Cultural Understanding & Translation
There are many differences ...
Posted by Global LTS on 05/04/2013
Translation is often described as an art form and we certainly agree. It requires more than just an understanding of words and converting them from one language directly into another. Translation requires a deeper understanding of cultures; both of the culture you're translating into and the culture you're translating from ...
did you know that in China, business cards should be presented with both hands?
For instance, when considering legal translation, translators need to have a very good knowledge of legal systems operating both in the source language and in the target language. This is one of the reasons why Google translate will never be a match to human translation.
Professional translators are experts in their field and their experience is crucial when it comes to helping businesses sell their products and services overseas. However, translation alone is often not enough in creating a truly international business. Companies should embrace local cultures and understand the social norms and customs of the target audience in order to succeed.
Every single country has different norms related to doing business which stem from the historical events in those countries and are engrained in their psyche of the population. We're going to look more closely into norms of Chinese culture as their economy has been growing at an amazing rate, whilst most of the western world has been in recession; and, of course, they have very strong cultural values which are quite different from those in the western world.
Even such a relatively small thing as a business card can make or break a relationship in China. It's imperative to understand the business card etiquette. We all know that our business cards represent the brands we work for and one can learn a lot from the way the business card is designed and printed. This is even more important in China and attending a meeting without business cards translated into Chinese does almost irreparable damage to the business relationship. Even if the people you're meeting speak and write in perfect English, your cards must be translated.
And do ensure you use the correct version of the Chinese characters depending on your audience! Chinese simplified characters are used for mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia; whereas the traditional Chinese characters are used in Taiwan and exclusive areas of Hong Kong.
In addition, the cards should be exchanged at the beginning of the meeting and you should always use both hands to present your card with the translated side facing the person you meet. The business cards you receive represent that person so it's important to study the card for a little while before putting it next to you on the table. You should never write on the business card you receive or put it in your back pocket as this is deemed very disrespectful.
Can you now see why translation is an art form? Should you have any questions about translation of business cards or any marketing collateral then call us on +44 (0) 8454 744725 or click here to ping over an email and we'll get straight back to you.
We love helping business succeed in overseas markets and our translators' passion for languages and cultures helps with breaking those all important language barriers.
Global Language Translation Services Ltd provides multilingual services to clients throughout the UK and internationally. At the heart of the company is a global network of over 3000 professional translators and interpreters. The multilingual services provided by Global LTS assist businesses in removing any language barriers.
With professional, fully qualified and experienced translators and interpreters, our company delivers the highest quality language translation services to businesses and individuals. The service is intended to help companies overcome any potential language constraints and expand their international revenues.
Global LTS supplies varied multilingual services which are tailored to specific requirements and allow businesses to communicate in a multitude of languages. We specialise in over 120 languages making us an ideal business partner for organisations operating in a global market.
We work with a broad spectrum of international clients ranging from the legal profession to manufacturing and industry, exporters and distributors, and companies working on behalf of UK Government agencies.