The Importance Of Native Language Support on Global Projects

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Find out about why native language support is essential if you want to truly capitalise on your global projects using teams across all geographical locations.

Many international businesses have expanded across the globe to capitalise on particular expertise or lower costs in certain regions. Plus studies and surveys have repeatedly shown that people prefer to purchase products with information in their own language. So if you are managing projects and/or producing products across the globe then you need to be sure that the people working for your organisation have information available in their first language to avoid any communication mis-steps.

Why Provide Native Language Support if Everyone Speaks English?

On global projects, team members may, indeed, speak English but there is a world of difference between being able to converse in a language and being fully fluent. So to fully capitalise on the skills and capabilities of international teams there should be no potential communication barriers. Even between people fluent in the same language there can be communication barriers on complex projects. Adding an additional complication in the form of potential language barriers is a risk not worth taking.

Instead translate project documentation into relevant native languages and use voice overs on video resources. Make sure to use a professional foreign language voice over agency (for instance Matinee Multilingual) who can also provide translation services for you. Auto-translation tools may be fine to get the gist of something but are not good enough for important documentation and could be an insult to native speakers.

If your don’t have the budget or capabilities to easily provide resources in all languages then a professional British voice over in a neutral accent on some of the video resources will ensure that as many people on the project as possible can benefit from those resources.

“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his own language, that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela

The Difference Between Native & Localised

It is important to understand the difference between a native language and a localised language when you are producing foreign language resources for teams working on global projects. Providing a native language resource means providing it in the first language of a particular country. That could be as simple as offering a voiceover in that native language. However, if your project teams are located in a specific region, you’ll need to look at localisation as well. This means ensuring that the very specific area you want to communicate unambiguously with is catered for with the correct dialect and localised language in voice and text (if using  subtitles).

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Project management has developed into a fully-fledged chartered profession since the granting of the Royal Charter in the UK to The Association for Project Management (APM) in 2017. Training courses for project managers were already available and highly popular to help people gain professional project management accreditation, but with this wider recognition of the profession it is now seen as a desirable career path for many. Whilst the APM has the coveted Royal Charter and continues to develop its APM PMQ (formerly the APMP) programmes, there are also other internationally recognised qualifications that continue to be highly regarded such as PMP and PRINCE2.

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