Italian Translation and the Art of Doing Business in Italy

Italian Translation and the Art of Doing Business in Italy

Italian Translation and the Art of Doing Business in Italy 5621 3747 Accelingo

Don’t Get Caught without Reliable Italian Translation

It’s okay to look like a tourist when you’re visiting Paris or Prague for the first time, but it won’t work in the online business market and can harm your brand image and company profits. Doing business in Italy is no exception. To accomplish this, you’ll need to rely on Italian translation to connect with the locals and speak their language.

Why Do Business in Italy?

Italy has some of the richest markets in the European Union and touts a highly diversified economy. Because of this, Italy is a logical destination for startups expanding internationally.

Italy benefits from being in the heart of Europe and thus being at the center of trade paths and popular travel locations.

Also, Italy has some of the wealthiest cities in southern Europe, with Milan, Turin, and Genoa conveniently “triangled” in the most profitable region in the country.

However, while there are untapped potential markets in Italy, business cannot occur unless you’re proficient in the art of interpersonal Italian conversation.

What Should I Know When in Italy?

Don’t be alarmed by certain cultural differences, especially if you’re a mild-mannered American or Canadian, or a reserved English person. Italians are known to use some of the most hand gestures in Europe.

If you want a quick crash-course on some of the most common Italian hand gestures, check out this video from Babbel on Arcadia University’s website. The site gives a bit of context to the immense use of hand-gestures, and the video shows people trying to guess what certain gestures mean before an Italian gives the correct answer.

Italians tend to stand much closer than you’re probably used to. They find certain North American habits unacceptable such as chewing gum, slouching, or leaning against something in public.

Hope you’re not shy, because Italian’s also make and expect direct eye-contact as a way to tell communicating attention.

You will be introduced to old people and women first, so do the same when you introduce yourself.

The American “group wave” is not going to cut it in Italy. Introductions and departures require you shake hands with everyone in the group. Be sure to give a firm handshake with your right hand, always from the standing position.

When it comes to business meetings and meals, know that dress code is important, as how you dress suggests your social status. The better dressed you are, the more respect you’ll typically get.

Be sure to get to your meeting on time and prepared as a foreigner. However, your Italian counterpart may be more relaxed with punctuality. Most restaurants don’t open until 6 or 7 p.m., according to Oyster. Be prepared to wait a while for dinner table.

Once there, have a business card ready to hand over. Handing out business cards is common in Italian culture, so be sure to have a few made with your native language one side and an Italian translation on the other.

Italian conversation may be a bit jarring at first. Italians tend to speak over each other or interrupt one another, making it difficult to follow the flow of conversation.

However, once dinner is done, be sure to not only tip 10 percent at the restaurant but on the taxi ride back to your hotel.

As you can see, many social behaviors must be translated into Italian culture. The same holds with non-Italian languages into Italian.

Translation is the Key to Business in Italy

You as an individual must learn the correct ways to market to an Italian audience.

This goes into personal greetings and sayings. You are expected to say “Signor(e)” to men and “Signora” to women followed by their surname when introduced Italian executives.

Always use people’s last names or correct titles when referring to people, unless that person specifically tells you to call them by their first name.

It’s polite to say “Buongiorno,” or good morning, and “Buona sera” (good afternoon/evening) during introductions or small talk.

Having an Italian translation of your sales material is essential to business meetings, and translating your content into Italian is also crucial in digital marketing.

What Should I Know When Marketing in Italian?

International marketing campaigns should start in Italy.

Italy has nearly 60 million inhabitants, and over 60 percent of them are online, according to WebCertain. This number is steadily increasing, just like the prevalence of social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, WhatsApp, and so on.

Because of such an online presence, Italy lends itself to online marketing, especially since 62 percent of people own a smartphone. However, the responsive design of Italian marketing tools isn’t as at peak efficiency and can either become a strong business venture or a potential hurdle.

While online marketing campaigns are steadily growing, the established markets in Italy, such as fashion, food, and drink make themselves harder to break into. Just the fashion sector alone brings in over $5 billion.

However, if you want to get into these lucrative but competitive Italian markets, you’ll need to hire the Italian translation services of a professional translation company who can translate your brand image effectively.


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