You Can Teach a Man to Fish…

You can market, advertise, and sell until you’re blue in the face and maybe you’ll gain some buyers. Maybe they’ll be loyal clients for years or maybe they will be fair-weather friends that will switch companies at the drop of a hat. That’s the chance you take in the business world. This might sound a little crazy but what you need less of are “clients”. What you need is a bigger audience. A group of loyal people, who may or may not buy from you, but will defend your company and spread your message. Build an audience and your client list will follow.

This is nothing new. However, the approach to gaining an audience has changed with the development of social media. We’ve gone from word-of-mouth to word-of-mouse but gaining an audience is still done in the same way. The best way to get people listening to you and your business is to teach them something. Not many people can do what your business does so sharing a couple tips here and there won’t put you in a precarious situation.

You might be asking yourself, “What can my business teach someone?” The answer is quite simple. Teach them how to use your product or service more effectively. For example, in the language services industry, we teach companies how to use translations and interpreting to reach global markets, maintain an international brand, and foster a corporate culture of diversity. Even if a company isn’t using our services at the moment, they still use us as a source of knowledge.

The other great thing about your company taking on a teaching role is that others will do your marketing for you. If you teach someone something really amazing, they are likely to share it with their connections. Now, instead of reaching your network only, you are reaching a much larger audience: your network’s network.

Three Reasons to Stay with your Language Services Provider

By nature, I’m a positive guy. I see the glass as half full, except on Monday mornings. When I see blogs that outline the potential “mistakes” that will lead you to pursue a relationship with a different language service provider, I cringe a bit. It’s easy to point out the mistakes of others in hopes to draw new business, let’s just hope you don’t succumb to the pitfalls that you outlined in your blog.

I want to take a different approach, a glass half full orientation. I want to talk to you about the three reasons you should STAY with your language service provider. You’ll be much happier in the long run if you cultivate a strong relationship with your provider and here is why.

Three reasons to stay with your language service provider:

1) They know you and you know them

Providing language services can be tricky business and your needs are unique. Hopping from one service provider to another is really doing you a disservice for two reasons. First, you never give a company the chance to get REALLY good at working for you. At first, service can be a little bumpy especially when trying to exceed someone’s expectations but when you give a company the opportunity to work closely with you and on a frequent basis, things become like clockwork. Second, and this is especially important for technical translations, if you work with a language service provider consistently, they begin to learn more about your products and market segment. This allows them to offer additional services or more efficient ways to approach language and cultural-related issues.

2) They won’t let you release subpar work

Ok, so a lot of blogs will tell you to switch language service providers if they miss deadlines. Well, ok. But, I think this should to be qualified. I agree, if you can’t rely on your language service provider to serve you in a prompt manner, switch. Consider this though, what is the reason the deadline was missed? If your language service provider has you push back a deadline because there are foundational issues with the project, I consider that a reason to stay with them. It shows they care about your reputation. Anyone can throw together a project for the sake of meeting a deadline. A quality language service provider will be honest with you, let you know there is a problem, and work with you to fix it. We don’t want you to be embarrassed. We won’t let you release material that isn’t the best it could be. If you don’t believe me, look at all the mistranslation memes on the internet. Some phrases cannot be reproduced in another language; doing so instead of reworking the text with the client is irresponsible.

3) They Follow-up with you

Please stay with your language service provider if they take the time to follow-up with you. I don’t mean to market to you, I mean to make sure your project went off without a hitch. This is time consuming on the part of your provider but it’s a valuable opportunity for you to provide input so they can serve you better. It’s about building that solid relationship.

Go “Like” the Able Translations Facebook page. It is just one of the ways we like to stay in-touch with our friends. On our page you’ll find valuable resources (and a lot of other cool things I post on a daily basis). For SEO’s, if you “like” our page, I’ll be sure to return the favor.

Able Translations Facebook

5 Random Thoughts about Language

1) What if EVERYONE spoke a different language?

Would we have evolved if there was no shared language? If everyone spoke a different language, I don’t see how society could have formed together under a veil of shared meaning, norms, and morals. Just thinking about the organization of work and the necessary efficiencies, I don’t know that we could have coordinated ourselves in a way that made farming possible let alone the complex tasks of today’s workforce.
…imagine what Facebook would look like?

2) What if EVERYONE spoke the SAME language?

I know, I know, pretty similar to the first question. But, think of the ramifications. Imagine how quickly the world could have evolved if everyone spoke the same language and was able to share ideas right from the start. On the other hand, because language is so closely tied to culture (and vice-versa) would we lose out on all the wonderful things that stem from language diversity?

We would lose awesome phrases such as “Bon Appétit” or “Al Dente”. Basically, nobody would wish us a good meal as we eat our mushy pasta.

3) Why is it fairly easy for humans to define most words but we struggle and debate over the meaning of the word “I”?

Studying sociology, I spent a lot of time in heated debates over the social significance and social definition of “I”. Symbolic interactionists contend that “I” is our internal self that we piece together through our understanding of how other people see us.

Looking Glass Self


“I” isn’t like toaster or car seat. For some reason, we have a hard time grasping something that is so central to our existence. It is a word we just can’t define properly.

4) Why does a word start to sound funny and lose meaning when you say it over and over again?

Not much to say on this one but say the word “tree” 20 times and tell me it doesn’t make you laugh.

5) The mystery of organic palindromes

Do you know what a palindrome is? A palindrome is a word that is spelled the same forward as it is backwards.

-Race Car

When I refer to an “organic” palindrome, I’m speaking about a word that has evolved in a natural way not for the purpose of creating a palindrome.

What I wonder is HOW IS THIS POSSIBLE! What are the odds that this could even happen?

I’m astonished.

Join us for a FREE Webinar

Dear WordPressers,

Able Translations is pleased to invite you to view our free webinar, No Barriers: Communicating with Patients via Video Remote Interpreting. This is an amazing opportunity for you to gain valuable insight into how vicki, Able Translations video remote interpreting solution, is helping healthcare facilities better manage patient care.

Topics to be discussed include:

• Language services as a keystone of patient care

• Vicki as part of your facilities diversity planning

• Vicki as experienced by frontline healthcare providers

• The interpreter’s perspective

• Questions and answers from viewers

Those who submit a question during our question and answer session will be entered into a draw to win a $100 gift card to

Please join me on Tuesday, October 16th 2012 from 12:00pm – 1:30pm (Eastern time) to view our webinar, No Barriers: Communicating with Patients via Video Remote Interpreting.

To register, visit:

To learn more about vicki, please visit or call us at 1-800-840-5370.