🇬🇧 Take advantage of the post-summer break to realign your company

By | September 6, 2023

Image by jcomp on Freepik

Returning to work after the summer break can be a challenge. An endless to-do list, which seems to have doubled during your absence, accumulated tasks and missed deadlines. You need to respond to the needs of customers, superiors, colleagues, employees and suppliers, to put out fires and to regain control of the situation.

If you follow the traditional path, meaning you return from your holiday and just try to get everything in order as quickly as possible, you will be missing out on a valuable opportunity.

The most vital role of a leader is to have focus, and the most valuable thing you will ever do for your company is to align people with your business’s most important priorities. If you do it well, the organisation will function at maximum productivity and have the greatest possible impact.

But this is not easy.

It’s hard enough for any of us to stay focused and aligned with our goals. But when it comes to an entire organisation, aligning the entire team is much more challenging.

In a translation company like M21Global, where accuracy and clarity are vital, the challenge is even greater. Clear and effective communication is key. We know that every word counts and that alignment is crucial not only in terms of language, but also culture and context.

However, every now and then, the perfect opportunity arises; a time when everything is a little easier, when you have the opportunity to be a little clearer, when people are more receptive, a time when your message will be particularly effective.

Returning from holidays is one of those opportunities.

After being away from the daily routine for a while, with a fresh mind and a rested body, when people in the company have not heard from you for some time, and some of them may also have been on holiday themselves, the atmosphere is calm. People are more available and more receptive to influence than usual.

Don’t waste this opportunity trying to manage your email inbox and your to-do list. Before responding to any email, ask yourself these questions:

  • What is your top priority for the company right now?
  • What will make the biggest difference to the company’s results?
  • What behaviours should you encourage to achieve your goals?
  • And, perhaps most importantly, what is least important?

As part of this process, it is crucial to distinguish between what is ‘important’ and what is a ‘priority’. While important tasks are those that have value and need to be done, priority tasks are those that must be done immediately because they have a direct and significant impact on the company’s objectives. We also often confuse what is urgent with what is a priority. Urgency is often dictated by deadlines, while priority is determined by alignment with the company’s strategic objectives.

Adding to it is the fact that tasks that are less important are often neither urgent nor a priority. These are tasks that, in essence, do not significantly impact the company’s objectives and can even disrupt alignment with them. Identifying and minimising these tasks can be key to keeping the company focused and efficient.

The goal when answering these questions is to choose about three or four priorities that will make the biggest difference for the company. Once you’ve identified them, you should spend 95 % of your energy moving forward with those priorities.

How to do it?

  1. Be very clear about your priorities. Write them down and choose your words carefully. Read them out loud. Do you feel articulate? Concise? Clear? Useful? Will they be a useful guide for people when they are making decisions and taking action?
  2. Use them as a lens through which you view – and filter – every decision, conversation, request, task and email that you need to deal with. When someone makes a request or asks you to make a decision, say something like: ‘Given that we’re trying to achieve X, it makes sense to do Y’.

Will the email you’re about to respond to reinforce your priorities? Will it create momentum in the right direction? If so, respond in a way that deepens the alignment and clarifies the focus, linking the response as closely as possible to one or more of the priorities you have defined. If you look at an email and can’t find a clear way to link it to the organisation’s top priorities, move on to the next email. Don’t be afraid to sideline issues that don’t relate to your priorities. It all comes down to having focus, and in order to focus on some things, you’ll have to ignore others.

Take advantage of this opportunity: a rare moment when your main role and most difficult task – focusing and refocusing the company – becomes a little easier. Don’t waste it. Returning from a holiday is not just a matter of putting everything in order, it’s about going further.

Which leads us to ask, how aligned is your Company? And how important is this alignment?

All leaders know that their companies must be aligned. They know that their strategies, organisational capabilities, resources and management systems must all be aligned to support the company’s purpose. The difficulty is that leaders sometimes tend to focus on just some of these areas, to the exclusion of others.

Alignment is more than having a clear and well-communicated strategy. It is ensuring that the chosen strategy is the right one, that it is being executed effectively and that the company has the necessary skills and tools to execute it.

It is not an end in itself, but a continuous process of adjustment and refinement. It is fundamental to business performance. The most aligned companies outperform their competitors on almost every performance metric, from customer satisfaction to profitability.

Business alignment is not just a strategy, but a vital necessity to ensure an organisation’s prosperity and resilience. The post-holiday return to work is the perfect time to reflect, reevaluate and realign the company’s goals and objectives. Take advantage of this period of fresh start and renewal to ensure that the company and its team are in sync and focused on the right priorities. Remember that a well-aligned company is synonymous with success, efficiency, and satisfaction for both employees and customers.

In this context, it is important to highlight the crucial role of a translation company such as M21Global. The ability to communicate effectively in multiple languages and cultural contexts is a form of alignment in itself. A translation company, with its unique expertise, ensures that an organisation’s message is understood and resonates in global markets. Clarity, precision and cultural sensitivity are key to achieving alignment on an international scale.

Companies that can achieve and maintain their alignment have a significant competitive advantage. They are more agile, more responsive, and better able to adapt to change. And these are the companies that are more likely to thrive.






🇬🇧 The importance of translation in the dissemination of religion: about the World Youth Day

By | August 8, 2023


Image Peter H, by Pixabay

As part of World Youth Day, taking place in Lisbon from 1 to 6 August, and Pope Francis’ 5-day visit, we reflect on the essential role translation has played in the dissemination of religion and culture. M21Global humbly welcomes Pope Francis to Portugal.

Translation is vital for the communication and understanding between different people, cultures, religions and beliefs. At M21Global translation company, we respect and stand on the legacy left by the translators who came before us, and especially the pioneers, dedicated to religious translation, who helped shape our perception of ourselves, others, and the world.

The art of translation is over a thousand years old. Translators, respected members in the societies of the time, were transmitting distant and unfamiliar ideas from other cultures and geographies, and accelerating the spread of knowledge, religious beliefs and shaping the linguistic evolution of languages themselves.

Although it is difficult to date the earliest translations, historical evidence suggests that the translation of cuneiform writing on clay tablets from Sumerian into Eblaite languages, around 4500 years ago was one of the first examples of this art.

Religious texts were essential for the dissemination of culture and knowledge, and these translations a field of primordial interest. It were these translations that made it possible for Buddhism to expand across Asia and for Christianity to spread around the globe.

In the United Kingdom, during the 5th and 6th centuries, monks and academics began translating parts of the Bible from Latin into Old English. In Portugal, there were also similar efforts by priests and scholars to translate parts of the Bible into Portuguese in order to increase access to the sacred texts. St. Jerome, a Catholic priest from the 4th century and patron saint of translators, introduced the idea that a translation should capture ‘sense for sense’ rather than a literal word for word translation, an approach still followed to this today.

The first complete translation of the Bible into Portuguese was carried out by João Ferreira de Almeida, a Protestant missionary born in Portugal. This work, known as the ‘Almeida Bible’, was first published in 1681. Although there were previous partial translations, it was Almeida’s work that made the complete Bible available in Portuguese for the first time, allowing Portuguese speakers to have a much wider access to the Bible. It also played an important role in the standardisation of language and the shaping of modern Portuguese language.

Translation, however, was not limited to the Bible alone, and played a determining role in shaping religions and cultures. Religious concepts and beliefs are disseminated and understood globally thanks to translation, from the Bhagavad Gita, the Koran, Buddhist sutras and many other sacred texts. With their translations into several languages, people from different cultural and linguistic backgrounds can understand and assimilate these traditions and cultures.

M21Global translation company is committed to providing accurate and culturally appropriate translations that preserve the texts’ original meaning and intent. As part of World Youth Day, and Pope Francis’ visit to Portugal, we have the opportunity to recall the significant influence that translation has had on the spread of several religions, cultures and knowledge around the world. Each religion has a unique view of the world and translation allows these perspectives to be shared with a wider audience, promoting mutual understanding and respect between different cultures and religions.

Considering the rich history of translation that shaped our religions, cultures and people, M21Global translation company is proud to continue this legacy, following in the footsteps of its ancestors, available to answer all of its customers’ needs, establishing a communication bridge between different languages and cultures. We believe that just as translation has helped spread knowledge, beliefs and cultures in the past, M21Global will continue to play a key role in providing a high-quality translation service, now not on clay tablets or papyrus sheets, but turning to the most advanced technologies at our disposal.

🇬🇧 How a translation company like M21Global can help expats and immigrants settle in Portugal

By | August 3, 2023

Porto, Portugal (Photo by Nahália Segato – https://pixabay.com/pt/photos/porto-portugal-rio-douro-ribeira-2048724/)

More and more people are crossing borders, in search of new horizons in foreign countries for a myriad of reasons: to study, to work or simply for a change of scenery.

Emigrating to a new country presents a number of challenges, one of the most significant and immediate of which is the language barrier. A translation company plays a crucial role in adapting to the new reality. M21Global, a translation company with more than 15 years of experience, certified by the international quality standard ISO17100, plays a decisive role in this area, providing a series of services that facilitate immigration and integration of the individual and their family in the new host country.

Considering the Portuguese context, this new mobility has caused a significant increase in the number of expatriates (or immigrants, individuals living outside their home countries for various reasons) seeking Portugal as their new host country.

Portugal has seen a significant increase in the number of expatriates, given that many have chosen Portugal as their new country of destination (twice the number of foreign legal residents between 2015 and 2022); their decision has been driven by several attractive factors, mainly the mild climate, quality of life, safety, political stability, relatively low cost of living and the country’s rich culture and history.

In addition, Portugal offers a wide range of opportunities for those wishing to start a business or invest; these enticements, coupled with a well-developed labour market thanks to its quality education system, contribute to the presence of a diverse and welcoming expat community which, in turn, reinforces Portugal’s appeal as a preferred destination for expats.

In a more global context, settling in Portugal can serve as an excellent gateway to the European Union, making it possible to explore and capitalise on opportunities across the Union of 27 countries and almost 450 million people (the world’s largest trading bloc, as the bloc that exports the most goods and services, and the one that imports the most from more than 100 countries).

Finally, the attractiveness of immigrating to Portugal includes the fact that the Portuguese passport is considered one of the most valuable in the world, allowing its holders to enter more than 180 countries and territories without the need for special formalities, such as visas, or even a visa upon arrival or electronic travel authorisations. This ease of access ranks the Portuguese passport 5th place in the global ranking, alongside the Belgian, Norwegian or Swiss passports, among others.

M21Global, based in Portugal, has a long history of helping expatriates looking to establish themselves in the country – for example, by hiring foreign collaborators or applying additional discounts on translations – offering a full range of essential translation services for expatriates during the immigration and integration process.

The importance of a translation company in immigration

Moving to a new country is a challenge, which requires a lot of courage and a great deal of flexibility and humility. Cultural differences, a new language, adapting to a new reality, the need to establish new social and professional networks, among others, are part of the complexity of the experience as an expatriate. One of the most difficult obstacles to overcome is the immigration bureaucracy, namely all the documentation needed to successfully complete the process. Since this process is already a difficult and demanding experience, it becomes even more challenging when the official language of the country of destination is different from the expatriate’s native language.

A translation company can make the difference. Companies such as M21Global, specialised in professional translation, can assist in the efficient processing, translation and legalisation of documents required for immigration, helping to navigate complex bureaucracies in a foreign language.

One of the first steps in the immigration process involves submitting several official documents that need to be translated into Portuguese. This list can be long and varied, including passports, birth, marriage and divorce records, criminal records and more.

Each of these documents is decisive in the immigration process. An inaccurate or faulty translation can cause the application to be delayed, or even rejected. Details such as mixed letters, different dates, poor print quality or different spellings on double-spelled names can be enough to put the brakes on the application process. Using a certified translation company like M21Global, capable of accurately and effectively translating these documents, is crucial. It is also common for immigration authorities to additionally require these translations be certified or authenticated, services that M21Global can guarantee so that all documents are legally valid in Portugal.

Translation of legal documents

For expats who are moving due to professional reasons or who are acquiring properties in Portugal, the need arises for the translation of a wide range of legal documents. These documents can range from legal contracts, purchase and sale agreements, public deeds, wills, powers of barrister, among others.

Understanding the legal language and the terms used can sometimes be complex, even if they are in the immigrant’s own language, even more so in a foreign language, which they are not fluent in. Professional translation companies such as M21Global can ensure the accurate translation of these documents and the correct interpretation of all legal terms and expressions contained therein.

Translation of professional records

For expatriates in search of job opportunities, translation of evidentiary documentation for a professional CV is essential. Documents such as resumes, reference letters, diplomas, certificates and others, must be translated in a way that properly highlights the expatriate’s skills and experiences for potential employers.

The education system and professional qualifications sometimes vary considerably from one country to another. A qualified translation company, such as M21Global, guarantees not only accurate translation, but also the appropriate equivalences of the expatriate’s qualifications and skills in the Portuguese context.

Translation of websites and marketing materials

For expats arriving with the aim of expanding their business, the ability to communicate effectively with local customers is key. M21Global offers accurately and culturally relevant translation of websites, marketing materials, service contracts and other commercial documents, helping to promote a business’ visibility and credibility in the Portuguese market.

In short, a translation company plays an key role in an expatriate’s immigration process, helping them overcome the language barrier and successfully settle in a new country. With its vast experience, proven competence and a dedicated team of professional translators, M21Global is the trusted choice for expats planning to settle in Portugal. The company offers peace of mind in knowing that all translation requirements will be handled effectively and professionally.

🇬🇧 The Importance of Translation Companies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

By | June 28, 2023

Image generated by AI using the following prompt: ‘Create an image that you feel represents human-aided artificial intelligence’

Artificial intelligence has seen significant advances in many areas, including machine translation. However, we cannot blindly trust artificial intelligence without human oversight for certain sensitive applications. In this article, we will discuss the importance of translation companies in the context of artificial intelligence, highlighting the quality of the work of human translators when compared to artificial intelligence systems like chatGPT.

Artificial Intelligence in Translation: A Technological Marvel with Limitations

Artificial intelligence has demonstrated incredible capabilities in many domains, including text translation. Artificial intelligence language models, such as chatGPT, are capable of performing various tasks, from translating texts to generating computer code. However, despite their advanced abilities, they are not infallible.

Artificial intelligence does not have human common sense and does not understand complex context to the same degree that humans can. Artificial intelligence has difficulties in generating complex structured content, in handling multiple tasks at the same time and can even produce potentially biased responses due to biases in training datasets. In addition, artificial intelligence is known to have accuracy and grammar issues, and it can be expensive to use due to computational costs.

The Matter of Sensibility: Why Human Oversight is Key

Would you completely entrust your health or safety to a machine, for example, during a flight or a surgical procedure, without any human oversight? That is what you are doing when you entrust your translation to artificial intelligence, without the oversight of a professional who knows how to correct potential errors made by artificial intelligence.

Health equipment, medications, safety equipment and flights all have user manuals, manufacturing and handling instructions. These manuals and instructions need to be translated into several languages so that everyone can understand them.

There are serious errors that it can easily detect, but could it recognise that ‘amygdala’ in English is not the same as ‘amígdala’ in Portuguese?

Amygdala (‘amígdala cerebelosa’ in Portuguese) is a brain structure located in the cerebellum.

‘Amígdalas’ (‘tonsils’ in English) are organs located in the throat.

Examples of Artificial Intelligence Errors

There are well-known historical examples, for example Uber’s self-driving car which killed a pedestrian in the USA. The car was unable to correctly identify the pedestrian, as the pedestrian was on the pavement as expected under normal circumstances. The existing artificial intelligence models and training were not correctly implemented by the system.

Another example is an AI-based recruitment tool used by Amazon to recruit top talent by analysing only their resumes. It so happens that the machine was trained using biased data from the last 10 years, during which the vast majority of candidates were men. Thus, the tool gave priority to male candidates.

But we can ask ChatGPT a few simple questions ourselves.

Error 1: Countries that start with O in alphabetical order

Not only does ChatGPT respond with only 1 country that starts with the letter O, but most countries listed start with the letter P.

If we then ask which countries start with the letter O, without requesting them to be ordered alphabetically, here ChatGPT is not accurate.

Of the 4 countries listed, 3 are repetitions, and another one seems to be in French (minus the acute accent => Ouzbékistan).

We ask the same question again, but with more specific wording, asking for countries that start with the letter O as their first letter:

It does apologize for the repetition earlier, but no mention to why Uzbekistan made it to the list.

Error 2: A simple calculation.

It starts by giving the wrong result, but it arrives at the right answer after showing the workings for the calculation.

The Role of Translation Companies in the Age of Artificial Intelligence

A translation company like M21Global plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality of your translations. Translation specialists check and correct the quality of the translation produced by artificial intelligence. In fact, we have been using machine translation, neural networks and artificial intelligence in the translation sector for over 10 years. Our job as translators is not to do what machines do faster and more efficiently than a human translator, but rather, our job is to check that the translation provided by the machine is accurate, and to correct or improve the sections which are not.

Our (proprietary) machine translation system incorporates AI translation into our workflow. The system tries to identify the best possible translation and presents it to the translator, who then reviews it and checks that it agrees with the original text (i.e., whether the terminology, semantic accuracy, lexical cohesion, style, localisation, the formatting and the translation’s target audience are in accordance with each client’s specific needs). The system is subsequently fed again with this new translation, so that future translations are increasingly reliable and accurate.

Conclusion: Artificial Intelligence and Translation – A Partnership, Not a Replacement

Although artificial intelligence is advancing by leaps and bounds, there is still a long way to go, that is, if the destination can even be reached, before it can completely replace the need for human intervention in sensitive applications such as translation. While artificial intelligence can help provide alternatives in decision making, ultimately humans still need to be involved in the decision-making process. At most, artificial intelligence is a form of augmented intelligence and not pure artificial intelligence which can replace the subtlety of human intelligence.

A translation company, with its experience and specialist knowledge, plays a crucial role in ensuring the quality and accuracy of your translations. By understanding the limitations of artificial intelligence and applying human oversight when necessary, you can ensure that artificial intelligence is used safely and effectively.

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🇬🇧 The Importance of Translation for Local Market Success

By | June 1, 2023

As businesses continue to expand and evolve, it’s becoming increasingly important to consider the role of translation in promoting growth and success. In this digital age, companies must cater to a diverse audience in order to stay competitive, and that means connecting with customers across various languages and cultures. In this article, we’ll explore the importance of translation in selling products to local markets, and how partnering with a quality translation service provider like M21Global can help your business achieve its internationalization goals.

Image Source: FreeImages

Understanding the Need for Translation

The world is becoming more interconnected every day, and as a result, businesses must consider the diverse backgrounds and languages of their customers. This means that even if your company is based in a predominantly English-speaking country, it’s essential to reach out to non-English speaking customers in their native language. By offering product and service information in multiple languages, you can tap into new markets and grow your customer base.

Language barriers can often impede the growth of a business, leading to miscommunication and lost opportunities. By investing in translation services, you can bridge these gaps and ensure that your message is clearly understood by your target audience. This can lead to increased trust and loyalty among customers, as well as a more positive brand image.

The Benefits of Localized Product Descriptions

When customers feel comfortable with the language used on a website or in product descriptions, they are more likely to make a purchase. Offering localized product descriptions can greatly improve the shopping experience for customers, making it easier for them to find and understand the information they need.

Localized product descriptions can also help improve your website’s search engine rankings in local markets. By offering content in multiple languages, you increase the likelihood of appearing in search results for users searching in their native language. This can lead to increased visibility and traffic to your website, ultimately boosting sales.

The Role of Quality in Translation Services

The quality of your translations can make or break your international marketing efforts. Poorly translated content can leave customers confused or even offended, whereas high-quality translations can effectively convey your brand’s message and values. Partnering with a reputable translation service provider like M21Global ensures that your content is not only accurate but also engaging and relevant to your target audience.

When working with a translation service provider, it’s crucial to choose a company with skilled and experienced translators. M21Global’s team of expert linguists have extensive knowledge in various industries, ensuring that your content is translated with the utmost precision and care. By trusting your translations to professionals, you can be confident that your message will resonate with your target audience.

Internationalization and Marketing Strategies

Successful international marketing requires a deep understanding of local markets and their unique cultural nuances. This means not only translating your content but also adapting it to suit the preferences and expectations of your target audience. Localization goes beyond simple translation, encompassing aspects such as currency conversion, date and time formatting, and cultural sensitivities.

As your business expands into new markets, it’s important to maintain a consistent brand image across all languages and cultures. By investing in quality translation and localization services, you can ensure that your brand’s message and values are effectively conveyed to customers around the world. This can help to build trust and credibility, ultimately contributing to the growth and success of your business.

Overcoming Challenges in International Business

Navigating the legal and regulatory landscape in various countries can be a complex and daunting task. However, by working with a translation service provider like M21Global, you can ensure that your content complies with local customs. This can help to minimize potential legal issues and protect your business’s reputation.

Understanding and respecting the cultural norms of your target audience is crucial in international business. A quality translation service provider will take into account cultural sensitivities when translating and localizing your content, ensuring that it resonates with your audience and avoids any potential misunderstandings or offense.

Investing in Translation as a Business Strategy

By recognizing the importance of translation and incorporating it into your business strategy, you can set your company up for long-term growth and success. Investing in quality translation services not only helps to expand your customer base but also allows you to build lasting relationships with clients around the world.

Choosing the right translation service provider is a crucial aspect of your internationalization strategy. M21Global has a proven track record of delivering high-quality translations that effectively convey your brand’s message and values. By partnering with M21Global, you can rest assured that your translations will be handled with the utmost care and professionalism.

The Impact of Translation on Your Business

By offering localized product descriptions and marketing materials, you can tap into new markets and attract a larger customer base. This can lead to increased revenue and market share, giving your business a competitive edge in the global marketplace.

Providing customers with information in their native language can greatly improve their overall shopping experience. By offering accurate and engaging translations, you can ensure that customers understand your products and services, ultimately leading to increased satisfaction and loyalty.

The Future of Translation in Business

As the world becomes increasingly interconnected, the role of translation in business will only continue to grow. Companies that recognize the importance of translation and invest in quality services will be better positioned to succeed in the global marketplace. By partnering with a trusted provider like M21Global, you can ensure that your business stays ahead of the competition and continues to thrive in an ever-changing landscape.

In Conclusion

The importance of translation in selling your products to local markets cannot be overstated. By investing in quality translation services and partnering with a reputable provider like M21Global, you can effectively reach new customers, grow your business, and achieve long-term success in the global marketplace. Don’t let language barriers hold your business back—embrace the power of translation and unlock your company’s full potential today.

References and Further Reading

If you’re interested in learning more about the role of translation in international business, be sure to check out the following resources:

And to discover how M21Global can help your business succeed in the global marketplace, be sure to visit their website and explore their wide range of translation services.

🇬🇧 M21Global – High Quality Translation Services for a Globalized World

By | May 11, 2023

In today’s globalized world, communication is key, and translation plays a crucial role in connecting people from different cultures and backgrounds. M21Global is a leading provider of translation services, offering fast and accurate translations in multiple languages for businesses and individuals worldwide. With a team of experienced and professional translators, M21Global is committed to delivering high-quality translations that meet the unique needs of each client.

M21Global offers high-quality translation services in multiple languages. Our professional translators provide fast and accurate translations for businesses and individuals worldwide.

Quality and Speed in Translation

At M21Global, we understand that quality and speed are both important when it comes to translation services. That’s why we use a rigorous quality control process to ensure that every translation is accurate and meets the highest standards of quality. We also offer fast turnaround times, so you can get your translations when you need them.

The Role of Speed in Translation

In today’s fast-paced business world, time is of the essence. That’s why we offer fast turnaround times for our translation services. Whether you need a document translated quickly for a business meeting or a website translated for a global audience, we can help. We understand that every minute counts, and we’re committed to delivering fast and accurate translations for our clients.

Choosing a Translation Partner

Choosing the right translation partner is important. You need a partner who can deliver high-quality translations that meet your unique needs. At M21Global, we offer a wide range of translation services, including document translation, website translation, and more. We work with businesses and individuals from a variety of industries, including legal, medical, and technical, to provide customized translation solutions.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions About Translation)

Q: How do I get started with M21Global?

A: Getting started with M21Global is easy. Either send us an email, or simply visit our website and fill out our contact form, tells us what you need to see translated, attached the documents, and one of our representatives will be in touch with you shortly.

Q: How much do your translation services cost?

A: The cost of our translation services varies depending on the type of translation, the language, and the length of the document. Contact us for a customized quote.

Q: Can you provide certified translations?

A: Yes, we can provide certified translations for legal and official documents.

In conclusion, M21Global is a leading provider of translation services, offering fast and accurate translations in multiple languages for businesses and individuals worldwide. With a focus on quality and speed, we’re committed to delivering high-quality translations that meet the unique needs of each client. Contact us today to learn more about our services and how we can help you connect with people from around the world.

🇬🇧 The Art of Finding Solutions

By | February 3, 2023

Image by upklyak on FreepikA small discussion group usually finds better solutions than any of its participants individually.

A few years ago, I took part in an experiment, in which each member of the group was asked to choose, separately, from a list 10 essential items to survive for a certain time on the Moon, in case of failure of the return ship.

Then, the same process was repeated as a group. The solutions were compared with NASA’s. The group won by a very high margin.

Before handing the problem over to the group, it is necessary to do something that, in general, the group cannot do: collect data.

If our sales are falling, the first thing to do is gather data: are sales falling for all of the company’s products, or just some? Are we losing customers or are they buying less? Is there a new competitor or a new product in the market? Is the competition going through the same? Are there new prices on the market? Is the team happy? Etc.

It is not possible to collect all relevant data. You have to know when to stop researching, otherwise you will not find a reasonable solution in time.

Sometimes, the reasons to the problem are known. When someone is in pain, usually the problem is not the pain itself, but rather what causes the pain.

The problem to be resolved must be very clear. Let’s consider, for example, the problem ‘exports to Spain dropped, why and what can we do about it?’. Maybe the group will better define the problem when debating it.

The discussion group should be small and the rules introduced at the start:

It’s not about arguing like lawyers or politicians trying to convince us of something they believe, even if that’s fake. The goal is to find the truth, the best solution.

It’s not about applying rhetoric or making long speeches, as in courts and propaganda.

It’s about applying dialectic, created by the Greeks 2500 years ago. They sought to know reality through dialogue, opposing ideas to other ideas, developing new ones as a result.

Each participant must be open to consider several proposals and its possible alternatives and improvements, not just setting for one (their own). The potential solutions are then analysed one by one, improved or discarded, until the best one is reached.

Finally, reviewing the process from data collection to conclusion will allow the decision to be qualified, widely accepted and carried out firmly and with a higher probability of success.

🇬🇧 Translation is an essential part of business

By | November 15, 2022

You need to market your business to make your products available to potential customers.

Marketing helps businesses grow by increasing a brand’s visibility and establishing a recognisable presence in consumers’ minds.

There are several ways for marketing to impact your target audience and to raise their awareness regarding the benefits your company has to offer.

With so many advertising options available nowadays, you need to find ways to market your business that are both affordable and result-oriented. And this is where translation comes in.

There are several marketing strategies that can be more efficient if you implement translation as a key component.


Translation in Advertising

There is a common misconception that translation is only used in web content marketing; however, it can also be used in advertising. When you market your product or brand on a global scale, you realise that many of the channels available only display content in the local language.

Translation will allow you to reach a larger target audience and increase your brand’s visibility.

Translation can also help you create targeted advertising campaigns, specifically geared towards your target audience’s needs.

Targeted advertising can increase a brand’s awareness and bring new customers to your business.

In the current climate, translation is not an option; in fact, it is an obligation for any business seeking international expansion.

By translating your advertisements, you can create specific ads that meet your target audience’s needs and realities.

With targeted ads, you have the chance to increase your brand’s awareness and bring new customers to your business.


Marketing in Platforms that Require Translation

If you have a social media presence (e.g., Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest), in platforms with a global reach which often feature multilingual content, translation is going to help you reach a broader audience.

You can also use translation to reach your target audience in platforms other than traditional social media ones, such as blogs, websites and apps.

If you decide to market using social media platforms in a different language, you will be able to use translation to create content in those languages. For example, if you market in a Spanish platform, you will have to create your ad in Spanish. This is commonly known as ‘native advertising’.


Content marketing with translation

Content marketing is a type of marketing which consists in the development and distribution of content to consistently attract and retain an audience. Companies can create several types of content, such as videos, podcasts, e-books, blogs and even newsletters.

Content marketing is an affordable approach to generate leads and increase your revenues. However, if you choose not to create content in your target audience’s language, this strategy is highly unlikely to be successful. By implementing translation in your content marketing strategy, your content will be more efficient.

You can also use content marketing to advertise products or services that are already available in other languages. For example, you can create e-books in various languages and distribute them to your target audience.


Integrate offline and online marketing strategies

In online marketing, these strategies can be used to reach your target audience, and they can focus your efforts on offline marketing strategies. Both marketing strategies are extremely efficient separately; however, if you combine them, you can increase your return on investment. By merging both online and offline marketing strategies, you can reach your target audience more broadly by addressing them in their preferred language.

You can also create marketing materials in various languages, such as brochures, pamphlets, and posters, thus making your product or brand more accessible to those who prefer to read or access content in their mother tongue.


Translating your product descriptions

Your product descriptions are a crucial part of the sales process. If those descriptions are not made available in your target audience’s language, your sales are highly likely to be unsuccessful. To fight this, make sure your product descriptions are in your target audience’s language. In order to do that, you just have to translate the descriptions that are in another language to your target audience’s language.


Sales and translation

The motto of sellers, either of products or services, is to increase sales as much as possible. To achieve that, you have to attract as many potential customers as possible. Even when your target audience knows English, there are still opportunities to increase your sales by resorting to translation.

Since the beginning of e-commerce in the early 90s, the digital marketplace has become a global industry worth more than 265 billion euros, with China, the UK and South Korea having the largest share of e-commerce, when compared with total sales (https://www.insiderintelligence.com/content/countries-retail-ecommerce).

Did you ever visit a website and find its content difficult to understand? This happens because the website was poorly translated or written, or because it is not even available in your mother tongue. This happens often, even with local companies.

So how can you make sure that you are using your website efficiently to reach your clients? How can you guarantee that your customers understand the content and information on your website?

The answer is simple: by resorting to translation services.

🇬🇧 The superpowers of interpretation

By | November 24, 2020

When I say I’m a translator, I often hear the answer, “Oh, okay. Nice.” The second alternative, equally frequent, is “Oh, so you translate films and tv shows, right?” No, I don’t. Although subtitling is very present in our daily lives, in a very visible way, with tv shows and films consumed daily, news, video clips, documentaries and a whole catalogue of audio-visual consumption on streaming platforms where, for the most part, we see content with subtitles, translation is not just about that niche market. Today, however, I would like to talk to you about interpretation, a completely different branch of translation.

If, in general terms, translation is the passage from a text written in one language to another language using equivalent words, through a written medium, subtitling does the same with an audio-visual medium and interpretation uses an oral medium. In addition, it also requires several entirely different knowledge and techniques that have to be learned and trained.

Just as there are different types of translation (technical, literary, legal, medical,…), there are also different types of interpretation: simultaneous, consecutive, whisper, among others. My professional experience, although based primarily on technical translation, has expanded in recent years to also include interpretation, more specifically simultaneous translation.

Simultaneous interpretation is not just “saying what a person has said but in another language”; it is doing it at the same time as the speaker is talking. Using audio material, such as headphones, earphones or microphone, listeners can choose to either listen to the speaker or the interpreter communicating.

I don’t always find it easy to explain, to people who do not know the area, how complex this process of “repeating what one person says but in another language” is. Simply put, the interpreter must:

– listen to the speaker

– understand what is being said

– translate the speech in question in their head

– speak/say the equivalent translation

– listen to themselves while talking

– continue listening to the speaker to continue translating and doing an oral interpretation.

Sound confusing? It is. We are, in essence, speaking over another speaker, communicating at the same time as another person, but in a different language. And only the interpreter hears the two communications, since listeners choose one of the oral communications, either the original by the speaker or the translation by the interpreter.

The brain is still accelerated, it got used to working at 100 miles an km to process the information it is receiving and translating it to communicate to third parties, mentally searching for word equivalents, making sure the verb tenses being used in a sentence that I still don’t know how it will end make sense, trying not to speak too quickly but also not too slowly, using a lower tone of voice but without being boring or monotonous… all knowledge and techniques are being put to practice at the same time.

“To be worn to a frazzle”, “to burn the candle at both ends”, “dead on my feet”… the richness of our language only partly ‘translates’ the feeling I get when I finish an interpreting service, when I’m still trying to slow down, trying to regain the ‘normal’ speed of life. And getting ready for the next one!

Sara Pereira, translator, proofreader and project manager

One tongue, two languages

By | November 5, 2020

It is known that due to the long period in which Brazil was under Portuguese ruling, these countries share the same language: Portuguese.

Nevertheless, this language contains unique specificities. For example, it is said to be one of the only languages in the world to have words that cannot be translated, the most famous of which being “saudade”. This word means melancholic or nostalgic longing for a person, place or things, which are far away, either in space or in time. Other interesting words would be “desbundar” and “desrascanço”.

Sticking to the word “saudade”, its meaning reveals something so lacking in the world in which we live: empathy, love of your neighbour, bonds of solidarity, of coexistence that are so necessary and humanise us.

There are words that can get people in trouble if they are employed in the wrong country. For example, the word “rapariga”: in Portugal, it means “girl”, in Brazil means “prostitute”.

In Portugal, “Durex” is a brand of condom while in Brazil this word is used to refer to “adhesive tape”.

The same happens with “puto”, a derogatory word for “boy” in Portugal while, in Brazil, it can mean “homosexual man”, “bastard”, “angry person” or even “money”.

There are also other words that do not put us “in hot water” (or in embarrassing or troubling situations), but that have different meanings. For example, “chávena/xícara” (cup), “foguetão/foguete” (rocket); “baliza/meta” (goal) and “comboio/trem” (train).

Specially in the world of translation, one of the main difficulties was not to understand false cognates, but rather to understand what people were actually saying because of the accents. During university conferences and lectures, particularly in the north of the country, it is often difficult to understand which words are being pronounced. The same happens with transcriptions in which, at first, there are certain difficulties in understanding what is being said.

If we consider the legal field, beyond linguistic differences – “burla” in Portugal and “estelionato” in Brazil (fraude), “Tribunal de Relação” in Portugal and “Tribunal de Justiça” in Brazil (Court of Appeal), “Oficioso” in Portugal and “Defensor dativo” in Brazil (Court-appointed lawyer), “Absolvição de instância” in Portugal and “extinção sem resolução do mérito” in Brazil (acquittal) or even “arguido” in Portugal and “acusado” in Brazil (defendant), among others – what most distinguishes the procedures and customs of these countries is the possibility of lawyers carrying out notarial activities, that is, legal certification of documents and signatures, translations and even legal photocopy of documents. In Brazil, these activities can only be carried out by notaries.

Thus, despite being countries with a shared history, culture and idiomatic traits, there are so many other linguistic, behavioural and civilizational distinctions that greatly enrich and ennoble these two countries that know how to give a warm welcome to people, celebrating and enjoying life. I feel welcomed and accepted in this rich and generous country, both personally and professionally.

Henrique Silva, Lawyer