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Posted By P & L Blog


Resist the urge to save a few cents per word by hiring a freelance translator for your next translations project.  All translations need to be proofread and edited before they are good to go.  It's the same quality control process you follow before you send something off to the printer, and your non-English speaking customers aren't going to appreciate a typo any more than you do.


So, now you have to hire a second translator.  The cost to you has just gone up.


Who on your staff will be handling the project? Do these people have the time to find, evaluate, train and coordinate the work of two (or more) translators?  Will the loss of  productivity in their day-to-day responsibilities be offset by what you think you'll save on the translations?  Will managing the project keep them from doing something that actually generates revenue for your organization?


Work with a translations company that provides services in multiple languages, and save your internal resources for more productive work.



Image by Joshua Davis.  Licensed under Creative Commons.


Posted By P & L Blog

Ernest Tubb Record Shop Nashville

Every June the Country Music Association hosts a big we-love-our fans fest here in Nashville.  It started out as Fan Fair over 30 years ago and now attracts over 160,000 visitors to the city.  In 2008, country music fans came from over 20 countries to enjoy live music and the opportunity to meet some of the biggest stars in the business.


So why doesn't the CMA - and the city of Nashville, for that matter - show some good old Southern hospitality to its foreign guests?


The festival's official website ( offers information on foreign travel to Nashville, but there's not a word in any language other than English.  The Nashville Convention and Visitors Bureau is proud of the new website launched last year, but it, too, fails the hospitality test (


The NCVB site states that "Tourism is our business - the direct impact of the hospitality industry in Nashville is $3.5 billion annually with over 10 million visitors to Music City every year...Our mission is to grow Nashville's second-largest industry from $3 billion to $5 billion."  Is that growth possible when you ignore foreign tourists?


Foreign tourists spend an average of $4,500 per trip to the U.S., much more than domestic tourists spend per capita.


The Memphis Visitors and Convention Bureau's site offers translations in six languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Chinese, and Japanese.  If a German looks for travel information about Tennessee in her own language, she'll find Memphis first.  And visit Graceland, and pay for a hotel and meals, and buy some souvenirs.  You get the picture.  Foreign tourists will spend their money where they feel most welcome.


So we're asking both the CMA and the city of Nashville to follow the lead of cities who welcome their guests with multilingual maps, brochures, websites and guidebooks.  We need to uphold our reputation as one of America's friendliest cities!




Photo by Brent and MariLynn. Licensed under Creative Commons.

Posted By P & L Blog

U. S. and Puerto Rican Flags


Did you know that searches conducted in Spanish often deliver results from sites outside the U.S.?    One reason this occurs is because Spanish language websites here are not optimized as well as sites based in countries like Mexico and Spain.   U.S. advertisers have also been slow to target Hispanics online. 


Make sure you optimize your site for Spanish speakers before you go live so that your customers find you, not your competitor.


You can read the full article at MediaPost.


Photo by Joe Shlabotnik.

Posted By P & L Blog



The number is probably higher than you thought.


Ethnologue has catalogued over 6800 languages, but only a third of them have writing systems.  The good news for international businesses is that 5% of the world's languages are spoken by 94% of the population. 


If your business is online, the news gets even better.  You can reach 88% of the world's most active internet spenders with just five languages in addition to English:

  1. Japanese
  2. German
  3. Spanish
  4. French
  5. Italian

If you are doing business in China, you might want to add simplified Chinese to the languages you have translated.  The number of internet users in China is now larger than the population of the U.S. (see our earlier post on internet growth in China:





Photo by Templarion. Licensed under Creative Commons.



Posted By P & L Blog



May 5th is not Mexican Independence Day, which is September 16, and it is not a national holiday. Cinco de Mayo commemorates Mexico's victory over the French in the Battle of Puebla in 1862.   On that date, 4,000 severely outnumbered Mexican troops defeated the French assault on Puebla, a pyrrhic victory that enraged Napoleon III. 


The following year, he sent 29,000 more men to Mexico.  They successfully invaded Mexico City, and installed Maximilian of Hapsburg as the Emperor of Mexico.  The French finally withdrew in 1867 after losing a series of battles to Mexican forces.  Maximilian was court-martialed and later executed.


The first Cinco de Mayo celebration was held in the late 1960s by a group of California college students who wanted to honor their Mexican heritage.  Forty years later, it is a bigger deal in the U.S. than it is in Mexico.  Much like St. Patrick's Day, celebrations are held nation-wide to celebrate Mexican culture and honor people of Mexican ancestry.  And, much like March 17th, Americans drink lots of beer.


Do your plans today include a cold, frosty cerveza?




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