In vino veritas?

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Mary Kazamias | Chief Executive Officer

Like many people these days, a few friends and I have been getting together once a month for a virtual happy hour. There’s only one rule: Unless it can’t be avoided, we don’t discuss the chaos of the pandemic or its fallout. We mostly manage to stay off the topic because we decide ahead of time what we’re going to talk about. You may be thinking that sounds a little too structured for casual drinks, but it works. Give it a try!

I’m sure you’re wondering where I’m going with this… Hang on, I’m getting there.

A few days ahead of our last drinks date, our group decided to buck the trend and talk about the “perks” of the pandemic in our personal lives. Did things have the potential to go sideways? Yes, but as it turns out, it led to some very interesting revelations! I, for one, admitted that COVID-19 and the lockdown have done away with any guilt I may have felt about online shopping. I especially like buying from retailers who go above and beyond to make the virtual experience an enjoyable one. On the opposite side of the coin, I have no pity for online sellers who thumb their noses at their customers’ language preferences, either by not translating their sites or by translating them badly. So, when I came across the perfect windbreaker at a deep discount, I didn’t even feel bad for passing on it after reading this nonsensical description in French, a language that is dear to me: “L’imperméabilité de ce produit a été renforcer par l’Stormtech Durable Water Repellent de traitement. L’eau sera talon et roulent sur le tissu.” Needless to say, I won’t be visiting that company’s website again anytime soon.

But then I got to thinking… Was I only insulted because I’m a translation professional? Of course not. According to Nimdzi, a U.S. research firm specializing in the translation and localization sectors, 90% of online shoppers will ignore a product if it’s not described in their native language.

Language plays a crucial role, and not just when consumers are making their buying decisions. Nimdzi also found that communication is an intimate experience. Any message delivered in impeccably crafted language strikes people deeply—it reassures and comforts them. And when that message comes from a company, it’s a testament to the organization’s respect for its customers, no matter where they are in the world.

If you want to adapt your company’s communications in another language—convincingly and effectively—in a way that exemplifies your brand and reflects your identity, there aren’t endless options to choose from: you need to deal with a reputable translation agency with a proven track record. I believe that it’s a must in the business world. In fact, according to CSA Research, which also specializes in language services, companies that invest in translation and localization are far more likely to see an increase in their growth and revenue than those that don’t. Intrigued, but don’t know where to start? Contact TRSB, Canada’s largest translation agency. We’ll help you enhance the value of your communications and business—and translate your challenges into solutions.