Friday, February 18, 2011

The top reasons to carry Bilingual Business Cards

Networking Advantages: Bilingual business cards are essential to networking with non-English speakers in this continually globalizing business world. One of the best ways to promote your business, or even yourself, is through the power of networking. You should never be caught without a quick and easy way to transfer contact information to business partners or potential customers not speaking your native language. Always be prepared to accommodate the most popular language of the region you are visiting.

They are Double-edged Swords: Carrying a translated business card is an excellent way to share information with associates who may not speak English or have a limited English proficiency. Yet, when one carries a one sided business card with one language, it can become obsolete when presented to a contact who does not speak the language. That is why it is crucial to carry a two-sided, bilingual business card. This card becomes a double-edged sword, as it can become versatile in reaching multiple audiences of varying cultural backgrounds.

Guanxi, Relationship Development: This Chinese term loosely translates to “relationship.” It is a term that displays respect, compassion and loyalty. Carrying bilingual business cards is a great way of developing Guanxi. Carrying a translated card shows your potential partner, associate, client, customer or manager that you respect their culture and that you are ready to form a deeper relationship with them.

They reflect who you are: In different cultures, there are differences in managerial positions. For example, an Account Executive can be someone who is at the top of an organizational hierarchy, or it can be someone who handles client services and client acquisition. Do not risk distortion of your job role by using a literal translation. Having a translated business card, made by a business professional that understands hierarchy levels and titles, is important to convey who you are and what you do.

They give you a competitive advantage: Bilingual business cards have the advantage of being absorbed, understood, shared and used ahead of your competitors’ when reaching out to foreign buyers, clients, partners or other business entities. Carrying bilingual business cards makes you stand out and gives you an upper hand on your competitors.

Quick tips
  • Do not carry or place cards in your wallet or pocket. Invest in the small cost of a decent carrying case.
  • When receiving business cards, do not write on the cards in front of the business card owner. Bring a note pad or wait until you step away.
  • Take a quick second to read the cards when they are presented to you.
  • In Asian cultures, it is always a safe practice to receive business cards with two hands.
  • Physically hand your business card to each recipient. Do not pass them out like playing cards.
  • If you are in a meeting, particularly in Asian cultures, set the cards in front of you for reference purposes.
  • Do not bend, fold or damage the presented cards.
  • Seek a translation firm with a diverse staff pool, to ensure cultural accuracy.
  • Make sure you choose a translation firm with a proven track record of translating business cards. It reduces liability and provides assurance.
  • Choose a translation firm with an in-house team of graphic designers, for quick adjustments and lower costs.
  • Do not translate your card using machine translation. Use a firm so that you receive a human translation, which will not distort your title or other information.
  • Make sure you carry enough business cards. Do not be caught with an insufficient amount!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Business Card Translation "War Stories"

Through nearly 20 years of providing translation services, Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. has certainly come across some great Business Card translation stories, and you can read about a few of them below!

    •  Meeting with President Hu Jintao: The day before Chinese President Hu Jintao visited the United States on January 19th, 2011, Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. was asked to translate and typeset business cards for 5 Motorola Senior Officers. These cards were to be presented to President Hu the following day, at a Presidential meeting in Chicago, in efforts to boost economic ties with the Midwest.
    • Demotion in China: If translated literally, one of our client‘s title “Coordinator of Social Studies,” would have been “Clerk of the Department” in Chinese. In China, business decisions are made based on managerial positions and hierarchy level. PLG’s Chinese team clarified that this translation would have demoted him in China and gave him a new title that conveyed his true managerial status.
    • Effectiveness of two-sided Business Cards: One of our clients recently asked for a single-side business card, with only the non-English language on it because she wanted the logo on the back on the card. PLG provided her with consulting advice and convinced her to have double-sided cards made and to move the logo to both sides.
    • Names you know: Precision Language & Graphics, Inc. has an extensive list of translated business card clients, including: Vice President Dan Quayle, former Mayor Rudy Giuliani of New York, Mayor Richard Daley of Chicago and legendary news anchor Tom Brokaw.
Service Highlights:
o   +15,000 Business card translations, since 1994
o   Company Highlights: 3M, Amazon, Best Buy, Boeing, Cartier, CHANEL, Cisco, Citi, Coca-Cola, Cooper Tires, DuPont, Exxon Mobil, Ford Motor Co., Hawaiian Airlines, Hewlett-Packard Company, Hitachi, Honda Motor Co., Honeywell, Philips, Motorola, PepsiCo, Pfizer, Ralph Lauren Polo, SC Johnson A Family Company, Shell, US Bank, Waste Management and many more!
o   Industry Highlights: Advertisement, Automotive, Banking, Charity, Consulting, Education, Engineering, Entertainment, Financial, Government, Hardware, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Publishing, Real Estate, Retail Services, Software, Sports and Telecommunications…
o   Title Highlights: Biomedical Engineer, Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, Chief Technology Officer, Deputy Director and Chief Engineer, Environmental and Regulatory Manager, Executive Consultant, Fresh Food Director, International Business Development Weapons Programs, National Sales Manager-Malls & Casinos, President, Vice President…

For more information about our business card translation services, please visit

What will the Rabbit bring us this year?

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! Here at PLG, we continue to celebrate the year of the Rabbit (in Vietnam, it is the year of the Cat). 

We can expect a fairly calm year after the aggressive year of the tiger. It is anticipated that this year will be time to let the "hare" down, relax, and take that hard-earned vacation.

People born in the years 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999 and 2011 are Rabbit people. They are considered to be keen, wise, fragile, tranquil, serene, considerate, fashionable, talented and ambitious.

Rabbit people are often said to be keen in business practices. They have an excellent track record of wise decisions and smart moves. Their pristine manners and determination make them excellent business partners. Although it is nice to give praise, one should be weary of the Rabbit's downfalls. Their confidence can oftentimes leak into boastfulness and conceitedness. Also, while sometimes introverted, the rabbit can indulge in secrecy or privacy.

When you have the opportunity, slow down with a rabbit and soak in life. Enjoy the day for what it is worth and let time go at its own pace.

Whatever Chinese zodiac animal represents you, embrace the positive and have a wonderful year!

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