How cross cultural communication can get you in trouble17/04/2012
Having a solid working knowledge of the verbal taboos before attending a foreign business conference will prevent you from embarrassing yourself and your company.
Since our body language can carry over inferences in our own society, imagine the effect they have when doing business with someone from another cultural background. This extends well into the delicate question of international business done at conferences and conventions, and should be considered in language, translation, and multi-lingual marketing.
Ensuring that your marketing slogans and displayed stands obtain universally friendly and appropriate language is an easy way to best present your company at MICE events. Having a multi-lingual stand at the next convention will ensure an expansion of clientele and customer base. Professionalism is the desired presentation here, and a few language slip-ups can destroy the image you’ve worked so hard to establish.
Translation plays a vital role when doing international business. Being an international company means designating some funds and time in ensuring not only that the concept transcends foreign languages, but also that it’s being received accurately by the target audience.
Use translation websites wisely, optimally with the help of a native speaker, for your brochures and slogans, as context in language as well as cultural considerations are key. Websites that allow you to search multilingual SEO sights pull statistics from multiple internet sites to facilitate targeting your receptive foreign business partners. Indicating popularity of keywords, Google’s global market finder confirms whether your tagline will inspire, flop or shock at your next trade show.
Once you have attracted a foreign investor or partner, establish a working language. When you’re doing business at your next trade show, a mixture of languages may be interpreted by some to be an evasion of an open work environment where secrets are being made. After you fill your appointment book to meet potential clients at this year’s convention, look into the cultural business tactics of the international company. Discover how communication is executed, including use of appropriate topics, use of silence, interruption, even humor. Westerns’ traditional chatty, friendly, forward business style could easily be taken as unprofessional and rude in certain cultures.
Context is necessary while establishing contracts and making business decisions and it should be handled with particular care in an unknown cultural space. With a little investigative work and investment in a native speaker with priceless local knowledge, your next event will run as smoothly as business done in your own backyard.
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