Getting The Most From A Focus Group

Focus groups are a great way of learning new things; they are exploratory and qualitative in nature, which is a lot more reliable than a lucky guess!

The insights that you can find about your business during a focus group exercise can drive it forward because your customers and prospective customers will tell you what they want or need. Plus, people love it when you ask their opinion!

Done well, a focus group can strengthen your relationship with customers.

Here are our Top Five Tips:

  1. Have clear objectives – If you don’t know the question, you can’t find the answer. Try to make sure that your objective is not to broad and know how you are going to use the information.
  2. Define who you really want to talk to and learn from – Do you want to break into a new market or understand your competitors?
  3. Keep an open mind – Don’t have any predetermined expectations, if you have already made up your mind and there is nothing that can make you change your mind. Use your focus group moderator who will encourage participants to answer openly and honestly.
  4. Be prepared to not like all the answers – You might not like the answers you get, but remember this feedback (even negative) is good for you and your business as you now have the opportunity to make important changes.
  5. Don’t take it personally – You may think that you have a great new product idea, but keep an open mind, it may not resonate with your customers, the focus group will help you hone in on what your customers really want.

You’re not a mind reader; focus groups will help you understand your customers and business better, after all your customers’ needs are constantly evolving. We would also recommend using surveys, telephone interviews and market research to further enhance your data ensuring that you are listening to wide range of different customers.

Fingertips Typing Services offers help with focus groups, for more information on our service email:

Lost in Translation

As a global community, translation plays a big role in ensuring that countries unite, communicate and trade with one another, but what happens when things get lost in translation.

Knowing how to speak two languages is not the same thing as knowing how to translate. Translation is a special skill that professionals work hard to develop.

It is often thought that translation is easy. People often think that it’s just a matter of replacing each source word with the corresponding translated word. Unfortunately, translation is much more complicated than that.

Language is complex; there can be multiple ways of saying the same thing in another language, not to mention things like syntax, grammar, colloquialisms, making the potential for mistakes, huge.

This blog post takes a look at some of the biggest and sometimes funniest translation fails.

  1. Coca-Cola – In China Coca-Cola was translated as “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. They eventually found the right Chinese characters that are phonetically close to the brand – “ko-kou-ko-le” – which means ‘happiness in the mouth’.
  2. Parker Pen – In Mexico they translated their slogan: “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.” To “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”. The company thought that the word “embarazar” (to impregnate) meant to embarrass.
  3. Pepsi – The Pepsi slogan, “Come alive with the Pepsi Generation” translated in Taiwanese became, “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”. Which was not only something of bad horror movies but an insult.
  4. Kentucky Fried Chicken – In China, the KFC slogan “finger-lickin’ good” became “eat your fingers off”. Something that is considered uncivilised and rude in Chinese culture.
  5. American Airlines – When AA went to advertise their new leather seats they used the slogan, “Fly in Leather”, which they translated in Spanish for the market in Mexico as, “Fly naked”
  6. Schweppes – In Italy, a campaign for Schweppes Tonic Water translated into “Schweppes Toilet Water”.

Top Tips:

Companies should avoid literal translation as it can cause a whole host of confusion, not to mention a PR disaster.

  1. Don’t rely on a free online translation service for your business translation. While these tools can be useful to help you translate incoming data, they should never be used for outgoing data.
  2. Find a translator who is not only fluent in the foreign language, but someone who is a native speaker of that language to translate your marketing materials. A native speaker is less likely to make mistakes, which could impact your businesses reputation.
  3. Find a translator who is an expert in the foreign country’s culture and customs as well as language. They will avoid an offensive or inappropriate message. A phrase that is common and well known in your native language may be completely meaningless in a foreign language, or worse, it may have a negative connotation.
  4. Never assume that you can use the same translation for different countries, even if they speak the same language.

To find out more about our Translation Services email us:


What is Medical Transcription?

You may think that all transcription is the same, you would be wrong; there are many different types of transcription which all require different skills.

So here is a detailed description of what medical transcription is all about.

When medical professionals examine patients they often dictate important information about the meeting including; patient history, tests, physical examination and diagnoses.  They use medical terminology and can often speak so quickly. This dictation is then usually included in a medical report about the patient.

Doctors do not dictate as if they are a business manager who is dictating a letter to his secretary, they often talk very quickly, use medical terminology and slang, which they expect the medical transcriptionist to know the spelling and what they mean by their shorthand language.

As you can imagine the Doctors are likely to be surrounded by other medical professionals and could be having conversations whilst they are dictating, so the transcriptionist needs to be able to decipher what should be included in the report and what should be omitted.  We use judgment in deciding what to include and what not to include.

What skills do you need to be a Medical Transcriptionist?

It is often mistaken that as a medical transcriptionist you will need to have rapid typing skills, while keep a consistent speed is important, the most important factor in medical transcription is that you have good medical knowledge good judgement and logic, as I explained previously all aspects of the medical professionals conversation is recorded, including chatter about things completely unrelated to the patient.

What qualifications do you need to be a Medical Transcriptionist?

All Medical Transcriptionists and Medical Secretaries are required to undertake a City and Guild Level 3 AMSPAR Certificate in Medical Audio Transcription. This course is available at the British Society of Medical Secretaries and Administrators (BSMA).

Here at Fingertips Typing Services we have a team of highly skilled Medical Transcriptionists, if you would like more information on this service please email: