By Steve Greenwood
Bermuda is a group of islands located in the North Atlantic Ocean. It is a very attractive place for businesses as it is considered a tax-haven for offshore companies. Translations in Bermuda are done at a different pace than elsewhere.
Today Bermuda is still part of the British overseas territory that has about 103 km stretch of coastline with and 200 nautical miles of exclusive fishing zone.
The most recent statistical data shows that there are close to 70,000 Bermudians who are residing on these islands. Although the official language is English, Portuguese is also widely used by the locals. We have seen a rise in the demand for Bermuda translations services as more foreign investors are coming to the islands to do business with the local people. However, you will find that the Bermudians have a very strong accent of their own when it comes to spoken English. Their accent is particularly unique and not similar to the folks from other Caribbean nations.
The Bermudian has an extremely homogenous mixture of society which creates the incredibly diverse Bermudian culture. The Bermudians historical roots can be traced to African, Spanish Caribbean, Irish, Native Americans and the Scottish. When it comes to doing business in Bermuda, some business people may find the islanders' expressions and their accent hard to understand. Sometimes it might be a good idea to hire a Bermuda translations company to be on the safe side. However, the key to effective communication across cultural boundaries is always to act politely and display a considerable amount of tact. It will help you to build a more trusting relationship with your local business partner.
In general, Bermuda is divided into 9 Parish and 2 municipalities in its administration. The Bermudian economy can be considered to be quite a strong one because the country still retains one of the highest per capita incomes in the world. With only 21 square miles of land area, Bermuda has $70,000 US Dollars per capita income, which is almost 50 percent higher than the United States. The Bermudian economy is mainly driven by the financial services and tourism.
Bermuda is a very attractive place for companies as their regulations allow the registration and creation of offshore companies from other parts of the world. Offshore operations allow many companies to avoid certain taxes levied in their own country. Therefore, many companies have arrived at the shores of the Bermuda Islands seeking for a tax haven. For business people whose first language is not English, they should consider employing a Bermuda translations company to ensure that their company registration goes smoothly.
The other major contributor of the Bermudian economy is tourism. Bermuda is considered by many as one of the most luxurious vacation spots. However, there have been complaints that many foreigners working on the islands have poor English communication skills. As a response, the Bermudian Government has passed a new law known as the Work Permit Holders' Competency with English Language Policy. This law came into force since 1st of April 2010. The issue was first raised when foreign workers in service industry (e.g. waiters and tour guides) showed difficulties in understanding rudimentary English spoken by tourists and locals alike. This had a devastating effect on the Bermuda's world-class tourism reputation.
It is the employer's responsibility now to ensure that their workers are competent in English. If the workers are being complained of their English incompetency, he or she will have to undergo an English proficiency test administered by the Bermudian Department of Immigration. Therefore, it is always a good idea to hire a translations company to help you determine the competency of your potential employees.
Prime Languages specialise in Bermuda Translations whether certified, urgent, transcription or website localization solutions
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Views expressed in the article are those of the author and are not necessarily the opinions of CaribbeanChoice, its staff or members.