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How to Welcome Back Study Abroad Students

As students return for the Fall semester, you will be welcoming them back from a variety of different activities. For some students, they will have spent much of their summer abroad studying in a foreign country. For many, returning to classes on your campus may take some readjustment, and they may wish to share stories of their experience abroad with professors and classmates in order to ease the transition.

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Here are some ways to welcome your students back this semester after their time abroad.

· Hold a “welcome back” reception. During this type of event, students can mingle with fellow students, faculty and staff. This also gives you an opportunity to outline the options your students now have at your university as a study abroad alum. You can create pamphlets or invite speakers to discuss how to make the readjustment back to life in the U.S. and how to reflect on their time away and keep in touch with their new friends.

· Organize a submission contest. Allow students to showcase the photos they took or submit essays reflecting on life abroad. The photos and quotes from essays can be displayed during events throughout the year, encouraging other students to study abroad so they get a sense of what student life is like and the experiences others have had. Encourage participation by awarding a prize like a small scholarship to be applied toward a future semester.

· Allow students to become ambassadors. Students who have already studied abroad are the perfect advocates for your university’s study abroad programs! They can help fellow students to prepare if they decide to make the leap in the future, encouraging more participation in your study abroad programs. These student ambassadors can also help with events and other promotional campaigns.

· Ask students to take a survey about their experience. Use this feedback to work directly with the groups offering the study abroad options to ensure an even more positive experience in the future. It’s the perfect way to see what is going well and what can be improved in future semesters. Request consent to use their positive experiences in testimonials to further promote the programs your university offers.

If you have any more tips for successfully welcoming your students back to campus, please feel free to share in the comments below. We’d love to hear what works best for you on your campus!

How to Encourage ELL Students after Returning from Summer Break

As summer winds down and a new school year begins, you will likely be introduced to an entirely new group of students in your classroom. While each student will have his or her own specific strong suits and challenges, it is important to note that English Language Learners (ELLs) have a unique set of challenges compared to other students. If you have ELL students in your classroom this year, here are a few tips to help ease the transition from their summer at home back into the English-speaking classroom.

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1. Work with the students’ previous teacher or ELL teacher to understand more about their skillsets. Find out what helped them the most the previous year and what did not seem to help them succeed. When possible, incorporate some of these best practices – no need to reinvent the wheel if your colleagues have already worked with these students successfully!

2. Be patient. While some of your ELL students will have spent their summer engaging in activities that helped them practice their improving English skills, others may have spent the majority of the break only speaking their native language at home. Just as there is expected to be some information loss across normal school subjects, your ELL students who have not been practicing their English language skills may be a bit rusty at the beginning of the year.

3. Incorporate SWRL (Speaking, Writing, Reading and Listening) in class daily. SWRL encompasses the domains of language acquisition. When ELL students exercise all four of these domains on a daily basis, it will help improve their language learning more quickly. ELL students may not read, write, or speak perfectly, but encouraging them to practice these skills frequently will help them improve more quickly. However, you should also respect that there may be times when your ELL students wish to remain silent. Encourage participation, but do not force them to speak aloud, as they will likely engage more in classroom discussions as their confidence improves throughout the year.

4. Use visual aids.  ELL students often have a more difficult time processing spoken language over written language. When possible, write simple, clear instructions on the board. You can also add pictures and diagrams for more complex topics to help aid their understanding of the topic. If it’s something you can demonstrate or show them how to do first, even better!

Above all else, it is important to be patient with and encourage ELL students. They are usually working harder to master concepts than the rest of the students in the class, since processing information in a second (or third!) language can take two to three times as long as it does to process in their native language. Feel free to communicate directly with your students and their parents to determine if you need to make any adjustments to your teaching technique, since, like any other student, their individual needs may vary significantly from those of native English-speaking students.

How to Stage a Property to Appeal to Foreign Buyers

If your goal is to appeal to foreign buyers, there are a few tips and tricks to making sure your properties stand out and are appealing to these buyers. As you know,  your client’s personal style may be quite different from what is appealing to the buyers you’re hoping to target. But by having your clients make a few changes before listing their home, you can potentially attract foreign buyers and sell the home more quickly and at a higher price point.

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· Think about your target demographic and what is appealing to buyers in these countries overall.  If you are looking to target Chinese home buyers, for example, you may want to consider the feng shui of the property, as incorporating feng shui principles can help a Chinese buyer feel more confident that their purchase will help bring them good health, happiness, and success. Don’t forget about landscaping! Trying to adhere to some of the basics of feng shui, both inside and out, can help sway a buyer who is otherwise on the fence.

· Choose decor or design elements that give a little pop of local culture while still being simple enough that the buyers can see themselves in the home without having to make any drastic changes. If a foreign buyer is looking for homes in your area, then there is likely an element of the local culture that is particularly appealing to them. By adding something that is specific to the city where the home is located, like a centerpiece or painting, the staged home will be even more appealing. Showcase this in your property photos as well.

· Make sure your photos and videos of the home are clear, and include many different photos on the website. Since foreign buyers are often unable to view the listings in person right away, the photos you share are crucial for making sure they have enough information to decide whether or not they want to pursue a listing.

· Most foreign buyers are starting with an online search. To ensure your appropriately staged homes are reaching the right audience, translate you’re the pages where your listing appears in order to appeal to the demographic you’re looking to reach. If you want to appeal to Canadian homebuyers, you may wish to have your listings in both English and Canadian French, for example. Read more on this topic here.

Of course, every property and every buyer is different, but considering what appeals to a market of foreign buyers can go a long way in taking your property from “for sale” to “sold” rather quickly! 

How to Improve Internal Communication for Your Multinational Company

Multinational corporations have a lot to juggle—everything from opening new offices and making new hires to considering time zones when it comes to logistics and communications, and even to simply how to communicate between the main headquarters or office and those overseas. Just like in any company, clear and proper communication is a key to success. Here are our top tips to maintain excellent internal communication with your company’s offices/locations abroad.

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· Identify current barriers. First and foremost, it is important to determine the types of communication issues you may currently have with your international locations so that you know the right game plan to move forward. In what areas do these locations excel? Where do they struggle, and could internal communication be part of the cause? Do employees understand the corporate vision? Once you can pinpoint the areas to improve, it is easier to move forward.

· Translate content to local languages. If the foreign office is located in a country where English is not the primary language, it is highly beneficial to have human resources documents and communications translated. These include employee handbooks, job training materials, and even announcements and memos that will have an impact on how these employees perform their jobs. This way everyone can be on the same playing field and interpret the information as it was intended. It also helps to eliminate the “gray area” that could otherwise be caused by language barriers.

· Consider an interpreter for conference calls and site visits. If leadership at your international locations do not have a high level of fluency in English, it can be extremely beneficial to use a telephonic interpreting service for important conference calls or an on-site interpreter for site visits. These services ensure the information exchanged at your meetings is rendered and understood correctly among everyone present.

· Promote relationship building to encourage communication. When your company’s offices are dispersed across different countries, it can feel nearly impossible to have a strong connection or company culture among employees or managers who work in the various locations. This could result in issues where managers and employees abroad do not feel that they can ask questions when something is unclear. Certain projects can become delayed or neglected. To avoid these pitfalls, try to carry out regular videoconferences, or use an intranet team page for project collaboration. You could even have a “virtual coffee room” for employees to chat while on a break so that team members can get to know each other better.

Although internal communication among multinational sites can sometimes feel complicated, there are lots of ways to make these interactions run more smoothly. If you’ve got best practices for how you communicate with your international locations, let us know! We’d love to hear what works for you.

What You Need to Know about an Interpreter’s Code of Ethics

With the recent events at the presidential summit in Helsinki and the request for the Trump/Putin interpreter to be subpoenaed to testify about what was discussed during this meeting, many have started to wonder and ask about the interpreter codes of ethics.

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As with many different types of professionals, interpreters abide by a strict code of ethics for the assignments they handle. Although each type of interpreting professional (medical, community, court, etc.) could have a different code of ethics, the basic components remain the same across the board.

· Accuracy. An interpreter cannot embellish, omit, or change anything that is said. He or she must interpret only what is said, exactly as it is said. This remains true for the usage of slang, obscenities, inflections of tone, etc.

· Impartiality. The interpreter must remain impartial and neutral during the assignment. He or she should not reveal his/her opinion about the discussion, nor attempt to sway anyone listening, with word choices or emotion.

· Proficiency and accurate representation of credentials. That is to say, the interpreter must be qualified for the assignment he or she accepts, and should be willing to continuously improve his or her skill set via workshops, conferences, trainings or other classes.

· Confidentiality. Unless otherwise authorized, an interpreter must not discuss what he or she has heard while on an assignment. This is often likened to attorney/client or doctor/patient privileges.

If you do decide to contract an interpreter for a hearing, deposition, or meeting, you can rest assured that a professional will adhere to these core components of their code of ethics. Breaching the tenant of confidentiality (or any other) could easily ruin an interpreter’s career or have other serious repercussions.

How Translation and Localization Can Save Your Brand Overseas

Creating a clever and successful marketing campaign can be challenging enough to do effectually in English. After all, marketing materials are often catchy and clever, using plays on words to get your message out in a way that effectively resonates and reaches your target audience. So, how can you make sure to overcome the challenges of translating your message to maintain these nuances of language?

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It is not enough to simply translate your materials word-for-word into another language. The translated content should have the same effect on your target audience as the original text has your English-speaking audience. Here are a couple of challenges companies may face when translating marketing materials.

· Keeping creativity in your slogan, tagline and advertising copy. Your slogan is important; it is likely one of the first things a customer sees and remembers about your company! A good slogan is catchy and easy to remember. And your translated slogan should be just as catchy or clever in the target language in order to captivate this audience in the same way.

The same can be said for all of your advertising copy, really. Marketing content often utilizes plays on words, metaphors, humor, idioms, and puns. A great translation will not be a word-for-word copy of your content. Instead, it should be an equivalent and acceptable rendition of the same humor and/or clever copy into the target language employing that language’s idioms and word plays. It should come across as naturally as possible to your target audience.

· Adapting your brand. Your brand is what makes you you. It makes you stand out from your competitors, and having a solid brand is key to winning over your audience. Your logo and imagery should be consistent in look and feel. However, there may be instances when you need to adapt some of your branding depending on the culture of the area where your marketing content will be received. This is handled via a process called localization. If your company uses a lot of red in its imagery, which can often signify passion and excitement in Western cultures, you may want to consider changing these hues when marketing in the Middle East, where red often evokes feelings of danger and caution.

You should also consider the target culture when choosing images for marketing campaigns and advertisements. You’ll want to consider what people in the target country or region find appealing (or offensive!) and make sure your content reflects that as well.

Although the process of translating your marketing materials can seem daunting, thankfully there are expert linguists who specialize in doing just that. Using a professional to handle your marketing translations will ensure you avoid potential blunders and snafus with translated content. A professional is available for every step of the process, including translating the materials in a way that renders your message clearly and naturally, and assisting you with localizing your content appropriately so that you can rest assured that your message is reaching the audience you desire in the way you originally intended. After all, your brand is on the line.

Why Hiring a Professional Translator or Interpreter Will Yield Higher Profits for Your Real Estate Business

Beginning a new translation project or finding a trusted interpreter for your law firm can be a daunting task. However, both can be key to your firm’s success with a given case or client. You may also be looking at your budget, wondering how translation and interpreting will fit into it and why it is worth spending the money to hire a professional. When looking to make every dollar count, it is important to know what you are receiving when you have your documents, brochures, website, etc. translated. Below is a brief list of what you can expect to get for your money, other than a good quality translation or interpreter.

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1. A growing client base. Having your documents translated gives your law firm the potential to reach a whole new group of clients. Clients who are not native speakers of English are more likely to engage with you as their lawyer if there is material available in their primary language. It is more comfortable for this individual, and as a result, this person feels at ease with your firm, knowing you are making the effort to reach them directly. These clients could easily turn into raving fans based on your help, recommending you to their friends and family.

2. A smoother client experience. When you have certain information translated your clients’ language and can offer an interpreter during meetings, these individuals will have a much easier time understanding the process. This results in fewer conversations and less time spent explaining next steps (or having an interpreter explain next steps if you do not personally speak their language). Every interaction is a cost to your law firm, especially if you have requested an interpreter be present during your meetings, so reducing these interactions with well-written, translated documents could help you avoid unnecessary costs.

3. Happier, loyal clients and rave reviews. If your materials are translated well and your client has an easy time working with you (and/or your interpreter), he or she will remember the experience and will likely call on you (and recommend you!) again.

4. Increased profits year over year (YOY). The initial investment of translating your materials or working with an interpreter may seem costly to some at first. However, the potential for generating a new client base, along with happier, loyal clients you’ve been able to reach will allow you to turn a profit at your firm in the long run. You should be able to see the great return on investment (ROI) in your YOY profits.

Translation and interpreting are fantastic tools for reaching new markets and building a loyal client base. When considering the ROI for translation and interpreting services, be sure to think mid- to long-term for your firm. Although you may not see a profit right away, the investment is well worth the numbers you will see over the years to come as your client base continues to grow and expand, earning your firm more profit all the while.

Four Reasons Hiring a Professional Will Grow Your Law Firm’s Client Base

Beginning a new translation project or finding a trusted interpreter for your law firm can be a daunting task. However, both can be key to your firm’s success with a given case or client. You may also be looking at your budget, wondering how translation and interpreting will fit into it and why it is worth spending the money to hire a professional. When looking to make every dollar count, it is important to know what you are receiving when you have your documents, brochures, website, etc. translated. Below is a brief list of what you can expect to get for your money, other than a good quality translation or interpreter.

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1. A growing client base. Having your documents translated gives your law firm the potential to reach a whole new group of clients. Clients who are not native speakers of English are more likely to engage with you as their lawyer if there is material available in their primary language. It is more comfortable for this individual, and as a result, this person feels at ease with your firm, knowing you are making the effort to reach them directly. These clients could easily turn into raving fans based on your help, recommending you to their friends and family.

2. A smoother client experience. When you have certain information translated your clients’ language and can offer an interpreter during meetings, these individuals will have a much easier time understanding the process. This results in fewer conversations and less time spent explaining next steps (or having an interpreter explain next steps if you do not personally speak their language). Every interaction is a cost to your law firm, especially if you have requested an interpreter be present during your meetings, so reducing these interactions with well-written, translated documents could help you avoid unnecessary costs.

3. Happier, loyal clients and rave reviews. If your materials are translated well and your client has an easy time working with you (and/or your interpreter), he or she will remember the experience and will likely call on you (and recommend you!) again.

4. Increased profits year over year (YOY). The initial investment of translating your materials or working with an interpreter may seem costly to some at first. However, the potential for generating a new client base, along with happier, loyal clients you’ve been able to reach will allow you to turn a profit at your firm in the long run. You should be able to see the great return on investment (ROI) in your YOY profits.

Translation and interpreting are fantastic tools for reaching new markets and building a loyal client base. When considering the ROI for translation and interpreting services, be sure to think mid- to long-term for your firm. Although you may not see a profit right away, the investment is well worth the numbers you will see over the years to come as your client base continues to grow and expand, earning your firm more profit all the while.