Words are a crucial commodity in business that are often overlooked. It shoulders the responsibility of conveying what an organization stands for, the need it fills in a community and ultimately, its promise to the consumer. Often, we are swayed to buy one product over another, not because of the quality of the goods or services themselves, but how effectively one business convinces us to choose it over another. The right slogan can mark the difference between success and failure. Nike was a struggling business that was catapulted to great heights by the clever use of tagline. Simply put, it showcases the true power of words, with the appropriate translations.
We live in a very exciting time. Technological innovation in communications and travel have forever changed the way we interact with the world. We are now presented with opportunities to venture outside our own geographical comfort zones and create new markets in new countries. Yet, as exhilarating as that sounds, we are faced with the delicate task of assimilating our business into the local lifestyle, sidestepping the landmine of an unfamiliar tradition, where an innocent faux pas could potentially annihilate any success we could find there.
This is where translation comes in.
Translation is not merely the practice of replacing one word with the same word in a different language. It’s an art that captures the spirit of the intended communication and modifying it to appeal in a local context. It takes into account local customs, sensibilities, tastes and psyche and aims to elicit maximum response from the populace of a region. Very much like how the right words helped grow Nike’s business, translation, when done right, can do the same for businesses venturing into foreign markets.
Now, those are words to live by.