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Determining When and Where a Translator Is Needed

Posted By Camilo Muñoz, Wednesday, July 27, 2016

(Originally Posted on July 24, 2015)

By: Translation Source Staff (

While the language of business is international, the dialects that support it are often not. Technology has provided you with tools to help overcome language barriers, yet for advanced as they may be, there are still certain scenarios where having a native speaker at your disposal is a necessity. Fortunately for you, a partnership with a multilingual translation business can help provide such assistance.

Yet that’s not to say that all international and even certain domestic scenarios require you to provide a translator. Indeed, employing one when it’s not truly needed may only serve to and to handcuff the helpful translation service you normally rely on with extra work. Thus, it becomes imperative that you understand when you do and do not need to provide translation services.

The Importance of Understanding

While the different scenarios highlighting both the need and the lack thereof of a multilingual translation service are many, the central theme of this argument boils down to one simple principle, and it’s not what you may think. While on the surface it may seem like immediacy should dictate when you should or should not have a translator on hand, it’s the hospitality factor that should carry the most weight in your decision. Remember that in business, as is the case in most other situations, the need to understand is much greater than the need to be understood.

Thus, it’s in those moments that you need to understand what your contemporaries, clients, or prospective customers are trying to communicate when you really need the assistance of a translation service. These can include:

  • Hearing a sales pitch
  • Sharing best practices
  • Analyzing business-related documents
  • Becoming educated on regulatory standards

Whether the manner of communication used to transmit such information is spoken or written, you’re need to fully comprehend it is the same. Having a translation provider that’s versed in the international nomenclature of your industry is vital at times like this. Such assistance leads to more effective communication, which in turn leads to better mutual understanding and, ultimately, mutual success.

During the initial stages of your company’s globalization is another time when having a translator service may come in handy. When introducing your brand into foreign markets, you need to be able to effectively pass your corporate vision on to your new international workforce. Having a language provider that can help communicate your message or even provide staffing services can be a great benefit.

When to Leave the Translating to the Other Side

On the other side of the coin, when you are the one being approached by an international party, your expectation of accommodation should be the same as it would be were you the one initiating the contact. It’s completely reasonable for you to expect their side to provide the translation service given that it’s their message being sent. Shouldn’t they do all of the heavy lifting on ensuring that the two of you are on the same page?

Even with the many technological tools available to help conduct business in foreign languages, your decision to work with a translation service will be seen by your foreign associates and prospective clients as the ultimate sign of respect for their time and their business. If you’re willing to ensure that all lingual barriers are removed in order to provide a comfortable environment for communication, what does that say about your capacity to meet their needs? Utilizing such a resource comes at a cost, however. Understanding when and where your translation provider’s services are needed is the key to your getting the most out of it.

Tags:  translation 

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