Why do international companies translate their materials?

Markets across the world are nowadays becoming more and more saturated. Tough competition within different sectors means that in order to not only prosper, but often also to simply survive, businesses must approach foreign markets and reach out to international consumers.

Although the world becomes more and more globalised each day, with similar brands and trends being popular across different markets, today, consumers themselves no longer respond positively to generic marketing messages. Instead, they expect fully tailored campaigns, which target their particular needs and showcase that the brand understands their culture and customs. One of the most essential aspects of creating such campaigns is language, and so agencies offering translation services have in the recent years become extremely significant within the corporate world.

Creating a campaign which is culturally and economically appealing to the potential customers is crucial in developing a positive brand image abroad, increasing the customer loyalty overtime and consequently growing sales and revenue.

The true importance of language and translations within such campaigns and generally during an internationalisation process has been previously widely described by a number of experts from both – the business/marketing as well as culture fields.

The shift from the ‘one-fits-all’ approach towards more carefully tailored campaigns, which take into consideration a number of different factors that may directly influence the potential customer is clear to see from the point of view of translation agencies, too.

An expert London based translation agency, Translation Services UK, have in the recent years noted a significant growth in the number of business and corporate clients who require language translations and interpreting of their multilingual campaigns during an internationalisation process.

Speaking to the company’s representative, we found that, paired with English – French, German and Spanish are some the most frequently translated European languages, with Mandarin and Arabic being highly popular when it comes to languages from different parts of the world. This shows that UK businesses and organisations keep a positive outlook on approaching foreign markets despite a political uncertainty.

What to translate?

Translating business materials isn’t a plain and simple task however, although it may seem pretty straightforward at first. Professional business translation requires a great deal of planning prior to actually going ahead with it.

Picking and fully understanding the chosen market is the first step any company must take. In many cases, after exploring the market on a deeper level, the organisation may decide to halt the expansion altogether while looking for alternatives.

When looking at your chosen market, it’s essential to understand in full detail a number of different aspects – from the market itself, competitors, consumer behaviour, saturation etc.

Understanding your customer fully will consequently dictate which particular materials you should translate, how your message should come across (formal, friendly etc.) and what type of linguist should be working on your content.

Often, a translation agency will offer a linguist who isn’t just a native speaker of the target language, but who additionally has a first-hand experience within your particular business sector. This can be a very beneficial solution as it guarantees that any area specific jargon or lingo remains accurate. If, for example, your company specialises in football related services, you’d expect the linguist to be able to reliably translate terms specific to your brand, such as ‘offside’, ‘corner’ or ‘VAR’. If the translator working on your content doesn’t understand these terms, the chances are, their interpretation won’t be reliable.

Translating marketing materials is perhaps one of the most important aspects of going abroad. For example, your website will usually be the place where your potential customers discover you initially, and so ensuring it is available in their native language will immediately increase the chances of turning a simple visitor into a loyal customer.

Additional marketing materials such as brochures, leaflets or even business cards should also be carefully translated as it allows your company to not only build a positive brand image in the long run, but also to increase your customer base.

Apart from materials such as the ones described above, it is also usually essential to translate any legal documents, for example contracts, warranties or terms & conditions. Whilst these do not affect your branding or company image directly, they can prove extremely important along the way, especially if your company has a physical presence in the target market. An additional benefit of ensuring that any legal documents are available in the market’s native language is that this will allow your company to be perceived as a trustworthy partner by both – the customers as well as any business associates.

How to find a good translations provider?

Today, a business wanting to explore the possibility of translating their content has a number of choices available to them. From finding a professional translation company to working with an appropriate freelance linguist or even to using one of the widely available free translation programs.

Each of the above solutions has its benefits. Nonetheless, it seems that the most popular choice for UK based businesses is working directly with a translation company. Although the final cost might be slightly higher in comparison to working with freelancers, the accuracy, reliability and turnaround times (especially for larger projects with more than 1 target language) make up for this.

Online tools such as Google Translator have come a very long way in terms of accuracy and reliability and are today the perfect solution for translating documents and materials used for personal use. They can also be used by businesses wanting to translate content for internal use.

Summary

As you can see, professional translation services are nowadays an integral part of any successful internationalisation process. Regardless the size of a company, in order to achieve positive results within a foreign market, marketing and legal materials must be carefully translated and localised into the market’s native language.

Choosing the right provider to translate your content is also an essential step, as accuracy of a business translation can directly affect the company’s image. Whether working with an agency, freelance translator or some of the free tools available online, ensure that your documents and other materials reflect your potential customer’s values and customs.

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