International business offers wonderful opportunities for your business to access new markets and grow your profits. It can be the key to your business’ success. But, being able to communicate with your business partners and potential clients is key no matter where they are located. When you are doing business internationally, accurately translating core documents is essential.
An accurate translation does more than just translate your document word for word. It translates the intent of your document because let’s face it, every country has its own social nuances. Talking about a donkey in one country may get you a chuckle and in another it may get you punched in the face. It is vital you have these six documents correctly translated when you are doing business internationally. Because, no one wants to get punched in the face.
1. Financial Documents
Do you think numbers are the universal language? Hold the calculator. There is a lot more to financial documents than just ones and fives. Financial documents tell the story of your business’ financial record. While they do use balance sheets and expense reports, they also have:
- Statements of change that explain why your business’ equity has changed throughout a given period.
- Statement of cash flows that outline what your business’ cash flow has been throughout a given period.
Are ones and fives used in these? Yes, but sentences are too. And, once sentences come into play, language nuances control whether or not your audience or international business partners understand you and your business.
2. Instruction Manuals
Nearly every product sold comes with an instruction manual. Why? Because your customers need to know how to use it, down to the very last little gizmo attached. When you are selling products internationally, not all of your customers are going to speak the same language, but they are all going to want the same information in a language they can understand.
3. Marketing Materials
You are in business to sell. If you are doing business internationally, this is no different. While marketing in many countries has seen dramatic changes, consumers’ purchasing behaviors are still affected by marketing. If your potential consumer can’t understand your marketing materials, chances are pretty good they won’t be able to understand your product and will not buy it.
4. Informational Brochures
Informational brochures are significant piece of your advertising success in today’s Social Media driven market. They provide the raw details consumers are now demanding. Whether your brochure is shared online or through hard copy, it needs to do more than just tell your audience to buy – it needs to educate them. To do so, it needs to speak their language and paint pictures they can understand everything correctly.
A contract is a legally binding document stating each party’s obligations and the consequences for not meeting those obligations. When you are dealing with someone from another country, even if they speak the same language, their interpretation of the law can differ. Your contracts need to be translated so they make sense culturally. So, make sure that you have business translation done on any contracts that you want to make sense to your customers or business associates who speak another language.
6. Insurance Documents
Insurance protects your business against unfortunate events. If you are doing business internationally, don’t you want to be protected there too? Protecting yourself in one country and not the other is a lot like only buying auto insurance for your head and not the rest of your body.
About the Author
The writer of this article, Nicole, is a freelance writer who has been writing about international business practices for years.