Going Global – The 4-1-1 on Translation and Interpretation

globe of languages translated


With today’s technology, the global marketplace is growing ever more accessible to the small and medium size business owner.  Through online store fronts, conferencing, webcasts, webinars and podcasts, you can reach more people, not only in your backyard but also around the globe.

However, most potential foreign buyers for your goods and services do not speak English, or very little at best.  In a September 2006 survey conducted by the Common Sense Advisory, almost all of the 351 companies surveyed  from eight non-anglophile countries preferred to buy products or information that were presented in their native language.

So what can you do to get your message across? Enter translation and interpretation.

Translators and interpreters facilitate cross-cultural communication by converting one language into another.  However, these specialists do more than just translation – they relay concepts and ideas between languages.

In this post, we are going to explore the difference between a translator and an interpreter, and how each can benefit you.


Translators convert written materials from one language to another.  A translator not only has to replace one word with its equivalent in another language, but also maintain the same coherence of sentences and ideas from the source document so that it appears to the foreign-language reader that the document originated in the target language.

Here are some examples of materials you can have translated to promote your business or organization:

  • websites
  • landing pages
  • e-books
  • e-brochures
  • transcripts
  • proposals
  • contracts


Interpreters provide a different service.  Interpreters convert one spoken language to another, either simultaneously or consecutively.  Simultaneous interpreting requires interpreters to listen and speak in the target language at the same time someone is speaking in the source language.  Consecutive interpreting begins only after the speaker has verbalized a group of words or sentences.  Simultaneous interpretation is mostly used in conference-style settings while consecutive interpretation is used in person-to-person communication.

Interpretation is a great service to promote your business and its products/services when using:

  • webinars
  • webcasts
  • conference calls
  • online videos
  • product or service demonstrations
  • podcasts

How about you?

Translation and interpretation are two great tools, which you can use to promote your organization globally.  How would you best use them in your organization?  Let us know in the comments.