"The language of business - how fluent are you?"
In an increasingly global marketplace, it's high time that UK exporters realised the importance of translating or localising their sales websites into foreign languages. Karen Elwis has found a quick test to ascertain readers' current level of expertise in European "commercial-speak".
Foreign languages and business culture can be major headaches for British exporters, yet surprisingly few companies employ in-house linguists and many have no system in place to deal with commercial enquiries in a foreign language. Of course, many British export managers claim that most business is conducted in English anyway. However, in the current global market such a myopic approach to international trade could cost them more than they think. For today the power of the Internet can allow exporters to reach previously unattainable customers in far-flung parts of the globe, and businesses who have had the foresight to have their website translated into the languages spoken in their target marketplaces or ' better still ' "localized" (translated AND culturally adapted), are reaping the benefits big-time.
To see how you measure up when it comes to foreign languages, why not have a go at the following quick multi-lingual quiz, first published in an edition of Director magazine.
Donnez-moi vos coordonnés et je vous l'envoie
tout de suite.
Nous respectons toujours les délais de livraison.
Wir liefern frei Haus innerhalb Englands.
Bei dieser Menge kann ich Ihnen einen guten Rabatt
Les presento un equipo muy competente.
Vamos a aprobar el acta de la reunión anterior.
ANSWERS: French 2,3 German 4,1 Spanish 4,2
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