An American businessman spent days negotiating a tough deal with a Japanese counterpart. By the third day, things were going so well the American said, "It looks like we're beginning to think along parallel lines."
The next day the Japanese businessman didn't show for the meeting. The American checked the hotel and was told that the Japanese gentleman had checked out! The American rushed to the airport and found his counterpart in the departure waiting room. He said, "Why are you leaving? It took three days, but we're finally thinking along parallel lines!"
The Japanese businessman nodded. He said, "I checked my dictionary. Parallel lines will never meet. So I go home."
They Speak English, Don't They?
English is spoken around the world. It's the language of business, airport towers, and pop culture. It's the second language of millions . . .but it's not second nature.
People want to hear and read their own tongue in their own country. It puts them at ease. It makes them feel respected.
Put Yourself in Their Shoes
Ever tried to read a manual poorly translated into English? Then you know what foreign customers have to go through when they face inadequate translations. Speak your customers' language and you have their attention.
The No-Brainer Reason to Translate Your Materials
Good translations are a source of revenue! You've taken the time to speak your customers' language. This puts you ahead of competitors who haven't bothered to do the same - even competitors native to the market (it's not uncommon to find that native competitors haven't produced the most informative and user friendly materials). You've proven you have a long term commitment to creating and supplying products that can be used, relied on, and understood.
And let's not forget the press. The foreign press reviews your products and these reviewers are used to seeing poor or non-existent translations. Quality manuals, marketing, and packaging often get sited in reviews - an excellent promotional endorsement - and free!
By the way, NOW Translations also translates those reviews for you so you know what the foreign press is saying.