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Bridging the language barrier: How to win over clients that speak a different language from me

Updated: Aug 12, 2023

In the global business market today, cross border transactions and partnerships are a dime a dozen. Deals are sealed and money is exchanged between parties in different geographical locations.

More than ever before, businesses find themselves selling their products and services to customers and clients who speak a different language from them. This takes communication to a different level.

A loudspeaker on the shore is saying "We're the best!", but a ear far out at sea hears gibberish words.

How does a brand or company maintain the same level of clarity, persuasiveness, credibility and accuracy in their communication when language itself is the barrier?

Here are a few ways companies doing business globally have chosen to make things work.

Record First, Translate Later

An agency is interviewing the CEO of their client company to understand his brand vision. Both parties share a common language that they use to communicate with each other – English. However, the agency is aware that their client might be more comfortable expressing himself in his own native tongue and that important information might be lost if he were to share his thoughts and ideas in English.

To address this potential communication issue, they ask the CEO to provide his answers to the interview questions in his own native tongue while they record it.

The audio recording is sent for transcription and audio translation into written English form, which could then be easily shared with other members of the team and used as a reference for ongoing communication and projects.

With a recorded copy and audio translated transcript, this reduces the chance of miscommunication between the parties.

Getting Real-Time Support for Discussions

A consulting business has just won a new account and they are preparing for their first onboarding discussion with their new overseas client. The consulting and client teams have been communicating in English all along, but the consultants feel that it would be good to have someone on their end who is able to communicate with their new client in their native tongue so that they could start this relationship on solid footing.

As none of their employees are able to communicate in the client’s native language at the desired level of fluency, an interpreter is engaged to facilitate the conversation between the parties during the meeting.

By engaging the services of a professional interpreter with experience in handling business conversations, the consultants are able to focus fully on what they are best at – ideas and strategy – leaving the language bit to the interpreter.

This helps to foster a smooth conversation to create positive energy at the meeting.

Review Translated Content Using Back Translation

The marketing manager of an F&B business that is expanding to another country is working with a transcreation agency on the translation of their advertising campaign. However, they are concerned about the translation because they don’t speak or understand the language and do not know how to assess the quality and accuracy of the translation.

To address the language gap, transcreated copy options are presented along with back translation. (Back Translation is the translation of the translated text back into the source language so that its content can be checked.)

With the help of back translation, they are able to check if important information is omitted and if the translation presents potential cultural faux pas and regulatory issues.


Language doesn’t have to be a barrier if you have the right people and resources on your team.

Drop us a note to find out how Wei.Trans.Create can help address your specific language and translation needs!

(Related topics: Transcreation)

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