The Negotiation

In this episode of The Negotiation, we are chatting with Wendy MacKenzie Pease, Owner and President at Rapport International, a Boston-based language and translation services company with clients spanning the globe. She is also the host of The Global Marketing Show podcast, and the author of the aptly-named book, The Language of Global Marketing. We talk about the evolution of translation technology and dissect the difference between translation and interpretation. We then deep dive into why translation and localization of content are so important in China and Japan, and if you’re travelling or working in China or Japan how to hire the right translator. Wendy also shares anecdotes of translations gone wrong along the way, while we delve into understanding cultural and consumer nuances when translating in a foreign market. Enjoy!

Show Notes

Topics Discussed and Key Points:
●      How translation technology has evolved over the past 20 years
●      The difference between translation and interpretation
●      How to train interpreters
●      Why translation and localization of content is so important in China and Japan
●      What to look for when hiring a translator
●      Examples of localization gone wrong and how to make amends if this happens to you
●      Understanding cultural and consumer nuances when translating in a foreign market
Episode Summary:
Today on The Negotiation, we speak with language translation expert Wendy MacKenzie Pease. For almost two decades, she has been the owner and President of Rapport International, which provides high-quality foreign language translation and interpretation services for businesses.
She is the author of The Language of Global Marketing: Translate Your Domestic Strategies Into International Sales and Profits (2021).
What differentiates Rapport from other translation services or technologies is the company’s focus on culturally adaptive marketing copy, which currently cannot be replicated by a computer. While Rapport does not use machine translation, it does use translation memory. This allows translators to record phrases or descriptions used over and over again by a particular company. Translation memory helps maintain message consistency across marketing campaigns.
According to Wendy, “Translation is written. Interpretation is spoken.” Each activity is done by professionals of different aptitudes: Translators are those who love writing and research while interpreters are naturally empathetic communicators.
Human translation and localization are so important for companies doing business in China simply because of their enormous presence in international commerce. As touched on above, today’s machine translation technologies are too inefficient and sometimes outright cumbersome to rely on for such a vital step in a business’s marketing efforts.
For foreign brands looking to translate and localize in China—or any country, for that matter—the first step is to have a detailed long-term corporate strategy, which will inform their specific marketing strategy. Finally, this leads to the creation of the company’s global, or multilingual, marketing strategy. All three of these strategies need to be clearly defined and aligned before a company enters a new market.
Key Quotes:
“Translation is written. Interpretation is spoken.”
“Be careful who you’re picking to do your translation. Even though your business partners may speak English well, they may not understand it enough to do the translation. [...] Make sure that you’re getting a professional who’s a trained translator.”

What is The Negotiation?

Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.

The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.