Key benefits of companies in multilingual markets
This day and age has seen the emergence of a new type of small business, the micro-multinational. The Internet and globalization have opened up many possibilities for local businesses to expand their reach to cover a wider geographic area. Going global is no longer the exclusive competence of the “big guys.” However, there is a problem that all companies looking at the world stage face: the language barrier.
The role of language in the extension of geographic scope
Just outside the borders of the US, for example, it comes across two other major languages, French (in Canada) and Spanish (in Central and South America). Reaching these countries geographically is logistically very feasible. But, and it is a great goal, arriving linguistically is another matter.
You may have people who already speak French or Spanish. However, these people will likely remain homegrown Americans with an American mindset that reflects an underlying American “meaning” in the use of these languages. This difference in “meaning” underlying usage can potentially cause harmful miscommunication leading to harmful misinterpretation. The result, instead of opening a door, you are closing it.
On the other hand, culturally appropriate communication sends a completely different subliminal message. You tell your prospect that you care enough to go to the trouble. It says that you care enough to be willing to expend resources to be clearly understood. You say you want to speak to them on their terms, not just yours, in a meeting of minds.
Breaking the language barrier is not an overnight thing
Getting your message across cannot be done “overnight” through simple and direct translation. It’s a process that should be repeated with every local culture and local language or dialect your business is targeting.
Either you hire someone who knows both your culture and the target culture from a native’s point of view, or you can hire a proven third-party expert in this field, such as Multilingual Connections. The next step would be to tailor your company brand, message and image so that it is accurately “translated” into the local culture and language. This means that the words and representation may appear different, but the core and intent are a mirror of yours in your language and culture.
Then comes another critical juncture, key personnel must be trained in the peculiarities of the target language and the local culture that uses it. This knowledge should also be allowed to gradually seep into your entire organization table. If you already have a satellite infrastructure or organization in your target market, they should reflect that process, but with your culture and language as your internal education topic.
Language is a key differentiator
Reaching beyond the borders of the United States has never been more possible than it is today. However, extending your geographic reach effectively also means addressing the language barrier effectively. It is an important long-term investment that involves the participation of all members of your organization, especially key people and the rest to some extent or another deemed necessary. Ultimately, it will set you apart from your competition. Imagine all the other little things that clear communication brings with it.
As marketers in a digital world looking to reach a global market, the fact is that a large part of your international audience does not speak English, and many of those who do are still not looking for content in English but in their own native languages. . . Offering your content in the target languages, as part of your international marketing efforts, will translate into much more than just offering a higher volume of international visits: it will also help to develop closer and more attractive relationships with your clients and drive a higher business results.