Intercultural business communication in Australia

TranslationKsenia Marchenko, Polyglot’s Language Department Manager, writes about the importance of translation
for global businesses and how it can increase business opportunities:

After so many years of working as a translator/interpreter and now a language solutions manager, I can’t emphasize enough what a great means to reach out to new customers, enter new markets and explore new areas of business translation is. A website available in several languages, whether it is the ones that are spoken in countries you already have customers or countries you’re trying to target, can expand your audience immensely.

In the English-speaking world it is so easy to fall into the trap of thinking “who would even need translation, we’re all speaking English anyway”. As more countries are embracing multiculturalism, so should businesses. Generating
multi-lingual content is a very smart way of creating a marketing response to the changing global environment.

Although translation rarely stands out by itself…as an important part of doing business, more and more businesses are becoming aware that translation is so much more than merely the process of transferring a message written in one language into another. In fact, translation deserves to be seen for what it truly is, and that is a powerful intercultural communication tool. In many cultures, the ability to speak, or communicate, in a local language is perceived as the highest form of deference and respect. Misinterpreted communication can even be a deal breaker, resulting in awkward situations, missed opportunities or even lost profit.

More and more businesses venturing across international borders become aware of the importance of being able to present themselves and, most importantly, their products or services in their customers’ native language. Polyglot Group has been helping expat businesses seeking to set up operations in Australia for over twenty years now.

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What is the definition of intercultural communication?

This is in many ways similar to group communication, but the role of groups is taken by ethnic cultures. 'Culture', of course, is not just the domain of nations; it also describes the norms and conventions of groups (e.g. 'gang culture'), and collectivities with shared knowledge and ideology (e.g. academic culture). However as it is used in communication studies, intercultural communication tends to descibe the relations between members of different ethnic groups and languages, interacting in an international context, such as the United Nations assemblies, or in a context where one cul…

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