It may seem premature to talk about expanding your business at a time when much of the world’s economic system has been severely hampered by the spread of Covid-19. Some businesses may never survive. Many have taken a direct hit and others have gone into hibernation. International travel is almost completely suspended. International tourism, even domestic travel and tourism has been decimated.
Post Pandemic there will be new Opportunities
Despite the doom and gloom, the fact that the virus is with us for months, possibly years until an effective vaccine is found, may be just the stimulus you need to work out just where your business needs to be heading. Covid-19 certainly won’t be around forever. In a year or two or three the virus will be almost forgotten and life will go on. If you have a business, you will want to take advantage of the new opportunities that will open up and certainly steal a march on your competitors.
If there is one thing (amongst many others) that the existence of Covid-19 has taught us, it is just how interconnected the world has become. Sure, the virus has taken advantage of our global togetherness, but it will also be defeated by global cooperation. There will be no going back into national isolation. Businesses that have a global perspective and global strategy will be the ones that will lead the economy out of the coming recession.
One of the key strategies employed to expand your business is to be aware of just how important it is to use professional translation and localisation services when marketing and selling your products outside of your own national boundaries. Even if your business is based in a country where the language used is English, any attempt to expand your business internationally into other English language dominated counties must at least take notice of the often subtle and sometimes not so subtle differences between the English of the U.K. and that of the U.S., Canada, Australia and New Zealand and many other countries where English is an important language because of a common history. This is where localisation, i.e. adaptation of the language to what is understood locally is so important in any expansion strategy.
IT is Largely Unaffected by the Pandemic
One thing that has hardly been affected by the pandemic is the key role the IT industry has to play. The Internet and the use of online technology have, if anything, never been so important. When epidemiologists, virologists and health officials communicate they can do so at lightning speed. Business leaders and politicians can communicate via Zoom and video conferencing made possible by the Internet.
The Internet will, of course, be central to working out how to expand your business post-pandemic. Translators can be contacted online anywhere around the world. Websites can be modified and adapted to allow language-specific versions without any physical contact.
One of the reasons why translation is so important is that most people around the world are happier browsing websites and online information about new products in their own language. This is the case even if the people who are doing the browsing are bi or multilingual. For example, they may be able to understand English, but if it isn’t their native language, they will turn to web pages in their own language. That’s where translators come in. And it’s not just literal translation that counts, it’s what’s called localisation.
So, what is Localisation and why is it Important?
Localisation is a more refined or advanced type of translation. It makes use of the fact that ordinary consumers relate to the nuances of their own particular culture and dialect. When translators are unfamiliar with local variations of a language, whatever they translate may not resonate with potential consumers. When you are seriously interested in expanding your business internationally and much of what you need to do involves marketing, or selling a product, then you will need translators who are capable of localising the language used. It might just be an ability to understand why certain colours are unattractive or favoured, what the local sense of humour is what seems rude or insensitive. This requires an in-depth understanding and familiarity with the local culture that the market you are trying to reach is a part of.