In what languages should you think?

One of my favorite local wineries surprised me last year. At a local wine event I offered the owner to go through his German brochures, his website and business card for free (or better…for a glass of his Reserve) right before summer, to be prepared for the winery visitors. He told me he didn’t need it, he already has it in English.

I can not emphasize it enough: if you try to sell in a country where the native language is not English, you will increase your sales tremendously if you choose to present your product to the public in their own language.

Over 55% of all content on the Internet is available in English. However, the fact is that not 55% of the world’s population speak good enough English to keep reading information in English.
Do you know what happens with information that people don’t understand? It gets lost. Like a good book or a movie, which you try to enjoy in a language you don’t understand. After a while, you quit trying…

So what languages should you let me translate into? The most spoken languages? No: the language in which you are interested in. No one can tell it better than you. If you have prospected for next year to export to Germany, then the first thing is to have all your numbers, contract drafts, brochures and e-mail templates in German, so you can please your customers, you can point to your website if they ask about it, you can send them your brochure or technical sheets in German.

Do you have a prospect in Vietnam? Don’t try their English, they will be much more pleased if they can talk to you in their own language. A reliable interpreter for the oral communication is easy to arrange, you can have a video chat via skype, viber or even the old-school telephone. You can prepare your questions in advance and go through them with the interpreter. It not only helps you to reflect on what you’d like to say, it is also a good way to ensure that no information escapes, no question remains unanswered. Your interpreter will not ruin your business. Interpreters and translators are used to signing non-disclosure agreements, which can contain restrictions about what they may and may not say.

If you are unsure about what languages would be the most helpful for your business, we are here to help you! A strategic first step will make it smoother for you to approach new clients.

What needs to be translated?

I hate those recipes where it says: add some salt. What measure is “some” at all? Does it equal ten grains or a tablespoon?
When I approach wineries at different industry events and ask them if they work with someone who provides translation of their material, I see the same question in their eyes: what is material? Is it my passport? Is it the tasting note for tasting events?

Well, as there is no person who can define the measure of “some”, there is no person to define what is meant by “your material”. It depends on your winery and your plans.

I show you a typical scenario to help you get a feel for when you might want to contact us for translation.

Elephant-winery” from Cabot Cove, Maine.
Mr. and Mrs. Elephant recently had in their B&B a German guy, who turned out to be a restaurant owner and insisted on taking some bottles to his restaurant to “see how it’s going”. The guy just emailed to confirm that people seem to love the wine, so he will order regularly fifty bottles a month. Mr. Elephant is happier than ever, he knew that his father’s instruction to keep the wine in the barrel ten months longer than those of Mr. Tiger made the necessary difference.
Mr. Elephant only thinks about how he could get other German restaurants to order another twenty bottles of his wine.

This is a typical situation, where you should be alarmed that you need translation.
The German restaurant owner might or might not be able to sell your wine, so you – who knows the wine better than anyone else in the world – should make sure they have everything they need – and even more – to get you known in their town.
I suggest to start translating the label. To get more information place a QR-code on it, which brings to a website where the person can find, for example:

    1. where your products are available for purchase
    1. your contact information, such as email address, telephone number
    1. the dates when you will be in a wine-fair in Germany
    1. the technical wine data sheets

You should send with the next order your translated brochures, which can be placed into the hall of the restaurant, so people waiting for a table can grab it and read on it.

Make sure to personalize the brochure so it gets to the reader’s heart.

Wine is passion, wine is love, you don’t want to annoy the reader with some mediocre story about how many hectares you work on, do you?
Write about your products which are not available in the restaurant, about the unique taste due to the ten additional months in the barrel, and how your father insisted on this decision, put pictures of your B&B and announce the next harvest, which people can enjoy with you!

Once you are in someone’s restaurant, you have a foot in the door. Wait a couple of months to see how it is going, stay in contact with the owner, get his feedback, then go ahead and see the place for yourself!
Organize a tasting one evening, ask a German sommelier to do it for you and send information about your region, possibilities of wine-tourism to your B&B, look for travel agencies in the town, call up the in-flight magazine office of the airline arriving closest to your place to ask if you can advertise your place and wine events in their magazine and let us write an article about you.

One idea stitches into the other. You could have a YouTube channel with subtitles, contracts to translate, Season’s greetings, a poll about how your guests stayed at your place, a website, e-shop…

If you have one idea, your business will grow! Make sure we will be your speaker in your target market. We could have the next “ten months more in the barrel” idea for your wine’s words.