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Corporate America’s global initiatives fuel translation agency’s growth and inspire decision to rebrand


GREENVILLE, S.C. -- Sometimes the answer to a complex business challenge is staring you right in the face. Mondial Translations & Interpreting, Inc., the Greenville, SC-based full service foreign language translation company, recently changed its name to Foreign Translations, Inc. after realizing it was missing an opportunity.

“We outgrew our frequently mispronounced and misunderstood name Mondial, which is a derivative of the Italian word for ‘worldwide’,” says the 45-year-old former Fortune 500 strategic analyst, Ken Zwerdling, CEO of Foreign Translations.

The language translation company started out of a spare bedroom in 1998 by Zwerdling’s wife, Tamar Paltrow, as a small provider of Italian translation and interpreting services. Nine years later, the client roster boasts blue chips like L’Oréal and non-profits like the Smithsonian Institution. The company now works in all the world’s major languages, not just Italian.

“It dawned on me we already owned the answer. It was the website address I casually registered in 1999: The simple name Foreign Translations, Inc. works as a self-explanatory descriptor and leverages our website address,” says Zwerdling.

In addition to changing its name, Foreign Translations introduced a new logo and trademarked the slogan “Go global with confidence.”

“We’re rebranding to prepare for the future. When paradigms shift in the international business landscape, we want to be there with answers and innovative solutions to whatever the latest challenges of multilingual communication are,” says Zwerdling.

“For corporations executing global integration strategies, the quality of their language translation is critical. In addition to being technically accurate, translations have to be culturally-sensitive or they can be ineffective, embarrassing and potentially dangerous, as in the case of medical research text. Today’s translation software is up to 40 percent inaccurate, and that’s a conservative estimate— and that figure refers to general text— highly technical subjects such as legal or health sciences text are even more vulnerable.”

“In our industry, we’re seeing corporations going global in different ways, depending on their current infrastructure and resources— and their perceived opportunities. A Chief Marketing Officer can dip his or her toe in the international waters by translating an existing website into several languages. They don’t have to re-do the website architecture. They can swap out images if needed and replace the English text with Traditional Chinese and Latin American Spanish, for example. Combine that localized content with effective search engine optimization initiatives and you’ll get ranked on foreign search engines. It’s so powerful it’s almost scary— that a company can expand its presence exponentially with relatively little effort,” adds Zwerdling.

About Foreign Translations, Inc.

Founded in 1998, Foreign Translations, Inc., (formerly Mondial Translations & Interpreting, Inc.) provides foreign language translation and interpreting services in the world’s major languages. Client partners include Procter & Gamble, L’Oréal, Ogilvy & Mather, Sunbeam, UPS, Motorola, Hewlett-Packard, Michelin, Techtronic Industries (Ryobi, Homelite and Dirt Devil), Fluor Enterprises and Rockwell Automation. The company translates text ranging from technical and legal documents to websites and e-learning courses. Foreign Translations also provides interpreters for depositions, trials and sales meetings in most cities around the world. Foreign Translations has over 1000 translation professionals located in over 30 countries, servicing all the major languages of the world. In addition, Foreign Translations holds a General Services Administration (GSA) contract with the U.S. Federal Government. # # #


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