Communicate with Mexico

By Alejandro Berea

Posted: 16th August 2011 09:08

Undeniable fact: Mexico is a land of opportunity.  It is not an accident that a growing number of foreign companies from different industries are focusing their attention to starting business initiatives in our country.  Mexico in numbers:

1st Worldwide Color TV exporter. (Source: Ministry of Economy, Mexico. May 2011)

1st Worldwide Mobile set manufacturer. (Source: Ministry of Economy, Mexico. May 2011)

1st Worldwide Refrigerator exporter. (Source: Ministry of Economy, Mexico. May 2011)

85% of all heavy-duty trucks operating in the U.S.A. are manufactured in Mexico.

One of the 10th most visited countries in the world. (Source UNWTO, “Tourist Market Trends 2006”)

13th largest GDP and an Emerging Power.  (World Bank. “Gross Domestic Product”, July 1st 2011; “G8 Despite Differences, Mexico Comfortable as Emerging Power”, Ipsnews.net. May 05).

Other than what statistics provide, the Mexican community has been taking on great efforts in identifying areas of opportunity in different industries, regulation and many other aspects, and the result has yielded a growing mid-class population and a healthy development of several types of existing and new businesses.

In addition to the above, some random happenings have led to a gradual internationalization of many cities of the country (some late growing business venues are Veracruz, Querétaro, Puebla, Cuernavaca, León, among others), the two most important: some of the Mexican most prestigious universities have been attracting a considerable number of foreigners for distinct programs; and, due to the favorable business climate, many foreign companies have transferred specific areas of their operation and management to Mexico.  This means that although English is spoken by a great number of Mexicans in larger urban areas, translation and interpreting services are still a must for proper entry into the local market in any industry.

So a company decides to take on the Mexican market, the obvious next steps are scouting, research, meeting regulations, documentation required by authorities, among many other things. The first common approach is done either through a trusted local liaison or by sending a highly qualified representative who may or may not speak the local language or know the local market, but even in any of these cases, many of these steps prove to be serious ordeals and derive in unforeseen expenses and thwarts that often jeopardize the feasibility of the investment project. How can the investment process become easier?

When we travel to a foreign country, and if we don’t speak the local language, the common sense solution is to buy a travel guide containing detailed information about transportation, local laws, food, warnings, do’s and don’ts, etc.

Most approved modern definitions of Translators and Interpreters state that either of these must not only be bilingual, but bicultural in order to effectively transfer the original message into the target market with the minimal possible communication loss.  Given that characteristic, we propose that customers should expect their Translations agency to serve as bridge between the initiative and the target market.  This is where we come to play.

Although our name leads to the correct assumption that our core activity is Translation and Interpreting (TI), we decided, as part of our strategic plan defined in early 2009, to go the extra mile and applied a twist to the traditional Translations Agency: Comprehensive Market Immersion. We have developed a strong network of strategic partners in order to point your company in the right direction in every step of the way, very much like a travel guide but for investment purposes.

This may sound complicated and maybe even far-fetched, but we simply leveraged an obvious upside to our profession, as Translators and Interpreters, our team is in contact with experts and authorities from several industries, so we built the network and now we are able to offer actual integral assistance to our customers seeking to enter the Mexican market.  In practical terms, if you need to do market research, we can provide our customers with a series of different suppliers and solutions in order to successfully execute the project, while, if the goal is to acquire a local company to gain an edge in the local market, we know the right lawyers to go to, etc.

Now that your company has secured local assistance and adequate intelligence to make things run smoothly, we can get back to TI matters.  Unless the business’ country of origin is Spanish speaking, TI services will be required to meet local regulations, to assemble a startup team, to train the pilot teams, etc. How to choose? An easy and friendly first approach is to read the ATA (American Translators Association) brochure that you may consult or download at: http://www.atanet.org/docs/Getting_it_right.pdf

But other not less important factors that may be helpful in determining the best TI supplier are:

1. References/Testimonials, it is always best if these can be contacted;

2. Professional affiliations.  If the company or freelancer you are working with is an active member of a local or global Translation and/or Interpreting organization;

3. Certifications.  Although certifications will not ensure high-quality services, professionals or agencies that hold certifications are commonly more concerned about continuous education and improvement than professionals who don’t; 

4. Rapport.  Make sure you understand and feel comfortable working with your TI supplier; it will be your bridge into the target market; 

So, not only do we provide Comprehensive Market Immersion, we are also well aware of the demands of the market, and you can rely on our team going the extra mile for traditional Translation and Interpreting services.  We provide different quality tiers for translations; and for top-notch turnaround items, we have a detailed proofread process to ensure that the final product is absolutely impeccable.  In case of Interpreting, we work only with reliable and screened professionals who work exclusively with our agency in most cases.  We also provide highly competitive transcription, remote/telephone interpreting services, proofreading, terminology management, website/software localization services.

Now, Technology, is also a tool for TI suppliers, and we have implemented the latest technology available in our operation, which translates into greater efficiency, lower processing time, and cost-efficient solutions.  Some of the technological innovations favored in our operation are CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools, which reduce translation time in up to 15%, Terminology Management, which allows us to build a client-specific terminology databases that represent gradual savings to clients in translation bills, and Project Management tools which enable clients to keep track of project progress, etc.

All things considered, regardless of the industry targeted upon entering the Mexican market, or any other market for that matter, Translation and Interpreting services are keystone to a successful investment, so careful choice of a TI supplier must be a priority when defining the investment project. Today, ensuring that the TI supplier covers the quality items required for business is only basic, the client must expect the TI supplier to provide added value services, and local intelligence is a simple but valuable asset that the client should reasonably demand.

 

Alejandro Berea is a Founding Partner at Corporate Translations SC, he is a Court Certified translator and interpreter specialized in Legal, Medical and Market Research fields. Corporate Translations SC is a privately owned corporation and it was established in 2006. It has achieved double digit growth rates since its foundation and has successfully delivered great-scale and high impact projects for some of the largest corporations of the world. It’s core values are customer satisfaction, team-work and technology, which altogether have yielded a competitive advantage in the Mexican, USA, Canadian, British and German marketplaces.  He can be contacted on +52 (55) 5250 2687 or by email at alejandro.berea@corptranslations.com

 


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