Lost in Real Estate Lease Translation

Lost in Real Estate Lease Translation

There’s a major cultural problem facing companies who are broadening their real estate beyond the US borders as well as global companies who are strategically looking at their real estate assets. The issue is business textual translation – it’s more than the difference between writing a date (3/Mar/2015 versus Mar. 3, 2015), it’s about key information getting lost in translation. International lease abstractions are complicated. Here’s why companies should stop depending on Google translation and start thinking about “localization”.

Localization trumps Google Translation

Localization is the process of adapting content to a specific market. It takes into account nuances of the culture in order to ensure minimal confusion. A study found that 65% of multinational companies believe localization is important for achieving higher company revenues. Jackson Cross Partners has abstracted thousands of international leases, and we have found that the best way to funnel all the pertinent information correctly is to work with linguists and translation companies to localize the information in client databases. When translators are trained to understand the terminology, in proper context, clients are assured that the proper local requirements and cultural meanings are addressed.

The Costly Translation Error

Cross-cultural blunders can produce some funny consequences, but also costly ones. In the case of real estate, certain data attributes are different within each language. For example, try translating “termination” into French – there are at least seven different words. Companies will spend millions of dollars to implement real estate lease abstraction systems in order to manage their assets. When people at the local levels have translation hurdles, it prevents a successful adaption of the system. Without consistency and all teams onboard, millions of dollars can be lost.

Business Textual Translation on the Web

Being able to access a database from anywhere in the world is ideal. However, without proper understanding of languages and context, what one person sees in North America is not what someone in Europe sees. It’s also a common issue when putting together instruction manuals that will be used by global teams in many different parts of the world. According to the Globalization and Localization Association, text expands when translating from English to most European languages while the opposite is true when translating into many Asian languages. However, there are systems that can be put into place to bridge the gaps that the limited translations database programs offer.

Translate, Traduire, 翻译

Successful integration of lease databases starts with having the right people populating the information. The next step is making sure the interface and functionality is localized and understood by everyone. From there, the system will be fully integrated and worth the investment.

Cate Sennett