Wouldn't you love to increase attendance at your conferences and trade shows?
One way to do that is to reach out to the international community. Research shows that only 2 of 10 exhibition attendees are from other countries. By putting in place the right global strategy you can tap a whole new market.
Join RABI CEO Yvette Fang for an informative webinar about how to increase international attendance at your trade shows and conferences. Yvette will walk you through:
Simultaneous or consecutive interpretation? Do you know the difference and how to choose what you need for your project?
Simultaneous interpreters usually sit in a sound booth where they can hear the speaker through their headphones. As the speaker talks, the interpreters listen to the speaker and speak the second language into a microphone which transmits their words wirelessly to headsets that audience members wear. It's easy to accommodate more than one interpreted language at an event, with the audience members able to choose which language they want to listen to.
One of the major benefits of using simultaneous interpreters is that the event is not interrupted for the interpretation. In fact, audience members who speak the same language as the presenter may not even realize that the event is being interpreted. Additionally, those audience members who are listening to the interpretation can follow along with the speaker's gestures and facial expressions in real time.
Consecutive interpreters are often on stage with the speaker, or if it's a small event, they sit at the table. They listen to what the speaker says, and then at the end of a sentence or paragraph, they interpret it for the audience. One of the benefits of consecutive interpretation is that because the interpreter has time to listen to the speaker's complete thought, the interpretation is often more accurate than with simultaneous interpretation, where the information flows at a much faster rate. The downside to consecutive interpretation is that it can significantly increase the time of the event.
Which should you choose?
It depends on the type of event and your budget.
For simultaneous interpretation, you usually need at least two interpreters and for long events, potentially more. Simultaneous interpretation requires intense concentration and most interpreters can work for about 15 minutes before they need to be relieved by a colleague. In contrast, consecutive interpreters can remain on stage with the speaker for the entire event. SI is usually the best choice if you need to have multiple languages interpreted or when hosting conferences or other large events.
Consecutive interpretation is often a better choice for highly scientific and medical information. Because consecutive interpreters have time before their interpretation starts, they are able to take detailed notes that improve their accuracy. CI is also well suited to small meetings, one-on-one meetings, interviews, and press conferences, where the SI equipment may feel like an intrusion and time is not as much of a factor.
If you need interpretation services, reach out to a professional, qualified agency, and provide as much information as you can about the reasons for the interpreter, the language(s) involved, and the duration and size of the event. The agency should be able to guide you toward the best solution to meet your needs.
Looking For a Great Career?
If you're looking for an interesting, rewarding career choice that will never be outsourced, and you have a facility with languages, you may want to look into becoming an interpreter or translator. The U.S. Bureau of Statistics reports that the translation industry is set to grow 42% between 2010 and 2020. The Economist reports that companies are recognizing the need to have their websites localized into more and more languages and that Microsoft has even begun producing its product manuals in Maya and Luxembourgish.
In addition, with the continued expansion of global trade, the huge influx of Asian tourists, and the increase in business visits to the U.S., more and more companies need highly skilled, professional interpreters at their conferences, corporate meetings, and on conference calls.
If you are fluent in at least two languages, you may want to consider becoming a certified interpreter. Being bilingual is not enough of a background to be a professional, you need to be a native speaker in the language you will interpret into, and you need to take classes in the craft of interpretation to fully understand and carry out the responsibilities of the job. In addition to highly developed language skills, you will need the following soft skills:
Translation and interpretation can be highly rewarding careers that will enable you to meet people from all over the world and learn about wide-ranging subjects, keeping you constantly on your toes. If you think you have the skills and temperament to succeed, it's worth going after.
Omni-Channel Localization 101
What is Omni-channel localization?
It's localizing every step of the customer experience, from initial contact through post-purchase engagement.
Every interaction with your customer should reflect your brand and your values, but also be readily understood and appealing in local markets. And while you may need to adjust your language, your tone, and your advertising channels from market to market, within each market you need to have consistency from first touchpoint to last.
Start by charting the customer engagement process step-by-step for each market and then do your research. For every step, you need to discover how best to interact with the customers in that market. Customers in Germany engage with companies differently than those in Japan, so discover for each local market which mix of channels your customers prefer, whether it be phone surfing, word-of mouth, social media, etc. What tone do they expect when they receive email communications and how much are they willing to read? How much hand-holding do customers need in each market? Do they want to visit a physical store first to play with the product or are they willing to order directly online?
Don't forget to think about live touch points as well. Call centers should be adequately staffed with people who speak the local language, phone prompts need to be localized, website chat options need native speakers, and social media channels should be chosen for their importance to that community and staffed, again, with native speakers.
Every time your customer reaches out to you or you reach out to her, the experience should be consistent and personalized, from the basics, like only showing products on the localized websites that are actually offered in that market, to ensuring that the translated language has consistent terminology, to true two-way engagement that demonstrates that you understand your customer as well or better than your local competitors.
More than 60% of people prefer to buy from websites in their own language. And Common Sense Advisory also reports that the majority of people will spend more money on a product if the information about that product is in their own language. So it's clearly beneficial to localize your website for each of your markets, but how can you reduce the time and cost involved?
1. Anoint a guru of localization. As with all large corporate-wide initiatives, you need have someone lead the charge--someone who owns localization across the company. Among other things, she should be keeping track of: the different markets for which you'll be creating localized content, the content streams that will need to be translated, the array of social media feeds, and the various product line offerings. In essence, anything that will go on any website needs to be tracked and given a priority ranking.
2. Put a process in place. Planning for localization begins when you start planning for a new product or a new line extension. By building localization into the process from the very beginning you will reduce time and effort later. This does not mean that you should start translating your early draft documents into 15 languages, but that you should be looking at your different markets and determining what sort of customization will need to occur in order to launch in each of those markets.
3. Optimize User Experience For Each Market. When you begin thinking about the websites themselves, you'll need to look at overall user experience, page layout, common usage patterns for the individual markets, local color preferences, and local image preferences. Be aware of how your design will be affected by languages that read right to left, and how languages that have longer words may need more space for navigation. If you're marketing to countries with slower internet speeds, you may need to have fewer images. And, your images should reflect local aesthetics. Also, if you don't plan to offer your entire product line in a particular country, cull your pictures accordingly.
4. Adjust Your Writing Style. Once you've determined the content you will localize, don't translate it word for word, but adjust it for the local market. For example, some markets are more formal than others, some customers expect highly detailed, fact-based product descriptions, while in other markets, you'd be better off with descriptions that are aspirational in nature.
5. Create a standard glossary. This will save a lot of time in the end, especially when it comes to translating technical terms and industry jargon. Each language should have a list of common terms and phrases to ensure consistency throughout all your product and consumer marketing, ensuring that customers see the same term on your website as appears on your tv ads, your brochures, and your product manuals.
6. Localize your SEO. Make sure your titles are translated and accurate, your headers are clear, and your ALT attributes are descriptive. Over time, look at your data through Google's country filter and tweak each site to improve your retention and conversion rates.
These tips should be looked at as a starting point. Localization is an ongoing process. Every new piece of content your marketing department generates needs to be examined for relevancy to each market and with an eye to adjusting it to provide the most value to those customers.