Clear communication across foreign language barriers is critical for success of any international venture, and is as important, as the accurate courtroom translation. It becomes even more important during conference calls between the English-speaking investors and the Chinese-speaking managers of the company they invest in. Always advise your international clients- public and private companies- to invest in professional translation and interpreting services– to safeguard their company’s reputation and brand, to promote goodwill among culturally diverse investors, and to protect their company’s bottom line.
An article in The Wall Street Journal relates an instance where the executives of the Chinese retailer China 3C Group appeared stumped when an English-speaking investor asked a basic question about “comp-store sales” during a conference call. When this and other basic questions went unanswered, U.S. investors voted with their pocketbooks, and the Chinese company’s stock tumbled.
We can only speculate that this costly communication breakdown happened due to the Chinese company’s failure to avail itself of the services of a professional foreign language translation and interpreting service. It is possible that the question about the “comp-store sales” was not translated or interpreted correctly from English into Chinese, and, therefore, remained unanswered.
Don’t let a similar oversight endanger your law firm, or even compromise your foreign client’s case! Refuse to hire amateur or incompetent translators and interpreters, and always strive to retain professional services of the best legal translators and court interpreters- to make sure that nothing gets lost in translation.