Allow us to introduce you, this is Eric Engineer. He works as a product development manager in a steadily growing company that produces “wiringnicknackconnectionthreads” for the needs of the automotive industry. On the side, he also takes care of the company’s marketing.
Eric’s mother tongue is English. He uses his native language daily, both in his work and in his free time; he lives and thinks in the English language. He also does business in English – most of the time.
However, Eric now has a problem. His company does business with American and German clients. Eric only knows two words in German.
Thus, Eric is operating in an environment where he needs foreign language skills. His boss has given him the assignment of revising the company’s marketing and website materials so that business in Germany will pick up. What should Eric do?
Online stores that are familiar to us Europeans have realised the importance of each customer’s preferred language. The German online retailer Zalando does business in fifteen different languages. The Finnish military surplus store Varusteleka does so in five different languages. Large international brands translate their websites, on average, into eight languages. This is no surprise, since 75 per cent of online global consumers prefer to buy products in their native language, according to Common Sense Advisory, an independent market research company.
In which languages do Finnish companies currently do international business? If we assume that countries and languages overlap at least to some extent, Finland should export goods and services in German, Swedish, American and British English, Dutch, and Russian. However, most communication of export companies is presumably conducted in English. What kind of business opportunities do we Finns lose when customers would prefer to use their native language instead of English? To what extent would a more varied language selection in marketing and communication help Finnish exports skyrocket?
Eric is now pondering whether to add German as the second language of the company. This way, their German clients could use their native language when they do business with the company. However, there are no German speakers in Eric’s company. He decides to call his friend who used to live In Germany. She encourages him to contact a translation agency they both know. Professionals are now taking care of Eric’s company’s website and marketing materials. Eric will continue his language adventures with German, perhaps in a language class.
If you are now pondering which languages you could utilise to become international or do more business, consider the following:
If this information is of use to you, we would love to hear about it.
Our translator network already has over 30 linguistic professionals. We mostly translate into English, Swedish, French, German, and Russian, in addition to which Lingo also has experience translating into Spanish, Portuguese, Italian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Estonian, Romanian, Hungarian, Czech, Slovakian and Chinese.