When Are You Fluent Enough To Not Need a Translator?

By Atlas LS

If a business owner is dealing with customers abroad and doesn’t speak their language, they’re more than happy to invest in translation services. After all, being able to communicate accurately and clearly is absolutely essential to global trade.

when are you fluent enough to not need a translator

However, some businesspeople find themselves in situations where they aren’t sure if a translator is necessary. If you speak the foreign language of the country with which you’re doing business, you might feel like you’ll be able to get away with just communicating to them directly in their native tongue.

While it’s great to be able to do business in a foreign language, we sometimes overestimate our skills. Too many entrepreneurs have found themselves agreeing to disadvantageous deals because their language skills weren’t as sharp as they previously thought. To help you avoid this situation, here are some things to keep in mind.

Be Honest With Yourself About Your Fluency

If you know you’re fluent or this is a language you grew up speaking, then chances are you’re fluent enough to do business in your second language. However, if this is a language you studied in school or a language you don’t use on a regular basis, you unfortunately might not be as fluent as you think you are.

Let’s say you studied Spanish for four years in high school and another four years in college. Your fluency level is pretty great. While you don’t speak Spanish regularly, you find yourself making conversations easily when you encounter other Spanish speakers. Whenever you vacation to Mexico, ordering at a restaurant is a breeze.

However, let’s say you found yourself suddenly very ill in Mexico. If you went to a pharmacy, would you be able to accurately convey your symptoms and list all of your known allergies in perfect Spanish? If you found a vacation property that you knew you had to buy, would you be able to read the paperwork to purchase it perfectly?

If the answer to those two questions is “no,” then you need to invest in translation services for your business deals abroad. It’s great that you’ll be able to have casual conversations with your clients in their mother tongue, but you want to be able to rely on Remote Simultaneous Interpretation (RSI) during actual business dealings where money is on the line. Furthermore, conference translation services are essential if you have colleagues or employees who do not speak the language in question at all.

Taking Business Global

There’s no shame in admitting that despite your high level of comprehension, you might not be as fluent in your second language as you think you are. When it comes to business, it’s best not to risk it. By working with a company that offers translation services, you ensure that you won’t make any costly mistakes because you missed a word or failed to communicate your thoughts properly.

As for your second language, practice makes perfect. The more time you put into studying and keeping your second language fresh in your mind, the better you’ll be able to speak and understand it in the future.