Why Fear Shouldn’t Stop You

Fear. This is probably the main emotion preventing people from targeting ethnic US or overseas markets.

In essence, if you can’t read or write a language, how will you know whether your translated brochures, manuals, websites or videos are correct? And if you are not certain, many people prefer to do nothing. But doing nothing withholds your product or service from 6.1 billion people worldwide who don’t speak English.

Some ways not to do it

    1. Don’t rely on Machine Translation, also known as translation software. Increasingly, these systems are accurate. But you can’t be sure. And if your file is full of complex sentences as most manuals and websites are, the software version will be garbled or incomprehensible. Many people have learned by now that if you have anything professional that promotes your company – brochures, websites, manuals, videos – translation software can make critical and comical mistakes. And those do not portray your organization in a flattering way.
    2. Don’t rely on your in-house native speaker or overseas distributor.  How will you know that a job is done correctly? Does this person speak a dialect of the native language? Can you absolutely guarantee that he or she is spelling correctly? Can you really write a grammatical sentence in your native language? Most Americans can’t.
    3. Don’t let distributors or agents do it.  Overseas distributors may do translations themselves or outsource the job to someone “reliable”. But, how will you know whether your distributor:
      1. understood all your technical concepts correctly?
      2. didn’t add a claim that you can be liable for?
      3. doesn’t speak a rural or obscure dialect of his native language that can make you look less reliable?

Over 26 years, we have seen examples of all of these.

  1. Don’t just hire translators from the Internet.
    • How can you prove they are as good as they say they are?
    • Even if you give a language test, how good is your evaluator?
    • And even if the translator is good, you should never rely on just one person anyway.
    • Most business files are already in programs such as InDesign or FrameMaker. Most individual translators don’t have those programs and can’t open or work within your files.

How to ensure your translations are accurate

Professional Language agencies use a three- or five-step process to guarantee accuracy. All selected linguists should:

  • Work only into their native language;
  • Have advanced degrees in the art of translating or interpreting;
  • Have many years of on-going, not occasional, experience; and
  • Speak the technical vocabulary of your industry.

The agency then forms a team of linguists with the qualifications above.

  1. The first translator does a draft translation.
  2. The second translator reviews the draft to make sure the vocabulary, technical terms, expressions, acculturated references and nuances are all accurate.
  3. The translation is then reviewed for correct spelling, punctuation and grammar.
  4. If needed, your translation is laid out in the same design as the English original.
  5. Your laid-out translation is then proofread to check for final accuracy.

All professional linguists use a Translations Memory (TM). This captures repeated terms that appeared earlier in your file or come from previous translations you did into that language.  A translation memory makes sure your terminology is used accurately and consistently in each language, speeding up the process when a lot of terms repeat. Most individual translators don’t have access to your TMs from previous projects.

Managing all these steps to guarantee accuracy is the job of a professional language agency. Yes, you can potentially coordinate all these steps yourself. But what is your time worth? Do you know how to extract your text from your design template and prepare it for translation memories? If you need multiple languages, are you really going to coordinate three to five linguists for each to do all these steps? Can your in-house staff lay out Portuguese, Chinese or Arabic?

Your professional language agency should be your partner to advance your footprint into ethnic markets at home or world markets abroad. And if you share your fears with your agency, they should already have a way to address them. If they don’t, please find an agency that will.

Global Social Media: How to Expand Your Reach

Global Social Media:
How to Expand Your Reach

Social media is a fundamental shift in the way the world communicates today. The “Arab Spring” showed how Facebook helped fuel a revolution and Facebook’s user base has doubled in Egypt in the last 12 months. Politicians in India have discovered that social media is a great way to connect to voters, and other countries are learning about this changing paradigm shift for mobilizing individuals and doing business.

Today, 42 percent of all web users live in Asia, almost 25 percent are based in Europe, while over a tenth live in Latin America. Facebook has saturated the US market and is growing quickly internationally.

For companies looking to grow their global revenue, traveling overseas to find distributors or partners, or exhibiting in trade shows abroad is expensive.

Social media marketing is often the most cost-effective way to generate web traffic and find new sales leads today. Using social media marketing for international branding and marketing opens up overseas distribution channels without the high cost of foreign travel.

International online marketing in foreign languages will also help find and identify distributors and retailers, and then “prime the pump” by marketing and branding directly to consumers for sales through resellers. Companies can do this from their home offices to manage international sales and marketing or to establish a “beachhead” to determine market strategy, gain feedback, understand their customers better and build a buzz.

International e-Commerce

If the company’s goal is to sell directly online in foreign countries through an e-Commerce platform, the technical set up is easy. But all the language and cultural nuances need to be addressed to help buyers feel secure that you understand their needs and will support them after the sale.

A company with a headquarters in the US could have customers in an unlimited number of countries. Merchants can have multiple websites in multiple languages, or a site in Germany can look exactly like a US site, if that’s preferred. Depending on the platform, overhead can be reduced because there is one dashboard for all sites integrating in real time and using real-time currency rates. And if you want to advertise in and process host countries’ currencies, excellent global marketing firms can steer you to equally excellent resources to do so.

Other benefits

Google and other search engines love fresh content. This is done with links back to your multi-language websites and international social media channels, with content that users click and respond to. This helps cross-pollinate your efforts and is telling Google that your content is valuable to an audience. This in turn increases your page rankings and Google quality score.
Google is dominant around the world, but not in all countries. An expert social media agency will know what other platforms will work for your market and goals. Merchants will need to update Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques for new markets and websites unique to certain countries. Most e-commerce providers will work with an SEO firm, and they need to find one that has international capabilities.

Global social media and multi-lingual websites:  How to start?

  1. Decide which countries and markets to target. That depends on where you have sales now vs. where you want to be and the overall strategy whether supported through e-commerce or local sales offices. A call center supporting those countries is an added expense internally or calls can be inexpensively and easily provided through a language localization agency’s telephonic interpreting service. These work 365/24/7 in over 100 languages and dialects.
  2. Test market using one-page landing pages to evaluate products and services, ad copy, pricing options, and sales campaigns all at a low cost.
  3. Set up separate Facebook, Twitter and other social media channels by country rather than language. French is spoken in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Quebec, much of Africa and elsewhere, but each has a different audience and different cultural references. And Spanish speakers in the US  — an approximate market of 40 million are usually a missed opportunity but often need to be addressed in Spanish.
  4. Research what social media channel will work best in each country or is an enhancement to other US sites. While Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are big globally, national social media sites such as Mixi in Japan and Renren or Qzone in China should not be overlooked. Expert social media firms and/or a language agency with global marketing expertise can help you configure your campaign.
  5. Personalize for each market. The value of social media is personal engagement and local connections. An effective social media agency will research local keywords and tie into daily news feeds and local trends. And knowing cultural references will make it more interesting and interactive for users.

Social media can be very labor intensive because writers need to post original content, forward relevant content from other sources, and respond quickly to questions and comments. A good agency can run social media campaigns from the US that local users in Seoul think is someone in the next block responding to them.

International online expansion: Where to go for help?

All the services and options listed can be completely outsourced to an international marketing and social media agency. This allows a less expensive testing and roll out of markets and opportunities. Full-time staff can be hired over time as the needs are further defined or you can stay with an agency to handle your efforts.

Qualified language service agencies can update the translations daily or less frequently, depending on your budget and target audience. These social media translations:

  • enhance multiple-language website localization by giving visitors a further way to interact; and
  • provide education and helpful information for visitors, making them more informed and more likely to purchase.

Pay per Click (PPC) campaigns, set up by full-service online agencies on Google, can also run in foreign languages to test products, test pricing, generate leads, stimulate demand right before a trade show, or spur sales prior to traveling abroad. Social media marketing helps enhance other online marketing efforts but can take longer to build. PPC campaigns give a fast response but are more expensive.

Short videos on YouTube give more exposure to companies’ products and services and can tell a story much better than other media. When initially produced, they can be adapted for foreign audiences with voiceovers or subtitles. Using all graphics and a voiceover may be a better option than using the CEO speaking directly to the camera. And the overall budget can be reduced if you specify at the outset that your videos will be adapted to international markets.

Although social media is mostly free, the real value is the content, connection and knowledge of where and how to target your desired communities. A high school student writing a term paper is not the same writing quality as that of a Pulitzer Prize-winning author.

  • Companies might have simple content needs, or need a journalist to tell their story, or engage a smart advertising copywriter to come up with promotions on Facebook.
  • And in other countries, it is easy to make offensive cultural gaffes. That is another value of using a culturally-sensitive language localization firm; having a junior staffer or intern handle social media could damage your brand long-term if not done right.

To be effective, social media requires many skill sets including experts who:

  • know website search engine optimization (SEO);
  • have writing skills to blog and post; and
  • specialize in language skills and cultural nuances as with a global-oriented translation service.
  • can link these channels to your main web site. Yet good social media and online marketing agencies can perform monthly campaign management for far less than the cost of a full-time employee.


Social media marketing is the most cost effective way to generate web traffic and find new sales leads today –whether you are in Omaha or Shanghai. Without local middlemen, now you can reach your overseas target audience directly through translated blogs, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and YouTube posts and content. Using social media for international branding and marketing opens up new international distribution channels without the high cost of foreign travel. And through a professional translation service with telephonic interpreting, your communications can quickly be rendered in 80+ languages to expand your global outreach.

How to Magnify Your Impact on the World

If your message remains in English, you are reaching only around 27% of the world audience. To target the other 73%, you need to put your message in other languages.

Book Translations

As a global outreach firm, Auerbach International wants to help you magnify your personal or corporate impact on the world — or at least parts of it.  We will announce early next year an alliance with expert partner firms to get your printed books or e-books written (or ghost-written), published, launched, marketed and promoted via social media.

For now, if your book is already written or almost complete, we can translate it into the top 20 world languages. To maintain a low price per word, your subject must not be technical and we use qualified and tested but not professional translators. Click above for more information.

Website Localizations

Many people contact us asking, “How much does it cost to translate my website?” They often neglect to tell us which languages(s) they want, so that will be our first question back to them.

If your website is very simple, that’s an easy question to answer. But if it is complex with multiple tabs, graphics, videos and links to links, our second question to you will be to ask what parts you want done:

  • all your News articles dating back to 1905? If not, from which year?
  • all your product pages or just some that are relevant to each country market?
  • your videos? If so, with voice dubbing or subtitles?
  • What about the links to your PDF brochures or spec sheets? Do you want those translated also?

Many people also assume that they must localize (to use the proper term) their entire site. Maybe.

But you can also choose, for example, to do your home page, contact page and only key product pages.

Another option is one or two .doc pages describing your services and translated into many more languages.

Whatever your choice — the full site, abridged site or summary pages — we may also need to internationalize. This process ensures that:

  • your site contains no references to US sports or concepts that simply don’t communicate in other cultures.
  • your desired payment methods — such as for consumer-products sites — will work abroad. In some countries people pay mostly by cash, in others they pay through their mobile phone accounts, and some use credit cards that are not common at home.
  • your site contains no images that would offend or be inappropriate in the target market — such as for a shampoo website targeted to Thailand showing pictures of blond women. Thai women are not blond. And does your shampoo work for Asian hair also?

Whether for books, websites and even your CDs or videos, large non-English audiences can benefit from your knowledge or your product. When you are ready to spread it to the world, please contact us.

What Works Here May Not Work There

To celebrate our 25th year in business, we are pleased to share with you our Top 25 Language Tips, hard won through experience.  Here is Tip #7, plus another example of a successful project for one of our clients.

  1. Other cultures:  What works here may not work there.

When preparing promotional materials for use in other countries, many US firms merely translate the words that worked at home, and assume that they will work equally well in the country they are targeting. Usually, this is a large and costly mistake.

Firstly, word-for-word translations into any language generally convey the wrong meaning in about 10 to 20% of the translated sentences. This is especially the case when using translation software, but also applies when using distributors, agents or bilingual friends who are not trained in business- or professional-level linguistics.

Differences in grammar, usage, and idiomatic expressions can be large. To ensure that your concepts are duplicated and understood by your foreign prospects, marketing materials should always be adapted by professional linguists who can accurately convey your intent, not just translate your words.

Secondly, even when your ideas are correctly translated and understood, they may not have the same effect in your target country as they do at home. We don’t notice our own culture because we’ve grown up in it. But to natives of other countries, American values and customs can seem strange or even offensive. If you don’t modify your message to conform to your foreign prospects’ values, customs and business procedures, you will be rejected immediately, no matter how effective your marketing materials have been in your own country.

Here are some examples from our own experience:

A design firm had wanted to use their US tag line “Create interest. Create a market. Create value. Create profit.” in the Arab world. They didn’t realize that this would have been totally offensive to devout Muslims who believe that only God – not people – can create anything. So we toned down the language to something acceptable while still being motivating: “Generate interest.  Make a market.  Design with value.  Generate a profit.”

Sun Microsystems came to us to translate an English brochure into German. The brochure headline was, “No Limits to Your Success.” That’s a great headline for the US, the land of individual opportunity. But to Germans, such a line would sound arrogant and not at all credible. We converted it to, “Gateway to New Horizons,” which worked fine.

A Japanese firm had success promoting its beverages in non-English-speaking countries, using the product name “Calpis.” When they became aware that this name sounds like “bovine urine,” they wisely changed the US product name to “Calpico.”

And, speaking of Japan, don’t ever use a discount offer there. The Japanese people are devoted to quality, service and long-term relationships, and regard special-sale offers as evidence that your products and company are second rate.

To sum up, don’t be “penny wise and pound foolish” when translating your marketing materials. Avoid amateurs and don’t underestimate how different a foreign culture may be from your own – and even when promoting to the UK, Australia, New Zealand, etc. English usage, vocabulary and images differ even among countries with a common language. In the US, for example, “hydro” refers to water but in Canada, it refers to electricity.

Use a professional language agency that knows the culture you wish to penetrate, knows how to get your message understood, and can predict how it will play there. After all, the fees you pay to your translators are an investment in your future profitability. Getting your translation job done right the first time will save you money in the long run.


An American firm in the psychological assessment business publishes a test to measure the compatibility of job applicants with client companies’ existing employees and business philosophy. With the high cost of replacing new hires who “just didn’t work out” and the effectiveness of the test in filtering out poor fits, this test is very beneficial.

The test’s emphasis on applicants’ fitting in with the group does not always jive with the US culture of equal opportunity, individual success, and personal aptitude and productivity. Since the US market was limited, the publisher decided expand into Europe where such tests are culturally acceptable and commonplace.

That was a good move. But when we were asked to translate the test into 12 European languages, we rapidly spotted a major problem. The test presented a series of common business scenarios and then asked several questions related to each, along the lines of, “If X happened, would you conclude A, B, C or D?”  But many questions were very US-centric, involving concepts that simply did not relate in Europe.

For example, one scenario involved jury duty, as is common in the US. But outside the United Kingdom, juries are not part of the European legal system. Other scenarios involved personal charitable giving and the hobby of beer-can collecting, both of which are much less common in Europe. The test also asked for applicants’ personal demographic information such as whether they were Native American, Pacific Islander, African American or Asian American – totally irrelevant in Europe.

Obviously, many questions just wouldn’t work with Russians, Danes, Turks, Belgians, Poles, Portuguese and other European applicants. So before embarking on the translations, we advised the publisher to rewrite parts of the test so it would resonate with European job applicants, and thereby be of value to European employers.

The client took our advice. The revised and translated tests sold well. And the publisher made a very nice profit.

Here at Auerbach International, we have over 500 professional linguists assisting companies with both translation and acculturation into 80+ world languages. For a free consultation regarding how we might be able to help you with your global marketing, just send us an email reply to this newsletter, and we’ll call at a time convenient for you.

Thank you for helping us to become one of the most enduring and experienced language agencies in the world.

If You Missed Tips #1-6:  See our Newsletter Archives

Global Outsourcing Myths & Mistakes: Regaining Control Part 2

Global Outsourcing Myths & Mistakes:  
Regaining Control (Part 2 of 2)

[For Mistakes 1-4 (newsletter Part 1) please click here]

5.Outsourcer management does not fully understand how to work across cultures

The outsourced vendor appears to commit to performance targets, deadlines, etc. but routinely ignores these promises. Here is a quote from a manager:

 “I had a meeting of all people on both sides of the ocean, and went over our project details. No one from the offshore team spoke up. I assumed that there were no further issues. Then just one day before the integration deadline, I found out that the offshore team was not going to meet the date. I am very upset. What am I supposed to tell my boss?”

You spend time and money from your budget to recover from late deliverables and poor quality. This is another hidden and unplanned cost.

Analysis and Recommendations
a)Outsourcing managers and executives find themselves managing an offshore effort due to an organizational need. Often they do not receive training in how to be effective in multicultural environments and how to manage operations thousands of miles away.

For example in many cultures not saying anything is not equivalent to saying “yes”. Yet in the western mind-set, we assume that it is a “yes”.  The situation gets worse with use of acronyms and expressions like – “He threw me a curve ball”, “I need this ASAP” etc.  In addition, we expect everyone to come directly to the point and say what is on his or her mind. This is not how business works in most Asian cultures. Therefore many western managers end up with poor results when they depend on offshore resources.

Though they can develop this skill over time, training in this aspect of offshoring will help them get up to speed rapidly. [Contact Auerbach International for in-person and written training resources].

b)Clearly define the processes for managing in a distributed environment; after all you are dealing with issues on the other side of the world…. physically or culturally.
c)Determine well in advance your offshore managers’ competencies; you need to make sure that they can meet your needs.
6.Offshore implementation teams do not fully understand how to work with western clients

This is same issue as number 5, but from the offshore provider side. The business development and senior staff whom an outsourcer meets to set up a contract understand the issues well. But this soon gives way to implementation and actual work – whether it is development, QA, support, IT or manufacturing.  These teams are not well versed in understanding the nuances of working with a western client. In addition to language and accent issues, their sense of what a deadline means to the client is not understood.  The offshore teams work very hard, but when the clients complain about not delivering, the morale offshore tanks and further compounds the problem.  This can set up downward spiral.

Analysis and Recommendations
a)Make sure the vendor provides training to their implementation teams about working with western clients. [Contact Auerbach International for in-person and written training resources].
b)Help these teams understand issues specific to your environment which may be above and beyond the generic cultural issues.
c)Assuming this extra resource is available, you may be able to have someone from the offshore vendor stationed at your site (also known as “on-site coordinator”), which may help the problem. It is an option. But it will not work for all situations. You need to evaluate cost of such staff (which will be like adding a person at US costs) and loss of efficiency from an additional layer of communication.
7.Dealing with low offshore productivityA headquarters manager recently commented, “My staff in the US can do the work of two people offshore.”

He is not alone or unique. Many managers mention variations of this theme. They complain that low productivity in the offshore operation is eliminating the cost benefits that you used for justifying the move to offshore in the first place.  Added to low productivity are costs associated with travel, communications and duplication of equipment, to name a few. The implied conclusion by at least some of the home office staff is that offshoring is not saving money after all and was a bad idea to begin with.

Analysis and Recommendations
With time, offshore productivity can begin to suffer; this is especially true when an offshore operation begins to grow. You need to take stock of various possibilities that impact productivity. Here is a checklist:

  • Right offshore staff
  • Right projects
  • Meaningful incentives
  • Effective offshore management processes
  • Regular audits

How have you integrated these criteria into your own offshoring plan?

8.Basing your vendor payments on “outcome-based” metrics

What you don’t measure will generally get neglected. You should identify the critical areas and establish metrics; just the fact that you have communicated your decision to watch these key metrics often improves performance.

Analysis and Recommendations
Traditional outsourcing models focus on input: for example, staff hours, person months, emails answered or number of calls processed. On the other hand, outcome-based metrics focus on output, i.e., reaching business goals such as customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, cost as a percentage of revenues, etc.


While many companies are frustrated with offshore outsourcing, you need not be one of them. The first step is to do an assessment to get a handle on how well the offshore initiative meets your objectives and which of these issues apply in your situation.

Global Outsourcing Myths & Mistakes: Regaining Control Part 1

Global Outsourcing Myths & Mistakes:  
Regaining Control (Part 1 of 2)

[As a global outreach firm, Auerbach International provides a full spectrum of language and translation services as well as research, strategies and methods of conducting business worldwide. This article presents other challenges of global business.]

By far the most common justification for companies’ hiring offshore service providers is to save money — usually, a lot of money. Yet surprisingly, those big savings often turn into nickels and dimes (or euro cents). “I don’t know what happened,” one outsourcing manager said recently, “but we’ve gone at least 25% over budget for the past six quarters. This whole program is out of control.”

Many executives considering or engaging in outsourcing soon confront issues that can damage their individual or corporate reputations in home markets. These mistakes can inadvertently expand their costs and make the whole venture less profitable than initially anticipated.

  1. “Low bidders” usually become a high-cost solution
    Many companies find that the overseas service provider is not delivering as originally expected: product schedules begin to slip and customer satisfaction provided by the offshore group starts to decline. Customers feel the product is moving away from their needs or the call center doesn’t seem to “understand our needs.” Sometimes this begins to happen right away but quite often it happens after the initial honeymoon period.What this means is that you spend additional time and money from your budget to fix the problems, and recover from projects. It is money you did not plan to spend and hence an additional hidden cost to you.Analysis and Recommendations
    Why does this happen? This begins with the outsourcer’s choice of service vendor. Too often hiring companies negotiate the cheapest possible deal. As a result, they almost guarantee poor service. Evaluate your vendor based on your priorities and a set of criteria beyond price: size, culture, expectations, the provider’s staff competency and ability to meet future needs.
  2. Excessive employee turnover at the provider creates
    cost overruns
    for you
    You invest valuable home office staff time to train the offshore team and put in a lot of hard work to do trial runs. At this point, several months have passed; you now conclude that they understand your issues, you reassign and/or remove staff at your home location because you can afford to duplicate staff only for a limited period.Not much longer after this move, you learn that key (software, etc.) developers and/or team leads have left the offshore team. Even though the offshore organization says that they will address these major staff changes, you realize that there is no way that they can do it without your investing additional resources.  Another unplanned expense!!Analysis and Recommendations
    a) Examine attrition metrics
    Metrics provided by the outsourcing vendor refer to their entire organization. You need to understand metrics as they apply to your particular organization.b) Examine the type of work offshored
    It makes a critical difference whether you offshore only routine tasks or give your offshore team challenging assignments. One of the motivators for the offshore staff is to gain the opportunity to learn and progress. On the other hand, you have routine tasks that someone has to do and most likely you have offshored these tasks to begin with; in such a case, establish a planned progression for key performers so that they can see that by staying with you, they will continue to have the opportunity to learn.

    c) Examine the offshoring model
    This is not intuitively obvious. Some companies have gone offshore and established a subsidiary of their own without considering the minimum size necessary for effectiveness. In the current outsourcing environment where demand for skills is high, if you do not have host-country branding and if your total size is less than say 500 people, it will be hard to retain key personnel; they can see better career opportunities at a larger organization.

    d) Incentives
    You can set up incentive plans for individuals or groups as part of an overall retention plan. But make sure that this is done in close partnership with the vendor and that you are compliant with your home-country tax regulations.

    e) Overstaffing
    Some outsourcing providers, at their cost, train and keep ready additional staff to suit your needs to deal with turnover issue. Check out this option.

  3. Lawyers often negotiate defective offshore contracts
    Most contracts define rates and legal issues. They allow loopholes and are vague about performance metrics (e.g., “the vendor will apply its best efforts to …”). For example, if the operating manager at the outsourcer is not free to specify the level of staff experience, say three to four years’ – the outsourcing vendor is free to provide less experienced people. This incurs additional home office cost in training and productivity.Analysis and Recommendations
    a) Involve home office business and operations experts in contract discussions from the beginning.b) Set up explicit provider metrics: for example, Staff retention, Planned rotations, and Outcomes.c) Consider rewards for good performance and penalties for under-performance.

    d) Be very clear and specific on the kind of staff that you as the outsourcer expect.

  4. The outsourced service provider escalates all the hard work to your staff
    Especially relating to offshore call centers, the outsourced vendor’s staff handles easy calls but escalates most complex issues (which take more time to resolve) to your in-house team. You need to devote more staff locally. Another unplanned expense!!Analysis and Recommendations
    Quite often this behavior is not intentional on the part of the vendor’s staff.  It is difficult for the vendor’s staff to choose between angering a customer by keeping him or her on hold too long vs. escalating too soon which will force you to increase staff at headquarters. To address this dilemma, you should:a) Benchmark. What kind of specific issues should be escalated upward? When?b) Train offshore staff and managers how to determine those benchmarks and what responses to give.

    c) Provide objective feedback: “Call center Person X handled this call well, but Person Y did not give the full answer the customer wanted. He should have said …”


While many companies are frustrated with offshore results, you need not be one of them. The first step is to assess how well the offshore initiative meets your objectives and which of these issues apply in your situation.