Translation is a cost-effective and important route into new markets and can transform your business from a national brand into a globally known name.
But here's the thing, you might think translation isn't necessary - and you'd be wrong! The fact is that people want to buy things in their own language.
And that makes perfect sense because it’s all about trust and loyalty.
Consumers want to feel confident that they’re making the right decisions and aren’t risking their hard-earned cash. In short, you need to meet (and exceed) their expectations in a language they understand.
Why translated content is vital for your success
Translated content helps build trust and customer loyalty - because it communicates an important message. It reassures customers that they really are as important as you say they are.
Yet many small businesses shy away from translating their content.
This can be for a few reasons:
● They’re confused by the apparent complexity of translation and don’t know where to start
● They’re wary of becoming the butt of the joke after seeing so many ‘translation fails’ on Facebook, so feel daunted by the task
● They’re anxious because when they tried it in the past the experience wasn’t a positive one.
How to get it right
You should always engage the services of a professional translator, someone who can guide you through the process and make it easier for you.
And while organising a translation project can be a complex task, here are some suggestions to help you streamline the process:
Think about the scope of the project.
In most cases your source language text will be the original content (probably written in English), but you need to think about the target language (the language you want to translate into).
This might be straightforward, but it might depend on your target market. For example, there are differences between European and Latin American Spanish that need to be taken into account.
You don’t want to embarrass yourself by offending your target market, do you?
Consider the volume of text to be translated. Do you need to simplify or streamline the content, making it more suitable for translation? What about multimedia content, does that also need to be translated?
Remember to write in plain English, avoiding metaphors or references that your target market won’t understand.
Make sure that the source language text is 100% ready for translation - because constantly changing and revising the content will increase the translation cost, frustrate the translator and make version control more difficult.
And you need to think about the deadline for the project - translation takes time, and the finished translation needs to be formatted depending on the medium. So account for the time your graphic designers or webmasters will need to prepare the content for use. (It will take longer than you think!)
Identify the right translators for the job
Be sure to select translators who know the language and culture of the country where the translation will be used, but you also want translators who know your industry.
In my case, I only translate content related to medicine, health and fitness or nutrition, because those are the industries I’m familiar with. I don’t translate legal documents, patents or video games content because I know nothing about these fields.
Provide context and reference materials
To ensure accuracy and consistency, provide the translators with reference materials such as style guides, glossaries, and any existing translations of similar documents.
These help the translator maintain a consistent tone of voice and terminology.
Establish communication channels
Keep the lines of communication open with your translators. For large projects, schedule brief but regular calls to make sure any issues are addressed well before any important deadlines.
Develop a realistic project timeline
Set clear deadlines for each phase of the project, from the initial translation to editing and proofreading, to design layout and user testing (depending on what’s being translated). Allow time for unexpected delays or issues.
Be sure to build in time for revisions and feedback. In some cases, branch offices in the country where the translation will be used will want to see the translation before publication.
Review and quality assurance
Once the translations are complete, review them thoroughly to ensure that they meet your expectations. If necessary, make revisions or request additional edits from the translator.
But remember, just because you would phrase something differently, that doesn’t mean the translation is ‘wrong’. Remember, there’s always going to be more than one way to translate something.
By following these suggestions, you can help ensure a successful translation project that meets your needs and expectations.
At the same time, you can benefit from the skills and experience of a qualified translation professional who is an expert in multicultural communication.
Remember, your customers want to be able to trust your brand, they want reliability and relatability - and this comes from speaking their language.
You don't have to do it all on your own
If you feel daunted by the thought of translating content for your business, then get in touch today to arrange a free, no-obligation chat.