In the time of globalization, expanding your business into foreign markets became a possibility. However, communicating across multiple borders is still no simple matter. Dealing with business partners from all around the world is pretty challenging due to the language barrier and cultural differences.
If you want to use these exciting opportunities to launch your products abroad, learn how to communicate at international meetings. Here are some tips on how to avoid misunderstandings when your business partners speak a different language:
Learn about their culture
Preparing for international meetings is a must. You’d be surprised how many benefits you can get if you do some research before meeting your foreign colleagues. You should be able to say a few lines in their native language (e.g., ‘hello,’ ‘nice to meet you,’ ‘welcome’). You might speak with a horrible accent or pronounce something completely wrong. Don’t worry about it; your business partners will appreciate the effort anyway.
Ignorance is no excuse, so learn more about their culture before the meeting. You will be able to use this information for small talk.
Also, it may help you avoid uncomfortable situations. Look at this case: when fast-food giant McDonald’s was entering an Indian market in the 1990s, representatives of the company decided to change their menu because they knew that the locals wouldn’t tolerate the beef because the cow is the most worshiped animal in India. Without knowing this, McDonald’s could get into trouble.
Hire professional translators
You should find a reliable translation agency like Lighthouseonline.com, for example, that can help you during the international meeting. Keep in mind that native speakers are not always the best interpreters.
Before the meeting, you should provide your professional translators with information. Tell them about your company’s values, business strategies, and goals. Also, explain to them what kind of tone you want to have during the meeting. Trustworthy interpreters can adjust to your preferences and become your voice.
Here are some interpretation mistakes in the business world and everyday life that can leave you speechless: