How To Communicate With International Customers Using Social Media

Most companies that operate globally have a presence on social media websites like Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Myspace etc. On occasion international customers will post comments on these sites in their own native language, which will likely be unintelligible to you. It is very important that your company respond in a timely matter to these messages. It is also essential to respond to any negative feedback posted by your customers. But how will you understand these posts and how will you respond in the customer’s language?

A timely response to a question, complaint or appraisal can lay the basis for a relationship of trust between you and your customer. It might not be possible for you to answer every post on your social media page, but addressing complaints and suggestions or answering questions your clients raise are important. Ignoring feedback and complaints left by customers can be a costly mistake. Every company needs to satisfy their clients, said a Project Manager from The Marketing Analysts Translation Services.

It might be a good idea to develop a system where the negative comments could be marked by a red flag. This way it would be easier for you to sort through the messages and focus on the complaints first. You can understand the message by translating it from the machine translation. Your replies can then be translated into the target language with the help of a translation service company. It might be a good idea to check your social media messages weekly and have your replies translated by a professional translation service.

Careful monitoring of your social media web pages will keep you aware of negative publicity that could harm your company’s image. It’s said that good news travels fast but bad news travels faster. Trust that any negative feedback about your company, if not addressed to in time can harm the reputation of your enterprise. Any negative information, authentic or not, can spread like wildfire. Remember that it takes years to establish a good reputation but it can be ruined in a matter of a few hours.

You only need to be a bit more attentive to the needs and demands of your customers. It is impossible to satisfy all your clients across the globe but it is possible to address their complaints and respond to them in a timely manner. This is a great way to show your clients that their opinions and views are important to you.

The Importance of Style Guides in Translating Company Brands

The American Marketing Association (AMA) defines a company brand as a “name, term, sign, symbol, design or a combination of any of these intended to identify the products and services of a company.” A company brand is an effective means to differentiate your company and the kind of goods it produces from other sellers and their products. Every company puts forth effort to develop their company brand, as it is the main source to reach your intended audience. When a company sends its brand for translation into other languages, however, it often doesn’t turn out according to their expectations.

The translated version might be grammatically correct, but if it doesn’t present your company brand as the original version in the source language does, then you definitely didn’t get the services you paid for. If your message gets lost in the translated version and it sounds like a different company, then probably the linguist you hired didn’t understand the style or connotation he might have adopted in his translation. For this purpose, you must provide your translation service provider with a style guide.

Building a style guide for your company can be the best solution for avoiding style errors in the translation. A style guide will help your certified translator get a clear picture of your brand identity so that he can adopt a style which suits your company brand and carries the appropriate  message to your international customers. These were the words of an experienced German translator working for the Birmingham translation house of The Marketing Analysts Translation Services company. Your brand is important because it becomes the identity of your company and it remains in the minds and hearts of your customers. Your brand speaks for the kind of services you provide your customers.

Your style guide should provide a guide to the tone of voice the translated document must covey. All companies want their company voice to remain consistent for all their customers, whether at home or internationally. All international companies have their set standards which do not change anywhere across the world. Your style guide will ensure that your language translator uses the appropriate tone and style in the translation and that your linguist chooses the right vocabulary that best represents your brand.

Your style guide also should contain guidelines about where and when to capitalize letters, what kind of language to use in each kind of translation, and how to address time, money, and weights, for example. Some companies prefer to use a colloquial grammar, whereas others believe that a formal tone and strict adherence to the grammatical rules of language make their product desirable. Your style guide makes clear your preferences as to how your brand’s translation should be conducted. Using examples and illustrations in a style guide can make your guide easily understandable for the linguists.

Many companies find it sufficient to prepare a general style guide for all languages. But some companies take the trouble to prepare multiple style guides, one for each language their content will be translated into. This option demands your time and resources, but it will definitely repay you over time.  If you are having problems making your translation company understand the kind of job you want him/her to do, prepare your style guide right now! You will see a visible difference in the quality of your translations and will reduce the corrections you must make.

Perpetual Change in Languages—A Challenge for Translators

All languages are in perpetual motion and continually go through some kind of change. Words become obsolete and new words or phrases replace them. At times the context in which a word is used changes completely, giving the words an entirely new meaning. If we take the example of English, not only have words become obsolete or their meanings changed, but the English language also has gone through some major structural changes. For instance, the conventions of word order have been unstable in English. Not only that, but the spellings and pronunciation of words have changed.

Because every language undergoes changes from time to time, professional language translators need to keep themselves updated about this gradual shift in the use of both the source language and the target language. This is a constant challenge which a translator faces. If we look into the history of the English language, for example, we would realize that the English used in the age of Geoffrey Chaucer has  little similarity with the present-day English. Trends also keep changing, and instead of using flowery words in writing, people prefer to use simple, matter-of-fact expression. The same is true for all languages. No language stays the same forever.

We talked to a Japanese translator working for Miami translation services of The Marketing Analysts Translation Services company. He stated some of the reasons for language transformation. Languages change according to the needs of their speakers and adapt themselves to suit the changing times. As linguists say, all languages change all the time. The languages that remain static for a specific time period no longer exist. The present requires languages to be simple. Instead of beating around the bush, people just write or speak what they have in mind, since no one has the time to figure out the underlying meaning of a complex piece of writing.

Technological advances and fast means of communication have greatly influenced languages. Today people have little time to read and understand a document, a book or a journal. They also want others to be direct in their speech as well as their writing. This is one of the reasons why American English has taken precedence over British English. While translating, translators need to satisfy their clients without damaging the essence of the document they are translating.

It is not easy to be a translator. Translators need to be aware of the changing trends in language while using an appropriate level of expression in their translations. All certified document translations require formal, standard expression without wavering from the original subject matter. To become a professional translator, awareness of the perpetual change in languages is very important.

Rules For A Good Translation

Translation is not an easy task. It is more of an art, requiring something equal to artistic expertise. A painter captures beautiful images from his mind and puts them down on his canvas. Similarly a translator uses his imagination and emotions to translate a text while staying true to the original essence conveyed by the author.Since translation is deemed an art, certainly some ground rules are attached to it. You just can’t wake up one day and start translating. For a quality translation, some precautions should be taken. The following are some suggestion that were offered by a number of Portuguese to English translators including Humphrey Davis and Jonathan Wright.

Translate what you like.  As a certified translation services worker, you should focus on translating text that interests you. If you lack interest in the material you are translating it might become obvious to readers of your translation.  When possible, choose text that interests you.  Though you might not be able to decline every assignment that you find uninteresting, being a legal translator provides freedom to occasionally decline specific jobs.

Your first draft will likely contain a mistake. Seldom are first drafts ever perfect.  Once you complete the first daft, walk away from the translation and then return later to proofread it.    By taking a short break, you will more easily identify mistakes and opportunities for improvement.

Think of translating as recreation and not work. Believe it or not, translating might eventually become a boring task especially if you do it as a profession. Overwork and boredom will lead to low quality work. Try to think of the translating as recreation instead of work.

Ask the author many questions. By asking important questions upfront, you can avoid major mistakes.

Familiarize yourself with the culture of the literature that you are translating. Cultures differ at all levels from vocabulary usage to punctuation.  Always translate with the needs and expectations of the target audience in mind.

Respect the original text and the author. Translation may be an art but it is more complex than merely writing poetry because you are actually translating someone else’s vision. You must respect the views of the author by staying true to them and minimizing alterations.

In conclusion, translation requires focus and sincerity on the part of the translator. With the right approach and right vision, translated texts have the ability to bring different cultural entities together.

Common Problems Faced When Purchasing Translation Services

misguided-tanslationsOften when a translated document is received by clients, it does not fulfill their expectations. This happens because the client fails to choose the right kind of translation services for their specific needs. Even a layman needs to have some know-how of translation services, so that he could benefit from the best option available, remarked a Chinese translator working for The Marketing Analysts Translation Services company based in Houston.

At present, machine translation which has not minimized the need for professional language translators. At best machine translation can give you a rough idea regarding the general meaning of a passage or a sentence. But often machine translation provides unreliable and inaccurate translations.. That only leaves hiring a certified translator working for a reputed translation services company or a freelance translator claiming to provide you with an impeccable translation. Sometimes getting things translated from a bilingual coworker might seam ideal, but in the end the quality is often subpar and more expensive than hiring a professional translation company.

In order to determine which kind of translation would be suitable for you, you need to keep in mind a few things. First, it’s important to consider the target audience. The term “localization” is used for a translation carried out to serve audiences in a specific region. In localization, a particular dialect of a region is used when translating. Localization of a document or a website requires a professional certified translator who is familiar with the dialect like his own mother tongue. Lastly, the client needs to consider the intended use of the translation. A  legal document translation asked for by the immigration authorities of a country would command absolute accuracy and precision of language. In such cases the best bet is to hire a certified translator from a well-known translation service company, stated an Italian translator with a ten year long career with The marketing analysts translation service company based in Chicago.

There are four types of translation; Machine translation, literal translation, professional translation and trans-creation. Machine translation is the most recent technology and the final outcome is of the lowest quality with this type of translation. This translation cannot be relied upon without being proofread and reviewed. Even then, machine translation will not work for any document which needs contextual and not literal translation. Machine translation provides faulty sentence structures and grammatical flaws, therefore it is unreliable. Translations done by a  non-professional translator or a layman who happens to be bilingual, cannot also be regarded as high-quality products, remarked a Japanese translator working with Washington D.C. translation services. Such translations are often not contextual but are word to word and literal, failing to convey the exact meaning of the text. The highest quality translations are professional translations which experienced, qualified translators can do who are usually working with translation companies. Trans-creation is sometimes useful when the underlying message is more important than the sentence itself. Through trans-creation a linguistic equivalent of the sentence is provided, which will be easily understood by the local populace. As in the case of proverbs, we have entirely different equivalents for different proverbs in different languages, which apparently have no syntactical resemblance with each other but convey the same meaning. This kind of translation requires the language translator to have native level fluency in the target language.

Why Personal Hygiene And Physical Appearance Are Important To Translation Workers

Nowadays business etiquette is considered an essential business skill. Nobody would like to work with people who are rude or can drive away customers or investors because of poor etiquette. Moreover, as the professionals from a French Translation Services company add, apart from behavior, personal appearance can also be considered a part of business etiquette and nonverbal communication because your style of dress and whether it matches the place you work sends information to your managers, colleagues and customers. 

 The workers from Milwaukee Translations Services advise us that when we are not sure what to put on for work,  to keep to the rule that the simpler the better. Moreover, when dressed modestly, the message we are sending is that we want to earn reputation for our skills and expertise, not for the way we look.  Translators at a Chinese translation company also advise us to choose well-tailored clothing (not necessarily very expensive but appropriate for business) that fits well. We should also make sure that no buttons are missing and that all zippers and hemlines are in good repair. Of course, no need to say, that grooming is as important as clothing – your attire should be clean and carefully pressed.

Personal hygiene is also very important – shampoo frequently and make sure that you visit your hairstylist regularly, keep your hands neatly manicured, use mouthwash and deodorant, but avoid strong scents – your colleagues may dislike the scent or even be allergic to it.

And last, but not least – try to avoid being negative. Even if you spend as much time with your colleagues as with your family and friends or even more, after all they are not your family and friends.  At the workplace you should always have in mind that negative attitude can make your office mates miserable and unproductive. Moreover, everyone has his or her personal problems, but after all your colleagues go to work to earn their living as you yourself do, and no matter how close you feel them, try to avoid negative attitude and demeanor and  to contribute as much as possible to a positive, energetic work environment.

By Margarita Mihaylova

Translators Identify And Discuss Non-verbal Communication In The Global Workplace

In the process of communication, people either intentionally and unintentionally send and receive nonverbal signals. As suggested by Washington D.C. translation services workers, this nonverbal communication can strengthen a verbal message (when they are in tune with what is spoken or written), weaken a verbal message (when they are in conflict with it), or substitute verbal communication entirely. For example, you might tell a customer that you will deliver the contracted goods in time, but at the same time you’re forced smile and your nervous behavior will transmit an entirely different message. In fact, nonverbal communication often gives essential information to listeners than the words spoken, especially when they trying to determine their attitude towards an issue or to judge the reliability and the competence of the speaker.

By paying attention to nonverbal cues in the workplace, translators will become better speakers and better listeners thus enhancing the ability to communicate successfully. However, since nonverbal signals you are sending can be both to your advantage and to undermine your verbal message, it is essential to be sure that you are sending the right signals. The professionals from a Houston Translation Services company claim that the following signals generally contribute to building credibility and aptitude for leadership: eye contact, gestures, posture and voice.

Facial expressions, especially eye contact unintentionally reveal the attitude and the true feelings of the speaker. The above mentioned certified translation professionals advise us to maintain direct eye contact, avoiding excessive blinking and not to look down before responding to a question or to look away for a long period of time.

A stiff and immobile body, tense and raised shoulders as well as fidgeting, walking briskly, throat-clearing, tapping one’s fingers or smiling out of context show that you are nervous or uncertain.  As far as vocal characteristics are concerned, the advice of the translation workers is to keep to a conversational style and to avoid sounding flat or tense, speaking too fast or monotonously.

By Sudarsana Sinha