ContactUS EnglishDeutschEspañol中文

AAA Translation News Blog

Industry news, global business advice and our monthly immigrant interview series….


10 languages for the Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Tuesday, May 02, 2017

..... and the winner of the Starbucks gift card is: 

Congratulations to Todd Schinsky with DAP Products, Inc.

Last month's trivia question was:  What is Tsundoku?


Just another day in the Life of AAA Translation:

"When The Whitney Shop decided to make a series of design-centered postcards featuring 10 different world languages, we needed a partner who would not only make sure the translations were accurate, but the nuance of the meaning was captured. This project was as much about the look and feel as it was about the words, so we needed guidance regarding not just language, but appropriate places to create line breaks and Carol and Susanne held our hands every step of the way."

Whitney Museum of American Art, New York

Translation is not a word-for-word change from one language into another. 

Translating ads and marketing messages are complex activities usually requiring more than just translation, it requires quite some research and knowledge. Besides the fundamental ability to understand and translate text into another language, the main skill needed-yet always overlooked-is the ability to craft, write and produce short, engaging headlines, body copy, and taglines that effectively reach their audience. 

These are commonly known as "transcreations", recreating marketing messages in other languages for consumers in different regions and cultures so they look and feel tailor made for that specific country. 

Contact us for a free consultation on how we can help you with your global marketing messages.


Facebook Engineer on why Translation is still hard 

You know neural machine translation (NMT) is reaching the peak of inflated expectations on Gartner's Hype Cycle when engineers of giant tech companies proclaim on stage that the end game for the technology they are working on offers nothing short of making the world a better place.

On April 19-20, 2017, Necip Fazil Ayan, Engineering Manager at Facebook, gave a 20-minute update at the F8 Developer Conference about the current state of the art of machine translation at the social networking giant. 

Language is Big Business 

The language industry is big business, with the worldwide language services market growing at an annual rate of 5.52%. 

The Centre for Next Generation Localisation reports that localization is the 4th fastest-growing industry in the United States. And, Inc. Magazine lists the language industry as one of the top industries for starting a business.

The industry is diverse and technology-driven, with an increasing impact on both global and regional economies. 

Here are three key facts to consider: 
The size of the overall global language industry in 2016 is estimated at $40 Billion (USD), with estimates of up to $45 Billion by 2020.

The projected growth rate is 6.5-7.5% annually through 2018. 

Share these posts:

St. Louis Regional Chamber and Explore St. Louis foreign language video production

Friday, April 21, 2017

Do you know what Tsundoku means?

Email the correct answer to and you could win a Starbucks gift card.

Each day, we handle many different language related projects and today we want to showcase a cool foreign language video project:

The St. Louis Regional Chamber and Explore St. Louis engaged us to create foreign language voice-overs of this video showcasing St. Louis:

How did we do it?
First, we took the English script and localized it into all the target languages. This was performed by expert in-country translators, making sure the words and phrases are common within that culture.

Because you really don't want this to happen when using Google Translate:
Not only did we translate/localize the script, we also calculated the exact time it will take to fit the new language into the allotted (English) time provided.

Language expansion/contraction - a natural occurrence
Each language has different structures. For example, Japanese could expand by up to 60% and German or Spanish can be longer than English, too. A literal translation of an English voice-over script can be too long to fit in the allotted time, and the script could sound like a horse racing commentary. We wanted to avoid that at any cost.

This is where our consultative approach helps - we can advise you on how to streamline the script. We have in-house editors who can help suggest changes to the script without changing the message, or we can also rewrite the video for each appropriate market.

Do you like my voice?
It's really important to choose a voice that is not only really nice sounding, but also fits the message. So think carefully about the type of voice you need. What language and what kind of accent? Do you want your artist to sound cheerful or formal? Always look for a voice that suits the genre of your video. For example, if you choose to make a video for an advertisement, the voice should sound lively and energetic, not boring or annoying.

For this project, we chose a lively and energetic voice.
By choosing the right voice, you'll engage your target market again and again.

The importance of the right Accent
The artist must speak both languages well, as a poor accent could ruin your credibility in a new market. The problem with the wrong accent is that the listener may be distracted by the speaker's accent, and not listen to the actual message.

We have lots of voice samples to choose from to make sure your video has the right kind of voice.

FYI - Susanne Evens, CEO of AAA Translation, has been a German voice-over artist for over 20 years.

It's all in the Details
At the final stage, you've selected an awesome sounding artist and ready to spread your message to the world.

Clear instructions before the recording session are essential. Any information on pronunciation, brand guidelines, tone and objectives are important. Re-running through these keeps things focused and on brand.

While most clients will not attend the studio sessions, really clear instructions to the studio engineer will ensure no need for re-recording.

Want to learn more or have a need for a foreign language video?
Call us for a free consultation: 636 530 1010

Keep in mind that forecasters are predicting digital marketing to rise to 69% by 2017, and continue up to 79% by 2018.

More fun videos

25 Hilarious Movie Subtitling Errors:

We very much appreciate these new client testimonials:

"We love working with AAA Translation! They manage lightning fast turn-around on work while also being extremely careful and exact in providing accessible and accurate translations." STAPLES

"Thanks so much for the Japanese translations. We are very pleased." JURISTAT

Share these posts:

When Small to Mid-Sized Companies Go Global: HR Tips for Global Remuneration

Monday, August 08, 2016

As global markets provide growth opportunities and expanding technology enables us to communicate with anyone around the world, more and more small to mid-sized businesses are hiring people across geographic and cultural boundaries. This new territory creates the need for global HR policies and programs, which can be tricky to navigate.

“One of the many challenges global companies face is remuneration. Global integration of pay programs requires careful benchmarking, country market pricing, cultural considerations and much more,” says Jan Schoemehl, owner and principal consultant at Growing GlobalHR Partners.

There are many factors for companies to consider related to global compensation and benefit programs, including:

Work-Life Balance

Not historically found in U.S.-based businesses, HR policies related to work-life balance are common and/or mandated by law in many international markets, including Europe. These can include flexible work time, extended holidays, equal rights, paternity leave, extending health care benefits to same-sex partners and more.

Language Laws

Laws in countries like Belgium, Chile, France, Poland, Portugal, Quebec, Turkey and more require that most employee communications—including written compensation and benefits plans—be communicated in the local language. Even if a company declares that English is the organization’s official language, it doesn’t allow them to ignore these laws. It’s important to research the laws in each country where you’ll operate and then translate all required HR documents in those areas.


Any global pay, bonus or benefits plan should clearly define all key terms. Common words or phrases in the U.S., such as “regular,” “full-time”, “salaried” or “exempt” may mean something different (sometimes significantly different) abroad.

Cross-Border Alignment

American headquarters employees might get employer-provided medical insurance, dental insurance, an adoption-reimbursement plan and a company severance pay plan. Meanwhile, executive employees in your France office might get a profit-sharing plan and company cars. Isn’t it best to extend these offerings to all teams? Perhaps. But perhaps not. For example, the U.S. doesn’t have a broad socialized government medical care system, but France does, so this benefit isn’t needed there. Conversely, executive company cars are expected in Europe and sometimes tax-advantaged, whereas they are not the norm in the U.S. Look carefully at what you want to extend to all employees and what benefits or compensation are best to offer only in a specific country or continent.

Local Compensation Laws

Discrimination and pay laws can vary quite a bit in difference countries. For example, discrimination laws in Europe and other parts of the world can force an employer that gives a benefit to one class of workers to offer the same to all equivalent-or-higher employee groups. Laws in Europe also ban the common U.S. practice of limiting a benefit (such as medical insurance) to full-time staff. Laws in the Middle East prohibit compensating foreigners more than locals. And bonus plans that pay a significant percentage of employee compensation can trigger quirky local pay laws. Always do your research.

To learn more, contact AAA Translation or Growing Global HR Partners.

Share these posts:

Grammy Nomination Audiobook Project

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

AAA Translation was selected to provide foreign language voice talent (in multiple languages) for a unique audiobook collaboration with St. Louis author Emily Carpenter (author of American Female: A True Tale of Adventure); Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum, award-winning recording engineer Carl Nappa and Nelly’s Extreme Institute Studios.

“The book takes place in multiple countries and many languages, and for the audiobook version, pronunciation accuracy was critical,” said Susanne Evens, founder and CEO of AAA Translation.

Author Emily Carpenter and sound engineer Carl Nappa will be submitting the American Female audiobook to the 2017 Grammy Awards, for consideration in the Spoken Word category.

“We are very excited to begin our Grammy nomination campaign and can't thank AAA Translation enough for their hard work and contribution,” said Carpenter.

American Female is "The Devil Wears Prada," meets "Eat, Pray, Love," while "On the Road." Middle-class, mid-career, and Midwestern, twenty-something Emily Carpenter walks into a new job that isn’t middle anything. In only slightly more time than it takes to get a passport, this brave adventuress finds herself thrust into a world of lavish luxury, corporate hijinks, and personal scandal. Jet-setting around the globe with her sociopathic boss, she discovers the line between right and wrong is generally negotiable, and almost always in a language other than English. Forced to her breaking point, Emily has to decide what is more important: her old self-respect or her new career. But first - she’ll have to survive.

Learn more about the book at



Share these posts:

St. Louis Business Journal Feature Article about AAA Translation and CEO Susanne Evens

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The St. Louis Business Journal recently ran a feature story on AAA Translation and the company's founder/CEO Susanne Evens, after she was selected as one of the Top 100 People to Know in St. Louis to Succeed in Business.

"Susanne Evens' story is the perfect example of how hard work and dedication can lead to success," said Mayor Francis Slay.

In addition to founding AAA Translation in 1994 and serving as its CEO, Susanne has been a leader and volunteer for several business and nonprofit organizations, including the World Trade Center St. Louis board and the St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities, where she has served as the nonprofit's president since 2006.

"It's one of the oldest sister city alliances in the country. Quite an accomplishment. She's a treasure," said Lansing Hecker, Honorary Consul of Germany for Missouri and Southern Illinois.

Click here to read the full article.

Share these posts:

Susanne Evens, Founder/ CEO of AAA Translation, Selected as a Top 100 People to Know in St. Louis to Succeed in Business

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Susanne Evens, founder and CEO of AAA Translation a professional foreign language translation, interpretation and global consulting firm founded in 1994 – was recently selected as one of the Top 100 People to Know in St. Louis to Succeed in Business. The award winners will be honored during a luncheon April 12 hosted by Small Business Monthly at the St. Charles Convention Center.

Ms. Evens founded AAA Translation in 1994 and, under her leadership, the company has grown to serve business clients around the world (from Anheuser Busch to The Vatican), working in more than 150 languages to provide translation, interpretation and global consulting services. Since its inception, AAA Translation has been committed to the community, providing resources and time in support of organizations such as Arch Grants, Circus Flora, German Heritage Society, the German School Organization, Sister City programs and more.

Additionally, Ms. Evens has been president of St. Louis-Stuttgart Sister Cities, a nonprofit organization, since 2006; a board member for the World Trade Center St. Louis; a board member for the German American Heritage Society; a board member for the German American Committee; a member of the St. Louis Mosaic Project Advisory Board and is a sought-after expert on international communications and global business development. She is a regular contributor to the BusinessWeek Alliance/Market Advisory Board, and her advice and insights have been featured on: National Public Radio (NPR),,, Bloomberg Business News,, St. Louis Commerce Magazine, St. Louis Business Journal, CBX KMOX Radio, Pete the Planner Radio Show Indianapolis, International Enterprise Singapore and various German radio stations

Evens was instrumental in bringing two German-based companies to set up facilities and initiate trade within the Midwest. She’s also a guest lecturer at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, has served as a mentor for the Women’s Leadership Council at UMSL and was honored by the German American Heritage Society of Saint Louis in 2013 with the organization’s prestigious Friedrich Hecker Freedom Award.

“I am so honored to be among those selected and named as a Top 100 St. Louisan to Know to Succeed in Business,” said Evens. “We work with companies around the globe and in every industry to help them navigate and succeed in the global marketplace, but St. Louis is home. We are proud of the strong relationships we have built and the roles we have played in our city’s business growth.”

Learn more about Susanne Evens and AAA Translation at

Share these posts:

Want to Expand Globally? Don't Make These Costly Mistakes

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Want to expand your organization or product line globally?

The ultimate success (or failure) of a company’s global expansion rests on various factors, from economics to regulation to competition, but the ones that typically trip companies up the most are those related to cultural and language differences. Even large U.S. companies, like Best Buy and Groupon, have fumbled overseas due to a lack of understanding of their new markets.

Despite the challenges, the potential reward for expanding globally is significant. The International Trade Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce estimates that more than 70 percent of global purchasing power is outside the U.S.

Avoid these costly mistakes as you expand globally to help ensure your success:

1. Don’t underestimate differences, even in the same language.

Even when you’re expanding to another country that speaks the same language (such as the U.S. to the U.K. or vice versa), it pays to localize your messaging and marketing. Names for common products and services are often different. In the U.K., for example, free shipping is known as "free delivery.” And if you send an email to a U.K. customer telling them to buy some pants for their mom for Mother’s Day, don’t be surprised at your lack of sales (“moms” are mums and “pants” are undergarments in the U.K.). Going the other way across the pond, it’s important to Americanize words as well. The U.K. fashion retailer Karen Millen increased conversion rates in the U.S. by 25%, for example, simply by Americanizing their spelling and removing Anglophone terms such as “autumn.”

With this many differences, even in the same language, imagine how many missteps you can make in a foreign language. Nuances are important, and it’s critical to work with professionals who understand the culture and language of your new market.

2. Steer clear of cheap, automated solutions.

You only get one chance to make a first impression…so make sure that yours is a good one in any new global market. Be prepared to invest in hiring qualified professionals to help with localizing your company's website and marketing materials. It’s better to wait or not expand at all than to do it wrong -- the risk of offending potential new customers with poor, embarrassing and/or insulting translations from cheap, automated solutions like google translate or other machine translation is too great.

3) Don’t be insensitive to cultural traditions.

In the U.S., much can be overlooked if you have the right product or service at the right price. This isn’t the case in many other countries, where you can kill deals (depending on the area) by a culture faux pas such as bringing up business too quickly, handling a business card too casually, politely refusing a second drink, using chopsticks incorrectly, crossing your legs the wrong way or shaking someone's hand. Do your research on cultural differences ahead of time.

4. Don't assume that customers are going to be the same.

Beyond language and cultural differences, you must look even deeper at your new market’s consumer psyche. Do not assume that your customers are going to be the same or that your products or services will have the same value proposition. In the U.K., for example, they tend to place smaller orders more frequently, rather than stocking up. In India, consumers spend a larger portion of their income for basic necessities, including food, than Americans do, leaving them with less disposable income to spend on other items. Go into any new overseas market with your eyes wide open to the fact that you'll need to figure out these types of differences and adjust your strategies and tactics accordingly.

Need help as you expand globally? Contact us at toll-free at 844.293.3519 or learn more at

Share these posts:

7 Tips for Hiring a Foreign Language Interpreter

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Just like bad translation work can hurt your company and reputation, so can hiring a bad interpreter.

How do you select a good, legitimate, experienced interpreter for your event, presentation, meeting or other needs?

Here are a few suggestions:

1. Be skeptical. A certain amount of skepticism is healthy when it comes to hiring an interpreter. Be sure to ask plenty of questions and check references.

2. Plan for backups. It’s best to work with an experienced company that carefully vets their interpreters and has qualified backup options should there be an emergency that prevents your original interpreter to work the project.

3. Make sure that the interpreter is proficient in both languages involved. Proficiency in BOTH languages involved is a must.

4. Be sure the interpreter has a vocabulary for your topic or industry. Proficiency in both languages is critical; so is familiarity and experience with the vocabulary required for your subject matter (especially if it’s highly technical).

5. Make sure they are familiar with the different cultures involved. Do they understand cultural nuances, colors not to wear, customs and other key cultural factors that may be important?

6. Make sure they are experienced. Interpreting is a unique skill that goes beyond knowing languages, cultures and vocabularies – it requires experience. Make sure that your interpreter has plenty of it.

7. Ensure that all time required is included in your pricing quote. Most companies provide reference materials at least one week prior to the assignment so the interpreters have enough preparation and research time. All this time should be included in the rate quoted for interpreting.

Want more advice or to learn about AAA Translation’s interpreting services? Contact us at toll-free at 844.293.3519 or learn more at

Share these posts:

Tips for U.S. Companies that Want to Attract Chinese Investors

Wednesday, March 30, 2016
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) from Chinese Investors in U.S. companies has increased significantly over the past several years. However, cultural, regulatory and language barriers can make it difficult for U.S. entrepreneurs who want to tap into this potential funding source.

For those who want to attract Chinese investors, we offer several important tips:

1. Make sure you have a Chinese web presence. It’s important to not only have your website translated into Chinese, but it should also be a separate version of your site and hosted from Hong Kong. Many U.S. websites are blocked and inaccessible from China. It’s critical that your site is translated into Chinese by those who have a firm grasp on the Chinese language, culture and financial terminology. A translation program cannot adequately handle this kind of project.

2. Invest in building relationships. In China, investments are very relationship oriented. Potential investors will want to meet you and get to know your team and your company before investing. Be patient and invest in building solid relationships.

3. Go beyond google. Google is not used in China, so it is important to have search engine optimization that is tailored to Chinese search engines.

4.Translate company news and investor updates into Chinese. As you issue press releases, quarterly reports, newsletters or any other investor information, translate those updates into Chinese.

Expanding to foreign markets or trying to attract foreign investors can seem overwhelming. If you need additional advice, global expansion consulting, translation or interpretation services, please contact us at AAA Translation. We have 20 years of experience and work in more than 150 languages across all industries. Learn more at

Share these posts:

Why Can't I Just Use Google Translate for My Company's Website Translations?

Wednesday, March 23, 2016
by: Susanne Evens, Founder/CEO of AAA Translation

Don't get me wrong, Google is a very trustworthy company and has many great products, but if you have not worked in the translation industry like I have for the past 25 years, you would not know the difference. 

Using Google Translate, or any other free online translation tool for personal use or to quickly understand an email is totally acceptable, but it isn't appropriate for your company's professional documents or your website.

Just recently, we pointed out to a prestigious client entering the global market that their website should be available in other languages and the answer was:  Oh, it is.

Really? I didn't see it.
So I dug deeper into their site and, after a few layers, I found a link to Google Translate in English only.

I'm an English speaker, and I was able to navigate through the site, but a non-English speaker would have never found the Google link and, therefore, left the site immediately. A potential client gone!

Language options must be visible on the landing page of any global website, and the links to the languages need to be in their native language: German = Deutsch, Spanish = Español, and so on.

Caution: Never use country flags in your tool bar. Here's why: 

Here are the benefits of translating your website into other languages by professional translators:
  • It was found that 85% of all consumers will simply not make a purchase if information is not readily available in their native language.
  • 70% of the world does not speak English, yet 57% of websites contain English only!
  • As many as two-thirds of internet users are non-native English speakers, and this percentage is growing rapidly.
  • Over half of all Google searches are in languages other than English.
For much more please visit:

..... to be continued, or call us if you need further guidance on how to create a global website without offending anyone. We are here to help you succeed in the global jungle. Learn more at

Share these posts:


Recent Posts



Privacy Policy


Except as otherwise noted, the entire content and design of this website is Copyright © 2015, All Rights Reserved, by Frisco Websites/Short Story Marketing and its client who manages and updates this website (, and is subject to the terms of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act of 1998 and other laws, as well as by the terms at "Online Business Partner" and "Websites Under Your Control" are federally-registered trademarks of Frisco Websites/Short Story Marketing. ×