With Jenny Charlton-Jones, President
Tell us about River Linguistics. What type of services do you provide?
River Linguistics, Inc. is a full-service language services provider. Our focus is on delivering scalable, customized solutions to meet the needs of our clients, large and small. At the core of our offerings is written translation services, which we provide in multiple tiers and service levels. We also offer telephonic interpreting services to help businesses and organizations facilitate effective verbal communication with non-English speaking clients. Our array of multimedia services, which can be performed in nearly any language, includes desktop publishing for print media, transcription, video engineering, voiceover, subtitling and captioning, website localization and CAD localization. And for clients who aren’t sure where to start, or who seek a more efficient localization process, we offer customized consulting services.
What types of clients do you serve?
With our specialization in technical translation services, many of our clients are manufacturers who export their goods to other countries. We also serve a number of clients in the healthcare, finance, research, and software industries who are either reaching out to overseas markets, or serving international customers in the US. With our unique position as a Native American Woman-Owned Small Business and a certified HUBZone small business, we proudly serve clients in the public sector as well, particularly in the Department of Defense and Department of Justice.
In what countries/markets has your work appeared?
Our work has appeared on every continent except Antarctica (and possibly there as well, given the international presence!).
Which countries/language has River Linguistics had the most demand for their services?
Latin America (especially Brazil and Mexico), Europe (especially Germany, Italy, Poland), and Asia (especially China and Japan)
In coming years, which countries/languages does River Linguistics foresee an increase in demand for their services?
Demand in developing markets—Latin America and Eastern Europe in particular—is expected to continue to increase in the coming years. And with the implementation of the TPP, we are preparing for an increase in demand for Asian languages as well.
What have you found to be the most difficult aspect of communicating a product or service to consumers in a foreign market?
Language is intrinsically subjective: individuals’ life experience leads them to interpret and understand language in different ways. By capturing our customer’s goals, product / service information and intended audience, we are able to select the most appropriate linguists from our vetted pool of native subject matter experts – regardless of content type. This also allows us to provide our linguists with a relevant contextual framework for the translation process. In this way, we are able to produce translations that sound, read and flow like something that a skilled copy writer from that market crafted – which is perhaps the most difficult aspect of communicating a product / service to consumers in a foreign market.
What would be your advice for companies looking to market their products or services internationally?
Give yourself time to plan. Establishing and following a road map for the roll out of your international operations goes a long way towards mitigating any disruptive or unexpected surprises.
Choose your vendors wisely. Each link in your global supply chain, whether internal or external, needs to be as strong as the next to ensure timeliness to market and adherence to planned budgets.
Identify your intended audience and consider how the 4 Ps of marketing (Product, Price, Place, Promotion) for your product or service can be tailored to them. Then, market to your target audience directly using social media, web collateral, videos, mobile ads, etc.
Finally, it’s also important to consider how you intend to support new customers that don’t speak English.