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We usually cover specific details about managing translation projects or vendor selection in this blog.  In planning for the new year, however, we feel it’s important to step back and look beyond your next product release or what’s happening inside your company and consider the broader context in which we all operate.

Global events have an impact on translation needs, especially for manufacturing companies in industries such as agriculture, construction, automotive, custom machinery, medical devices, chemicals, food production, consumer goods, and more. For highly regulated industries, like medical device manufacturing, or firms with widely dispersed employees and customers, global events can have an even bigger impact, making a reliable translation partner vital to your responsiveness.

Maintaining Clear Communication During Emergencies and Global Events

When companies go global, they face a variety of cultures, environments, and situations that may be new to them. For example, if a non-US-based company sends an employee to a trade show in Orlando, Florida and a hurricane evacuation warning is issued, that individual needs instructions in their native language regarding safety precautions and travel arrangements. All parts of the world experience different kinds of “natural disasters” such as typhoons, floods, earthquakes or tornados. Similarly, unexpected emergency communications may be needed if employees wind up in locations where protests or civil unrest breaks out.

Translation needs stemming from political or natural disasters that aren’t limited to just company-wide communication: they also may relate to the way that a company interacts with the public. After a natural disaster, for example, it’s common for companies to issue a press release to their suppliers and customers in countries where they do business. If your factory is hit by a tornado, you may need to provide emergency updates in dozens of languages on your condition and operational status.

The urgency that global events create highlights the importance of having an established, responsive partnership with a trusted translation provider. When you have an emergency, time is critical. There is no time to search for a translation provider for all the languages you need and having one already in place is vital to being able to provide timely communication. 

Managing the Ever-Changing Trade and Regulatory Landscape

Tariffs, international trade relations, and regulations can all affect the necessary translations for your product. And that’s where thoughtful, high-quality translation comes into play. Working with your regulatory experts to be sure your product is classified in a way most beneficial to your business and cost structure, your translation provider can then make sure that something as simple as a misplaced or wrongly applied single word doesn’t derail your approval, shipment or result in unnecessary tariffs on your product.

A quick example:  we recently we were translating a manual for a piece of excavating equipment for one of our clients. The English description of the base piece of machinery as a “tractor” would have resulted in a tariff being applied to it as an agricultural product.  We worked with our client to suggest other terms to accurately describe this product in a way that would allow it to be classified as mining equipment instead. 

Whether your global event is time-sensitive or cost-related, having an established relationship with a translation partner can help you efficiently and effectively respond. This is especially true when time is of the essence in reaching out to employees, customers or suppliers in areas impacted by political or natural disasters.

International Language Services has over 35 years of experience providing translations for companies of all types and sizes, in over 180 languages. To learn more, contact us today.