How translation can help welsh businesses expand into the global market place
We may give no thought at all to translation companies in our day to day lives until we need something. Previously, translation was always something we saw on television or in subtitles on foreign films. Think of it this way imagine being on holiday, in a hot country where you don't speak the language. Perhaps you've been stuck on a bus or you have been soaking up the sun for several hours. You are thirsty. How do you order one of those delicious looking cold drinks when you cannot speak the language? Ok, maybe the locals speak English, very likely in many tourist destinations around the world. What if you are a business trying to make a profit? Do you just sell to customers who speak your language or do you be bold and sell to anyone in the world who can pay for your product or service? In the past most of us only did business in our own country or even just a local area. We rarely did business abroad because that meant expensive telephone bills and leaving the country Those days are long gone. The internet, mobile phones and cheap international travel have brought us all together in a way only dreamed of in the past. This has coincided with the collapse of the traditional industrial economy which relied on manual labour in heavy engineering, mining and steel production. Incidentally those jobs have now migrated to Eastern Europe, South and East Asia, where languages and dialects continue to be a barrier in trade between Welsh companies and these emerging markets. Now we can sell to at least 500 million people living in the expanded European Union. We can potentially sell to billions around the world, because we can talk to them in real time through the World Wide Web or on a tiny handset you can keep in your pocket. Taking advantage of this opportunity is not easy; you have to be prepared to do substantial research into your desired market which also means into their customs and use of language. Advertising that you may have used in this country may be completely inappropriate for a foreign marketplace. There have been incidents where even big business have made mistakes, for example, the fast food chain KFC discovered that its "Finger-Lickin' Good" slogan translated into Chinese as "Eat Your Fingers Off." Not very appetising. This is where professional translation comes in; a good translation company can make all the difference between struggling to survive and connecting to consumers in their own language and mindset. Translation facilitates the building of relationships between business in Wales and the emerging markets of the new European Union members, such as Poland and Bulgaria, and the emerging economies of India and East Asia such as China, Vietnam and Malaysia. This is something that the Welsh Assembly has observed. Enterprise Minister Andrew Davies says China offers a huge potential market for Welsh exporters which was highlighted in a recent report by Grant Thornton on the BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India and China) economies and the major trade opportunities they presented for Welsh businesses. According to the report, BRIC economies will account for 44% of global gross domestic product by 2050 - yet 87% of UK companies do not or have no plans to export to China and are failing to make the most of the opportunitiesÂ available in these fast expanding economies. Source: http://new.wales.gov.uk/topics/businessandeconomy/news/14.03.07eur?lang=en For the flooring manufacturer Amtico "Talking to customers in their own language is a key strategy for us globally. Not only are business customers more likely to buy when sales material is in their own language, but customer service costs can be reduced if installation information is shown in the user's native language. Amtico may not be a Welsh company, but surely their experience says something about the opportunity that has been presented to us. The reverse can also be true. Imagine trading with a company in India, the contract or terms and conditions they send to you may well be in Punjabi, Hindi, etc. Having this translated into English means that you can be sure that the terms you negotiated are actually what are set down in the governing documents. Besides helping to open up possibilities on the frontier of globalisation, a translation company can help an employer connect to new foreign members of the workforce. The ability to communicate to the workforce in their own language will make management considerably easier, boosting the efficiency and the cohesion of the company. In South Wales a Swansea based translation company called Wolfestone Translation Ltd is ready to help Welsh business trade internationally. The company themselves began as a very small business working from a bedroom at home. 2 years on and the company is already expanding. As well as a substantial compliment of staff and a new website Wolfestone Translation has moved into a suite of offices and the opportunity for international expansion has presented itself with their first overseas office opening in the near future. By the very nature of translation, Wolfestone can operate purely electronically meaning that translations are quick for the customer but it also means that the company has been able to expand their client database globally more rapidly than most. One of the Directors of Wolfestone Translation, Roy Allkin, commented that we pride ourselves on enabling local companies to operate bilingually in Welsh and English, but because we have the capabilities to translate to or from any language we can also help Welsh business to make a move into an international market, enhance profitability and help the Welsh economy grow, that is our ultimate goal. The race for international business is on so let's ensure that Welsh business makes it's mark. Wolfestone Translation: getting it right means as much to us as it does to you
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