How do Cultural Differences Between East and West Make a Difference in Document Translation?

As businesses expand and move into new markets where a different culture prevails, it’s important to understand the targeted culture as this is most likely to be a recipe for success. If misunderstandings take place the customer will shy away from buying a product.

According to a Next 11 report released by Goldman Sachs, 6 of the 11 countries which are most likely to be the growing markets for the future are within Asia. It is important to fully understand the differences in how business is conducted in these countries so that western companies can successfully grow their business through dealing with the growing Asian countries.

Cheng Hing Han, who is an experienced executive specialising in assisting businesses to break into entirely new markets, states what the main differences are between the business cultures in the West and the East. To begin with, “straight talk” is not liked everywhere and in Eastern Societies is avoided, as loss of face is often the outcome. Also, being assertive is not usually practiced among Asians, as they link it with embarrassing people.

It’s important for a business which is trying to break into the Asian market to set some time aside to build relationships. The Chinese, for example, put far more importance on the social element of forming a new relationship than any money that might be the outcome. There will be multicultural research benefits if the business thoroughly researches how his or her targeted customers need to be taught about the product in their own language.

eBay focuses on localizing

eBay has had a good go at localizing into 3 clearly distinct Asian markets, using exactly the same business model. However, it failed to dig deep enough into the Japanese auction style and didn’t realize that sellers in Japan have significantly more power than do the buyers. For example, in the online auction process in Japan, sellers are not required to pay any fees and they are permitted to cancel bids whenever they want even prior to the auction ending and they are not penalized as a result of their actions.

eBay attempted to impose its current business methods in Japan, believing that consumers would be able to understand their guidelines and sellers would give-in and pay up the fees. However, their attempt proved disastrous leaving them with insufficient sellers and products.

Following 3 years of fruitless attempts at developing a strong hold in Japan, eBay Japan didn’t have any choice except to withdraw Japan’s involvement which it hasn’t been able to re-establish since. Ebay will have to conduct some prior multicultural research benefits before trying its tactics again with Japan or other Eastern countries.

 Writer’s Name : Sharon Wilson


A Blogger from Aussie Transalations, Sharon Wilson has specialized in writing blog posts and have worked with entrepreneurs, executives, industry experts and many other professionals in writing and publishing, blogs, newspaper articles, SEO web content,and more.

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