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Why American Companies Should Use Locally Based Agencies for their Translations

Many American companies prefer to deal with agencies and translators located in the USA. This is mostly because they feel that payments are easier and communications faster.

However, as far as communications are concerned, it is as quick to e-mail a file to a supplier in New York as it is to one in Paris. And the international payment facilities found nowadays on the Net, such as PayPal or Moneybookers, seem to me easier than posting a check to Boston. Besides, most European agencies, as well as all Asian, accept dollars.

A European translation agency, Wordbase Translations Company, created by professionals with more than 15 years’ experience, makes it very clear why it is advantageous to use native speakers of the target languages living in their own countries.

Their site describes very plainly the services they provide. But it goes beyond that. It has useful information such as a description of different types of interpreting services and a definition of localization services that can be useful for companies that wish to internationalize and who are not sure of the differences between translating and localizing.

The full localization service is the cultural adaptation of a product or service to ensure that it is consistent with the specific socio-cultural and legal requirements of a target market. It involves tailoring a product to a specific market in a process that goes beyond translation to address the contemporary and colloquial use of language and cultural nuances, such as notational conventions and differences in symbols, color associations and payment preferences.

It avoids having all your creative hard work lost in translation, such as what happened in the following couple of examples of the big boys getting things disastrously wrong:

- When Kentucky Fried Chicken translated their slogan "Finger lickin’ good" into Chinese it came out as "Eat your fingers off"

- When General Motors introduced the Chevy Nova in South America, it was apparently unaware that "no va" means "it won't go"

Hence the need for a local firm to fulfill your linguistic requirements. Wordbase uses over 200 freelancers who live in their own countries and translate only into their mother language and reviewers who make sure it doesn’t happen to you.

If you visit their site you’ll note that the link structure is very well conceived, making it easy to navigate. Should you decide to contact the company, it provides different means for doing so with a clear contacts page and links in most other pages.

In short, is a pleasant and useful site to visit.

About the Author: Rodolfo Beneyto has worked and studied in the United States, England and Brazil for many years and is now co-owner of Wordbase Translations Company. For more information, please visit

Wordbase Translations Company is a Portugal-based and internationally operating translation, localization and interpreting agency.

It specializes in the translation, localization and interpreting services into and from all European languages, as well as Russian, Chinese and Arabic, using freelance linguists located in those countries.

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