How important is language when doing business overseas?

As businesses expand into new markets, it is essential that language is a top priority. Whether entrepreneurs want to create a targeted advertising campaign, or the human resource department is trying to recruit new employees, everything must be translated correctly.

Otherwise, customers - and even current team members - could become frustrated.

For example, Fairfax New Zealand News recently cited data from a DHL survey, showing that 9 out of 10 exporters do not speak the language of the markets they export to, besides English.

DHL Express New Zealand country manager Tim Baxter explained to the news source that businesses of all sizes can become confused with paperwork in foreign countries. Baxter said that with his organization, there is a key accounts desk that handles the more sensitive cases.

"They are constantly on the phone to our counterparts in different countries, just smoothing waters and making sure things are clear before they go through," he said.

Additionally, DHL's New Zealand staff is fluent in 11 languages, to try and offer customers a greater chance of working with an employee who understands them.

Not all small- to medium-sized businesses will be able to hire individuals who speak that many languages, which is where an international translation agency can be beneficial. These professionals can help companies create everything from translated websites to translation of all types of documents.

Professional document translation will also help business owners remain compliant with the governing body of a foreign country. Taxes and other financial requirements could differ, and one mistranslated word could give company leaders hefty fines. Language is essential for good business, and with the right translation firm, growing companies can stay profitable.

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