作者:管理員    發布于:2012-06-06 11:40:10    文字:【】【】【

How to Find the Right International Partners (1)

The practical business of finding highly productive agents/distributors and joint ventures in the foreign market for many still remains an enigma.(2) Often, US companies are relying on luck instead of strategy in identifying their international representation.


Many companies get into exporting almost by happenstance: Most export sales are simply a spin-off from domestic contracts.3Similarly, most agent and distributor relationships are born from random inquiries or chance meetings at trade shows. When asked how they obtained their international representation, many companies have no recollection whatsoever of how or why the relationship began. Strange as it may seem, the same is true of joint venture relationships.

With the growing use of the internet, one could be fooled into thinking the odds of success in finding that elusive, top-performing trade partner will be increased. The key is to remember at all times that promotional materials are not stand-alone, clean “information.”(4) The internet can be used to provide indicators of activity and reach; however, these benefits in no way eliminate the more conventional, strategic wisdom that highly successful international sales organizations, in one way or another, employ.(5)


Surprisingly, this hit-and-miss (6) approach to international expansion is not exclusive to small-and medium-sized companies. Many well-recognized large companies spin the same wheel of chance (7). Experienced international executives and substantial budgets for foreign expansion will contribute to success, given the right opportunities. The problem is that the “right opportunities” are rarely “given.” However, you may find your “right opportunities” by focusing on your international objectives and by defining your ideal international partners.


If you consider export sales to be nothing more than icing on the cake,’’ (8) then thats all they will ever be. Treat international business relationships with the same degree of attention and care as you do your domestic ones. Avoid a soft, non-pragmatic approach (9) to foreign trade partners. Low expectations born of previous poor performance by agents and distributors have led many companies to settle for figures that in no way reflect a meaningful market share. (10) Don’t accept underperformance and mediocrity from your international representatives.


Many companies partner with the first seemingly viable company that expresses interest in representing them.(ll) Invariably, this is a mistake. When agents and distributors emerge from nowhere and stand alone without comparison, they will always appear to be “golden opportunities.” Avoid the pressure of hasty decisions by taking the time to identify and write down what you consider to be the essential qualities of a top-performing trade partner.(12)


Explanatory notes on terminology

1.      agent代理商


2.      distributor 分銷商


3.      joint venture 合資企業





 (1)  標題中International       Partners如翻譯為“國際伙伴”,則意思不明確。因為“國際伙伴”可以是政治上的伙伴、軍事上的伙伴等等。根據本篇所談內容,這里的International Partners指的是“國際貿易伙伴”。另外,right—詞在英語中意義多達十幾種,如the right answer (正確的回答)the right side of the dress (衣服的正面)等。此處right —詞的意思是“合適的,中意的”。因此,可將標題翻譯為:如何找到理想的國際貿易伙伴。


(2)    翻譯本句時,難點有二。一是對productive—詞的理解,根據美國傳統辭典的釋義,該詞 producing or capable of producing; producing abundantly; fertile; yielding favorable or useful results; constructive 等意思。根據該詞所處語境,應與 yielding favorable or useful results 意思最為接近。因此,highly productive agents/distributors and joint ventures 可理解為:那些非常有合作前景的代理商、分銷商以及合資伙伴。第二個難點是,如果按照原文的句子結構譯成相應的漢語,則譯文有違漢語習慣。比如把該句譯為“對于許多公司來說,尋找到那些非常具有合作前景的代理商、分銷商以及合資伙伴的具體做法仍然是個難題。”,就 很難讓中國讀者接受。因此,需打破原句結構,用地道、順暢的漢語將原文的意思譯出。 請看參考譯文:對于如何在國外市場尋找具有良好合作前景的代理商、分銷商或是合資伙 伴,許多公司心中無數。


(3)    spin-off的意思是指延伸出來的東西,有時也可以理解為“副產品”,即by-product,同時,在 許多情況下它也有從某個整體分離出去的一部分的意思。例如spin-off可以指a new organization or entity formed by a split from a larger one a dissenting faction of a membership organization a diversified branch of a large corporation 等等。根據上下文本句的意思是說, 許多美國公司主要做國內貿易,而出口業務僅占其業務量的很少一部分,對于出口業務, 他們僅僅是順便做做而已。


(4)    本句中的promotional    materials指“公司宣傳材料”;stand-alone為形容詞,通常的意思是“可獨立運行的”,例如:We only run Windows on stand-alone PCs because its too dangerous to run it on networked ones.形容詞clean在這里的意思是“純的,不摻假的”。stand-aloneclean 均用來修飾“information”。整句話的意思是說,公司的宣傳材料怎么可能是專門為你尋找 貿易伙伴而準備的純信息呢?里面一定有許多以“宣傳”為目的的虛假信息,這一點人們一定不要忘記。


(5)    本句中indicators    of activity and reach指公司活動以及如何與之取得聯系的線索。However 一詞后面的句子理解上容易出錯,需把句子結構搞清楚才行。該句為復合句,主句中的主 語是 benefits,謂語動詞是 eliminate,賓語是 the more conventional, strategic wisdom, that 引導出的定語從句修飾主句中的賓語。conventional wisdom在英語中是個固定說法, Wikipedia Encyclopedia 對該短語的解釋是:Conventional wisdom is a term used to describe certain ideas or explanations that are generally accepted as true by the public。因此,conventional, strategic wisdom指的是:人們長時期積累的智慧結晶以及戰略思考。


(6)    hit-and-misshit-or-miss為形容詞,意思是“只靠運氣而缺乏有計劃、有安排的(做法)”, 常與 affairbusiness, approach, procedure 等詞搭配,也可以作表語。例如:Trying something new can be a hit and miss business. / The same DNA profile is hit-and-miss.本句中的 this hit-and-miss approach to international expansion可翻譯為:盲目出擊開拓國際市場的做法。


(7)    spin the same wheel of chance在此處的意思是“也同樣釆取碰碰運氣的做法”。


(8)    icing on the cake字面上指的是:覆蓋于蛋糕上的用奶油或巧克力加上味素做成的點綴。 Cambridge International Dictionary of English icing on the cake 的解釋是:an unnecessary thing that has been added to something that is already satisfactory。看來,icing on the cake 大致 相當于漢語里所說的“錦上添花”或是沒有實質意義的“點綴”。當貝克漢姆轉會皇馬時,有 報道評論說:Famous players have been bought and sold before. But never has a footballer been purchased by a club that doesn't actually need him. That really is something new.在這種個青況下,我們就可以說 Beckhams transfer to Real Madrid was the icing on the cake.。短文中這句 話的意思是:美國公司如果只認為出口銷售僅僅是“錦上添花”而已,沒有太多的實質意義, 那么出口銷售將永遠做不好。


(9)    a soft, non-pragmatic approach的意思是“沒有力度、缺少實效的做法或方法”。其中pragmatic 的意思是 dealing or concerned with facts or actual occurrences; practical,也就是“重實效的”



(10)  正確理解本句意思關鍵在于對to         settle for figures的理解,settle for此處的意思是to accept in spite of incomplete satisfaction,即“勉強同意或接受”。例如:He had to settle for a lower wage than the one requested.另外,figures是“數字”的意思,根據上下文,這里的figures指的是:以數字體現的代理商或分銷商的銷售業績。


(11)  (12)有時,雖然對英語原句的理解沒有什么問題,但將其翻譯成地道的漢語卻頗費周折, 而這兩個例子便屬于此類情況。請將下面的譯文同參考譯文加以比較。










許多公司開展出口業務幾乎純屬偶然:大部分出口銷售業務只是從國內業務中剝離出去的一小部分。類似的情況是,大多數公司與代理商和分銷商的關系也來源于隨機的查詢或是貿易展會上的偶然相遇。當被問及如何獲得國際代理時,許多公司竟然回憶不出其代理關系的來龍去脈。 這似乎有些奇怪,可實際情況是,就連某些合資伙伴關系的建立也是如此。

隨著國際互聯網的不斷普及,人們可能會產生錯覺,誤認為尋找那些難以尋覓的最佳貿易伙 伴的機率將會增加。可關鍵的一點是,人們必須隨時記住,那些公司的宣傳材料不可能是只為你 尋找合作伙伴而準備的專項“信息”。國際互聯網可以提供一些有關公司經營范圍及聯系方式的線索,但互聯網帶來的這些好處都無法代替人們的傳統智慧和戰略思維,一些在國際銷售方面業 績非凡的企業就是以此走向成功的。

令人驚訝的是,這種盲目出擊開拓國際市場的做法不僅存在于中小型企業,就連許多知名大 公司的做法也如出一轍,僅僅依賴運氣。國際大公司育著經驗豐富的業務主管,在開拓海外市場方面資金預算雄厚,如果加上適當的機會,可能會取得成功。但問題是,“適當的機會”很少“從天而降”。不過,人們還是可以通過瞄準國際市場目標以及具體界定理想合作伙伴的辦法,來找 到“適當的機會”。

如果你認為出口銷售是“蛋糕上的點綴”,那它至多不過就是錦上添花的點綴而已。對待國 際商務關系需要投入與國內業務同等的精力和關注。不要以缺乏力度、不重實效的方式和國際貿 易伙伴打交道。由于以往與國外代理商和分銷商合作時業績不佳,許多公司的期望值不高,他們只得接受那種不能帶來多少市場份額的合作關系。記住:千萬不要接受那些表現不好或業績平平 的國外代理。

許多公司一見到看上去還不錯并愿意為自己做代理的公司,便馬上與其聯手,這種做法無論 如何都是錯誤的。當代理商或分銷商突然冒出來,沒有他人與之比較時,總給人以“黃金搭檔”的感覺。應避免緊急情況下草率做出決定,要花時間去尋找,將你心目中的理想貿易伙伴應具備的基本品質明確下來,并落實到文字上。



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