17 Apr British or American English? How do I communicate with my customers?
Many people fail to take into account whether they should use British or American English when their company is thinking of internationalisation. But, this is a very important decision which could affect your business. Let’s take a more detailed look at some differences regarding the language and the market of each country and, in particular, how we can decide which English to use. Lex Go!
- The key? Your objectives
Am I focused on the USA or UK? We are used to hearing that British English is more “formal” and “purer”, and American English is “easier”. But is that the case?
Regardless of whether this is true or not, it is not an important consideration for your business. We need to ignore generalisations and focus on our objectives.
- Specific terminology for the sector
The first thing we need to think about is our business sector and the market we want to focus on. There is a big terminology difference between the countries, even though they speak the same language. You can see examples of this in the automotive, real-estate, fashion, and even gastronomy sectors!
- Think of your potential foreign customers
A website, for example should have all the appropriate linguistic aspects for the country it is aimed at and, of course, it should be adapted culturally. Translating into English is insufficient, the original also needs to be translated to produce a natural text for native British or American readers. This is the same for Spanish from Spain and Latin America, too.
- Don’t forget other variations of English!
Although British English is most prominent in Europe and American English is being used more and more extensively, we can’t forget that other countries also speak English. Australia, South Africa and Jamaica speak English differently to British or American speakers.
- Communication with the project manager
Communicating with your project manager is an important aspect to bear in mind. The more information you provide about your project the better! When dealing with English translations it is especially important to specify which variant of English you require because it gives us a better understanding of your market and we know which type of translator we will need. The same is true when translating Swiss Italian, for example. At LexGo Translations we are specialists in working with all types of language variations!
Don’t forget that you can contact us for a completely free quote through the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org