Engineering Companies and Global Manufacturers ‘ Use of Translation Services
Global businesses need translation services as a core part of their operations. When communication materials are translated accurately into other languages, they can effectively deliver their intended message.
A local business rarely runs into miscommunication problems. When clients speak the same language, it’s easier to delve into the specifics of business operations. The decision-making process is also faster.
However, miscommunication because of language and cultural barriers can wreak havoc on a business. Many billion-dollar brands have ruined their reputations and saw themselves facing various PR crises due to miscommunication.
The Effects of Miscommunication in the Workplace
A report by The Economist Intelligence Unit shows that miscommunication greatly contributes to stress in the workplace, failure to complete projects, and loss of sales. Miscommunication directly affects company performance.
The study also describes many forms of miscommunication. Differences in communication styles, giving unclear direction, and time pressures are the three causes of miscommunication. A study conducted by the University of Western Sydney shows that miscommunication also leads to damaged business relationships.
Though many technological tools can be used to aid internal communication, these may not be enough when dealing with employees and clients from other cultures.
Cultural Differences in Business
The Hult International Business School published a study about the impacts of cultural differences in business relationships. Three key important factors are taken into consideration. The first is communication, which includes meanings getting lost in translation. It also includes non-verbals, such as eye contact, handshaking, and smiling. How people communicate is also important. Some cultures value directness and brevity, while others are more subtle and find directness inappropriate.
The second factor is differences in workplace etiquette. Certain cultures may prefer a more formal way of addressing colleagues. The concept of punctuality also varies across cultures. For example, Japanese colleagues may arrive exactly on time for a meeting. Italians and Mexicans may consider a few minutes after the scheduled time as acceptable. Workplace etiquette also covers differences in work attitudes, responses to confrontation, and perceptions to working longer hours.
The third is the concept of organizational hierarchy. This pertains to how comfortable employees in junior positions feel about sharing their thoughts during meetings, questioning decisions by more senior colleagues, or expressing opinions that differ from social norms. This also includes ways of speaking to higher-ups. Organizational hierarchy is often a reflection of a culture’s social values or social equity. For many cultures, hierarchy helps define roles, responsibilities, and ways of engagement. However, others may see hierarchy as obsolete.
Cultivating International Relationships
Communicating with global clients is not just about ensuring smooth transactions but about cultivating international relationships. A company that wants to build a relationship with an international client must also create a communication style tailor-fit to various cultural nuances.
Though a client may speak English, cross-cultural communication entails learning about the implied meanings behind the words used. For example, clients may use phrases that are specific to their country. Others may disengage with a business for some time due to the observance of certain holidays.
Cross-cultural communication is always rooted in diplomacy.
The Importance of Translation in Engineering and Manufacturing
Engineering projects need to have the most streamlined communications processes. The industry is competitive and leaves no room for error. Miscommunication may lead to additional expenses, unsafe working conditions, and legal liabilities.
The quality of technical services must always be high, even when various cross-cultural teams are working on a project.
When engineering teams are in different locations, technical documents may need to be shared in other languages. A stronger sense of partnership is also created when documents are available in a foreign team’s native language. This bolsters trust and cooperation, even amidst cultural differences.
However, translating technical jargon into various languages may be difficult for in-house teams. These are especially true for construction contracts, employee codes of conduct, engineering specifications, design guidelines, and control procedures. Engineering-specific documents such as CAD drawings, IHS standards, and engineering codes may also become a problem.
Engineering terminology may not be translated effectively by someone unfamiliar with the industry. This makes translating documents into a team’s native languages more difficult. The company’s tone must also be considered.
Various niches in engineering also need different types of translation. Mechanical engineering uses a different language from mathematical engineering. Software, IT, and telecommunications engineering have different jargon and methods than industrial engineering.
When documents aren’t translated well, key messages may be lost. Standards may not be met. This can cause the downfall of an international engineering project.
Communicating with International Clients and Vendors
The world is changing. Western organizations need to understand that international clients may no longer find the need to adapt to Western ways of thinking. This is important today, as remote work technology has paved the way for easier international collaboration.
When working with an international team, a business must consider better integrating different cultures. Some clients may prefer a more formal way of speaking. Certain vendors may need additional resource materials in their preferred language. Working hours and time zones must also be considered. Technical jargon needs to be properly translated. Even the right platforms for messaging and virtual meetings must be considered.
This becomes more important when tackling a large or complex project. Less conflict will arise when communication is tailor-fit and cultural nuances are considered. All parties will become more engaged.
Businesses that have international suppliers may run into challenges due to culture. There may also be legal considerations that need to be addressed. For example, differences in import or export restrictions must be clarified. Technical standards may differ among different countries. Liability, intellectual property, and insurance must also be taken into consideration.
Working with international vendors also means that all materials and products must be properly labeled in the languages used by all parties. Payment methods must also be streamlined. Shipping may also be challenging due to border restrictions.
The Importance of Language Localization
Businesses must go beyond translation and instead delve into language localization. This is the second step to translation, wherein the language is adapted for a specific region. In business, it can account for differences in distinct markets or cultural nuances among manufacturers in different regions.
Language localization is different from translation, though it is part of the bigger translation process. Localization involves a comprehensive study of the target culture so that documents cater to specific local needs. It is important in countries where many languages are used, such as Switzerland, which uses German, French, Italian, and Romansh, or India, where citizens speak more than 19,500 native languages and dialects. It is also important for regions that have many variations of the same language, where different words and idioms are used.
Aside from documents, localization can also be used so that software, websites, audio and video materials, and other types of content are culturally adapted.
Product localization is also important. Businesses need to connect with consumers in global markets worldwide. Product labels and descriptions need to be adapted to fit the local language, culture, and conditions. This makes the product more familiar to the locals and more attractive to consumers. The key is to adapt all elements and product features to fit the target culture and language. It may feature local concepts, symbols, or even cultural idiosyncrasies.
Localization helps anticipate problems before they emerge. It will also help provide tailor-fit solutions that are more effective given a specific culture or location. When businesses deal with international clients or vendors but don’t localize their documents and communications processes, challenges arise due to cultural differences and linguistic nuances.
Partnering with a Reliable Translation Company
The Translation Company’s localization services are provided by highly qualified translators. They are specially trained in various fields related to localization and have a wide range of business experience.
Our translators are native speakers of the target language. They are also project managers who are always willing to go the extra mile to meet a client’s needs. The Translation Company also delivers on schedule, even amidst tight deadlines.
Our localization services are designed to anticipate and deal with problems that may be encountered in a foreign market. We pride ourselves on providing the most thorough and accurate localization translation services at competitive rates. These services are designed to provide businesses with a stable platform to manufacture products across borders, as well as launch products in international markets.
We offer translation services in various engineering and manufacturing fields. These include electronics, electrical, computer hardware, and civil engineering.
Each field has a team of multilingual translators who can localize information from the source language to the target language. They are also adept at localizing technical terms and manufacturing processes. Our translators have wide experience translating employee instruction manuals, technical specifications, user manuals, technical reports, newsletters, brochures, textbooks, and patent applications, among others. Software engineering localization services are also offered.
Localizing engineering and manufacturing terms may be difficult, as many of the terms do not have equivalent words in the target local language. However, our translators are skilled at finding the proper equivalent terms that will clearly communicate to the target audience.
When businesses scale internationally, they need to find a translation service provider that can meet their needs.
The Translation Company is ready to help your organization to localize your communications materials so that all your operations will run smoothly, even across borders.