At Absolute Translations we believe in the power of language to bring people together, but only when that language is used with precision and skill. That’s why we work exclusively with native speaker linguists with a track record of expertise in key industries. Clients seeking a commercial breakthrough in the dynamic “Tiger” economies of Asia, for example, can rely on us to deliver note-perfect translations that capture both cultural and commercial priorities.
This month we’ve seen two halves of a divided nation come together in a show of friendship. For 65 years North and South Korea have existed in hostile separation but at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics their athletes marched side by side. Anyone who’s travelled or done business in South Korea will be familiar with the warmth and generosity of spirit that distinguishes its people. Rural dwellers will frequently offer strangers a meal and a place to sleep, and they’ll take pride in serving large portions. It’s easy to admire this kindness, but without specialist professional support it’s not so easy to communicate with the people offering it.
A word order that always places verbs last in Korean sentences can easily cause confusion, and the use of different vocabulary and verb endings depending on your relationship with the person you’re addressing can easily cause offence. Koreans value warm, respectful business relationships, and British businesses have a major incentive for developing them. Many of us use Samsung products in our daily lives, and the conglomerate’s annual turnover of over £200 billion and assets in excess of £350 billion make it a flagship for Asian industry. But that’s just the tip of the iceberg in a country that boasts the world’s eleventh largest economy and ranks number one for broadband penetration. South Korea is a goldmine for exporters of plastics, chemicals and electronic equipment, and leading law firms such as Clifford Chance have opened offices there too. For 2018 the Seoul government has scheduled an increase in the minimum wage to help boost domestic spending, as well as increasing investment and job creation with tax breaks for the SMEs affected by the wage rise. Get it right in South Korea, and you have a great deal to gain.
North and South Korea still share a language, and by marching together at the Winter Olympics they reminded the world of other things that once united them. Your business may not have that shared history but what you do have is a language service partner that will help you open the door. We don’t know if the signs of friendship at the Winter Olympics will lead to a reconciliation between North and South Korea, but we do know that the partnership between British business and Absolute Translations increases your chances of success in any venture. Together we’re definitely stronger.