Steps to Start an International Business

Starting an international business is a tough task as it involves mutual understanding and transactions between two regions, countries and nations. There are many physical and social factors involved when an organization or individual businesses think of expanding business internationally. But before one can actually think of starting on this path, he/she will need to test some basic parameters and check to see if they are in control of all resources.

What is Your Motive?

Did you receive an enquiry from an international importer who wants to know about you, your services or your products? If that is the reason you have decided to dive into this venture then you might have to face some problems later. Before you say yes to exporting, you need to explore your future potential in this segment. Research can give you a very different perspective of the market. Conduct your market research well; maybe hire a research agency to thoroughly check all your options. This research will give you exact demand for your products in overseas markets, and if the results agree with you then you might just have taken the first step into an international business circle.

Can you manage your Resources?

An international business could be your stepping stone on the ladder of success. You will undoubtedly face many challenges in terms of duties, taxes and even logistics of the export industry. Will be you able to meet customer demands if there are other interested parties? How will you manage your exports? You will need to first find the right channel to transport your goods which might be through air cargo, sea freight or even by road if you are close to the borders of some countries. You will need to calculate which will be the most convenient and most economical in terms of capabilities while reducing wastage of resources.

Get Your Payments in Order

The most important result of any good business is payment. You start your international business based on the fact that it has huge potential and will help you grow both strategically and commercially. Therefore you will need to make sure that your payment channels are very clear. Which currency will you deal with? Will you offer discounts and other benefits, if payments adhere to some of your requirements? Moreover you will also need to think about payments as taxes based on some rules and guidelines. Only then will the Government begin to recognize you as a legitimate business person and as a part of the country’s economic powerhouse.

Tips for Successful Audio Localization

Localizing your Audio project can be a daunting task. Professional audio localizations involve much more than simple translation. Audio localization requires unique attention to detail and consistency in voice talent casting, script formatting, recording methods, linguistic quality assurance, and audio post production. With a bit of preparation, however, you can ease the localization process enormously. Here are our several tips to keep in mind to help you avoid some common localization pitfalls when gearing up to begin your audio localization.

Translate the audio script

Translating the audio script is the first and crucial step of audio localization. Only finding appropriate transcriptionists qualified as experts in any terminology of the targeted industry could meet the highest levels of quality assurance.
Simply writing down the words that are going to be spoken and recorded will make it much easier for the voice actors to know what their lines are. Translating this script into the target language also must be done before any recording can begin. And making punctuation guidelines available is also very important, because if there are specific words that require a certain pronunciation, then this will need to be noted for the voice actors.

Set appropriate format

An audio script must strictly comply with formatting guidelines in order to ensure that the recording proceeds fluently, smoothly and efficiently, and so that text can be easily extracted and reintegrated after translation. XML is often a good format.

Keep animations adaptable

Animations should be easily adaptable to target languages and not specific to source language. Do not animate each individual letter of a word, as those animations will need to be redone for each foreign language.

Make audio cues flexible

When using audio cues, be sure that the cues automatically adjust according to longer or shorter translated audio.

Choose the right voice talents

Active in the casting professional voice actors from the beginning. Cooperate with your language provider by outlining character profiles with first names, gender, ethnic background, age and basic personality traits. Meticulous profiling will help you avoid embarrassing and expensive casting blunders.

Ask for project-specific samples

If budget allows, get voice-over artists to record a small sample of your translated script – this is the best way to ascertain if they are appropriate in the role.

Include timing cues for audio dubbing

For recordings, time is the crucial consideration. When preparing video for audio dubbing, include timing cues in the source language script for easier studio production and reintegration of localized audio. And placing time-stamps on the script is helpful to indicate when the speaker is supposed to say particular sentences or phrases.

Keep synchronization adaptable

Synchronization of text such as closed captions with the audio should be easily adaptable for new languages, for example through the use of cues to prompt text movement. But if you are producing audio for Flash recordings, try to limit synchronization of animations with audio. Because each foreign language has a different timing, so the animations need to be re-synchronized by native speakers in each language

Provide a pronunciation guide for the recording

If you read a document aloud, you soon realize that some words can be pronounced in several different ways. Determine in advance if, for example, a company name acronym should be pronounced in English or the target language. Some of the rules for pronunciation come from common usage but some are company specific. Your studio should go over the original scripts and list any terms that could be ambiguous. Translators and reviewers need to answer these questions before the recording.

Edit the audio recordings

You should make adjustments to the speaker’s volume and tone. Also, any unwanted sounds like breathing, hiccups and coughs, or background noise should be removed from the recording.

Finalize script before production

Be sure that the audio script is approved and final before audio production begins, because changes to the audio recording can be very costly to project schedule and budget.

Quality assurance

A localization engineer to be checked for quality and prepared for delivery in the desired format should review the finished product. In-country linguists should review the final recording before you give your stamp of approval.

A successfully localized audio can be the key to driving your business into new language markets. Arm yourself with a translation partner that knows how to navigate the cultural and technological challenges of taking your project multilingual. Check out our Audio Localization Services to see how we can help you with your audio translation needs.

The Advantages Of Global Sourcing

Global sourcing is the practice of getting goods or services on a domestic or an international level across geopolitical boundaries. It often aims to exploit global efficiencies in the delivery of a product or service. To survive the competition both strategically and financially, modern-day corporations must manage complexities, improve their operative efficiencies and reduce costs. In this context, sourcing is an attractive proposition. It is commonly found that global sourcing initiatives and programs form an integral part of the strategic sourcing plan and procurement strategy of many multinational companies. However, the processes involving sourcing are way too complex, time-consuming and expensive. If not planned and executed properly, practicing such processes ‘in-house’ are likely to overshoot the budget of the company.

As the most rational alternative, many businesses have resorted to global sourcing companies. Apart from the promise of providing the clients with customized solutions for every single problem in-hand, such qualified strategic companies provide the businesses with myriad benefits. Let us take a look at them one by one:

  1. Reliability

When we are talking about sourcing on a global scale, finding the right supplier is the first, and often most-difficult part of the process. Getting feedbacks about a vendor from across the seven seas seems very difficult if not impossible. Established sourcing companies use their existing relationships and previous experiences to ease out the process and therefore can help the corporations to find a reliable supplier.

  1. Low cost labor Sourcing companies ‘outsource’ the labor-intensive processes to developing nations, resulting in access to cheap labor. Thus the cost of production is much lower resulting in reasonably cheap products or services.
  2. Access to raw materials across boundaries

If a corporation in a particular country uses raw materials that is limited in that country, the business might lower its supply risk by sourcing the raw materials internationally, from countries where the resource is abundant in supply. This requires excellent relationships and apt clearances (and the cost associated with it) on the international boundaries. These dynamics are taken care by the third party vendors who act as one stop shops.

  1. Quality of materials

Okay, so you got access to the raw materials. Now let’s look at the next level of difficulty – the quality of the raw materials. Even when a corporation looks at cost-cutting, there has to be a minimum adherence to the quality of the raw materials that are required by the company in order to come up with reasonable good products. The sourcing companies ensure that their clients get their desired quality of raw materials as per the agreement with the client. This makes the companies and their staff worry-free and the corporations can focus on other important aspects of their business.

  1. Scalability and Resource Skills

While building a new product or upgrading an existing one, local or global sourcing is a great idea. The business can assemble a dynamic team of experienced professionals depending on the magnitude of the solution required. Once the project is completed, the team can be dispersed. This way the cost of the company is also reduced as it does not have to recruit and maintain a group of professionals even when the events are not happening.

Thus, it can be concluded that firms that leverage these alternative operating models and global capabilities can be much more focused on value-added activities and other strategic objectives, thus positioning themselves to receive a greater return on their assets.

Things to Know About Group of Twenty (G20)

Also known as the Group of 20 (and occasionally, the G21, G23 or G20+) is a group of developing nations set up on August 20, 2003. The following article intends to put more light on its existence and functioning.

What is G20?
The G20 is typically a forum of 19 countries plus the European Union, representing both developed and developing economies whose size or strategic importance makes them highly significant in the global economy. The most important task of this forum is to co-ordinate policies at global level to promote globalization through a smooth and sustainable process.

Which countries are included in G20?
These countries are Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, China, France, the European Union, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, the Republic of Korea, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, Turkey, the United Kingdom, and the United States of America.

What are its major functions?
As a result of the recent global financial crisis in the world, the world’s twenty most influential economies decided to meet annually at Leaders’ level to discuss the global financial conditions and to suggest ways to strengthen the global economy. Besides this, Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors meet regularly to discuss ways to reform international finance institutions, improve financial regulation and discuss the key economic reforms that are needed in each of the member countries.

Started in the year 1999 as a meeting of Finance Ministers and Central Bank Governors in the aftermath of the Asian financial crisis of 2008, the group played a pivotal role in managing the global financial crisis. Held annually, the G20 Summit invites all G20 leaders to focus on measures to support global economic growth along with an emphasis on job creation and open trade. Each G20 President invites a number of guest countries each year.

The forum works in close association with various financial institutions such as the Financial Stability Board, the International Labour Organization, the International Monetary Fund, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the United Nations, the World Bank and the World Trade Organization.

What are its major achievements?
Since the first meeting in 2008, the G20 Leaders have taken strong action to prevent future financial crises, while securing sustainable and balanced global growth and reforming the architecture of global economic governance. The actions or initiatives taken by the G20 were the key to the stability of the global economy at the height of the crisis and helped avoid any downturn of international financial system.

Uber Ordered to Shut Down in India! State Socialism in Action

In a baffling move by the Indian government, Uber, the taxi sharing application which has become a global craze, was ordered to be completely shut down in the country by the 31st of October 2014. While the country is in dire need to attract as much foreign investment as possible, the government is resorting to its decades of socialist policies, making India even more unattractive for international businesses.

Uber is a heavily funded start up company which offers anyone a chance to become a taxi driver and give rides to customers through an easy payment system. The website has revolutionized the taxi business in many parts of the world where people have found the system to be part car-share part money saver.

It has no doubt served as a controversial company which has seen large scale protests from traditional taxi companies and businesses in places such as London, Paris and even San Francisco. When a union of taxi drivers in London tried to ban the website/application, the government refused lest it makes the city look unfriendly towards international businesses. A smart move from a smart city.

Despite all the controversy the company still grew strong with reportedly strong backing from Google and Fidelity ventures. It entered the growing Indian Market soon and grew throughout the urban areas of the huge country. However, like everywhere else, the Taxi drivers were not too happy. In a country with the largest number of poor people on earth and with a high birth rate/low skilled labour class, driving cars, buses, vans and rickshaws is seen as a lifeline by millions of the uneducated. After expanding to over 10 highly populated cities of India and cutting prices by 25% even large and established cab companies and car rentals started to take notice of Uber.

These companies have now taken extreme measures of blocking Uber from operating in India. Complaints were made to the Reserve Bank of India accusing Uber of violating the country’s strict foreign exchange laws due to their payment system.

In a classic move reminiscent of India’s socialist past, the bank has now given Uber till October to shut down! This would prove to be a disastrous move from the central bank at a time when India requires as much investment as possible. A similar case earlier this year made many global retailers rethink about their strategy in India when they understood that the government is following populist/socialist policies in order to gain rural voters.

Time is still with India and the government should rethink its strategy on international companies. International companies only bring in technology, money and new business methods into a country and forces local companies to play catch up and improve their game. Uber would not have ‘destroyed’ India’s taxi drivers but would have forced them to reduce prices and introduce more services which all add up to customer advantages and economic growth.

It would be interesting to see how the Modi government deals with such issues in the next 5 years.

Formatting Address Stamps For Different Countries

When sending any mail to international pen pals, you’ll have to use exceptionally different address stamps! In countries around the world, addresses are formatted in very different ways than here in the United States. A personalized stamp may certainly work fine for marking the return location, but make sure you’ve familiarized yourself with the receiving country’s postage formatting standards.

Australia

Like most English-speaking countries, Australian street numbers appear before the name. Though unlike most of these countries, the name of the city does not appear. Australians instead use the “locality,” which can be thought of as a suburb or town, to distinguish the street and delivery method. As a result, the Australian postal code is used only to designate routing information.

Canada

Our friendly neighbor to the north replicates our postal system, but with a few significant differences. If you’re mailing to a Canadian post office box, only Canada Post will make the delivery. If you wanted to use a private carrier service instead, you’d have to include the recipient’s physical address in addition to the P.O. box number. Canadians do not include periods or commas when punctuating their mail, unless you’re writing in French. In those cases, use a comma to separate the house number and street name. Numbered streets and cardinal directions can be written in either English or French. The Canadian postal code is used the same way as ours, but with the inclusion of alphanumeric characters in the formatting. Last but not least, all parcels coming from outside the country should be labeled “CANADA” at the bottom of the package.

Hong Kong, China

Hong Kong has two official languages: Cantonese and English. Either of these can be used when sending domestic mail. When writing in English, begin with the smallest unit and end with the largest, for example: flat number, floor number, building name, street number, etc. When addressing mail in Chinese, it is the opposite, with largest starting first and descending from there. Traditional and simplified Chinese characters are both used. Additionally, Hong Kong does not use postal codes; some rural locations use a property identification code instead.

Japan

Japanese postal addresses, similar to Hong Kong, begin with the biggest geographical division, then progressively smaller subdivisions. This mail would require some large, elaborate stamps. There are also different honorific characters included, depending on if the recipient is a private individual or an institution or company.

The Netherlands

In the Netherlands, their postal code is used specifically to identify streets. It consists of four numbers, a space, and then two capital letters. P.O. boxes have their own unique postal codes for this reason. With this efficient system, all that’s needed to deliver mail is the postal code and street number.

As you can see, address stamps can take on different shapes and forms depending on their country of origin. Unless you want your pen pal to receive delayed mail, do some research and make sure you’ve formatted your parcel to the proper international specifications.

Tips for Successful Audio Localization

Localizing your Audio project can be a daunting task. Professional audio localizations involve much more than simple translation. Audio localization requires unique attention to detail and consistency in voice talent casting, script formatting, recording methods, linguistic quality assurance, and audio post production. With a bit of preparation, however, you can ease the localization process enormously. Here are our several tips to keep in mind to help you avoid some common localization pitfalls when gearing up to begin your audio localization.

Translate the audio script

Translating the audio script is the first and crucial step of audio localization. Only finding appropriate transcriptionists qualified as experts in any terminology of the targeted industry could meet the highest levels of quality assurance.
Simply writing down the words that are going to be spoken and recorded will make it much easier for the voice actors to know what their lines are. Translating this script into the target language also must be done before any recording can begin. And making punctuation guidelines available is also very important, because if there are specific words that require a certain pronunciation, then this will need to be noted for the voice actors.

Set appropriate format

An audio script must strictly comply with formatting guidelines in order to ensure that the recording proceeds fluently, smoothly and efficiently, and so that text can be easily extracted and reintegrated after translation. XML is often a good format.

Keep animations adaptable

Animations should be easily adaptable to target languages and not specific to source language. Do not animate each individual letter of a word, as those animations will need to be redone for each foreign language.

Make audio cues flexible

When using audio cues, be sure that the cues automatically adjust according to longer or shorter translated audio.

Choose the right voice talents

Active in the casting professional voice actors from the beginning. Cooperate with your language provider by outlining character profiles with first names, gender, ethnic background, age and basic personality traits. Meticulous profiling will help you avoid embarrassing and expensive casting blunders.

Ask for project-specific samples

If budget allows, get voice-over artists to record a small sample of your translated script – this is the best way to ascertain if they are appropriate in the role.

Include timing cues for audio dubbing

For recordings, time is the crucial consideration. When preparing video for audio dubbing, include timing cues in the source language script for easier studio production and reintegration of localized audio. And placing time-stamps on the script is helpful to indicate when the speaker is supposed to say particular sentences or phrases.

Keep synchronization adaptable

Synchronization of text such as closed captions with the audio should be easily adaptable for new languages, for example through the use of cues to prompt text movement. But if you are producing audio for Flash recordings, try to limit synchronization of animations with audio. Because each foreign language has a different timing, so the animations need to be re-synchronized by native speakers in each language

Provide a pronunciation guide for the recording

If you read a document aloud, you soon realize that some words can be pronounced in several different ways. Determine in advance if, for example, a company name acronym should be pronounced in English or the target language. Some of the rules for pronunciation come from common usage but some are company specific. Your studio should go over the original scripts and list any terms that could be ambiguous. Translators and reviewers need to answer these questions before the recording.

Edit the audio recordings

You should make adjustments to the speaker’s volume and tone. Also, any unwanted sounds like breathing, hiccups and coughs, or background noise should be removed from the recording.

Finalize script before production

Be sure that the audio script is approved and final before audio production begins, because changes to the audio recording can be very costly to project schedule and budget.

Quality assurance

A localization engineer to be checked for quality and prepared for delivery in the desired format should review the finished product. In-country linguists should review the final recording before you give your stamp of approval.

A successfully localized audio can be the key to driving your business into new language markets. Arm yourself with a translation partner that knows how to navigate the cultural and technological challenges of taking your project multilingual. Check out our Audio Localization Services to see how we can help you with your audio translation needs.

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