Translating Holidays

There is a chill in the air, leaves falling, and, perhaps, the increasing earlier arrival of Christmas decorations to remind us, Thanksgiving is almost here. Automatically, this thought will often insight stress or joy into us. We get caught up at the task at hand before the holidays. However, it also means that other holidays are also happening. It also means, when we’re not thinking of our own holidays, it also means other holidays can be taking place.

Whether you’re in a multi-national company, working with suppliers across the world, or simply translating materials, learning about and sharing holidays is an extremely valuable asset. This not only gives insight into working patterns around the world but opens our minds to various cultures and traditions. Moreover, it realigns you and your company to work effectively in a globalized market.

When working with offices out of East Asia, it’s perhaps the most notable to mention the Lunar New Year. This celebration is observed in China, Vietnam, South Korea, Singapore, Indonesia, and more. In China, the Lunar New Year is the largest human migration on Earth with about 385 Million people traveling home. For 2 weeks, the manufacturing hubs of the world shut down. While for some it may be annoying, it’s critical to plan for this event. The Harvard Business Review suggests mapping out relevant holidays for each culture your company interacts with to plan disrupted workflow. From small local traditions to national holidays, it’s important to include the multiple holidays that are observed to ensure schedules and work are properly prepared. It’s even important to include notices of time change in relation to international meetings. Your 9 am meeting changes an hour for others not observing Daylight Savings. It may not be obvious while thinking “I need to set my alarm back/forward”, but it is obvious when you’re an hour early or late to a meeting.

Professional environments also often offer the option for “Floating Holiday”. Here, the Harvard Business Review mentions the term “Floating” is a key term. Rather than implement an optional “Religious Holiday” it enables your employees, religious or not, to use this time off for a much-needed break. It’s also important to realize these floating holidays can cover holidays not as popular or well-known and allow employees the freedom to take advantage of that time.

However, while planning for holidays not only improves workflow and plans, it also opens our door to cultural sensitivity. There is a great benefit to going the extra mile to learn about another holiday. Whether it’s wishing your colleagues an easy holiday greeting or sending a card, it shows you’re willing to go the extra distance to reinforce that relationship. Here at Translation Services LTD, we send all our translators Holiday cards to show our appreciation for them. We understand while they themselves may not observe our holidays, we want them to know we are thinking about them during a critical time in our traditions.

Translation Services LTD aims to help you with quality translations one document at a time. However, we’re not here just to help you translate documents, but culture too. Culture continuously plays a role in translations and it’s why it’s critical for our team to be informed on other cultures around the world.

Happy Holidays-

Samantha Erwin
Chinese Relations Advisor
Contributing Author

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