Thursday, 29 October 2015

Why Interpreters Are Important for International Business Meetings?

Strong communication paves the way for successful business transactions. Whether communication is with the employee, potential business associate, client or fellow colleagues, communication transforms ideas into action. The crux of every act of communication is to project ideas through the medium of speech or written communication for improvement or understanding of practices and policies. If the business set up is limited to the home ground and the staff is from the same geographical location, the necessity for an interpreter is moot. When the language of communication is the same, importance is given to idea portrayal rather than the language of idea exchange.

Complications set in when staff from other nationalities are recruited in an effort to expand the business. Growth is essential for sustainability. Growth within a given physical space is limited and to keep pace venturing into or exploring new markets becomes necessary. New markets in different countries are targeted. When new business relationships blossom, the company gains an ally and a company representative in foreign soil. To set a strong foothold in new markets, the company must get acquainted with local traditions and community psych. Business deals will only be successful provided there is a coherent conversation between the parties. Language barrier in such cases will be the perfect setting for a lost in translation debacle. To avoid these embarrassing situations, the presence of an interpreter becomes crucial. An interpreter holds the key to business ventures across the sea and will help with understanding the foreign market operations and tactics.

An interpreter holds an important role as the mediator of communication between the two companies. If a business deal has to go through, the terms and conditions of a business transaction or a possible collaboration must be understood by both parties to erase any ambiguity. Most collaborations fail when dispute regarding the terms crop up. These disputes are deep rooted in misunderstood expectations one collaborator has with the other.

To ensure a successful business meeting with clients overseas, the presence of an interpreter becomes indispensable. The interpreter will work for the companies participating in the meeting providing translations of what each says. A competent interpreter will participate in the information exchange using his/ her words while retaining the essence of the conversation. When looking for an interpreter it is advised to look for one who has technical knowledge in business skills apart from strong hold over the local and foreign language.

Current Corporate Training Trends

In the world of outsourcing and blurring geographical barriers, effective communication is slipping because of language barriers. Business giants are venturing into virgin markets to seek new fortune and expand their empire. Being the civilized generation that we are, wars are won by conversations and company take-over is through making deals that can’t be refused. The weapon of choice is language. The demand of language training among corporates has reached a record high. With the current stand of improved education standards and technical proficient, the lack of something as important as ineffective communication is baffling.

To address this issue, most corporate companies pump in a lot of profits into employee’s language training. The extent of sales, satisfactory customer service, overall business growth and development is fuelled by proficient language skills.

Current trends in the field of corporate language training are:

  • Improving English skills: English still remains the language of business transaction. Regardless of the market expanse into non English speaking countries, the language still holds dominance over the market as most written communication is still in English. English also the chosen mode of learning of new technologies and practices. English also opens the channels of communication between employees of the same company who are separated by geographical boundaries. There are also instances when the floor manager speaks in English and the workers speak in Malay, Mandarin or Hindi. The efficiency falls due to communication gap affecting the process of manufacturing. Deadlines are not met as a result. 

  • Training on different platforms: with the rise in the number of work from home instances or the dependence on internet and smart phones, many employees seek different platform apart from face to face learning. Training time is shifted to accommodate increasing work commitments and deadlines. Most companies demand  mobile training provision that they can use when they are on a flight or commuting to and from work or in an environment which is disconnected. The option of face-to-face training in language skill is also retained for the employees who choose improvement in conversation skills through practical demonstrations. The trending practice in corporate language training is the implementation of virtual classrooms that are more flexible and engaging than the physical approach.
  • Learning new language skills: while English skills are still important, learning new languages help in better collaborations and stronger networks. The relationship between the customer and customer service provider also improves when the dialogue is in the native’s tongue.

Thursday, 22 October 2015

Why Foreign Language Skills Training Is Vital for the Indian KPO Sector

The Indian KPO sector is up against the wall. With competitive pricing on local shores, and a push for bringing business back to home countries, governments around the world are putting in place legislations that will discourage outsourcing and off-shoring. Indian KPOs will need to look beyond traditional English speaking countries for their business growth. And that’s where foreign language skills training comes into play.

With a young workforce of skilled white collar teams, KPOs have a wealth of brainpower at their disposal. Yet, sans cultural sensitization and foreign language skills, the best laid plans can go awry. So what are the areas of the business that a KPO will need upskill with language training?

Your first line or sales force and senior leadership will need to lead by example. Whether it is learning Bahasa Indonesia or Korean to service the emerging markets in that geography, or honing abilities in French, German or Spanish, KPOs will need to align their language and cultural training to their growth strategy.

If teams can make that connect and show an understanding of local culture, prospects are more likely to warm up to the idea of off-shoring. If there arises a need to set up a team at the client country/location tomorrow, you are already equipped with the language skills to deal with a local workforce and to navigate local laws.

If operations teams and servicing teams can upskill it will eliminate the need for hiring interpreters and translators - something that often results in delays, longer cycle times, and increased chances of errors. Having an ops team and researchers who understand the client’s language can also be a big selling point to win more business. Employees too will see this as an opportunity to learn. All in all, it is a win-win that more KPOs would do well to consider. 

Why Language Training for Servicing the China Market from Hong Kong Is Critical

Hong Kong based sales and client management teams for multinational corporations are often tasked with managing operations and driving sales on the mainland as well. And getting the right language training can be crucial to their success.

Mark Zuckerberg made headlines last year when he impressed with his Mandarin on a trip to Beijing. While not everyone may have such a pressing need to learn Mandarin, being able to comfortably converse with prospective clients and business partners on the mainland could give you an edge.

Effective communication is the foundation of a productive working relationship. It minimizes ambiguity, and the right cultural training combined with language skills workshops can equip executives with the arsenal to manage the toughest client. It can inject positivity and help two people connect on a personal level, which could swing deals in your favor.

It also has another oft overlooked benefit of helping move things along quicker. Simply put, you can have a more efficient and effective sales and service team if less time is spent in interpreting and translating emails, documentation and other communication. Certain business nuances are easy to miss by translators not familiar with your line of business. If, on the other hand, your own employees and team are well versed with Mandarin and Cantonese, they will be able to handle things themselves and take the right decisions and respond promptly to client queries, keeping them happy. And happy clients are always good for business.