How to Write Your Business Proposal in a Foreign Language

Expert Author Ian S Lauder
Many markets are global these days, so you may need to translate your business proposal into multiple languages. With the assistance of computerized translation programs or professional translators and the use of proposal writing programs that include multilingual support like proposal kits, translating or creating a business proposal in any language is not as difficult as you might imagine.
The basic structure of any business proposal should be the same, no matter which language it is written in: introduction section (Cover Letter, Title Page, Summary, etc.); reader-focused section (the recipients' Needs Assessment, Requirements, Deadlines, Budget, Concerns, etc.); project description section (your proposed Services, Products, Schedule, Cost Summary, etc.); and the provider-focused section (your Experience, Education, Recommendations, Qualifications, Capabilities, etc.).
When planning for translations, simply write the proposal in English (or your most-used language), using clear and concise wording and leaving out slang terms and examples that do not translate well. Also, it's best to keep text out of graphics; save it for captions so words can be easily translated without needing a graphic artist to change the lettering. Many foreign languages require more words than English, so leave plenty of space on each page to accommodate that need.
If you are writing your proposal for a foreign language from scratch you will be doing most of your writing in your own language - instead of translating an English language version of the text. You can use a pre-designed proposal kit to assist in writing your proposal. While the stock text provided will be in American English to start, find one that can translate parts of the stock templates and phrases into a variety of foreign languages for you.
You will still use the stock layouts, logo designs, graphics, proposal assembly and overall structure of a proposal system no matter which language your final document will be in. Just make sure you use a package that does not lock you into a restricted environment that doesn't allow complete customization of every single element of your documents.
The background art and page formatting found in a proposal kit will easily transition to any language, because there's no text involved in the background designs and many of the graphics.
The most common languages supported in a proposal kit are American English, Canadian English, British (UK) English, Australian English, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Italian, French, German, Romanian, Russian, Arabic, Chinese, Korean, and Japanese
Some software will assist in foreign language translations by auto-translating some of the elements of the documents for you, such as all the page headers and short phrases in the Cover Letter, Title Page, and so on. The software is there to assist you, but instructions are usually in English, so you'll need to be comfortable with using commonly used proposal kits in English while you are use the package to create your final proposal in your own native language.

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