ABC Language Solutions Responds to Langley Mushroom Farm Gas Explosion

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In this article ABC Language Solutions addresses language-related barriers and risks for companies operating internationally.

"As tragic as it is, this is a perfect example of the language-related problems, barriers and risks that can happen in this country, when an owner does not completely understand legal responsibilities, requirements and instructions."

In response to the May 9th article appearing in the Vancouver Sun about the Langley mushroom farm gas explosion that killed three farm workers in Canada ABC Language Solutions had the following comment:

"As tragic as it is, this is a perfect example of the language-related problems, barriers and risks that can happen in this country, when an owner does not completely understand legal responsibilities, requirements and instructions. It is also a reminder that similar or even worse problems can happen when companies operate abroad."

Responsible business owners who operate businesses in countries where they do not have a strong grasp of the language need to ensure their own understanding of the rules, regulations, requirements and laws that apply to their industry and company. An owner can address that need by taking language courses or using professional translation services. Often times a language course will provide a solid foundation but will not result in the owner being fluent enough to understand the nuances of the language and therefore serious errors can be made interpreting the laws and regulations relevant to their company. Professional translation services fill in the gaps and provide localization services that can provide a higher level of clarity and understanding to ensure the company is in compliance because in the end the responsibility rests with the company owners to understand everything that touches, impacts or affects their business.

For many industries safety is a primary concern. How do you deal with safety when it comes to an international workforce? You have barriers with machinery instructions, processes and procedures, employee manuals and more. Translation can help address such issues, and at a lower cost compared to other industry methods such as teaching employees English or another language - just imagine how long it takes and costs if you have say 1000 employees in the country (multiplied by several countries), and what happens to that investment when one of those employees decides to quit, as opposed to having manuals translated into your employees native tongue and then distributed.

Problems can range from environmental hazards to the damage of expensive equipment to injuries and even the loss of life like in the Langley mushroom farm incident and the resulting financial losses, damages, loss of productivity, delays, penalties and fines can be devastating to the company and its owners (even when owners are not directly involved and engage "professional" management) to the point of completely wiping out the business.

It is crucial that companies doing business internationally think carefully about the importance and cost of language-related issues. Although other solutions may seem more cost effective at first glance the potential for disaster is great if a company does not clearly understand their own obligations and does not provide materials to employees in their native language. The cost of translation is minimal when compared to the huge costs of legal litigation, fines, penalties, production delays and downtime. Don't let your business fall victim to the pitfalls of language -related problems that are easily solved. Find a qualified language service provider to help you with your international business needs.

ABC Language Solutions, a leading company in translation and localization services, headquartered in Vancouver, B.C. serving a broad range of business, non-profit, government and community clients.

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Vivian Klein

Andrey Bondarenko
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