Royale With Cheese
We hire Mailfixers who are native-English speaking expats embedded in the culture and language of our clients. Why?
Because for a US business working with French colleagues, it might be very strange to receive an email that says that they’ll check it out on Viadeo. What the hell is Viadeo? Our savvy French Mailfixers know to include in brackets that Viadeo is France’s local answer to LinkedIn.
Along the same vein, we received an email from a Vietnamese art dealer who wished the recipient a ‘happy new year’ well passed January 1. An Anglo-expat Mailfixer living in Vietnam would know to clarify this sentence for their audience, in a way that a Mailfixer living in Australia, or another Asian country, might not.
Using expats’ distinctive insights to edit text isn’t only about explaining facts. In every culture and language there are expressions, nuances, and customs that simply don’t translate well directly into English. Indeed, adjusting our clients’ attempts at word-for-word or literal translations tend to require a deeper knowledge of the language and culture from which the writer descends.
There’s also the issue of transliterations. Back in April, we had a great example of a Singaporean Mailfixer trying to understand the words Moadim B’sinch, which spell check corrected automatically and should have read Moadim B’Simcha – a holiday greeting in Hebrew. The Singaporean fixer cleverly left the text in its original form, but the expat Israeli checker changed the text to read as it should.
After tons of similar examples, we realized that fixes couldn’t simply go to the most available Mailfixer who grabs the fix first – like the available Uber driver who grabs the fare first. Because actually, an Uber driver must be local and in proximity of the passenger. And this principle applies to Mailfixing too; Mailfixers must have a proximity to our clients, whether an expat living within the culture or a speaker of the given language.
This is why we believe that expats are uniquely situated to make excellent Mailfixers and why they are joining our community in droves. And we’re rolling out features that will allow our unique platform to know exactly how to route your text, to make sure that your fellow Anglo-country person, or at the very least, someone who speaks your language, is the he or she redrafting your words.
Our Mailfixers aren’t there to simply fix your English. They can accurately translate cultural and linguistic nuances so that your email or other texts, reflect your intentions and are fluent and clear to the reader. And working with the global expat community allows us to do this with an especially high level of cross-cultural sensitivity.
By Ronit Zimmer, first published on August 8, 2016 on www.mailfixer.com