24 November 2022

Internationalization services: how they work and what the benefits are

Categoria: Linguistic Services

Internationalization services include a wide range of activities, such as language services, but few people are familiar with how they work and what their benefits are.

As you might imagine, internationalization is a rather complex process that usually requires the support of expert consultants in various areas, including the language field. Going beyond your borders means dealing with people who speak another language and, more importantly, who are immersed in another culture. To avoid misunderstandings and inappropriate communication, it is therefore best to rely on those whose job it is to serve as a bridge between different cultures.

Let’s take a look at internationalization from a language standpoint.

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What it involves

Language support for internationalization means using services designed to facilitate and enhance the company’s communication so that it can achieve its goals in its target markets.

Internationalization can have various objectives: selling products or services abroad, seeking new sources of financing across borders, expanding your pool of suppliers internationally, or even opening a production plant in another country.

All this requires communication, preferably in the language of the interlocutor. To this end, language internationalization services come into play in the form of:

  • translation;
  • localization;

In the first case, when internationalization takes the form of translation services, the aim is to break down language barriers that might hamper bureaucratic or business activities based on written texts. These include entering into a contract or transmitting information, or even promoting products and services through flyers or billboards.

Each communication medium uses a specific language, since it is aimed at different targets and purposes, which is why it is advisable to request a professional translation. Professional translators are adept at translating any content carefully developed and drafted by companies into the target language.

Although translation is a crucial service to enable cross-border understanding at a communicative level, in certain circumstances it is not enough for achieving the same impact abroad as the communication generates in the home country. To enhance its effect on target markets, internationalization must take the form of another language service: localization.

Each culture expresses itself through a different combination of words, idioms and references, so the same concept may be expressed in two completely different ways depending on the geographical region. This is precisely the purpose of localization, to adapt the content to the culture of the target audience so that the latter can perceive it as “native” and specially produced in a manner consistent with their cultural filters.

This internationalization service is most frequently required in the case of marketing and communication content, but also in the digital world, as in the case of websites and apps. In the first case it affects the correct conveyance of the message, in the second the usability of the tool, both of which are crucial in achieving the desired results.

There is also a third service that completes the language internationalization package: interpreting. The business world is not limited to the written word, but involves plenty of conversation. The same limitations that we find in writing also come into play here, namely language and cultural barriers that may hinder or even prevent communication. One solution to this problem is to enlist the services of a professional interpreter to act as a bridge between the two cultures.

Trade shows, events and meetings are typical situations in which companies use this service. Although lingua francas exist that make it possible to communicate with people from other countries, when it comes to business, it is best to be supported by an expert who can convey the message with the utmost care, precision and delicacy, both linguistically and culturally.

Translation, localization and interpreting are therefore the three cornerstones of language internationalization services, which usually provide significant benefits to the companies that use them.

Advantages

Internationalization services offer two important advantages for companies aiming to expand abroad.

The first is the correct transmission of the message. Effective communication means avoiding linguistic errors, using language that is respectful and in line with the culture of the interlocutor, and finally knowing how to modulate language according to the target audience, the chosen medium, and the objectives.

These three aspects are crucially important. Seeking the support of a professional translation agency is therefore key to avoiding errors or pitfalls in written and verbal communication.

In addition to being off-putting, communication errors also bring tangible repercussions in terms of business strategy results. Depending on the severity of the error, the relationship with stakeholders is likely to be damaged, to a minor extent if the message is still comprehensible and to a greater extent if the meaning it intends to convey is misinterpreted.

The fatal outcome would be the loss of potential customers, investors and suppliers with consequent negative repercussions on sales, investments and partnerships. It is therefore advantageous to rely on the support of a professional translation agency because it safeguards the company against these risks.

The second inherent benefit of using language internationalization services relates to corporate reputation. Communicating in the language of the interlocutor is the basis for building a trust-based relationship that generates affection for the company or brand.

It is well known that people feel more comfortable when they communicate in a language that they have fully mastered. This also makes them more autonomous and independent when interacting with the content and communication channel. For example, a translated and localized e-commerce site is undoubtedly more usable than a website in English, since not everyone knows English perfectly and can appreciate its nuances or technical jargon.

The same is true for interpreting services. Presenting yourself accompanied by an experienced professional who can facilitate communication is usually an approach that is viewed positively because it allows the interlocutor to express themselves more articulately than they might in their second language.

Language internationalization services therefore trigger a virtuous circle that fosters the achievement of the benefits companies are aiming for: developing markets and promoting business.

For more than 30 years, Way2Global has been supporting companies in the internationalization process by offering them all the necessary language services: translation, localization and interpreting.

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    Massimo Maffei is Chief Operating Officer of Way2Global, a women-led translation agency startup with a Benefit ethos. Massimo, who has over 14 years of experience in the language industry, has served as head of the Sales division, overseeing the company’s international relations by opening markets and establishing partnerships with customers from all over the world. Today, in addition to his commercial role, he also supervises Operations, managing the international relations that link Way2Global to clients and suppliers. Always ready for new challenges, Massimo keeps constantly abreast of current developments in our target sectors, first and foremost Life Sciences.
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