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Tokyo, Japan

Good translations build good relations – our EU “uncoupling”

Posted 15 February 2017

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Can Britain’s relationship with the EU really be compared to a marriage?

Following on from the day of LOVE and Valentine’s day, lets talk about the opposite end of the love spectrum. Divorce.

Membership of the EU was never a marriage, so why talk of divorce? I mean, sure, we never got along with Italy’s mother-in-law and we caused a ruckus at Maastricht when France kept spending all that time alone with Germany, but did that make it a marriage?

No. In most marriages you’re not allowed 27 partners – well not unless you’re a Mormon or Boris Johnson (allegedly). No, a consortium of countries cannot be compared to a marriage and neither can Brexit be compared to a divorce.

Divorce is never considered a positive option and it is rarely civilised – just ask Madonna and Guy Ritchies’ kids…and Malawi. I think we can all agree we need to achieve a successful Brexit, in which case the term ‘divorce’ should definitely NOT be used to describe it.

As divorce is up there with death of a loved one in terms of stressful life events, the seemingly continuous use of the ‘D’ word by the press can only have a negative impact. Maintaining good relations with our EU counterparts and continuing to build on those relationships, albeit on different terms, is essential for businesses to continue to thrive.

It’s rare for anyone to come out of divorce proceedings smelling of roses, so as attention-grabbing as the term is, it’s definitely misused in the context of Brexit.

I say we follow Chris and Gwyneth’s example – we’re not getting divorced… we’re “uncoupling” …very consciously.

What are the benefits of Britain’s uncoupling for British businesses?

Let’s be honest, one of the main benefits is that we get to see other trading blocks without the guilt.

The Chinese have an inscrutable charm, the Russians smoulder enigmatically and as for the Americans…hey, interesting hair!

But face facts. We have got to stay on very, very good terms with Europe….if only for the sake of little Luxembourg .

According to a recent survey carried out by the British Chambers of Commerce, UK firms will still predominantly focus on expanding into markets in EU countries and are formulating export strategies for 2018 accordingly. Those old ties – they sure are hard to break…Good translations can help keep good relations!

How can companies find the support they need to export to EU countries in the current climate?

“Communication, communication communication…” as the therapist stressed, and there’s very little communicating if you’re speaking different languages.

Good translations can be your foot in the door with European clients. They will act as an introducer and will help pave the way to success.

Don’t assume that everyone Europe and beyond speaks English. They don’t, and if they do, they still prefer to be spoken to in their own language on a business level.

Professional translation companies will want to discuss your target audience, your brand’s ethos and the message you are trying to get across. This will help ensure your translated documentation, web sites, landing pages and marketing materials are aligned with your brand’s philosophy. This will give your customers a true understanding of what your products or services can do for them.

For further information, the Department of International Trade can provide essential support for companies looking to expand into EU markets. They can advise on whether your product or service is likely to succeed in other markets and help smooth the way to success overseas. They provide expert advice and put on events throughout the year aimed at businesses looking to export or expand in other markets.

Come what may with Brexit, we’re going to have keep those lines of communication open – otherwise we might end with restricted visiting rights to Portugal…and nobody wants that.

Speak to ALM and find out the best way to keep good relations with the EU family – invest in good translations! Contact ALM today.


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