Should You Ask Your Wife To Translate Your Legal Documents at Work?

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After 25 years in the translation business my biggest challenge has been to educate clients about why they should hire a professional translator (preferably an agency), instead of taking the easy, but eventually costly and embarrassing, way out and using Google Translate, or asking their spouse or relative to translate for them.

So what are your options?

1.       Do Nothing: In today’s global business environment, this is just not an option anymore. At best you will definitely miss out on business opportunities, and at worst, you can be held legally or criminally liable. Example: if you own a factory, and one of your employees loses an arm because he did not know how to properly shut off a dangerous machine when it malfunctioned, and the only instructional manual was not in his native language, you will be liable.

 2.       Google Translate: I know, such a tempting an easy option, and I agree, many times that’s all you need to communicate with a buddy in Germany, or to try to figure out what a word means. Even though “machine translation” has come a long way, and one day it will probably replace human translators, we are not there yet. Example: Google Translate doesn’t know if you are referring to a “bank” where you put your money, or a park “bench” when you type the word “banco” in Spanish to translate it into English. If you are lucky, it will know based on the context of the whole paragraph, but it doesn’t always get it right.

 3.       Bilingual Staff or Relative: Like with any industry, those who are in it tend to be those who understand the importance of expertise better than anyone. Would you ask a person from Russia to teach a course in Russian history at the university just because he is Russian and has lived there all his life? Probably not. The same applies to your translations. Just because someone is bilingual doesn’t mean they know how to translate a written document properly. Sure, you can ask your relatives to interpret (verbally) what someone is saying in a casual conversation, but that is far different from actually transferring a written document from one language into another correctly. Case in point: when I worked at the Los Angeles Unified School District’s Translation/Interpretation Unit in the 90’s, most of our interpreters (verbal) who took the test to be translators (written) failed. They were great at interpreting verbally, but could not get the context right when translating, and/or their grammatical skills were never up to par.

 4.       Freelance Translator: This is a translator that works independently, on his own, not through an agency. Some are excellent, in fact, many actually work for an agency too, but the problem you will run into is the fact that they mostly work alone. They don’t have a strict quality control process that consists of 3 different professionals touching your important documents: translator, editor, and final proofreader. A good agency does, and no matter how good a translator is, he or she can and will make mistakes, mistakes that can only be caught if you have a separate editor review their work.

I always say that I don’t envy an HR manager that has to find a good translation partner to translate his or her employee handbook into Spanish for instance. If he is not bilingual, how will he ever really know if the quality is excellent? He won’t, and he will just pray that he picked the right partner, and that no one will come back to him months, or years later, to complain about a poor translation.

We would love it if you chose us as your translation partner, but whether it’s us or someone else, we encourage you to work with a professional agency when you need anything that is business related translated into another language. You can check their website for testimonials or reviews from happy clients, and even ask them for a reference. A good partner will have one AND share it with you.

Pamela Godoy Fiume

We’re here to help!

Social Media When Globalizing

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Social media is a useful tool to help your brand get noticed around the world. This makes it an exciting tool for anyone trying to do business in another country. In this post, we list a few tips to help you take full advantage of your social media campaign.

Carmen Urbano, is a known expert on international online strategies. She warned us about the biggest mistakes that are frequently repeated during a global launching process and the use of the 2.0 platforms.

Mistakes:

-          Treating a new foreign market the same way you would treat your local one.

-          Using social media as an end without a base strategy. Looking for the “most popular social network” in a general manner without taking into account your brand or consumer patterns.

-          Not having the appropriate digital databases that are well categorized (segmented).

-          Using English as a universal language, or translating your platforms in a “literal” manner (word for word, instead of in context, example: by using Google Translate).

-          Not taking advantage of the international networking that is being developed in some networks. They are not just for selling. You must take advantage of the multiple tools that these virtual networks have available.

“The social media platforms have an immense database that helps you segment your target audience. Social CRM (Customer Relationship Management), social competitive intelligence, social branding, and international networking, among others, are disciplines we must consider in order to define our strategies when investing abroad. Companies and brands need the commitment of online communities, the well-known engagement. And by all accounts, there are no self-respecting SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategies without an SMO (Social Media Optimization), or a good complement with the social web.

So, where do you start?

The first thing you must do is answer the following question: Who am I speaking to?

A vital part of getting to know your target audience is to understand their motivations and concerns, which is an excellent guide to help you position your brand in the new market.

Once you have identified the market, you will know what the most appropriate media is to get closer to your meta-audience, and to speak to them in their language with the accurate communication codes that will achieve the long-awaited engagement you’ve been seeking.

Secondly, get to know your competition well: their strengths and weaknesses, and the reasons why people prefer or reject them. In digital terms, evaluate their presence in the different platforms. Analyze their digital strategy, in which platforms are they present, how they do it, what they talk about; analyze their metrics. Evaluating the category, particularly in a new market, can help you understand the behavior, and trace a clear map of what works and what doesn’t.

Lastly, build your digital strategy on the premise that observing your performance is vital, where you are open to letting the results give you a clear guide as to whether you’re on the right track, or not.

Considerations when creating a social media profile:

-          Online competition is not the same as competition in the offline world. Key points: competitive intelligence and market intelligence, behavior patterns, brand positioning and above all, adaptation. One must complement the online and offline to define a communication strategy.

-          Every market is a world of its own. Every country plays by their own rules regarding the networks that are used most, the types of user profiles, and trends. Frequently, with international strategies, companies rely on area-based, corporate and specific networks to globalize, that provide a professional point of view, and an opportunity to gather knowledge and contacts in each target market.

-          It’s not enough to have your website translated into the most spoken languages: you must create specific messages for each audience. Pay attention to the large brands: they have a different profile for each country their brand reaches.

You have the keys: now being able to implement them will be easier with allies. That’s where we come in. We help you adapt your strategies in different languages for your target audience with the appropriate messages. Don’t waste the multiple tools that the 2.0 world has to offer. Don’t limit your brand’s reach. To adapt is to succeed. Here’s the link to your first ally in this process: https://welanguages.com/what-we-do/

INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS ARBITRATION

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Be careful when handling international business deals!

Alfredo Zuloaga is a lawyer who specializes in international business law and business arbitration matters. He is a member of the Spanish Arbitration Club (CEA for its acronym in Spanish), and is an arbitrator at the Arbitration Center of the Chamber of Commerce in Caracas, Venezuela. He spoke to us about this subject in a special interview for weLanguages.

When one is doing business and signing an agreement or a contract with a company abroad, it is very important to determine the jurisdiction (or country) where the contract will be enforced, so that in case of any disputes, the contract has an arbitration clause that indicates that the dispute would be resolved in an independent jurisdiction, which is different from the jurisdiction of the respective civil courts.

An international business arbitration is the mechanism most commonly used to resolve private disputes regarding business matters due to its broad scope, its flexibility, and promptness in resolving disputes. It is a matter of particular interest for business people: it creates more confidence in the markets, and it provides greater certainty in the legal frameworks and judicial systems regarding the standards that regulate international business arbitration.

Several countries in the Americas have moved forward consolidating attractive investment environments and international commerce by revising their arbitration laws.

-          Is arbitration optional?

AZ: Yes, it is. International business arbitration as an alternative to an ordinary judicial process is voluntarily chosen by the parties (companies with a contractual agreement), and must therefore be expressly established in the respective contract (arbitration clause) or be subsequently agreed upon when a business  dispute arises.

For those cases where the contract does not contain an arbitration clause, if a conflict or controversy arises, it is still possible to resolve it. In this case, both parties must come to an agreement and establish an arbitration agreement “a posteriori.” It can also be done without before any disputes arise: when the parties want to “ex-post” the original contract.

There are several entities that carry out arbitration processes, including: the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, the Inter-American Commercial Arbitration Commission, the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) https://iccwbo.org/about-us/who-we-are/dispute-resolution/ , International Investment Dispute Settlement Institution (ICSID), and the London Court of International Arbitration (LCIA). However, Zuloaga explains that “the parties that uphold an international business contract can decide to be ruled by an institutional international arbitration even though the countries where they come from are not signatories.”

-          The arbitration process begins once the negotiationphase between the parties has failed.

-          The arbitration process carried out by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC) has several phases.

-          The arbitrators are chosen by the parties at the time of a controversy and the Court President is chosen by mutual agreement between them.

-          After paying for the cost: the Court arbitrator receives the file and the arbitration proceedings process begins by a “Missions Act;” a document where the task is defined and which must be signed by the parties and submitted to the arbitration Court within a two-month period. Likewise, it defines for the Court, the interim calendar it intends to follow.

-          How are the costs established?

AZ: “It will depend on the institutional structure and the fees of the chosen arbitrators. Generally, these costs and fees will have a percentage relationship with the amount or estimate of the arbitration lawsuit and are included in the Guidelines of the different arbitration institutions in order to have an approximate cost for a specific arbitration process. The cost will be shared equally among the parties in conflict.”

Since an international business arbitration deals with controversies among parties domiciled, or with residence in different countries, the language chosen and the translation of legal documents that will be presented during the arbitration process, are very important for the parties. Therefore, choosing translation professionals or companies with specific knowledge of legal matters and arbitration processes is a very important step for the work of attorneys and firms dedicated to this specialty, as well as for transnational companies. At weLanguages we have vast experience with legal translations: therefore,  we consider ourselves your ally in these processes.

TOP 10 COUNTRIES FOR DOING BUSINESS

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The best country for your company to do business in or to turn your brand into a Global Brand will depend on your company’s characteristics, such as mission, and vision, and obviously on how they fit in the new market and vice-versa: LINK TO GLOBAL BRANDS ARTICLE.However, there are MACRO business indicators that serve as a reference to help make choices and which should always be considered.

 

The Forbes List Best Countries for Business stands among these Macro Indicators. It involves 153 nations, ranked in order, wherein 15 different factors are evaluated, including property rights, innovation, taxes, technology, corruption, freedom (personal, trade, and monetary), red tape, and investor protection. There were also new metrics added: labor, infrastructure, market size, living standards, and political risk, to provide better indicators for determining if a country is appealing for capital investment. Data is based on reports published by Freedom House, Heritage Foundation, Property Rights Alliance, United Nations, Transparency International, the World Bank Group, Aon, Marsh & McLennan, and the World Economic Forum.

 

We share here the top 10 and some of the main comments. We also drew some excerpts of reforms implemented by some nations in order to improve and facilitate negotiations in their territory.

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The full list can be viewed here: https://www.forbes.com/best-countries-for-business/list/

These are the most biggest economies based on data from The International Monetary Fund, 2018

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Brazil

Trading across borders

Brazil reduced the time for document compliance for both exporting and importing by improving its electronic data exchange system. This reform applies to both Rio de Janeiro and São Paulo.

China

Starting up a business: China made starting up a business easier by streamlining registration procedures. This reform applies to both Beijing and Shanghai.

Paying taxes: China made paying taxes easier by introducing several measures to ease compliance. This reform applies to both Beijing and Shanghai.

India

Starting up a business: India made starting up a business faster by merging the applications for the Permanent Account Number (PAN) and the Tax Account Number (TAN) and by improving the online application system. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai. Mumbai also made starting up a business faster by merging the applications for value-added tax and the Profession Tax (PT).

Dealing with construction permits: India reduced the number of procedures and time required to obtain a building permit by implementing an online system that has streamlined the process at the Municipality of New Delhi and the Municipality of Greater Mumbai.

Getting credit: India strengthened access to credit by amending the rules on priority of secured creditors outside reorganization proceedings and by passing a new law on insolvency that provides a time limit and clears grounds for relief to the automatic stay for secured creditors during reorganization proceedings. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Protecting minority investors: India strengthened minority investor protection by improving guarantees in cases of detrimental transactions between interested parties. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Paying taxes: India made paying taxes easier by requiring that payments be made electronically to the Employees Provident Fund and introducing a set of administrative measures easing compliance with corporate income tax. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Trading across borders: India reduced import border compliance time in Mumbai by improving infrastructure at the Nhava Sheva Port. Export and import border compliance costs were also reduced in both Delhi and Mumbai by eliminating merchant overtime fees and through the increased use of electronic and mobile platforms.

Enforcing contracts: India made enforcing contracts easier by introducing the National Judicial Data Grid, which makes it possible to generate case management reports on local courts. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Resolving insolvency: India made resolving insolvency easier by adopting a new insolvency and bankruptcy code that introduced a reorganization procedure for corporate debtors and facilitated a continuation of debtors’ business during insolvency proceedings. This reform applies to both Delhi and Mumbai.

Italy

Getting electricity: Italy made obtaining electricity easier by streamlining the application process and reducing external works and meter installation times.

Paying taxes: Italy made paying taxes less costly by temporarily exempting employers from social security contributions. Italy also made paying taxes easier by abolishing the Comunicazionedati IVA (value added tax communication form).

 

Japan

Paying taxes: Japan made paying taxes less costly by reducing the legal rate for corporate income tax and rates for other taxes including mandatory work contributions. This reform applies to both Osaka and Tokyo.

Panama

Resolving insolvency: Panama made resolving insolvency easier by adopting a new insolvency and bankruptcy law that introduced a reorganization procedure for corporate debtors and facilitated a continuation of debtors’ business during insolvency proceedings. The new law also allows creditors a greater participation in important decisions during insolvency proceedings and regulates insolvency practitioners.

Philippines

Getting electricity: The Philippines reduced the time to get an electricity connection by implementing a new asset management system and by creating a new scheduling and planning office.

Paying taxes:  The Philippines made paying taxes easier by introducing a new electronic system for payment and collection of housing development fund contributions.

Taiwan, China

Trading across borders: Taiwan, China, made exporting easier by allowing different organizations to electronically issue certificates of origin.

Enforcing contracts: Taiwan, China made enforcing contracts easier by introducing an electronic filing system.

Labor market regulation: Taiwan, China, adopted legislation that increased the number of mandatory paid annual leave of absence days and the number of weekly days off.

 

PLEASE NOTE: The second largest economy in the world (China) and the third (Japan) are 66 and 21 on the list of top countries for doing business, respectively. China is restrained because of the lack of trade and currency freedom. Japan has cut down on the corporate tax rate by 8 percentage points since 2012, but its taxes are still lower than the majority of developed countries, according to the World Bank. Japan stands among the top 10 most advanced nations in innovation and infrastructure (a pro).

Other general notes indicate that the United States, China, and India remain FDI prime potential destinations. Developing Asian countries are still dependable as it relates to their economic performance. Also, an investment increase is foreseen in Southeast Asia, i.e. Indonesia, Thailand, Philippines, Vietnam, Singapore. In the aforementioned order, they have improved their ranking to most promising receiving countries. 

On the other hand, Ireland (#1 in 2017) has drawn in some of the world’s largest companies. Tax rates, investor protection, and personal freedom have been reduced to almost a minimum. Melanie Bowler, a Moody Analytics economist, confirms that its educated workforce and a 12.5% corporate tax rate, are one of the lowest in Europe. That is why it is very attractive for entrepreneurs, as well as for the language. "If you are looking to do business in Europe, you would want to share a common language," she says. Dublin is the European headquarters for high-end US technology, including Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook. 

 

The numbers support international negotiations: global economic trends and a technology boom are increasingly linked together. More options open up every day and processes are digitalized, making internalization processes more accessible for companies. And among our goals is to be your ally in helping you "understand" a "global" world without borders. Translation services are becoming more and more important: much experience is required because it’s not only about translating, but more about guiding the customer towards understanding others. Are you on board? Would you like us to accompany you in an internationalization process? How well prepared is your company?

Take Notice: before “Globalizing” your brand

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In a previous installment, we talked about globalizing your brand and its advantages: "a world of opportunities." In this post, we list a number of considerations to be taken into account before opening up to international markets:  

 -       IN ORDER TO GO "ABROAD," FIRST YOU HAVE TO BE WELL ESTABLISHED AT HOME.

You need to have a clear business philosophy: Vision - Mission - Ethics, based on a solid strategy. This involves understanding the brand and knowing the answer to these questions: What are you selling?  Beyond the product itself, the point lies in the concept and the consumer’s experience. How do you sell it? Not only are your communication means important, but also the message you are delivering and how it is delivered, in addition to attributes that make you stand out over your local competitors, i.e. the classic SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats).

PLEASE NOTE: After this process has taken place locally in your “home” base, it must be repeated by adapting it to the new target market. PRODUCTS THAT ARE SOLD AT HOME ARE NOT ALWAYS SOLD ABROAD. It is important to give it a global rollover. And here is where a very important step takes place: considering the LANGUAGE. This is why you’ve found this post on our website. Because at weLanguages we understand that the key to a globalization strategy is to speak to the consumer in their own language. At the same time, markets are globalized and personalized. This phenomenon is achieved through new technologies. This is not about automatically going from one language to the other: Being familiar with the distinctive cultural features behind each language is a must.

  1. Explain the reasons WHY you are entering an international market, and turn them into medium to long-term goals.

2.Take into account: macroeconomic variables, legal and judicial frameworks, and how they allow foreign investment in the new market.

Regarding studies on these variables, we have developed several baseline posts, where we constantly refer to the World Bank guide on Doing Business. 

In addition, we have vast experience in translating legal documents and contracts. We are certified and will save you money with our speedy and reliable process. Mistakes in legal translations can result in costly consequences.

 -       Run a detailed target-market study for the market you want to enter: consumer habits, media, trends, etc. Currently, there are many technological tools available that can help in case you do not have the resources to carry out your own market survey. Social networks are also a great database.  

-       Take into account market introduction costs and the advantages of the digital communication age.

 -       Take into account product distribution (logistics), production needed to meet the demand, and the possibility that more staff may be required. Be prepared to offer customers a full service up to the post-sale: every detail must be taken care of, since the point is for customers to be satisfied so they return and refer.

 Regarding these considerations, we are also sharing 5 QUESTIONS BEFORE EMBARKING ON AN INTERNATIONALIZATION PROCESS, posed by Carlos Jimenez, an expert in market research studies.

 1.    What is the competitive advantage of the company? 

 What makes you win customers over? Is it your prices or how you sell your product? Or is it the quality? I suggest using Michael Porter’s competitive strategy viewpoint: differentiation, leadership on costs or on high segmentation.  

 2.    How can competitive advantage be taken out of context and applied towardsforeign markets?

 This question leads to the decision of which market(s) to address: a single market or multiple markets? I recommend starting out by gaining experience with a single market.

3.    Does my company really know those markets?

 4.How much is the company willing to invest in such a process?

It may be that the company is not well known in those destination markets, that is why it is important to invest in marketing and advertisement, including social media. Then, defining the financial plan for the company regarding this process is key: private funds, debt, partnership with third parties, etc.

 5.    Should I collaborate with local entrepreneurs?

 Which internationalization model should the company adopt? Should exports be done through a target-market distributor? Or should a branch be set up with a local partner? The company’s best interests and needs will lead to the right answer. 

Is Translation an Art or a Science?

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Both. Some will say a “Science” and others an “Art.” Most of the time, those who actually translate will say it is a science in some ways, but definitely an art form in the end. The “science” aspect involves following certain rules like grammar and sentence structure in your target language, and using technology as an indispensable tool in today’s world. Tools like Machine Translation (think Google Translate), and CAT Tools (software that keeps track of translations to be used on future projects).

Machines can create algorithms that produce automated translations that are mostly accurate and helpful, but anyone who can speak two languages and has tried Google Translate can agree that these translations are far from perfect, they will still need a real person to do a final editing. Without the creative process infused into the actual translation by the translator, the end result will be dull, lack soul and rhythm, sound unnatural, and definitely not pass as native speech.

In the end, every translator’s final translation will have his or her personal tone because humans can’t help but “create” elements of it… which makes it an “art” form.

Small Agency vs. Large Agency: who are your confidential files safer with?

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People ask us sometimes what the difference is between a smaller translation agency that is privately owned like ours, and a largetranslation company with 1000’s of translators all over the world and offices everywhere.

There are so many differences that it would take a lot of space and time to share them all, but below are the ones we believe to be the most important:

1.       Personal touch: the big guys have automated all their transactions via cloud based platforms. It’s hard to find a real person when you need one. They are sometimes too big and too busy to care for each individual client. Agreed, the whole world is moving in this direction and part of our new launch does include more cloud based project management. But you will always be able to reach one of us with just one quick email. Promise.

2.       Security: did you know that even if a company says they have an ISO27001/2 certification it doesn’t mean that your confidential files will be completely protected? Because they are too big to handle each project individually, they have to rely on their online project management tool to find translators to cover projects, and the only way to do this is by “broadcasting” their client’s projects online to ALL the translators in their database, sometimes to over 100 translators all over the world, and waiting to see who sees the message first, downloads the file to his/her laptop or PC, and is willing to do the project at the low rate they have set for the job. Yes, crazy right?

That’s what we think too. Instead, we personally select the team and only after the team has agreed to take the project do we share the files with them, and only via a secure online platform. Don’t worry, we also take security very seriously and have received a SOC2 security certification PLUS we just passed Walmart’s “Vendor Assessment” Security Audit, so we have been approved by the largest company in the world (by revenue) to work on confidential files.

In today’s environment where even the largest, and riches companies in the world get hacked, we recommend that you know exactly who is opening your confidential files.

3.   Flexibility and Savings: a small agency can be flexible on pricing since you are working directly with the owner or someone close to him or her. Your PM can make decisions about not charging for a “rush” charge or project management fees, or even reduce the rate a little if they can. A small agency can also move faster when you need it. If you need a project today, they are more likely to get it to you quickly since you don’t have to go through so many hoops to get the project started.

6 TIPS FOR DOING BUSINESS SUCCESSFULLY IN CHINA

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#1 THE SMALL PRINT IS WRITTEN IN MANDARIN AND THEY SPEAK CHINESE AMONG THEMSELVES.

If you want to import from China, you should know that this nation is the merchant’s “paradise.” The numbers expressed by the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China confirms this: from January to April, 2018, the total value of imports and exports from China was 1,414.71 billion dollars (USD), this value has an alleged 16.5% year-to-year increase.

However, there’s data, information… that can only be obtained by experience, and mostly: from bad experiences. Someone had to take the first bite, right? It was a brave soul, who in this case got lucky, but had to take the risk! The same thing happens with business in China. Many took the risk blindly and went through countless obstacles to see the business succeed. Here, they share some tips of things not to do based on previous mistakes. And we step ahead to the end: THE LANGUAGE. Understanding what they’re talking about is decisive between closing a good or a bad business deal.

1.    The small print is written in Chinese. This means that: contracts can be written in English or in Chinese. However, in the case of a conflict, the contract in Chinese will be the one considered valid, so pay close attention to translations. It is important to have a team that masters the language efficiently, not only to translate but also to serve as interpreters. You should always ask and be sure you read and clarify each of the sections outlined in the contract.

Chinese business culture: According to the official page of the Ministry of Commerce of the People’s Republic of China, the judicial system does not guarantee a fair trial for foreign citizens. There is a high degree of corruption in the country, especially within the CCP.

It also explains why the language used to implement justice is: Mandarin.

China has several arbitration institutions, such as the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC).  Only those litigations presented as an “external factor” can be arbitrated outside of China. For more information on the Arbitration Law.

2.    There’s nothing like understanding the Chinese language and not seeming to do so. Here’s an anecdote shared by a wholesale supplier of Sport’s equipment for Latin America: “In one of the visits to the fair, we stopped at a stand selling fishing kits. One of the salesmen gave me an initial price. The other associate argued with him in Chinese telling him he had given us too low a price. The salesmen responded: “Don’t worry, I’ll charge him double for everything else”… Our translator who had spoken to them only in English, responded in Chinese: “We will not do business with you because you are not trustworthy”… “they were amazed.” Certainly there is someone at every stand that will serve as a speaker, but they’re not always informed in the subject… that’s why it’s ideal to have someone who speaks Chinese (Mandarin preferably) because it’s the language they speak most amongst themselves: Being able to understand those mumbles and conversations is beneficial. “There are some ill-intended merchants that seek to take advantage of foreigners with little experience. Not all of them! But it’s good to stay alert for the signals,” advised the merchant.

3.    Some people swear that China only sells at minimum one shipping container per product: False! There are suppliers that sell smaller quantities. Usually it’s through companies that group several factories and buy merchandise under their name: known as trading. Although the prices aren’t as low as through factories themselves, the advantage is that it offers assorted merchandise in fewer quantities.

4.    Alibaba is a website that can be used as a window. Doing business directly through their site is not recommended if you do not have prior experience with the Chinese market. The first contact by excellence should be in a fair. Among the most popular is the Canton Fair. It’s safe to say that it is the largest catalogue of all that is “Made in China.” It’s the surest bet: The meeting is personal, directly with the providers, and with samples of the products. It’s even important to consider their behavior, their comments, etc.

5.    It’s very difficult to work in China without proper counseling. Although the first encounter was presence-based, once the person “goes home,” the business is in the hands of the suppliers who will do things their way. Even the quality or the characteristics of the product can change, one thing is what they show you, another what they send you. That’s why it’s key to check the merchandise before delivery. The norms and certifications are a point in favor, but you need to understand what they mean (the following link is a downloadable with the definitions). Another aspect that gives confidence is the company’s trajectory and their years of experience in the field. However, it’s always advisable to rely on a person who remains in direct contact, guiding the supplier and constantly monitoring them.

6.    When the goal is to CREATE A BRAND, or import a specific brand exclusively… the advice is to “secure it.” In other words: register it so that no one else can commercialize that brand. We spoke to a shoe-importing company for Latin America who shared their experience: “In our case, the brand already existed in China. It wasn’t very common in the region, so we were the first to bring it in. We registered the name in the Autonomous Service for Intellectual Property (SAPI – for its acronym in Spanish). In this manner, we prevented a future “take-away,” because it’s something that can happen. Simply because someone else is interested in commercializing the brand and offers a lower price… or the Chinese suppliers are tempted to commercialize it directly if they see an increase in sales and an optimum growth of the brand.”

Download our guide to NORMS AND CERTIFICATIONS to understand what they mean, and our comparative table of Chinese Laws vs. Western Laws.

BUILD A GLOBAL BRAND

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Multilanguage Web as a Tool

Once upon a time there were borders, until digitalization came and erased them…The Web is a window to the world. The e-commerce boom and social media are a constant and “almost obligatory” invitation to globalization. There are multiple advantages of becoming a global brand. Here, we give you a few tips for opening up your company to the world.

1.    KNOW THE CLIENT: Research market studies carried out by known companies. Use the DATA. That’s the magic word for this new era. Social Media has the appropriate tools to describe your audience’s profile. Take advantage of this and build your brand based on the experiences the clients wish to live.

Cultural differences are key: Being able to identify the market niches will help you create the appropriate message for each. Generalization is never the answer. Start off by UNDERSTANDING: that is our motto because our experience has demonstrated it.

Current clients want brands to make their lives easier: Does your brand do this? How can you interfere in their lives in a positive way responding to this need? Base your mission and vision on this.

2.    ANALYZE THE COMPETITION: without fear and objectively. Find your distinctive value and project it.

3.    Build a SWOT matrix: A SWOT analysis is a framework used to evaluate a company's competitive position by identifying its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats.

4.    Develop your brand’s image: Everything is communicated! Take care of the details. From the logo, the colors, the message, and the media where to present it, the packaging.

Social Media are great Branding boosters. The client has to live the experience from anywhere. Speak from emotions and not from the product.

ATTENTION: regarding Global brands: the guidance of an experienced interpreter is necessary and we can help you.

There may be words: that are in the brand’s name or slogan that can mean something negative in countries other than the one of origin. You must work the message in each language so that it can communicate what is intended.

READ MORE ABOUT The Importance of High Quality Translations in the Corporate World

The advantages of the digital world and things to consider:

1.    THE IMPORTANCE OF A WEBSITE IN MULTIPLE LANGUAGES:

When dealing with Global Brands a Multilanguage website will be a helpful tool to get close to clients. There’s a prejudice that says: “English is the universal language.” It’s not completely wrong, but it’s not true either. To make clients feel “at home,” there’s nothing like speaking to them in their language. They will understand and live the experience more closely. It will be significantly more efficient and increase sales. It’s an invaluable point in your favor, since it makes it easier for entrepreneurs to do more specific searches within the site.

ATTENTION: We repeat: a Multilanguage Website is not the same as translating a website. Messages have to be adapted to transmit their true essence. With the guidance of a specialized translator, communications will be consistent with the weight that the user gives the message depending on its culture. For China, India, and Brazil there is huge cultural baggage that you must consider. It’s not hard: it only requires someone with the expertise. We can help you.

2.    For e-commerce: advantages and disadvantages. It gives companies profitability and allows Global Brands to reach markets that don’t have a developed distribution system.

3.    Take advantage of digital tools and transform them into sales:

A great percentage of consumer procurement processes originate in search engines, assisted by queries on social media and specialized websites. Companies must skillfully handle electronic media if they want to position themselves in the search results of clients. In Google’s case for example, key word planner AdWords and Google Trends,.

ADDITIONALLY: these tools help you know trends, searches, and niche opportunities for the product in other markets.

They will also help you measure results, work to boost your marketing plan and evolve. Compare your results in Google Analytics and measure your KPI’s.

Being an ally to help you “understand” the “Global” world without borders, is our specialty. We have experience and have been successful creating Global Brands that can serve as a guide to position your brand. We not only master the language: we understand the culture, which translates into added value for your brand.