How to Overcome Language Barriers When Entering International Markets

Feb 3, 2022 | Translation

Language Barriers

Expanding to foreign markets is no joke. There are numerous potential challenges associated with expanding to international markets. And one of those challenges is overcoming language barriers.

You see, English is considered the world language — but that doesn’t mean it’s spoken everywhere. Even in the countries where it is spoken, people prefer their native language. If you want to market and grow your business in a foreign country, you have to communicate with its people in their native language. And that’s where the problems start to kick in.

As a business with an English-language background, all of your employees probably only speak English. That makes it impossible for you to communicate with foreign customers in their native language.

In this article, we discuss the top strategies you can use to overcome language barriers and achieve the desired levels of success. Let’s get started.

1. Translating your website will facilitate communication

First and foremost, you should translate your website into a foreign language to make it more accessible to new customers. If you are expanding to multiple foreign markets at once, you have to get your site translated into multiple languages too.

Make sure you are providing a translated version of your site to every consumer market of your business.

2. Translate your content to make connections

Expanding on the first tip, you have to get all of your content translated. That includes your website’s blogs, your social media posts, your YouTube promotional videos, your TikToks, and every other piece of content you are using for promotional purposes.

Although you can use Google Translate to get your content translated, it’s not recommended. You see, Google Translate is just software — it can never deliver ideas as naturally as a human would.

Your video content needs to be interpreted as well when you are working remotely, whether it is during online events or meetings. You should consider platforms that carry out video remote interpretation to help with the process.

3. Expand your workforce in the target market

To make your new customers trust you, you have to communicate with them in their native language. However, as your current workforce doesn’t have language expertise in the foreign language, you will have to hire new talent.

It’s recommended to hire people from the same area that you are expanding into, so your potential customers can have the nicest experience possible. When expanding globally many companies make use of PEOs or the services of an employer of record because through this strategy they can outsource the management of employee taxes and other HR operations.

There are many ways your new, native-speaker employees can be of use. To begin with, they can provide their input while you are getting your content translated. They can ensure the translation service is doing the best job of delivering your message naturally.

In addition, they can help you communicate with your new market’s customers on social media. The people who’re running your social media accounts should always be native speakers, so they can reply to messages and comments on your posts in their native language.

4. Introduce your workforce to your new clients

Last but not least, you need to get closer to your new customers — and that’s not possible until you show them you are one of them. And how do you do that? By showcasing that your workforce consists of people from their own community.

Arrange events where your newly hired employees get to meet and converse with your potential customers directly. Doing so will vastly reduce the emotional language barrier between you and your customers.

Bonus tip: Hire and work with a translation service company

To expand and grow in the new market, you have to get a number of things translated: your website, your social media posts, your blogs, your YouTube videos, your newsletters and much more.

Rather than relying on multiple freelancers to handle different parts of your overall translation project, you should partner with a professional translation service company instead.

Such a company can take care of your entire translation project, from the beginning to the end — and you won’t even have to worry about keeping an eye on its progress.

The bottom line on language barriers

Overcoming language barriers is a crucial step in getting closer to your new customers in a foreign market. But it is a significant challenge that you have to face strategically.

This article gives you an insight into what you should do to overcome language barriers and connect with your new customers in the best possible way.