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Apart from the mother country, Portuguese is usually associated with Brazil, but it is also the official language of Mozambique, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea and Sao Tome and Principe. Together, these countries comprise the Community of Portuguese-speaking Countries (CPLP), an organization for friendship among Lusophone (Portuguese-speaking) nations. The very term Lusophone is derived from the Ancient Roman province of Lusitania, which covered present-day Portugal.
Each of these Lusophone countries has its own dialect that greatly differs from the language spoken in Portugal. For example, Brazilian Portuguese differs from the European variant by an extensive set of grammatical rules, syntax and vocabulary. Voce and tu both mean you, but the latter is used frequently in some regions as a colloquial expression, while the former is the official variant of the term. Voce is not well received in Portugal nor used there. Many words have two variants; train: comboio (Portugal) and trem (Brazil); farm: quinta (Portugal) and fazenda (Brazil). Apelido means “last name” in Portugal and “nickname” in Brazilian Portuguese. But differences don’t end here: Brazilian Portuguese also differs greatly from Mozambican and other variants; at the same time, every variant has its own set of differences, adding to the linguistic mash.
In today’s world of global communication, there is a need for a “universal” Portuguese, a variant that will be accepted and spoken worldwide. Although there is still heated debate on the subject, many steps have been made to bridge the gaps between and among the multiple variants. In 1990, the Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement was established. Its purpose is the formation of a unified orthography for all the Portuguese-speaking countries. This agreement has facilitated communication and reduced spelling differences among countries of the Lusophone world.
With more than 250 million speakers, Portuguese ranks as the sixth most spoken language in the world and Portuguese translation is one of the most requested services from translation agencies. Brazil claims the biggest part of Lusophone population (201 million, more than 80%), so it would be logical to expect Brazilian Portuguese to become the standard variant, accepted by most Lusophones. Time will tell whether this variant will become the dominant one. Until then, Portuguese-speaking nations will continue to make their best effort to understand one another.
When it comes to website translation, it might be a good idea to look around and see which countries will be a good market for your products. BRICS is the acronym used for the five emerging economies namely Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa. If you haven’t included any of these countries in your company’s localization plan, it is high time to do so because they are consumer economies and will be a good market for your products.
All these countries are fast growing economies with their standard of living going up every year. This means that majority of the population of BRICS constitutes of the ‘middle class’ which can afford to buy a little more than needed. These consumer economies are industrializing at a very fast pace and foreign investors consider these countries as a gold mine for investment. The interest of foreign investors in these fast growing economies has suddenly increased the demand for translation services. Certified Russian translation, Portuguese translation, Hindi translation and Chinese translation services are in high demand nowadays.
Foreign investors from the United States and other European countries are investing heavily in this region and this investment is going to increase by the year 2015. The political stability of all these five countries plays a major role in their economic development. If you have not localized your company’s website in Russian, Portuguese, Hindi, Chinese and Afrikaans, you must not wait any longer to do so. All these countries are highly technology centric with millions of mobile phone and internet users. An analyst from the Dallas Translation Services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Services Company told us that international companies from these five countries are their most regular clients.
But website localization involves a lot of expertise and fixing any glitches or bugs at a later stage can cost a lot. Therefore, we will advise you to go to a translation service company with a good repute. Only experienced professional translators know how to take care of the problems which arise while localizing a website. Pseudo localization or localization testing is an effective method of avoiding any unforeseen problems that might cause trouble in the future. Translation agencies make use of this technology to know about the areas where the localization process can become tricky. This helps them to avoid bugs in the final localized version. Without pseudo localization, your translator might translate the whole website with no knowledge of the bugs that will be there once the localization is done.
Website localization is a major tool for reaching out to your foreign customers and expanding your business. These five emerging economies are a big market for international companies as majority of the people in these countries have a stable income.
It is to be admitted that the Latin American country has faced multitudinous economic challenges over the past few years. The listless economy of the country has been troubling the local and foreign investors alike. China has proved to be a good economically for Brazil, lending money to the Brazilian government in times of need. China has not only been lending money to Brazil but to other Latin American countries as well and the sum exceeds the loans sanctioned by the World Bank, Inter-American bank and the US Import-Export Bank together. But the Chinese government has definitely been operating on the assurance of repayment in the form of raw materials and natural resources of the region. This economic condition does nothing but adds to the already existing dependency of Brazil on developed countries. Although China has helped Brazil a great deal when the other European countries were battling the effects of a world economic crisis, there is a hint of resentment among the executives of Brazilian foreign trade and investment promotion agencies about the Chinese exploitation of the region’s resources. They want to be the owners of their own development and do not want their economy to be usurped by some other country. But it would be wrong to paint an altogether bleak picture of Brazil’s economic sector. Foreign investors including Chinese and North American companies are still investing in Brazil, though not in very great numbers. Jobs for translators have been created as a result and translation service companies are capitalizing on it.
The obstacles to foreign investment
Brazil is facing obstacles in terms of attracting foreign investors in great numbers. Firstly, the investment climate of Brazil is not highly conducive for foreign investors. The Brazilian government takes no pains to facilitate the foreign companies as such. The taxation framework of Brazil is complex which is discouraging the foreign as well as Brazilian investors. Secondly, the labor costs in Brazil are quite high and there is a shortage of skilled workers which is a great challenge for newly established enterprises which are in need to hire staff. A third impediment is the high cost of utilities in Brazil which makes it practically impossible for the investors to manufacture products at a low cost. These are the snags which the Brazilian government needs to overcome, to make the investment climate more conducive for investors. The current investment rate is not very outstanding. But Brazil is a good market for Portuguese translators because foreign investment cannot be proclaimed as completely non-existent in the country.
How to overcome the obstacles
The government of Brazil has taken some initiatives to facilitate investors. The cost of electricity in Brazil was the highest in the world but now the government has reduced it to some extent. The government is also trying to attract qualified foreign professionals from other European countries to come and work in Brazil. This measure is taken to meet the demand of skilled professionals in the Brazilian industry. The newly launched concession programs by the government are going to resolve the problems of infrastructure to some extent. This is also going to reduce the number of trucks on the roads because people will have other alternatives to travel. Air pollution and other environmental concerns are a big challenge for the country. It is hoped that in the coming years, investment climate of the country will change which will create more jobs for Brazilians and will pave the way for translation services firms to do business in Brazil as the demand for their services shoots up. The future of Brazil is promising and the investors need not shrink from the idea of investing in Brazil.
According to surveys conducted a few months ago, Brazil’s economy has grown at a faster pace in the last three years. But the country’s investment sector experiences sluggishness time and again. This South-American country is introducing reforms to attract European and American investors, according to Alexandre Petry, the head of the investment unit at Apex-Brazil. With the flow of foreign investment the rising demand of translators and translation service companies is noticeable.
Traditionally, the European countries and mainly EU have invested in Brazil. But in the recent years, the Chinese and North American companies have started taking interest in bringing investment to the country. The South American region has been the main focus of the Chinese companies for getting raw materials to use in their industries. And the region has reaped great economic benefits as a result. The trade between China and Latin American countries totaled to about only a $10 billion dollars in 2010-11, whereas now it has risen to $241 billion. This clearly shows the interest of the second leading nation of the world in the region. This creates a need for Spanish and Chinese translators in the region. China has become the main lender to Latin America. According to an estimate, only in the year 2010, Chinese government sanctioned $37 billion dollars for the region. A big percentage of the loan went to Venezuela, Brazil, Ecuador and Argentina. But these loans will be repaid in the form of long-term commodity sales to China, which is a big compromise on the region’s natural resources. This exploitation of the natural resources of the region will definitely bring environmental degradation, but as things are, it cannot be helped.
Some European companies have heavily been investing in the automobile industry, banking sector, telecommunication services and the petroleum industry of the region. And these companies are in there for a long haul. The country needs continuous investments in the above mentioned sectors. The recent investments in Brazil have undoubtedly helped the country to battle against the worst economic and financial crisis the Western world has experienced lately. Economic development in the Latin American region, specially of Brazil has resulted in opportunities for translation agencies which are reaping the benefits of this newly rising investment tide.
Although a recent sluggishness has been noticed by the financial experts of Brazil, they are of the view that there are some sectors and niches which are experiencing an economic boom as well. For example, the Brazilian government has come up with a concessions program in the infrastructure and logistics sector which is going to include the railways, roads, ports and airports. Naturally, its going to cost a lot to the government and a lot of investment would be needed consequentially. All is not amiss for investment in the country and we can surely see a light at the end of the tunnel. New opportunities are opening up and once the country overcomes its temporary economic stagnation, Brazil would again become a goldmine for foreign investors. Apart from the foreign investors, it is a great opportunity for the translation service companies to reap the benefits of a rising demand for Portuguese translation services. Setting up small regional offices can increase access to translators and the foreign companies will feel no reluctance when dealing with a translation service company that has a regional office in the country as well.