World Compliment Day: How do you give a compliment in a different language?
Compliments. We Dutch people apparently do not give enough of them. Maybe it’s part of the down-to-earth culture, or the “Doe maar normaal, dan doe je al gek genoeg” attitude. Maybe we’re just a grumpy lot. The fact remains that a small compliment can go a long way, especially in the workplace. That’s why for Nationale Complimentendag (or World Compliment Day) on the 1st of March, we’re highlighting the importance of a few kind words to your employees, colleagues, partners, clients and customers.
This in itself can be pretty tricky. What do you say? When do you say it? When can a compliment be misconstrued? Should you do it in private, face-to-face, or will a quick chat message suffice? The internet is full with advice on how to praise your employees the best possible way. It’s undeniable that positive reinforcement benefits employee retention, and more importantly boosts morale. Compliments make work more fun. But compliments can also be hard work.
This can be complicated further if you work in a multilingual environment. Maybe you work directly with colleagues who speak another language, or maybe you have partners or clients overseas whose first language isn’t your mother tongue.
Say you want to thank your Japanese partners for the quick shipping, or let your production team in Poland know their overtime has been appreciated, or tell your Spanish contact that their customer service is stellar. Maybe you’ve had great customer feedback, or the numbers are looking great. This is the time to share the good news!
Offering your contacts a quick compliment or nice remark in their own language is a personal and thoughtful touch. It makes your partnership more memorable, and will contribute to your relationship going forward. If anything, you might just make someone’s day. And really, that’s the whole point.
Of course, the last thing you want is when attempting to compliment someone in their own language is to get the translation wrong. It can be embarrassing for you, and confusing for them (or in the worst case, insulting). You only need to leaf through books like I always get my sin once to know what terrible and hilarious consequences that can have. That’s where asking a native speaker for advice comes in handy. Do you have a colleague or a client you want to compliment today? Or maybe you want to send a general thank you note to all your international offices?
Ask the professionals
Consider contacting a translation agency that works with native speakers, such as Nimus translations. You don’t have to worry how big or small the text is. Nimus translations can handle small jobs just as well as the big projects. You’re only an email or phone call away from making someone’s day with a translated compliment.
Here’s a few ideas to get you started – can you guess which languages they were translated into?
- “I thought you did a really nice job on the design.” -> Я считаю, что ты отлично поработал над дизайном
- “I love your enthusiasm” -> Adoro il tuo entusiasmo
- “I appreciate your hard work.” -> Doceniam Twoją ciężką pracę.
- “Thank you for contributing” -> Merci d’avoir contribué.
- “I admire your creativity” -> Eu admiro a sua criatividade
Have a great journée mondiale des compliments!
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