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NWLCC INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASS 28 January 2013 Mark Everson Lynn Everson “The importance of understanding the Language & Culture of Export markets” –

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Presentation on theme: "NWLCC INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASS 28 January 2013 Mark Everson Lynn Everson “The importance of understanding the Language & Culture of Export markets” –"— Presentation transcript:

1 NWLCC INTERNATIONAL MASTERCLASS 28 January 2013 Mark Everson Lynn Everson “The importance of understanding the Language & Culture of Export markets” – how hard can it be? (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

2 Qui sommes-nous ? Managing Director Lynn Everson BA Hons (French & Spanish), MA (Translation), MCIL, MITI Production Director Mark Everson CEng MSc MIET (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

3 Lifeline Language Services: Established in 1990 Based in central Preston with 12 staff (MITI, 2x MCIL, 3x MA) NWLCC Member for 20 years Export 20% of turnover to 8 countries One of top 10 language companies in UK Over 28,000 projects to date (30+ million words) 8,000 interpreting assignments (UK, Korea, China, Africa…) 3,500 qualified language partners worldwide 150+ languages Translation, interpreting, typesetting voiceover, proof reading (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

4 Let’s look at exporting to… France. Should be easy… so here’s the perceived wisdom… (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

5 To export to France you should: RESEARCH the country – It’s well worth touring around for 6 weeks to learn the culture – Always ask French acquaintances for an opinion – Study similar products already there GET an AGENT – They’ll understand local culture and “switches” – They can do a lot of your translation – Look on the web, it’s the best way to find one cheaply HAVE KEY MATERIAL TRANSLATED – Google Translate is free and can certainly handle sales letters and stuff – Hire a French student to do other translation and answer calls – Let the agent translate, he’ll be cheap and know market terminology – If you MUST get translation done outside, always shop around for every job – you can save a lot by playing companies against one another (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

6 Let’s look at… France (cont’d) MAKE IT LOOK GOOD – French market is very picky on presentation, but as French is easy to typeset you can save £££ by having your designer set brochures etc. – Because France is so close you don’t need to worry about localising images and stuff – The French love English product so you have an advantage anyway USE AN INTERPRETER – Normally your agent will be able to provide interpreting, or arrange this locally. UNDERSTAND THE PAPERWORK, TAX AND LEGISLATION – This is a biggie and outside the scope of this session– but make sure you DO this, it’s easy to get into serious trouble otherwise! (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

7 WRONG. Mostly. Let’s see why. Here’s our wisdom… (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

8 1. RESEARCH the country “It’s well worth touring around for 6 weeks to learn the culture” – France has 65,821,885 people (approx)*, 22 cities and over 800 towns – You won’t learn much about your market by touring! “Always ask French acquaintances for an opinion” – France has a LOT of people – how statistically representative of the general population are your acquaintances? – You probably won’t learn much from acquaintances either. “Study similar products already there ” – That’s actually good advice, but really time consuming… wouldn’t you rather be doing other things? There is a better way. – UKTI can provide reams of data on France and many other countries. – They can assist with surveys, research, competitor info and much more. – And they’re cheap – or even free initially! * http://worldpopulationreview.com (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

9 2. GET an AGENT “ Look on the web, it’s the best way to find one cheaply ” – Googling “french import agent” produces 79,500,000 hits. – Some will be excellent – most will be average or poor. “But it’s easy to narrow it down…” – “french import agent plastics” produces 17,600,00 hits. – “french import agent plastic spoons” produces 1,050,000. – Easy? “They’ll understand local culture and ‘switches’” – Will they? Depends what you’re selling, where, to who. Most agents are generalists – specialist stuff is tricky. There is a better way. – Your Chamber of Commerce can help you with contacts and recommendations – they’ll belong to the ICC - International Chamber of Commerce - and will have a way-in to many countries as well as good advice on paperwork and more. (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

10 3. HAVE KEY MATERIAL TRANSLATED “ Google Translate is free and can certainly handle sales letters and stuff ” – Google Translate is amazing. You can understand stuff in 60 languages. – Understanding is NOT translating. – Understanding is PASSIVE – you’re happy to know (roughly) what it says. – Translating is ACTIVE – the source is rendered convincingly and persuasively into the target language. – So do you want your French market presence to be “understood”? Or would you rather it was persuasive and convincing? “Hire a French student to do other translation and answer calls” – Do YOU have a student son or daughter? Does s/he speak great English? Would you want him/her as the public face of your business? – How about asking them to write your promotional literature? – So why think a French student will do a better job in French? – Hiring a GOOD French speaker IS useful for French calls or correspondence, but don’t assume they’re good – test them. (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

11 3. HAVE KEY MATERIAL TRANSLATED (2) “ Let the agent translate, he’ll be cheap and know market terminology ” – Cheap – probably, it’s in the agent’s interests to get translated material he can use AND get paid for it. HOWEVER… – Being able to speak it doesn’t mean you can translate it. There’s a reason marketers use copywriters. – How likely are they to use a professional translator? Acquaintance or cheap agency – or a dictionary! – is more likely… – How wise is it to let your agent translate the contract? We’ve experienced two cases where agent re-wrote key clauses in their favour – How technical or specialist is the material? – Does he know market terminology? Really? Understanding INCOTERMS isn’t the same as marketing your tech… If you really know and trust your agent and have had their translation vetted and you trust it, OK – if not, be very wary. (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

12 3. HAVE KEY MATERIAL TRANSLATED (3) “ If you MUST get translation done outside, always shop around for every job – you can save a lot by playing companies against one another ” YOU CAN – the translation industry is really cut-throat. – Thousands of translators fighting to survive – price-cutting’s rife, lots of cheap agencies looking for a fast buck. You need NO language qualifications to set-up a translation agency! …So be very, very careful in your choice… Choosing one good partner you’ll save more. – Glossaries + same translators = consistent terms & style – Translation technology leverages previous stuff - saves £££ – Preferred partner = more responsive and helpful A good regular partner cares about your stuff – they’ll research & review carefully and deliver ready-to-use high-impact product. Occasional partners in adversarial relationships – won’t. (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

13 4. MAKE IT LOOK GOOD “ …as French is easy to typeset you can save £££ by having your designer set brochures etc ” French has many layout pitfalls. Example: – « Allons, enfants de la Patrie ! Le jour de gloire est arrivé ! » Non-breaking space = essential. French speech marks are unique and vary with context. Commonest error - omitting accents. Completely changes word! Number formats are different (1000s, decimal…) French MUCH longer– text areas overflow and text disappears. DO have French typesetting done professionally … or at least proofed by a French translator! (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

14 4. MAKE IT LOOK GOOD (2) “ Because France is so close you don’t need to worry about localising images and stuff ” You SURE? French building sites look very different to ours… “The French love English product so you have an advantage anyway” There is some truth in this. – English luxury goods are adored – English technical goods are respected – Otherwise, the French are VERY nationalistic – you must be very persuasive – Poor language WILL be scorned and your product dismissed! Probably not a good idea to assume you have an edge just because “it’s English”. Put the effort in to good presentation. (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

15 USE AN INTERPRETER “ Normally your agent will be able to provide interpreting, or arrange this locally ” That’s true. But is agent, or potential client, 100% trustworthy? – A hidden agenda may exist between agent and client. – Conversations between them that exclude you weaken your position and leave you wide open to bad things – Using your agent as interpreter massively strengthens the agent’s hand - and may do you no favours at all If you don’t speak the language a truly independent interpreter is key to successful negotiating. It’s best to arrange your own, or get one in-country yourself. A good language partner can usually arrange this for you. – We’ve done so in Beijing, the Gabon, Korea, Italy, Morocco… (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

16 FAUX PAS (lit. “false step” – in reality, “don’t do this…”) Being over-casual (or over-formal) - Understand relationships and how these converse Overlooking religious or cultural aspects – Dress, alcohol, gender issues, holidays/weekends Ignoring local factors – Pay attention – errors can be expensive! Not respecting your client’s language … – The Brits are laid back about poor translation. – Almost everyone else – ISN’T! (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

17 Translate this! -Furry treacle miners -Furry treacle miners (no, seriously – tourism stuff!) -Printout -Printout (noun or verb? Or something else?) -Jemima Puddleduck -Jemima Puddleduck (into Japanese!) -Refuse collection -Refuse collection (You mean you don’t want it? Or you mean collecting waste?) -Milk Chocolate Cappuccino Cream -Milk Chocolate Cappuccino Cream (think about it…WHAT exactly is this?) Here’s just a few of the gems we have to handle… while some are obvious to you, many are far from obvious elsewhere! (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

18 What’s the first thing a translator thinks of when they see… Please translate urgently: “IT’s the latest thing! IT’s indispensable! IT’s now!” (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

19 What’s the first thing a translator thinks of when they see… SEX Please translate urgently: “IT’s the latest thing! IT’s indispensable! IT’s now!” Because in most other languages, things have gender… so what is “it”? (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

20 Your export strategy SUPPORT NETWORK – Chamber of Commerce – Bank – Distributor/agent in country – UKTI/ embassies (ITA) – Freight forwarder/shipping agent – Language Services Provider!! (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

21 Your export strategy TOOLKIT Export support – ECR, Passport to Export – Market research – Trade shows and exhibitions – Website development – Recruiting sales staff – Training back office staff – Brochures, press releases, invoices Language services Telephone calls Interpreting Translation Telephone interviews Language tuition Translation Multimedia Typesetting/DTP (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

22 Integrating language services into your export strategy LOCALISATION Understand your target market & love it! Make sure your target market loves you!  Thoroughly check your branding & name Be willing to adapt… … because while your name may have hundreds of years of history here, if it reads as or sounds like “old cabbage” there you’re unlikely to prosper… – Use a Professional Language Toolkit … (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

23 LANGUAGE TOOLKIT clip-ons Language learning Cultural training Google translate – because it’s really, really useful for understanding what something says… but PLEASE don’t try to translate with it… (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013

24 Lifeline Language Services, 3 rd Floor, Victoria House, 9-11 Ormskirk Road, Preston, PR1 2QP 01772 558858 Mark Everson – mark@lifelinelanguageservices.co.uk Lynn Everson – lynn@lifelinelanguageservices.co.uk www.lifelinelanguageservices.co.uk (C) Lifeline Language Services Ltd 2013


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