How a Mandarin Interpreter Facilitated Business Development For a US Lighting Manufacturer

The Client:
A Midwestern lighting manufacturer who was in Philadelphia for a lighting convention.

The Challenge:
At the conference, they made a fortuitous connection with an important Chinese supplier, however the language barrier made it impossible for them to accomplish their desired business transaction.

The Solution:
CETRA has a solid reputation with the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB) and as such enjoys the privilege of being a preferred language services provider for them through referrals when visiting companies and individuals are in need of language support. On recommendation from the PCVB, this manufacturer contacted CETRA to have a professional Mandarin interpreter meet them and their Chinese counterparts that very same evening at the bar of the Sheraton Hotel where they were staying. CETRA’s interpreter spent a few hours interpreting for them and the American lighting company owners were able to reach an agreement with the Chinese company, that was to everyone’s satisfaction. The interpreter very quickly grasped the mutual language and cultural needs and diplomatically assisted both parties through the entire negotiation process.

Client Benefits: Once the Chinese suppliers returned home, maintaining the communication to facilitate the new found alliance and collaboration became even more important. Initially, the Chinese company started out using an in-house bi-lingual employee for intercontinental conference calls; soon it became apparent that it was not working well and that a professional interpreter was required. The American company called CETRA from the Midwest, requesting the same interpreter for a conference call at 9 in the evening (to accommodate the large span of time zones). The resulting call was so productive and successful, that more conference calls were subsequently scheduled over the next 10 months. This same interpreter who had guided them initially was always requested, not only because he very quickly learned the industry-specific lighting manufacturing terminology; through his professional demeanor, he also was instrumental in generating good will, a culturally respectful tone of communication and thus inspired confidence in both parties.

The return on investment in hiring a professional interpreter for this company cannot be understated, nor can the peril of relying on an amateur, which could have seriously impeded the development of a strong and lucrative partnership.