SHOULD MY COUSIN OR FRIEND TRANSLATE OUR CORPORATE WEBSITE?

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This is “Brilliant Minds” company; let’s check out their latest adventure: the other day, during the Monday morning meeting in which we routinely allocate tasks, we went over our medium-term sales and marketing strategies. As usual, we were faced with several issues. We realised that if we translated our website into a foreign language, we could increase our sales figures, or at

least and to start with, we could start positioning ourselves outside the local market through web search tools such as Google, Bing y Yahoo!, through Search engine marketing, the famous so-called SEM (Search engine marketing) or SEO (search engine optimization).

There was not much disagreement in terms of the subject at hand; as we quickly agreed that the main language that should be used is Chinese and Spanish. But, since we are in Europe, we decided that it would also be useful to consider French and German to facilitate our expansion plans and consequently cover the global main markets, at least for the time being those languages should suffice. However, we had a hard time trying to answer questions like ‘how long would the translation take?’, ‘how much would the translation cost?’, ‘would we have to update our source text?’, ‘what about our products catalogue? Do we need to remove or add products if we want to export?’ and especially, ‘who would carry out the translation?’. The questions related to ‘how much’ and ‘who’ caused the type of frenzy that nobody really expects on a typically quiet Monday morning. However, we dealt with it, since creative thinking flourishes whenever a few business executives meet. Then suddenly, Bob (our Human Resources director) mentioned that his cousin (1) has been in Spain for 6 months already studying Spanish (2), and how about him translating our corporate website?. His question was followed by a deadly silence and by uncomfortable stares directed at the wall clock until Jim, our marketing director mentioned that ‘since we are at it, I have a cousin who lives in Strasbourg (3) and I’m pretty sure that he’s already bilingual in German’…

To sum up, it is likely that a conversation like this sounds familiar to you, but at 3Lingua CREATIVE Languages we do not see any reason why the content of your website should be a stumbling block in the expansion of your business beyond geographical borders. We would like to highlight the importance of having a native speaker translate the content of your website, documents or any other text. In some cases, it is a good idea to enlist the help of a specialist in the products and services that you offer. It has been proven that a well-crafted text generates trust, and in turn, trust generates clients.

Notes:
1 …or my friend or any other relative… Does it ring the bell?
2 Read as ‘I spent 6 months in Spain I know everything about the language’. A language requires years of studying and practicing to reach an acceptable level.
3 “Strasbourg” is spelt “Strassburg” in German. Though the city was most of the time German, today it is in Alsace, France, and French-speaking. So much for geographical knowledge of our “great executives”!

3Lingua CREATIVE languages – P8_ENG

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