The value of global mergers and acquisition deals as of 2019 is $3.7 trillion. This shows how a lot of companies utilize mergers in growing their business. However, up to 90% of mergers fail, according to Harvard Business Review. You want your international merger to be the 10% that succeeds. How do you do this? Well, the most successful mergers are always the most planned out ones.
First, consider which company you want to merge with. What do they do? What is their work style? Where are they located? What is their societal culture like? Gather your team of experts to help you decide: legal, financial, technical, marketing, and yes you guessed it, lingual. The last part is why it is essential to partner with a translation company when you decide to go international.
In cross-border mergers, business translation is important because language is the number one barrier. You need a good business translation strategy because you are going to be conducting meetings with different companies of different nationalities. When you cannot speak their language, you need to bring your lingual expert to help you with business translation.
For example, if you are an American company who is planning to merge with a company in France, the lingual expert that you bring must not only understand the French language but he/she/they must also know the French cultural contexts. Since the lingual expert will be your interpreter during the meeting, it would help if that person is skilled at diplomacy and business translation. Good humor can also be a bonus. A good ice breaker can help both parties feel at ease, but a bad one will turn the meeting cold and you will not be able to get that deal. Just make sure that the ice breaker is relatable to the French, though.
Language even plays a huge role in the post-merger process. A research paper published in the European Management Journal even called it the “forgotten factor” in multinational management. However, before you go out and partner with the nearest language service provider, do your research first. No two LSPs are the same. Here are the qualities to look for in a reliable translation company:
First: Accredited and Certified
Choose a translation company that is officially accredited because this will give you assurance of quality. ISO 9001:2015 is the current international standard for quality management. This means that if a company is ISO 9001 certified, they can assure you that they are able to meet client and regulatory requirements. For a translation company specifically, choose one that is at minimum ISO 17100:2015 certified. On that note, be cautious of partnering with a translation company that is only self-certified.
Second: Good Reputation
Make sure that the translation company you partner with is already an established and trustworthy business. You can find out based on their reputation. How many clients do they have? Do they have big and well-known clients? If so, get client references. Are these clients satisfied with the results that the LSP gave them? If you have any questions, is the LSP able to offer answers? If you encounter an issue, is the LSP able to support you through the process? Are their translators qualified and have they undergone appropriate training? These are some of the questions you can ask the LSP before you shake hands and officially partner with them.
Third: Professional Human Translators
Choose a translation company that has human translators instead of using AI to translate your documents. Even if machine learning has made AIs smarter and smarter, AI translation still lacks the capability of translating words depending on cultural context and meaning. When executing an international merger, you are not only merging different companies, you are also merging different cultures. You also have to make sure that the translators are professional and qualified because one mistranslated word could cause a boatload of misunderstandings. Furthermore, while AI can usually translate short passages of text well enough, lengthier texts will come out incoherent. Remember that you will be signing lengthy documents when making deals.
Fourth: Offers Interpretation Services
Interpretation is as important as translation to have a successful international merger. You need translation in order to convert documents from one language to another, and you need interpretation to communicate with potential business partners. There are mobile applications in which you can speak in your language and the app will translate it into your target language, but as we have discussed above, AI is not always accurate in translating sentences. Moreover, robots cannot convey the proper tone and feel of your words. Excitement would fall flat and a joke would sound too serious. Human interpreters are more reliable than AI because there is no replacement for human feelings.
Fifth: Industry Specialization
There’s language based on culture and geography, then there’s language based on business and industry. All LSPs can translate from one language to another, but not all LSPs specialize in your industry. Partner with a translation service provider that specializes in your industry so that you can make sure that the translators and interpreters are knowledgeable of the jargon that your specific industry uses. If you are in the healthcare industry, partner with a company that has translators and interpreters who know medical jargon. If you are in the legal industry, collaborate with translators and interpreters who can tell the difference between an affidavit and an appeal.
Sixth: Data Security and Confidentiality Policies
When you partner with a translation company, ask about their confidentiality policies. Choose one that already practices signing non-disclosure agreements because those are the ones that take data confidentiality seriously. It’s also best to request that the professional translators sign NDAs. However, a non-disclosure agreement is only one half of the story. You must also make sure that the translation company uses a secure translation management system in order to avoid data leaks. If the translation company uses an unsecured email to send and receive files, your data might fall into the wrong hands. They must also have a secure storage system in place so that you don’t have to worry about losing your confidential data. A rule of thumb is to verify if they abide by the ISO27001 compliance which is the international standard of building, using, maintaining, and constantly improving their information security management system.