Brexit: Translation-related impacts to businesses

… and impacts to translation businesses.

As if there were not enough complexities and unknowns surrounding Brexit, another topic that is being discussed in many business circles is one regarding translation.

The 3 business languages of the EU are currently English, German and French.  This may change once the UK fully departs, as we will then be left with about only 1% of the EU Population being primary English-speaking.  London has been a top destination for international businesses, but this may change as well, with other countries standing to gain.  Some companies will (continue to) leave the UK, while some UK companies with a significant presence in other countries may start re-centralizing in the UK.   All of this business migration is expected to lead to a huge demand – and unforeseen expense – for translations.

So what should you do if you are in the industry?  There is no shortage of opinions and crystal-ball-predicting when it comes to Brexit and its impacts, but the prudent approach is of course to not panic, and be prepared.  If you are in a specific line of translations work where the Brexit and EU implications directly impact your business and livelihood, then here are some guidelines to get you thinking about what you need to do:

1. Know your clients:  are your clients in jeopardy of moving in the near future?  Will their needs change, grow, shrink?
2. Start a conversation:  do not be afraid to have a conversation people who are in your business sphere, people who can help remove the guesswork. E.g. ask your clients and suppliers about their thoughts or plans.
3. Stay on top of the developments:  no, not everything to do with Brexit, but the specific areas that may impact you. Use online news filters and other tech aids to filter out the noise as much as possible.
4. Self-analyze: look at yourself and your business, use this as a chance to reflect on your business direction.  Ask the tough questions like: Why is this impacting me?  What can I do to minimize the impact that may be negative?  How can I maximize the positive impacts?

In summary, don’t panic, be prepared and this may work out to your (business) advantage much more than you expected.


Foreign Translations is a professional translation services company serving clients nationwide since 1998. The company specializes in language solutions in the fields of document translation, localization services, desktop publishing (DTP), OPI and much more!  Using advanced software and top-notch human linguistic experts around the world, FT enables their clients to reach target audiences in the language(s) and channels deemed necessary for their success.
Contact FT today.

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