Communication in numbers

Last Updated February 6, 2018

What matters in business are words, gestures and intentions, but we often think that these are rather numbers that are most important here. Do numbers play the greatest role in business communication? Or maybe these are words that are essential in this respect? And what is actually necessary for communication to be successful? Today, we will tell you how to communicate in business in which numbers play the major role.

 There are types of business in which work is focused strictly on numbers. Such sectors include, e.g. real estate, accounting or investment funds. Work done by people dealing with these sectors is based on numbers, which account for the greatest part of the content of documents they prepare.

Words, actions and intentions – how to make communication successful

Staff serving customers of translation agencies have to do on a daily basis with people representing a great deal of various industries. Owing to such frequent and diverse communication, they become familiar with the specific characteristics of work in different types of business. Although this work differs from business to business, we still can find some common elements that make communication easier.

It is often the case that it is not the content of the message that is most important in business, but these are intentions of both parties involved. If, for example, you want to extend cooperation with someone, you decide to give them a one-off discount. This is one of the simplest methods to show your willingness to negotiate and retain the customer for a longer time.

This method may prove successful in Poland, but you don’t know whether it will work in other countries. If you cooperate or intend to cooperate with partners from other countries, you should get familiar with customs prevailing in the part of the world where they live. And here comes a question: is the way you do business acceptable in another culture?

If you communicate in business issues with foreign partners, you have to be extremely careful so as not to offend them or unnecessarily irritate. In business, each message has an impact on your relations with partners, which in turn may directly affect the prosperity of your company. That’s why the quality of communications is so important in business.

Finances abroad

Financial translations account for a large number of all translations. No matter what business you are involved in, you are bound to prepare estimates, contracts and offers. Such documents relate usually not only to a specific industry, but also finance and law. All these areas require the translator to have not only very specific knowledge, but also the ability to interpret the content correctly.

It may seem that financial translations are very easy. All that the translator has to do is to look up some terms in a dictionary and mostly rewrite figures.

Unfortunately, these few terms often affect the whole document and play a decisive role in extremely important decisions. If you don’t understand the whole message, choosing the right words is like playing the roulette. That’s why a translator dealing with financial documents has to know perfectly the financial jargon and terminology and needs to be able to interpret correctly the intentions conveyed in the source text.

Not only language and culture

Why is it so important to commission translation of business documents, especially those dealing with finance, to a professional translator? Because a professional translator not only does know the language, but can also count and think analytically. If a different metric or numeral system is used in the source language and culture, this has to be properly localized. A person dealing with translation of financial texts must be able to make correctly necessary calculations, which often involve very large numbers.

Although this all seems not to be complicated, there may be some problems, e.g. with conversion of areas while translating texts dealing with architecture. Theoretically, anyone should be able to make such calculations. But in practice, if you don’t have to do with numbers on a regular basis, you tend to forget even the simplest mathematical formulas.

Besides being fluent in the languages involved and having translation, analytical and mathematical skills, the translator should also be able to operate software used in a given sector. These are most often Excel and PowerPoint included in Ms Office suite. If necessary, a graphic designer is engaged in the whole process to take care of typesetting and graphics used in the translated material. All these efforts are aimed at thorough reproduction of the source material. Only then can the content, meaning and intentions – so important in business communication – be preserved.

 Communication is effective if we take care of its each element

In business communication, you have to remember that the message you send to your partner is composed of several very important elements. These are most often:

  • words,
  • actions,
  • intentions,
  • your culture-specific behavior,
  • reactions to your partner’s behavior.

All these elements must be present in business communication. That’s why the translation process in this sector is so complex, and hence difficult. And that’s not all yet. There are also lots of numbers that need to be handled in the translation process, which makes it obvious that this job should be done only by professionals.

A translation agency’s employee that selects a person to translate a financial text will ensure that this person has the necessary skills and competences.

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