Imagine you work in a different country away from your host country. You may be there temporarily for a business assignment or you have set shop in the country and intend to move there on a permanent basis. The world is becoming a global economy with interconnected commerce and large pool of human resource. This situation has led to an increase in companies and organizations needing the skills of translators to deal with this global audience. You for one may find yourself thinking along the same lines due to the communication problems you experience. It is therefore surprising to many businessmen that they do not need the services of a translation company. Instead, they are a few tips you can employ to assist communication with employees, customers and suppliers.
When you are conversing with staff and customers try not to interrupt them even when they are not clear. Wait for them to finish with their explanation, then ask for clarification in the case you did not get the message. If you interrupt them, they will feel their input is not that important to you. A Customer will think he/she is wasting your time and more often than take offense. If you persist to interrupt, then do them the courtesy of apologizing, then making your point.
Be a good listener instead of showing exasperation any time you don’t understand something. Avoid giving the impression that you have given up trying to follow the conversation and you cannot wait for it to be over. Try and give indications that you are getting the gist of what is being said by nodding your head. You can try paraphrase the parts you do not understand so he can repeat them. If it’s in good nature, he will be so obliged to expound. Now that’s something you won’t need a translation company for.
Steer away from asking questions that are negative in nature. This will only create confusion and your correspondent may become defensive or avoid the question all together. Instead, ask open ended questions that are open to his interpretation and understanding. He may either take it positively or negatively so whichever his choice you will have your opening. Remember different cultures have their own ways of asking questions. Also, what you ask in one language may mean a different thing the other way around.
For technical ideas, try and employ the use of analogies. It may be difficult for you to find a word for a technical idea you want to communicate across therefore an analogy will do the trick. Make sure the analogy in any way is not disrespectful to him. Also, be wary of misinterpreted words and phrases that originally may have been said with no malice, but the other individual misinterprets it. Either of you may have meant to communicate something, but your accents or pronunciations got in the way. With this simple tip a translation company is not the only option you have.