continuing education for their translators. Especially in business's that have to deal with international clients and documents on a regular basis. Constantly training their translation services employees reduces mistakes and increases the efficiency of international communication.

Careers in Translation Services

The needs for accurate translations have increased dramatically as more and more companies are expanding their business globally. Many companies now need their documents and marketing messages to be translated, such as toy instruction manuals and companies’ slogans. Translation services jobs are also in demand in most industries and fields, including business and medical.

Many translators have grown up in bilingual homes. However, this is not necessary in order to have a successful career in translation. Education is extremely important, and it is recommended that if you want to be a translator, attaining an advance degreed would be beneficial. Strong research and analytical skills are good attributes to have to be a successful translator. These skills will make it possible to not just translate a document from one language to another, but help translate and convey the intended meaning in a different language. Being an accurate and dependable translator is a highly valuable and complex skill that is very much in demand.

Going into a career in translation services can be very beneficial. The US News and World Report named being a translator one of the Best Careers for 2011. As the world continues to become more integrated, the demand for translators is going to increase. In fact, the employment of translators is projected to increase 22% from 2008 to 2018. By having a career as a translator, your opportunities are endless!

Globalization & the Importance of Language Translation

With the continuation of global communication and travel, more and more companies are shifting from just targeting their local markets to targeting the international market. However, if you are marketing your products globally you have to be cautious and aware of the differences in language and culture. A word in English might have a completely different meaning in Spanish that could be harmful to your company's reputation. For instance, take a look at these examples of how companies have made mistakes in their translations in the past:

1) KFC used the phrase "Finger Lickin' Good" while advertising in China. However in Chinese, it translates to "eat your fingers off".
2) General Motors introduced their new vehicle, the Chevrolet Nova. Unfortunately, "No Va" in Central and South America translates to "It Doesn't Go".
3) The Dairy Association's huge campaign for "Got Milk?" in Mexico had the meaning "Are You Lactating
4) The brewing company, Coors once used the slogan, "Turn it Loose". Unfortunately in Spanish, this translates to "Suffer from Diarrhea".
5) The company, Parker Pen had the slogan, "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you", which in Mexico translated to "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant".

All of these embarrassing marketing mistakes are all examples of how the smallest translation error can negatively affect a company's marketing message, which could potentially do tremendous harm to that company's reputation. Having an incorrect and sometimes inappropriate slogan or catch phrase will not only ruin a company's reputation but it can also cause you to lose potential sales and revenue. That is why it is important to attain translation services from reliable . By hiring professional translation services, you can ensure that the delivery of your company's marketing message will be correctly interpreted by foreign consumers.