Global Expansion Is Essential
In 2017, the U.S. retail ecommerce worldwide sales totaled $2.3 trillion and by 2021, ecommerce revenues are expected to grow to $4.88 trillion! Historical data show that this trend is not going in reverse, which is evidence of the fact that to progress in today’s economy, you must consider global expansion as a future business strategy. Today, ecommerce and online communication eliminate the borders that divide global markets and the potential for additional business, a larger clientele, and a piece of the $4.88 trillion in anticipated future revenues make it imperative for business leaders to expand globally.
Yet, preparing a business for international expansion requires a strategic global expansion plan, and often business leaders get lost in trying to understand international markets, which geographic arenas to penetrate, and increasing staff to handle the new business. Language and localization are often forgotten.
Language and Translation
As a part of an effective, profitable global expansion strategy, companies need to keep language in consideration. But such consideration is not only limited to foreign markets. Hispanics constituted 17.8 percent of the U.S. population and may speak various dialects of Spanish, Portuguese, French, and Haitian Creole. Given the diversity of this population, it’s critical for companies to consider appealing to this massive audience either as a group, or if necessary, by localizing their messaging for the country of origin. Dominicans in New York, for example, are culturally different from Mexicans in California. This, of course, will depend on what exactly a company is trying to achieve and how close it wants to get to its audience. Businesses must hire a translation service who can translate, as well as provide cultural and background expertise in line with the company’s vision.
Translation can be integrated into a company’s regional and global expansion plans by engaging a translation service like TransForma. We are experienced at delivering cost-effective multilingual localization solutions.
Tips For Leveraging Language In Your Global Expansion Strategy
Here are a few tips for leveraging language to expand into the global marketplace.
- Contract with a translation service. An expert translation agency not only has knowledge of the language but also of the geographic location of that native language. Localization is the process of adapting communication to a specific market—this goes beyond translation and involves everything including currency, the expression of numerals, and obeying local customs and traditions. Localization can mean the difference between a meaningful message and an offensive message.
- Know your audience. Localization is a key understanding when translating, you must know the particulars of the territory you are doing business in. For instance, there are variations in the Chinese language depending on which area you are in. Mandarin Chinese is most widely spoken in northern and southwestern China, but Cantonese is most commonly spoken in Hong Kong and Macau.
- Know your budget. Translation doesn’t have to be expensive, but you do need to know where and how to save money. For websites, your main pages explaining your product or service may need a complete translation, but testimonials and customer reviews may only require machine translation with light post-editing, which is the most cost-effective way to market to your international audience. Technical manuals and legal documents should be completely and accurately translated and will definitely require a larger investment, as experts are needed who understand the legalese of the target country. The most significant investment would be transcreation, which is critical when tailoring your brand and message to a completely different culture. Transcreation is the process of recreating marketing messages so they make sense based on cultural nuances and local customs. “Eat your fingers off” is not as appetizing as “finger-licking good,” as demonstrated in a previous blog.
- Be aware of translation traps. Global distributors and merchants may tell you they handle the communication efforts in different countries; however, distributors are not language experts. Being a native speaker in a foreign country doesn’t make someone a translator. A local may not know how to convert currencies accurately or how to translate your company’s tagline or product information. Make sure you contract with a translation service to help you navigate your global expansion strategy.
TransForma Translation Services has helped numerous clients expand into the global marketplace and grow their business by handling their translation needs. We provide the most cost-effective translation solutions based on your needs and your budget. Contact us to help you with the language portion of your global expansion strategy.