A language fit for all

Companies are increasing thinking and acting globally as the internet opens up new marketplaces and supply chains. It’s easy to think that it is a simple matter of getting text translated from English to a foreign language, but there are some traps to watch out for – many of which apply even if you’re writing for an English speaking audience (e.g. the USA or Australia):

  • A language fit for all

    A language fit for all

    Be careful with abbreviations – they may not mean the same in another country, avoid them where possible and always spell them out the first time you use them

  • Business terms – the same applies to business jargon such as ‘downsizing’ or ‘blue sky thinking’ – it’s preferable not to use them at all if possible
  • Idioms and colloquialisms – many terms and phrases we use every day will mean nothing (or worse something completely different) in many other countries and cultures for instance an ‘Indian Summer’ in London is very different to that in Mumbai and to ‘go to the wall’ is very different in Glasgow than Jerusalem
  • Dates – it’s best to spell out dates e.g. 8 June 2015 rather than 08/06/2015 – as different audiences will view that as either 8 June or 6 August
  • And don’t talk about the weather – not only is it a peculiarly British topic, but it will be different across the world

We’ve got lots of experience at working internationally and would be happy to help if you’re looking to expand your borders (although internationally we probably write that as expand your business).