Tag Archives: Export

A guide to exporting to China

 

China – often referred to as ‘the world’s factory’ – has seen unparalleled economic success in the past few decades. No other country produces and exports more goods, and China is also the second largest importer in the world.

 

To successfully trade with China, it is vital to be able to communicate with trade partners. This also applies to potential customers in China – over 1.3 billion of them! –who have requirements that local companies’ products often cannot meet. Chinese culture, too, needs to be considered as this can differ significantly from what westerners are used to. This is where translation and localisation come into play.

 

Exporting to China graphic

 

Besides Standard Chinese and Mandarin, there is a huge linguistic diversity in China that exporters need to be aware of. This means that the Chinese market should never be treated as a single market, instead the focus should be on specific areas or regions – don’t just rely on one dialect and hope to reach the majority of the population. Furthermore, it should never be assumed that potential business partners speak English.

 

Regulations and bureaucracy can also be a big hurdle for companies wishing to export their products and services to the Chinese market. Goods that are sold in China must be supplied with a label that includes all relevant information (including content and warnings) written in Chinese.

 

The ‘Great Firewall of China’ slows down internet traffic across the borders and blocks most social media websites; with this in mind, instead of trying to connect with your potential customers via Facebook or Twitter, you might want to try using local versions like Sina Weibo, a microblogging website that currently boasts more than 350 million active users.

 

To this day, investors from abroad can struggle with Chinese values, some of which are based on the teachings of Confucius and Communism, and put family and the government above any kind of commercialism. Besides these values, it is also important to be aware of different behavioural structures and a complex business culture – gestures can be interpreted differently, questions can seem too personal and in Southern China, where superstition is rife, the number four should be avoided, whereas the number eight might just be the deciding factor for a partnership. It takes time to build trust and it is often quite common to go out for drinks and food with potential business partners.

 

Britain is one of the top 10 exporters to China – providing anything from luxury vehicles to fashion, as well as environmental solutions – with exports having almost doubled in the past decade and now totalling a staggering GBP 1 billion every month.

 

Successfully exporting to a country like China will require a lot of hard work and resources; working with a professional agency providing Chinese translation services can go a long way to helping you in this endeavour.

 

Call 01252733999 or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk to get in touch with Surrey Translation Bureau today to see how their Chinese translators can help you expand your business in China.

How can professional translation agencies help manufacturers?

Two men working in a manufacturing factory

Language translation can help manufacturing companies take advantage of business opportunities in a global market. Here are some of the key ways that language translation can help businesses be successful in the field of manufacturing.

Written documents, digital and print, play an important role

The information contained in manufacturing documents is essential in ensuring business operations run smoothly and safely. When manufacturing companies do business in a global market, those involved may speak different languages, which can make it difficult for them to understand key documents.  Professional translation services ensure that all vital written information is translated in a manner that is both accurate and easy for all parties involved to understand. Examples of manufacturing documents that are often translated include equipment user manuals, training materials, HR documents, operating instructions for products and machinery, employee contracts and customer agreements.

Employee training materials

If manufacturers have non-English-speaking employees, translating employee training information is essential for ensuring that everyone at the company is productive and safe. It can also help to ensure that workers will use equipment with the highest possible degree of precision, and thereby improve production efficiency.

Foreign supplier management

Individual manufacturers may not have employees who work overseas, but it is likely that most will obtain equipment or materials from foreign suppliers. If so, language translation services can help manufacturers to communicate successfully with businesses that provide them with the supplies they need to operate. Translation allows manufacturers to build strong relationships with foreign suppliers and helps them work out the best financial deals.

Establishing an international presence

If manufacturers want to build a brand for their product or service across multiple international markets, they will need to translate their branding and marketing materials into many languages.  A professional translation agency can help ensure that all the information about their business is not only translated accurately, but also that it communicates the essence and aesthetic of their brand effectively in the context of a foreign culture.

 

At Surrey Translation Bureau, we have a vast amount of experience in the manufacturing sector, ranging from medical devices to automotive. Whatever your translation needs, we will hand pick the most suitable linguist for your requirements and work closely with them to ensure the best possible outcome for you.

 

If you would like more information about our professional business translation services click here. Email us on hello@surreytranslation.co.uk or call 01252733999 to discuss your translation requirements with us.

Translation guide for businesses

 

Clients are often asking us what the translation process involves, particularly if it is the first time they have had to work with other languages. The answer to this question can vary from client to client and is very much dependent on how you intend to use the results.

 

Some clients see translation as a low-cost means of increasing sales. With the advent of tools such as Google Translate, this notion of a straightforward push-button solution seems to be increasingly prevalent.

 

Naturally, it is in our interest to underline the limitations of free tools like these and to recommend the use of professional translation services instead. The truth is that these free tools can perform well, but only if you correctly set your expectations in terms of what you hope they will achieve.

 

New customers

Equally, a high-level, professional-quality translation may be far beyond the scope of your requirements and may therefore represent an overly expensive option with very little ROI.

What are your exact requirements?

So, you have decided you want to make your products or services available in overseas markets. If you can reach a wider audience, you can reasonably expect to increase your sales. So, what should you do? Well, you first need to identify precisely what it is you want to achieve by having your product or service translated.

Many companies go for the bottom line first, i.e. the cheapest quote wins. This approach will ensure a cheap translation, often with a quick turnaround, and the vast majority of translation companies will handle this with varying degrees of success. You might get lucky and end up with an accurate translation, or the final product might only give you a rough idea of the source content.

 

However, it may be worth considering an alternative. Think about how long it took you to prepare your product for your ‘home’ market. If you spent hundreds of pounds, and months preparing the source copy, and a few weeks adjusting the design and layout, why would expect your translation to be delivered in a week for the lowest possible cost?

More to translation than meets the eye

Translation is not merely a case of exchanging English words for their foreign counterparts or vice versa; in fact, there are many factors at play, including context, cultural understanding, language structure and, in some cases, specialist terminology.

 

Unless you define your precise requirements right from the outset, you may find you are unhappy with the end result, and may even miss out altogether on the potential customers you were trying to gain. Be sure to structure your ‘translation brief’ with clear and precise instructions, and outline your expectations in detail.

 

If you would like more information about our professional business translation services click here to learn more or email hello@surreytranslation.co.uk to get in touch with us.

 

Written by Jayne Martin

 

“Food” for thought – consider translation when exporting

 

Translation is a key process for any company that wants to ‘go global’ and those in the food and drink industry are no exception. The value of British food and drink exports continues to rise year on year and, according to the Food and Drink Federation (FDF), 2016 export figures were in excess of GBP 20 billion. For anyone looking to sell their products outside of Britain, localisation will be an important step along the way.

 

UK food industry export figures

 

Recognising the need for professional document translation services in the food industry, Surrey Translation Bureau (STB) has recently been attending a number of food and drink industry exhibitions. One such event was the recent Welcome Italia, held in London in November, where we had the chance to meet a host of Italian food manufacturers and distributors looking to break into the UK market. The event welcomed a wide range of exhibitors who had brought their culinary delights to British shores, so as to champion authentic Italian food and drink, including wine, beer and cheese.

 

STB Project Manager Amey Higgon (right) at Welcome Italia
STB Project Manager Amey Higgon (right) at Welcome Italia

 

Another event attended by STB earlier this autumn was the Allergy and Free From Show. As we all know from the wealth of lactose-, dairy- and gluten-free options now available in our supermarket aisles and restaurants, free-from food is hot property. Although, at its heart, it’s a market that caters to specific dietary requirements, the appeal is widening to an ever-broader global audience. In fact, brands like Naturelly have been introducing their healthy products to various overseas markets, with support from companies offering professional translation services.

 

“STB translated the content on our product packaging into six different languages, opening doors to many different markets for our business. They were very efficient and offered helpful advice on which services would suit our requirements. We look forward to working with STB again.”

 

Dean Dempsey
Director, Naturelly (Healthier Brands Limited)

 

So how can YOU stand out in such a busy market, and what are some things to think about when exporting your food and drink in terms of translation?

 

Website – first impressions count

Your website will be a fundamental part of your marketing strategy and the first port of call for many customers or business partners, so why not ensure it is accessible to your target market? Having a website that is localised to the target language will create a positive first impression – make your page easy for your customer to navigate and you will keep their interest. A localised website also shows that you appreciate and respect the language and culture of the country you are exporting to. SEO translation is an add-on service that works to help you move up the all-important search engine rankings in other countries, and could prove to be that extra boost that pushes your company on to overseas success.

 

A man at a computer looking at translation services

 

Packaging – follow the rules

The importance of packaging should be viewed from both a legal and marketing standpoint, as your labels should be both attention-grabbing and accurate. It is therefore essential to make sure your food labels and packaging are translated by an industry professional. Allergy information is vitally important information for the consumer, not only in the free-from food sector, but throughout the entire food industry. A translator will be aware of the legal requirements for the country of distribution when translating.

 

Food packaging

 

“STB offered us the peace of mind that everything is correct. It’s not something we can do on our own and, like other things in the business it makes sense to get experts in to do the job. It’s also a fast, efficient and friendly service which really helps to take the stress out of a potential minefield.
They translated lists of ingredients for us which, if incorrect, could cause legal issues, especially around allergens and special dietary requirements. It’s really not worth the risk to do it any other way.”

 

Simon Allison
MD, Solid Chocolate Company

 

Menus – stand out for the right reason

If you are in the restaurant business, a poor menu translation can have a negative effect on both your brand image and your customers’ appetites. The translation mishap below is an example of what can go wrong when using a non-native or inexperienced translator:

 

Chinese translation fail

 

When exporting your produce there can be lots of different steps to consider along the way; working with a translation agency can take some of the pressure off. Here at STB, we turn around polished translations for you leaving you to focus on the other aspects of your business.

 

If you’d like more information on how we can help, please get in touch on +44 (0)1252 733 999 or by email at hello@surreytranslation.co.uk.

 

Written by Amey Higgon

Export marketing – Developing a plan that won’t get “lost in translation”

No matter where you stand in the great British Brexit debate, there is one thing we can all agree on: the pound is taking a real hammering in the currency markets.

 

This isn’t necessarily great news for everyone. A family holiday in Dubai currently costs around 25–30% more than it would have a few years ago and, if you’re an importer, the chances are your costs have significantly increased, whether buying in from the EU or elsewhere in the world.

 

As the saying goes, however, ‘every cloud has a silver lining’ and in this case the good news is that we have become a cheaper prospect for those abroad – cheaper to buy from, cheaper to visit and cheaper to do business with. This means EXPORT.

 

Now is without question the right time to invest time and energy into exploring some of those hugely lucrative foreign markets; not only to take advantage of the low pound, but also to help secure an international future in whatever post-Brexit trade landscape we are left with.

 

Doing business abroad can go wrong all too easily. That’s why it is important to develop a plan that takes into account the inherent differences involved; differences in language, people, politics, world views, geography, and myriad other factors that can impact a business venture when it’s removed from its cultural comfort zone.

 

Marketing yourself to potential foreign clients will be an important aspect in your success. So, here are some quick tips on how to ensure your message doesn’t get lost in translation.

 

1. Invest time in research

 

Research
Would you throw yourself off a diving board without knowing there was some water below? No? So why do the same when throwing yourself into export? There is a market for you out there somewhere; the trick is to locate the best market for you, i.e. the most profitable, the quickest to market or the easiest to set up. This understanding only comes with proper research. Spend time familiarising yourself with potential markets, their practical challenges, marketing practices. Learn as much as you can about the people, politics, economy, media and current affairs in the region.

2. Analyse the competition

Competition

 

An excellent way to better understand a new potential market is to watch what your competition is doing, whether domestic or international. If there are domestic players in your market, analyse their route to market and how they promote themselves. Examine their goods/services, and get a sense of any potential gaps in their offering. Similarly, if you have seen other foreign companies break into a new market, scrutinise how they did it and what made them successful. Learn from others, adjust and improve; always keep an eye on your own USP and how best to convey it.

3. Respect cultural differences

 

Export
There is much more to culture than whether to shake someone’s hand or bow. Cultural differences can cause havoc when exporting if not given due consideration. Values, buying habits, marketing channels, colours, logos, and even how your product or service functions, can and will differ when operating in a foreign market. Carry out a full cultural audit of your offering before jumping into any market to avoid potentially costly mistakes.

4. Localise your language

 

Languages
It is well documented that consumers are much more comfortable buying something sold to them in their own language. Language creates trust; it is therefore crucial to make sure that the language you use is tailored specifically for your target audience, i.e. localised. All marketing collateral should be translated and localised by a professional who is familiar with the target market and sector to ensure that your company, service or product is positioned correctly.

 

5. Look at local marketing channels

 

Social media
Just because Facebook and PPC advertising works in your domestic market, there is no guarantee that it will in your export market. Marketing channels differ from country to country. In one country, search engines and SEO may be the quickest way to market; another may rely on printed catalogues and mailing lists; others may rely on newspaper advertising. Be flexible and open minded when it comes to how you market yourself.

6. Prepare your sales team

sales team

One of the biggest mistakes many exporters make when entering new markets is to plough all their time, money and energy into breaking into the market. They tend to forget about dealing with actual customers and processing sales. If you export to China how will your team deal with that first email or phone call in Mandarin? If your sales team are not trained, prepared and equipped to deal with the market there is little point.

7. Travel and build relationships

 

Travel

 

If you think you will be able to sell to a new market successfully without visiting it, think again. Much of the business world outside of the West tends to prefer dealing with people face-to-face; trust and personal relationships are very important. Accordingly, it’s worth investing time in travelling to the country to meet potential clients and the competition, and attend trade fairs, etc. The more time you spend in and with your market the more insight you will have; the more insight you have the greater your chance of success.

 

This is a guest blog by Neil Payne.  

 

Bio: Neil Payne spent 10+ years working in translation and localisation before setting up Commisceo Global, a training company specialising in cross-cultural training and consultancy which helps clients gain access to and work in the global marketplace.

Going Global – from the UK to the rest of the world

 

A picture of a globe, ready for going global

 

This December, Surrey Translation Bureau exhibited at Going Global 2015. Hosted by London Olympia, it was perfect for companies looking to expand internationally, export products or set up overseas operations.

This is one of the first exhibitions we have exhibited at as a company, especially on such a large scale. We prepared carefully in the months leading up to Going Global. Although we didn’t know exactly what to expect, we thoroughly enjoyed meeting new potential clients and talking to the other exhibitors.

Going Global took place alongside three other exhibitions; The Business Show, Business Startup and Techpreneur, in the impressive building that is London Olympia. The four exhibitions showcased a host of interesting businesses from start-ups who had designed innovative apps to larger companies such KPMG and Hewlett-Packard. It was great to have such large brands exhibiting alongside SMEs. Everyone was very friendly and keen to talk about their brand. It was the perfect atmosphere to network and meet new contacts!

The show was attended by about 33,000 visitors, which made for two extremely busy days. At the STB stand, we met many interesting contacts from wine exporters to logistics companies through to tech companies. Many visitors complemented our stand, which we’d decorated with the word ‘hello’ in multiple different languages. They were impressed to hear that we translate into most world languages. We thoroughly enjoyed talking to companies who were taking the first steps in expanding internationally. It was great to explain how they would go about requesting translations with us to help their business grow.

Over the two days, we ran a competition which gave our contacts the chance to win £200 worth of translations for their first order with Surrey Translation Bureau after exchanging business cards with us. This opportunity was taken up by many and was just about as popular as the purple STB-coloured chocolate éclairs we offered to visitors! Coming back with a stack of cards, we drew the winner earlier in the week. Airport2lodge was the name out of the hat – we look forward to delivering their first translation.

​As well as a vast array of exhibitors, there were some informative seminars. These were targeted at helping companies, particularly SMEs, to lay the foundations for expanding their business internationally. Speakers offered advice on entering markets such as Eastern Europe and BRICS (Brazil, China, India, Russia, South Africa). There were also talks on the importance of social media in helping customers to recognise your brand. It’s important to have the resources to maintain these networks, to answer customers’ questions and update clients on your company’s developments.

If you needed a reminder that the world is becoming ever more connected, Going Global was the perfect illustration. As many more companies enter international markets and businesses step up the number of countries they are operating in, the need to communicate with clients in their own language is increasing dramatically. We took a lot of requests for website translation when talking to visitors during the exhibition. A great way to reach clients is identifying certain countries where there is potential growth for your company.

After two very successful days at London Olympia, we packed up our stand and headed back to Farnham, delighted to have met so many businesses keen to expand internationally. We’re looking forward to quoting and preparing translation proposals for some of these new and diverse contacts.

Do you want to follow in the footsteps of the clients we met at the exhibition to help your company go global with translations? Contact hello@surreytranslation.co.uk today to request a no-obligation quote.