“Think global, act local”: towards g-localization

G-localizzazione e interpretariato simultaneo

What could be the relationship between economic globalization and text localization? What influence did they have on each other?

If we were to think of China in the early 1980s, the notion of "openness to the market" would immediately spring to mind: precisely in those years the world power was preparing to spread its wings and take flight towards economic globalization, which then dragged all in like a hurricane.

There have been more and more international collaborations for economic-commercial purposes between China and other countries in the world, including Italy - whose charm for the Chinese lies mainly in the sector of luxury fashion and made in Italy.

At the time of the opening to the market in 1979, the thought that mainly worried many of the foreign companies was precisely how and what to communicate with a country of which little or nothing was known, without forgetting the significant linguistic gap. The means of communication par excellence is the language, which plays(s) a fundamental role in the business etiquette to follow to be successful in China.

Even today, negotiating and dealing with such a world power can involve precipitous risks if one is unaware of the rules and regulations in force in this country. It is totally inadvisable to "copy-paste" the strategic marketing model for all the countries with which you do business: after all, the world is beautiful because it is varied, isn't it?!

The g-location

As the sociologist rightly understood Zygmunt Bauman, it would be wrong to believe that globalization can justify a homogenization of the commercial strategy to all the countries with which negotiations are made. To overcome this contradiction and banal unambiguity of the term globalization or globism, Zygmunt Bauman preferred to coin the term of g-location. It encourages you to adopt a mode of operation which instead tends to highlight and safeguard the cultural and linguistic differences that characterize us.

It is interesting to note the parallelism that can be found between the concept of globalization (mostly indicated for operations at an economic-commercial level) and that of localization which is done in the field of interpreting and linguistic mediation. It may seem at first glance to be two very distinct things, when in fact they are surprisingly intrinsic to each other.

Around a negotiating table with China, one cannot turn a blind eye to its cultural peculiarities. We must keep in mind the behavioral observances in the business environment that only an expert in the field can know best. A case in point is the importance of introductions at first meetings or the consolidated habit of exchanging business cards.

Of course in this picturesque picture, the linguistic interlocutors and simultaneous translators play a strategic role. In order not to run into the concept of globalism, in which it would be legitimate to use a rather schematized interaction reduced to a translation almost literally, it incites a more g-localized approach. A language reflects a society, a civilization and its reference culture.

All you do is adapt a language to its context or vice versa. In the practice of Simultaneous interpreting it is argued that – to use a quote from Umberto Eco – “although knowing that one never says the same thing, one can almost say the same thing”: we would therefore be faced with a linguistic negotiation in a commercial negotiation. To translate from one language to another, you need to use a "selection" tool of what can and cannot be said, based on the nature of our interlocutor.

To avoid nasty surprises, trust us at Congressi Internazionali: we take care of organizing your international event, offering you a high quality simultaneous interpreting service. The advantage of being able to do business supported by an interpreter from simultaneous translation native Chinese speaker will surely exponentially increase the success of your event!

Press Office for International Congresses

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