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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 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.

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.

How Partnering with a Translation Agency Will Maximize Your Marketing Efforts

Translating your marketing content can have huge benefits for your company, especially if you have partnered with an agency that is well-suited for helping you meet your goals in foreign-language markets.  Here are a few tips for working with a translation agency when it comes to maximizing your marketing campaign efforts:

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1. Know your audience. As important as this is in marketing in general, it’s just as important in translation of marketing materials. Where does the ideal audience live and work? What dialect do they speak? Do a little homework on the group you want to reach so that you can provide this information to the agency you choose for your project.

2. Inquire about localization. Whether your content will be in print, on your website or part of a social media outreach plan, localization encompasses more than the translation of a text to reach a specific population. It incorporates the entire concept of the message via the terminology, language, images, colors, etc. used to be relevant to the audience in a specific region or locale. Localization allows you to avoid promoting content that might be offensive in another culture so that you can truly sell your brand well to consumers.

3. Ask about the translators assigned to your project. The translators who handle your marketing content should specialize in the type of translation you require. You wouldn’t want a medical translator who is a native speaker of Chilean Spanish to translate your site’s digital brochures meant for customers in Mexico City. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your project manager about a translator’s credentials so that you can feel confident the work is in good hands.

4. Don’t leave a translation request for the last minute. As soon as you know about the translation project and have the final document in hand, reach out to the translation agency so that the project manager can begin assembling the right team to handle your specific materials. Be up front about your preferred turn-around time on the project. Allow for adequate time to translate your content accurately and professionally.

5. Feel free to request the same team of linguists if you are pleased. If you are pleased with the work the agency has completed for you in the past for you, it is perfectly okay to ask that they utilize the same translators, editors and proofreaders that handled your previous projects. Agencies keep track of the teams it assigns for each project, and ensuring consistency can be as simple as maintaining the same team to work on projects that require similar terminology and context.

On-Site or Remote Interpreting: Which is the Best Fit for Your Real Estate Business

If your real estate business has been marketing to or attracting speakers of another language, you’ve likely wondered what your best options would be for the most seamless communication method. Communicating with your potential buyers via a professional interpreter is a great way to break an existing communication barrier. Here are some options if you are in need of oral interpretation. Remember, you may decide that you need to choose more than one option to fit your interactions with these buyers.

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On-Site Interpretation. This type of service offering is probably the most commonly sought in our industry. Interpreters are hired to perform this service in person at the time of an arranged appointment or meeting where an LEP (Limited English Proficient) individual or group of people is present and requires an interpreter. Once the interpreter arrives and meets the LEP individual, she will explain to all those involved that she will interpret everything that is said during the meeting.

Telephonic Interpreting. Another very effective form of interpreting, telephonic interpreters are hired when your agency may not need an interpreter on-site or when certain languages are required that are rarely spoken in a geographic area, among other reasons. You may need telephonic interpreting for short, simple communications and quick interactions like scheduling a future appointment or noting information for a later meeting.

Video Remote Interpreting. Another type of remote interpreting, video remote interpreting (VRI) is often used for sign language interactions, as telephonic services would not be effective. It is also becoming more effective in other language pairs. You will need to have video conferencing equipment, or at the very least, a webcam, speakers and a microphone. You and the LEP individual will be able to see the interpreter and she will listen to you through a headset.

Have you used an interpreter before? If so, what interpreting methods have worked well for you? Which would you like to see utilized within your real estate business if you do not already have one of these services available? Let us know!

Should you Localize Your Smartphone Applications as a Manufacturer?

If your manufacturing company has recently launched a Smartphone app, or even if you’ve had an app that’s been out for quite some time, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while to localize it. Localization, in this sense, basically entails adapting your product to another market or set of markets. This could involve language translation, but it could also mean adapting some of the images, colors or audio files within the app, or even the marketing materials you use to promote it.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that,” then you may have an understanding of just how important apps have become in our society. People use them for just about everything. Having a Smartphone application puts your business, quite literally, in the palm of someone’s hand. If well developed, it is convenient for the consumer to use and helps build brand loyalty and trust by delivering the information they need quickly and easily via their phone or other handheld device, just as they need or want it.

If your business markets itself toward different demographics, then it is important that these demographics be represented in all facets of your business, including in the use of your Smartphone app. In fact, according to a 2012 report from Distimo, The Impact of App Translations, a study of 200 iPhone apps that launched in different native languages saw a 128% increase in downloads the week following that launch, and a 26% increase in revenue from these downloads. Applications localized into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean saw the most growth from this update.

Although the US/English app market is still the most dominant market to date, other markets are growing at an impressive rate. In fact, according to the Global Mobile Market Report, global app revenues will reach $80.6 billion by 2020!

Since a user feels most secure reading something in his or her own native tongue, the potential to actively engage and reach these users through a properly localized app can increase exponentially. If a user is interested in your brand and has a basic understanding of English, he may download your non-localized application. However, if he cannot decipher the language of the app well enough to make purchases, he may become more hesitant to use it in the long term than he would an app in his own language. This can easily cause consumers to delete the app and disengage with a brand entirely.

Users value content in their native tongue, and the above statistics help demonstrate the impact that localizing a Smartphone application can have both on your business’ visibility, as well as on revenue. If you are actively working to expand into other markets and demographics, then Smartphone application localization is definitely something worth investigating for your manufacturing company.