作者:管理员    发布于: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 分销商


3.      joint venture 合资企业





 (1)  标题中International       Partners如翻译为“国际伙伴”,则意思不明确。因为“国际伙伴”可以是政治上的伙伴、军事上的伙伴等等。根据本篇所谈内容,这里的International Partners指的是“国际贸易伙伴”。另外,right—词在英语中意义多达十几种,如the right answer (正确的回答)the right side of the dress (衣服的正面)等。此处right —词的意思是“合适的,中意的”。因此,可将标题翻译为:如何找到理想的国际贸易伙伴。


(2)    翻译本句时,难点有二。一是对productive—词的理解,根据美国传统辞典的释义,该词 producing or capable of producing; producing abundantly; fertile; yielding favorable or useful results; constructive 等意思。根据该词所处语境,应与 yielding favorable or useful results 意思最为接近。因此,highly productive agents/distributors and joint ventures 可理解为:那些非常有合作前景的代理商、分销商以及合资伙伴。第二个难点是,如果按照原文的句子结构译成相应的汉语,则译文有违汉语习惯。比如把该句译为“对于许多公司来说,寻找到那些非常具有合作前景的代理商、分销商以及合资伙伴的具体做法仍然是个难题。”,就 很难让中国读者接受。因此,需打破原句结构,用地道、顺畅的汉语将原文的意思译出。 请看参考译文:对于如何在国外市场寻找具有良好合作前景的代理商、分销商或是合资伙 伴,许多公司心中无数。


(3)    spin-off的意思是指延伸出来的东西,有时也可以理解为“副产品”,即by-product,同时,在 许多情况下它也有从某个整体分离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。根据上下文本句的意思是说, 许多美国公司主要做国内贸易,而出口业务仅占其业务量的很少一部分,对于出口业务, 他们仅仅是顺便做做而已。


(4)    本句中的promotional    materials指“公司宣传材料”;stand-alone为形容词,通常的意思是“可独立运行的”,例如:We only run Windows on stand-alone PCs because its too dangerous to run it on networked ones.形容词clean在这里的意思是“纯的,不掺假的”。stand-aloneclean 均用来修饰“information”。整句话的意思是说,公司的宣传材料怎么可能是专门为你寻找 贸易伙伴而准备的纯信息呢?里面一定有许多以“宣传”为目的的虚假信息,这一点人们一定不要忘记。


(5)    本句中indicators    of activity and reach指公司活动以及如何与之取得联系的线索。However 一词后面的句子理解上容易出错,需把句子结构搞清楚才行。该句为复合句,主句中的主 语是 benefits,谓语动词是 eliminate,宾语是 the more conventional, strategic wisdom, that 引导出的定语从句修饰主句中的宾语。conventional wisdom在英语中是个固定说法, Wikipedia Encyclopedia 对该短语的解释是: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:人们长时期积累的智慧结晶以及战略思考。


(6)    hit-and-misshit-or-miss为形容词,意思是“只靠运气而缺乏有计划、有安排的(做法)”, 常与 affairbusiness, approach, procedure 等词搭配,也可以作表语。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可翻译为:盲目出击开拓国际市场的做法。


(7)    spin the same wheel of chance在此处的意思是“也同样釆取碰碰运气的做法”。


(8)    icing on the cake字面上指的是:覆盖于蛋糕上的用奶油或巧克力加上味素做成的点缀。 Cambridge International Dictionary of English icing on the cake 的解释是:an unnecessary thing that has been added to something that is already satisfactory。看来,icing on the cake 大致 相当于汉语里所说的“锦上添花”或是没有实质意义的“点缀”。当贝克汉姆转会皇马时,有 报道评论说: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.在这种个青况下,我们就可以说 Beckhams transfer to Real Madrid was the icing on the cake.。短文中这句 话的意思是:美国公司如果只认为出口销售仅仅是“锦上添花”而已,没有太多的实质意义, 那么出口销售将永远做不好。


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



(10)  正确理解本句意思关键在于对to         settle for figures的理解,settle for此处的意思是to accept in spite of incomplete satisfaction,即“勉强同意或接受”。例如:He had to settle for a lower wage than the one requested.另外,figures是“数字”的意思,根据上下文,这里的figures指的是:以数字体现的代理商或分销商的销售业绩。


(11)  (12)有时,虽然对英语原句的理解没有什么问题,但将其翻译成地道的汉语却颇费周折, 而这两个例子便属于此类情况。请将下面的译文同参考译文加以比较。










许多公司开展出口业务几乎纯属偶然:大部分出口销售业务只是从国内业务中剥离出去的一小部分。类似的情况是,大多数公司与代理商和分销商的关系也来源于随机的查询或是贸易展会上的偶然相遇。当被问及如何获得国际代理时,许多公司竟然回忆不出其代理关系的来龙去脉。 这似乎有些奇怪,可实际情况是,就连某些合资伙伴关系的建立也是如此。

随着国际互联网的不断普及,人们可能会产生错觉,误认为寻找那些难以寻觅的最佳贸易伙 伴的机率将会增加。可关键的一点是,人们必须随时记住,那些公司的宣传材料不可能是只为你 寻找合作伙伴而准备的专项“信息”。国际互联网可以提供一些有关公司经营范围及联系方式的线索,但互联网带来的这些好处都无法代替人们的传统智慧和战略思维,一些在国际销售方面业 绩非凡的企业就是以此走向成功的。

令人惊讶的是,这种盲目出击开拓国际市场的做法不仅存在于中小型企业,就连许多知名大 公司的做法也如出一辙,仅仅依赖运气。国际大公司育着经验丰富的业务主管,在开拓海外市场方面资金预算雄厚,如果加上适当的机会,可能会取得成功。但问题是,“适当的机会”很少“从天而降”。不过,人们还是可以通过瞄准国际市场目标以及具体界定理想合作伙伴的办法,来找 到“适当的机会”。

如果你认为出口销售是“蛋糕上的点缀”,那它至多不过就是锦上添花的点缀而已。对待国 际商务关系需要投入与国内业务同等的精力和关注。不要以缺乏力度、不重实效的方式和国际贸 易伙伴打交道。由于以往与国外代理商和分销商合作时业绩不佳,许多公司的期望值不高,他们只得接受那种不能带来多少市场份额的合作关系。记住:千万不要接受那些表现不好或业绩平平 的国外代理。

许多公司一见到看上去还不错并愿意为自己做代理的公司,便马上与其联手,这种做法无论 如何都是错误的。当代理商或分销商突然冒出来,没有他人与之比较时,总给人以“黄金搭档”的感觉。应避免紧急情况下草率做出决定,要花时间去寻找,将你心目中的理想贸易伙伴应具备的基本品质明确下来,并落实到文字上。



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