Peak Translations

The first-time exporters guide to successful translation overseas

It’s a feeling many of us are familiar with; the embarrassment and reluctance we all feel the first time we try to ask someone for directions in a foreign language or sheepishly ask for the menu in a restaurant while abroad. This feeling is exemplified by several units of magnitude when we are met with the prospect of selling a product or service in an unfamiliar language.

When delving into a new foreign market, country or even continent, there are a vast amount of variables that need to be accounted for to craft a successful business venture. In addition to forecasting stock requirements, securing various insurances, accreditations and all other essential first steps, an often overlooked factor is the translation of written material related to a business and its products and services.


It is a fact that translated language is rarely shorter than the original. However, businesses strive to create accurate, concise content while attempting to keep it ‘on brand’. The first thought, for those new to translation services, will likely be to use an online machine translation service like Google Translate to achieve this. While the apparent benefit of using this kind of system includes an immediate turn-around and the fact it is free, accuracy is often significantly lacking.

A recent report from the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) revealed that the UK alone loses £48bn in lost exports because of a lack of language skills. A significant number when coupled with a document, commissioned by the British Council, revealing three-quarters of English people do not speak a foreign language. It appears it is a problem that businesses of all shapes and sizes face on a day to day basis.

Those who have attempted to learn a foreign language will understand the complexity of the semantic differences between one language and another. Semantic barriers come from differences in education, language and culture. They are not something businesses want to encounter, especially when in time sensitive communications but they are often unavoidable without the aid of a professional translation service.

As a nation, the UK have a reputation for being opposed to learn foreign languages, other countries believe we are guilty of believing everyone should speak English. There is another common misconception that those who speak a language have the skills and expertise to translate for it.

To achieve this, as with most procurement and other purchasing operations, price is not always the defining factor. For smaller businesses, it may be tempting to go for a machine translation service, or even source a student who speaks a foreign language who would likely be cheaper option than a professional service. A much more vital facet when exporting for the first time should be accuracy as it not only validates your reputation within a foreign market but also builds confidence in potential customers. First impressions last in both the minds of your clients and other foreign acquaintances.

Ensuring legal, marketing and general correspondence are correctly translated should be viewed as an investment, rather than a cost. Peak Translations, a professional translation service, employ a vast panel of linguistic experts, who not only speak in the native tongue of your customers but also have first-hand knowledge of the area you are looking to export. They can abolish the chance of embarrassment of a poorly translated documentation, product packing, business cards or even legal documents. Peak Translations can help eliminate language barriers and provide businesses with peace of mind when exporting for the first time.

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