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Global Careers: Military and Government Localization

For a long time, the United States relied upon its citizens and the world to communicate in English. English was considered to be the Lingua Franca, or common language, for all things government. A lot has changed in the past 20 years. Geo-politically, we have a greater need to speak and understand languages other than English as a means of national security. Domestically, as the citizens and residents of the United States become more diverse, our government is recognizing the importance of communicating in languages other than English as well.

With the War on Terror, international disturbances around the world, and the growth of cyber crime, language ability has become a hot commodity in government and military work. Foreign language speakers are needed for interpreting, translating, and monitoring. The difference between interpreting and translating comes down to whether the individual is converting spoken words (interpreting) or written words (translating). Because there is more and more content being created all the time, the need for translation services in the government is growing. To offset the cost of human resources, the government also makes use of machine translation technology. Especially where communications are not critical or there are massive amounts of information being monitored, it would be impossible to translate it all without the use of technology. More critical information or information that is going to the general public, like DMV manuals or census information, is translated by humans who are able to communicate the nuances of language and are more accurate than a machine can ever be.

Does a career in interpretation or translation with the government interest you? What are the qualifications for a job in this field? Most importantly, you need to be fluent in two or more languages and have strong writing skills in each language. While there are no requirements for a degree or certification, it is beneficial to have a degree in translation, language, linguistics or political science. Certification through the American Translators Association is also not a requirement but can help in some circumstances. Some schools offer translation or interpreting courses or certificate programs and classes that cover specific types of translation, including medical, business or legal.

What if you want to work for the government and work with translation and localization and don’t speak another language? There are plenty of opportunities to work in this field as a project manager or operational role where translation, interpretation and localization services are outsourced. LingPerfect Translations works across US government organizations to provide content for websites, communications and regulations and the government employees we work with don’t necessarily speak these languages, rather, they manage the process. Other employees that work with translators in the government space are content writers, curriculum creators and data scientists.
Clearly, there are many opportunities to work with the government in the field of translation and localization. If this is a field that interests you, you might want to take a peek at the https://www.usajobs.gov/.

Localization in our World: Finance for International Business Owners and Investors

Running an international business is daunting. Adding in the financial aspect of international business is another layer of complexity. That said, there are some basic things to think about when it comes to finance for international business. Whether you are starting a new business with an eye toward global expansion, are in the process of acquiring or merging with a business or are an investor looking to invest internationally, you need to consider these often overlooked details.

Let’s start with an example of a business, a start-up, selling goods or services to customers. At its most basic level, this could be a single-person enterprise, making artisanal widgets. When they start up, they are likely looking at ways to transact and sell their artisanal widgets locally, using a currency of their country of origin, this could even be cash/check-only. Cash and check are by far the most restrictive in terms of global reach because a customer would need to have access to cash or a checking account in your currency.

Eventually, the artisanal widget maker will likely get set up on a credit card system, like Square or Paypal, to make it easier for payments to come in. At this point, it’s all about creating more access and the focus will be on domestic customers. Now, let’s say there is an opportunity to go to a trade conference in Germany and you will bring artisanal widgets to sell. Many assume that payment processing for credit cards would automatically be global, but for many, you are limited to taking payments in the country where you set up your account. In this case, you will need to research where you can take payments from or process payments differently, for example sending an invoice to the customer so they can enter their card details over a secure web connection.

Outside of the payment areas, the artisanal widget maker may translate or localize the product instructions, marketing or their website for the country where they will be selling their products. In this case, it is essential to work with someone who is skilled at global websites to identify not only common issues like international support for other languages or common mistakes like naming your artisanal widget something offensive/funny in another language, but other details that might get overlooked like how the widget pricing is displayed in the country. A skilled and experienced localization provider, like LingPerfect Translations, will support the international finance of your business. Some businesses opt to offer their products online via marketplaces like Etsy or Amazon. Each of the marketplaces serves a limited number of geographies and has its own way of calculating pricing for international and while some offer translation or localization. You should definitely get some advice from an experienced agency who uses real, human translators, as this will help maintain your brand voice and consistency.

Moving along to the next level of international finance, we have an opportunity for our North American Artisanal Widget Maker to be acquired by a European Artisanal Widget Maker. From a financial perspective, the buyer will want to start thinking early on about details. With fluctuations in currency, does it make sense to make an offer in dollars or euros? What are the risks and what kinds of caveates do you want to put in place for currency fluctuations? After the sale happens, there is an international alignment that needs to occur that touches all aspects of the companies’ products, branding (digital, social, hard-copy, etc), and HR. Potential international considerations would be where banking is done. Does it make sense to have separate operations for the European and American Artisanal Widget Makers or is it best to consolidate in one bank account in one country? Do you set product pricing in USD or Euro? When displaying on the website, are the prices hard-coded or are they dynamic according to the country of the viewer? Other financial concerns would be where to store and ship Artisanal Widgets and how import/export and country taxes are calculated. The final area we will address is HR. As you merge and grow, you will need to decide on whether to align salary and benefits and how taxes affect your employees. Ultimately, when it comes to the cost of adding new employees and where to place them, you will need to consider these variances which are based on currency exchange, local cost of living, and differences in income tax structures. We will address additional areas of international finance in future blog posts including taking a look at careers and various currencies including cryptocurrencies and how they may affect your international business.

As you can see, there are a lot of considerations when it comes to expanding or acquiring a business internationally. At LingPerfect Translations, we advise many businesses as they go along this path. Feel free to reach out about your international business plans and we will help you create your roadmap to global success.

Certified vs. Non-Certified

For many of LingPerfect’s legal clients, a key consideration when developing the initial workflow for a project is whether the final translation will require a certification of accuracy. These certificates are notarized affidavits detailing the nature of the document as well as the languages implicated in the project, and attest to the accuracy and quality of the completed translation. The primary factors in considering when certification is needed ultimately rests with the ultimate use of the translated file, whether it be for regulatory, immigration, litigation, or discovery purposes, and it decided on a case-by-case basis.
For example, although there is no standard certification requirement or formal entry into evidence of foreign documents in US federal courts, several state courts, including Texas and Florida, have enacted certification requirements for translated documents in state evidentiary requirements. However, many legal clients engaged in federal litigation will often certify the documents as a preemptive measure to guard against any challenges or objections by the opposing party.
Further, US Customs and Immigration Service requires that all documents submitted in support of an application or petition (i.e., birth/marriage certificates, education and employment records) require a formal certification attesting to the accuracy of the translation to be included with the application. Another example is in the life sciences and medical device fields, where the US Food and Drug Administration requires translation of a number of documents prior to registration, including the actual patent itself and training documents, label text, instructions, informed consent forms, brochures, and case reports.
On the other hand, if the translations are being used primarily for internal or reference purposes only, certification is not necessary or the files may be reviewed or certified prospectively depending upon the client’s preference. LingPerfect always provides notarized certifications as part and parcel of a project upon request without any additional fees, and our team is flexible with any requirements the client may have. Please feel free to contact our team directly regarding any questions or concerns regarding the certification requirements for your translation project, and we look forward to hearing from you.

Rise Against Hunger

We have had the pleasure to work with “Rise Against Hunger” and help them fulfill their mission “to end hunger in our lifetime by providing food and life-changing aid to the world’s most vulnerable and creating a global commitment to mobilize the necessary resources.” Another core focus of Rise Against Hunger is responding to crises–both natural and man-made. From droughts to floods, in conflict zones and transitioning political situations, food is often the most immediate need. If you’d like to learn more about how to help please click on the following link and GET INVOLVED

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