The Russian Federation has a thousand years of history. Its growth and expansion over the centuries has resulted in a country rich in diversity—in culture, customs, language, religion, politics, art and more.
As we highlighted in our last blog, Russia’s vast expanse across two continents—Europe and Asia—makes it uniquely attractive to business seekers and leisure travelers. In fact, its footing at the crossroads of diverse cultures and people gives it a combination of western and Asian influences that naturally make it a prominent player on the world stage.
As part of our ongoing blog series, this week we’re taking a closer look at Russian cultures and customs and what you should know if you plan future travels there.
Desmond Tutu, the renowned social activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner, called South Africa the “Rainbow Nation” to describe its ethnic diversity. In fact, the republic located at the southern-most tip of Africa is considered one of the most multi-cultural countries in the world. Its history of colonialism and immigration has created a nation whose ethnic makeup includes indigenous black peoples, white Europeans, Indians, Indo-Malays and Chinese, among others. It is a popular destination for anyone pursuing business or leisure interests. If you fall into either of those groups, here’s a brief overview of the country’s customs and culture that will help in planning your visit.
In August, the 2016 Summer Olympics will attract thousands of people from around the world to Rio de Janeiro, Brazil’s glamorous tourist hub along South America’s Atlantic coast.
For those of you planning to attend the Games, or who may be interested in visiting or doing business there someday, we decided this is the perfect time to feature Brazil as part of our ongoing review of cultural customs and traditions in other countries.
Like the United States, Brazil has been described as a melting pot, reflecting the diverse mixture of cultures, races and nationalities that influenced its evolution over the past few centuries. The Portuguese were the predominant European group that constructed settlements in the country beginning in 1500. Over time, the European influence melded with the various local indigenous tribes to create the eclectic cultural makeup of modern-day Brazil.
More businesses than ever are branching out into multilingual communications as a way to expand their customer base. So the question these days is not so much “Should we translate?” as it is “How should we translate?” The answer is an important one.
After deciding it’s time to target a more global audience, the next step is to determine whether to use internal staff to handle the work or partner with an outside language service provider (LSP). There’s certainly a cost either way, and any budget-conscious business leader should factor that into their analysis. But there are also many other pieces that go into creating and maintaining a successful translation program. That’s why any results-oriented business leader should weigh the pros and cons of both sides.
We put together some things to consider when deliberating the question: in-house translators or outside translation partner?
For more than 30 years, we’ve helped many companies with their translation and interpreting projects. Some of that work targeted customers living in the U.S. who speak another language. Other times it focused on sharing marketing messages and product information with people in other parts of the world.
One thing we continue to emphasize to our clients is that translating or interpreting words is only part of a successful multilingual communication process. Another important piece—whether conducting business outside of the country or entertaining visitors at your company—is to adapt to the cultural, social and business customs of your foreign speaking customers. This means paying close attention not just to the words you use, but also to the images associated with your message, the method used to convey the message, and even the personal interactions you make with clients or customers on their home soil.
Pretend you’re traveling in a foreign country. You receive an urgent call from the hospital saying your spouse’s heart has been imprisoned. Would you at least feel relieved to learn that he or she won’t fall over?
If you had to rely on machine translation of that country’s language, that’s just what you might hear, or something equally alarming, amusing or confusing.
If you plan on traveling outside the country for business or pleasure, here are some tips to follow regarding your ATM and credit cards:
• Before leaving, call your credit card company to advise them of your travel dates. Otherwise, larger transactions and unusual spending patterns/locations could raise doubts about unauthorized use or fraud, holding up approvals.
• Confirm whether you can use magnetic stripe cards or if the area you’re visiting mainly uses the more secure “chip-and-PIN” cards. While U.S. cards with magnetic stripes will still work as long as there’s someone to swipe them, you may encounter problems for independent vendors, like ticket vending kiosks, gas stations or other small, local venues.
Using a professional language services provider will guarantee an accurate translation, but there are steps you can take to ensure that your project is completed quickly and within budget. Here are 10 Tips to ensure a high quality translation:
1. Identify the specific target audience for your translation so the appropriate language dialect and associated word choices are used. It’s not always enough to know which language to use. Just like in different parts of the United States, the vernacular may change depending on the regional location of your target audience. The more your message is localized, the better.
The holiday decorations are likely put away, the in-laws are gone and the irregular-fitting sweaters you just received are safely stored away in the back of your closet. Now it’s time to tackle those New Year’s resolutions. No, not the short-lived personal goals you boldly make each year that usually sputter to an end by February. We’re talking about the resolutions to grow your business this year simply by being more active in the global marketplace.
Here are three simple New Year’s resolutions to make 2016 your year for ‘Going Global.’ And best of all, we’ll help you meet them if you tend to falter.
Resolution #1: Embrace multilingual translations into your marketing strategy
If you aren’t doing this already, your competitors probably are. The growth of the Internet and social media have made international transactions commonplace. But your international customers no longer have to be physically located on the other side of the globe; they can be right up the street. Census figures confirm that demographics are shifting in cities across the U.S. Over 60 million people – more than 1 in 5 people – now speak a language other than English at home. That means your multilingual customers are as likely to walk into your business as they are to visit your website. So make sure your marketing plans and tactics for 2016 include tapping into a whole new world of customers, whether here at home or around the world.
EB-5. Not since the movie “E.T.” has a pair of letters (and now a number) so defined the impact someone from a foreign land can have in our country.
EB-5 helps open the path to citizenship for immigrants making financial investments in the United States. But many developers and businesses don’t understand how the program can make a major impact on their own growth and expansion efforts.
What is EB-5?