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The ultimate guide to business translation in 2022

By Tarli Cameron | April 4, 2022 | Translation Tips

The ultimate guide to business translation in 2022

We live in a truly global marketplace, encountering customers and partners from different cultures speaking different languages daily. This presents opportunities for businesses to tap into other markets or regions.

When looking to go global, it’s imperative to understand the culture of your intended audience, find out what matters to them, but most of all speak to them in their language.

By translating your messaging, you’re demonstrating that you value them by communicating with them in their mother-tongue.

Breaking down language barriers

English may be widely understood but less than 10% of the world’s population are native English speakers. Importantly, we know that people interact better with content produced in their mother tongue so communicating with audiences in their native language will undoubtedly extend the reach and understanding of your brand.

You may not have native speakers on your team for all of your target markets, which is when you look for professional business translation services.

Man vs. machine

Machines trail far behind human understanding of context, culture, tone and more when it comes to language. That’s why we firmly believe in human translation services over machine-based alternatives. Whatever the nature of your written content, be it website copy, advertising or employee contracts, human translators working into their mother tongue will help you achieve beneficial results for your international business.

That’s why we combine our global network of handpicked professional translators with expert Project Managers who ensure our clients’ message is clearly understood and communicated.

Why use a professional translation agency

Why use a professional translation agency?

The essence of how your business is perceived and the edge you can gain over your competitors stems from your written communication and brand perception.

When you choose a translation supplier, you’re choosing a partner on whom you can rely on to translate your company’s materials accurately and authentically, contributing to your business reputation.

 

Ensure your materials ring true

The quality of your translated materials will enhance your reputation in the wider marketplace. Whether it’s general document translation, proofreading or audio translation, you can have peace of mind knowing you’re working with an experienced team capable of providing a high-quality service.

Using a professional translation agency removes the risk of errors and ensures that your messaging is communicated with accuracy, efficiency and authenticity.

Translation is a complex skill that is honed over time. If you’re working with a prestigious translation agency, you know that your project will be translated by a linguist working into their native language who is an expert in the nuances of not only the target language but also the source language. You can be confident that the translator has a wealth of experience in translating for your sector and understands your industry’s terminology.

A translator working in the medical field for example will be experienced in medical and pharmaceutical translations and maintain CPD (continuing professional development) in the topics and terminology of those fields they work in. Medicine is an ever-changing domain so keeping up to date with the latest diseases and treatments is vital.

 

A smooth delivery

Another key benefit of using a translation agency is that you should be paired with an experienced and dedicated Project Manager. Project Managers are responsible for the overall schedule of the translation project, ensuring quality processes are adhered to and that the translation is delivered on time and within budget. The support of a primary contact for the duration of your project will remove the stress from the process for you. Ultimately, they provide you with a smooth and straightforward end-to-end service.

At The Language Factory, we take translation very seriously and understand how important a reliable translation service is to our clients. We appreciate that no two projects are the same, so we tailor our approach accordingly. We take great care to understand our clients’ needs, providing a bespoke service that achieves their desired results.

What to look for in a translation agency

What to look for in a translation agency

When the reputation of your company is on the line, selecting the right translation agency for the job is key. So, what should you look for when selecting an LSP?

1. Quality assurance

A good indication that a company takes quality seriously is if they provide an ISO 17100-certified translation and revision service. This is the gold standard in translation quality and demonstrates a company’s commitment to delivering excellence by using industry best practices. An agency that has also developed proprietary processes that go above and beyond ISO expectations is an additional boon.

2. Experienced translation agency

An experienced translation agency with a long-standing reputation for quality will provide peace of mind. Specialising in your market sector will also ensure they have the relevant experience and linguists to meet your needs.

Membership of industry bodies such as ATC (Association of Translation Companies) and ITI (Institute of Translation and Interpreting) is another indication that a translation agency places importance on quality assurance.

3. Sector specialists

Choose a translation agency that has specialises in your industry. Either talk to industry peers for recommendations or search online for your industry e.g. market research translation, healthcare translation, marketing translation, etc. Doing your due diligence upfront means your project will be handled by linguists who can judge the correct tone, form of address and terminology for your audience. This means you can be assured that you will be conveying your message accurately and in the right way for your target market.

4. Choose humans over machines

Look for an agency that favours human translators over machines. While there is a place for computers, technology is only as good as the experts using it. We, therefore, recommend choosing an agency that uses linguists to harness translation technology, rather than those who rely on it. Whilst technology can enhance and even streamline the translation process, it is the humans – Project Managers and linguists – who guarantee accuracy.

5. Knowledgeable and experienced Project Managers

Almost all translation companies employ Project Managers, but their experience and knowledge can vary hugely from agency to agency. When looking for a new LSP, the experience of the PMs, as well as the processes and procedures they follow to manage deadlines and select linguists, are all useful indicators of the service you’ll receive.

Tips for preparing your content for translation

Tips for preparing your content for business translation

Several factors contribute to the success of a translation project getting over the finish line. In translation, as in many areas, the three key components are quality, speed and cost. You can improve each of these elements by preparing your content for translation. Here are our five top tips to make effective business translation possible.

1. Give yourself a healthy lead-time

Translators need time to grasp a brand’s tone of voice and the nuances of a target market so it’s important to allow for days or weeks rather than hours when it comes to delivery. Factoring in more time will also allow time to discuss any cultural elements that may need to be adjusted.

2. Gain cultural insight into your target market

When entering a new market, businesses need to think beyond demographics. What images, colours or experiences resonate with your local audience? Every detail you can gather will make your translated materials more accurate and likely to appeal to your audience, generating more engagement. Doing your research will make you more aware of local cultural nuances, helping you to develop culturally-appropriate messaging and show you understand your potential customers.

3. Proofread your content

This one might seem obvious but it’s very important. Take the time upfront to proofread your content before sending it to a translator. Why? Reviewing your content before starting the translation process will eliminate any ambiguity or inconsistency and ensure accuracy and efficiency. This in turn will save time, money and possibility your reputation in the long run.

4. Create a brief

Writing a translation brief is the best way to ensure that you and your translation provider are on the same page. If time permits, this brief should be thorough and include the basic project information, tone of voice, key objectives, target market, core messages, budget, times frames and reference materials. The more cohesive your brief, the easier it will be for the translator to grasp what you want to achieve and it will help them to organise a prompt lead-time estimate for you. At the very least, you should let your translation agency know which markets you’re targeting, your preferred terminology and anything from previous projects that would be relevant for future translations.

5. Use specialist mother-tongue linguists

As every language is unique, you will require a translator working into their native language who is an expert in the nuances of not only the target language but also the source language. In addition, in-depth knowledge of the country’s culture provides a superior understanding when it comes to the translation of your content. That’s why we recommend you choose a translation agency that uses mother-tongue linguists.

It’s also advisable to find one that works with linguists who specialise in your sector with the experience to:

  • Suggest local examples and references appropriate to your target market

  • Produce engaging and accurate translations to help you reach and influence a wider audience

  • Translate carefully crafted messages whilst retaining all their original appeal

  • Identify efficiencies to support you in reaching your end goals

  • Highlight any potential cultural issues

  • Ensure language, grammar and punctuation is flawless

In need of a translation?

For 30 years, we have been providing the highest quality business translation services to global brands. Our services span across a broad range of sectors, including but not limited to HR and employee developmenthealthcare, marketing, PR and advertising and market research.

To discuss your next project and how we can help you, please contact us today.

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