How an interpreter can help your business

August 19, 2014 by admin

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If you are already trading overseas or have ambitions to move into a foreign market, it’s likely that at some point you will have to consider if you need a business interpreter to assist with your venture.

While some might see this as an unnecessary cost based on the assumption that most people can speak at least some English, or you know someone who speaks the native tongue of the country you are looking to expand into, it’s certainly not the case that an interpreter should be seen as a luxury.

In many cases, they can even be the difference between whether or not a business deal is successful, so here are some of the key arguments for why you should never dismiss the value an interpreter can bring to your company.

Saving precious time

If you are travelling abroad for a crucial business meeting, or your contact is coming to see you, then it’s likely that you will only have a limited amount of time to conduct your affairs before catching the plane back home.

With this in mind, anything that can help to speed the process up by overcoming potential language barrier problems is welcome. Hiring a business interpreter can be well worth the investment if their services mean the difference between getting the opportunity to talk about everything you intended to or having to reschedule another meeting for the next time you and your associate are in the same country.

Ensuring details don’t get ‘lost in translation’

Miscommunication between two people who don’t share the same mother tongue is easily done and this problem can be especially frustrating when trying to broker a deal with an overseas contact.

Words and phrasing can often have double meanings in different languages, and if you use colloquialisms or idioms that your potential business partner isn’t familiar with, this can be a recipe for trouble later down the line.

The issue can be a real sticking point if you think you’ve finally been able to reach the stage where you are about to sign on the dotted line to seal a contract, only to realise the terms are not what you thought you had agreed.

However, by taking a business interpreter to a meeting with you, you can minimise the risk of incidences like this happening. An interpreter who is fluent in both tongues and has experience of dealing with the quirks of both languages will be able to overcome such hurdles and ensure the true meaning of what both parties are trying to communicate isn’t lost in translation.

Strengthening business relationships

In many cases, the success of a business partnership isn’t based on the terms and conditions of the deal, it’s on the relationship between the two individuals working together and their ability to effectively communicate.

Of course, when they speak different languages, this can represent an obvious challenge – highlighting the key role an interpreter can play in breaking down this barrier and helping you and your contact get on with what you’re good at, instead of being limited by your linguistic knowledge.

Ask yourself this – is a key contact more likely to do business with a foreign partner who struggles to understand what they say, or one who they can communicate with as effectively as if they spoke the tongue itself? Having an interpreter on your team will ensure you fall into the latter group.

Written by Helen Fream

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