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A BLOG FOR THOSE WITH VISION...


How Partnering with a Translation Agency Will Maximize Your Marketing Efforts

Translating your marketing content can have huge benefits for your company, especially if you have partnered with an agency that is well-suited for helping you meet your goals in foreign-language markets.  Here are a few tips for working with a translation agency when it comes to maximizing your marketing campaign efforts:

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1. Know your audience. As important as this is in marketing in general, it’s just as important in translation of marketing materials. Where does the ideal audience live and work? What dialect do they speak? Do a little homework on the group you want to reach so that you can provide this information to the agency you choose for your project.

2. Inquire about localization. Whether your content will be in print, on your website or part of a social media outreach plan, localization encompasses more than the translation of a text to reach a specific population. It incorporates the entire concept of the message via the terminology, language, images, colors, etc. used to be relevant to the audience in a specific region or locale. Localization allows you to avoid promoting content that might be offensive in another culture so that you can truly sell your brand well to consumers.

3. Ask about the translators assigned to your project. The translators who handle your marketing content should specialize in the type of translation you require. You wouldn’t want a medical translator who is a native speaker of Chilean Spanish to translate your site’s digital brochures meant for customers in Mexico City. It is perfectly acceptable to ask your project manager about a translator’s credentials so that you can feel confident the work is in good hands.

4. Don’t leave a translation request for the last minute. As soon as you know about the translation project and have the final document in hand, reach out to the translation agency so that the project manager can begin assembling the right team to handle your specific materials. Be up front about your preferred turn-around time on the project. Allow for adequate time to translate your content accurately and professionally.

5. Feel free to request the same team of linguists if you are pleased. If you are pleased with the work the agency has completed for you in the past for you, it is perfectly okay to ask that they utilize the same translators, editors and proofreaders that handled your previous projects. Agencies keep track of the teams it assigns for each project, and ensuring consistency can be as simple as maintaining the same team to work on projects that require similar terminology and context.

Reaching Your Target Market With Holiday Advertising: More Than Just Translation

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This is the time of the year when companies tend to put out some of their best advertisements. Consumers are making purchases for the holiday season, and each company is vying for the business. Not only is the holiday season perfect for reaching your normal audience with the advertisements you have planned, it is also a great opportunity to reach a new demographic by considering translating these advertisements.

How you communicate with your consumers in an international or cross-cultural market will vary greatly from culture to culture. An advertisement that works well for your normal audience may not work well for your intended target audience. It’s important to remember that cultural preferences and things of importance will vary and therefore, you’ll want to ensure your advertisements are localized to fit that target demographic appropriately, and not simply translate them.

Since advertisements focus more on the concept and feel of the entire message desired to convey to the audience, it’s not enough to simply rely using correct grammar and lexicon in the translation. It actually may hurt the effectiveness of your advertising to do so. Instead, a localization team should be employed to ensure the advertisement will be well-received in the target culture. This may mean converting measurements, switching up graphics (using models or cultural references from the target culture may appeal more to that audience than the original models or objects, for example), and changing the original layout altogether to ensure the new text fits.

While your original idea may work well within your current audience, it is important to keep an open mind about what may work for your new audience. Your localization team can work directly with you to ensure that you agree with all suggested changes and find the best fit that captures your brand perfectly for the new audience. Your brand’s image should be maintained, but since what works in one language/culture may not work in another, there may need to be some tweaking to gain the best traction in the target culture. With the right team to help you along the way, localizing your advertisements could be just what you need to capture a brand new audience this (or any!) holiday season.

5 Translation tips you need to know!

When faced with a translation project for your company, it is likely you will have many questions about where to start. Whom do you hire? How quickly can the project be completed? What type of translation do you need? We have compiled five quick tips about translation to help your company get started.

  1. Research your options. There are a lot of companies and individuals out there who are able to deliver the translation back to you. Look for a reputable option that will best fit your needs. A translation agency should be able to offer translation, proofreading, editing and quality assurance. Compare quotes, but we definitely recommend ensuring your quote includes more than just translation. Having a second linguist review the original translation is a good way to avoid any potential errors the translator has possibly made.
  2. Don’t wait until the last minute. As soon as you find out about the translation project, reach out to your translation vendor of choice. The project manager assigned to your translation will be able to give you an idea of how long your project should take. This will allow you to plan ahead, and will also allow the vendor ample time to ensure that the translators and proofreaders who specialize in that field are available to translate your document in the time frame you specify. It will also help you avoid paying rush fees for a very quick turnaround time.
  3. Provide background on the audience when possible. If you are translating a document into French, will it be seen primarily by an audience in France, or perhaps Canada? Are the expected readers adolescents or adults? The more you are able to share about the intended audience of your translation, the easier it will be for the translator to appropriately convey the meaning of the original text, and the better the translation will ultimately be because of it.
  4. If you have other translated materials, share them. If your website is already translated into the target language, but you are now looking to translate the brochures in the office, let the project manager know this and share the link to the website. The translator can use the website as a way to maintain consistency between the website and the brochures. Also, if there are any terms you would like to keep in English, make sure to mention that. This is often the case with trademarked terms, for example, but a translator will need to know in advance.
  5. Be available for questions, or have someone available who is. Although much information is conveyed at the onset of the project, it is possible that the translator may have a question regarding a specific term or phrase in the original, and may need to know more in order to translate it correctly. Having someone available for the project manager to contact in these cases assures that valuable time is not lost in finishing your project.

These tips should help ensure the translation process goes as smoothly as possible for your company. If you have any other questions about how to get started (or what to expect along the way), please contact us!

What Are Back Translations and When Are They Necessary?

Back translation is the process of translating a previously translated document back to the original language, using a different translator. Depending on the size of the document, it can be costly to do, so it is not requested that often. However, there are instances when the process of completing a back translation is beneficial, or even necessary. It is a great way to verify the validity of the original translation work, and can help to avoid unnecessary issues once an item goes to print.

Since this process requires a second translator to review and re-translate the material, it will increase the cost of the translation project, so knowing when if a back translation will be beneficial to perform is helpful. If the original material contains local idioms or specialized jargon, it could certainly benefit to go through this process. This can help lessen the chances of having an overly literal translation that does not translate properly back into the original language. It may also be used to check marketing and advertising slogans. If a slogan is translated too literally, it often loses its meaning or advertising power.

You may have heard of the milk advertising slogan, “Got Milk?” When putting the slogan into Spanish material, it was originally translated as “¿Tienes leche?” This is a correct literal translation of the words. However, when you translate that particular phrase back into English, it actually means “Do you have milk?”, which can imply “Are you lactating?” This is not the intended meaning of the original marketing campaign, so the issue of not having performed a back translation in this particular case is evident. Had a second translator done a back translation of the slogan, the mistranslation could have been avoided.

Back translation is also often used in research texts, when verifying the reliability of the responses is of highest importance. The translator responsible for the back translation will help the research team ensure that each response given is correct and appropriate. If it is not, the team can then investigate the true translation of what the individual intended to say.

Have you ever witnessed a translation job that you think could have benefited from back translation, or seen an example of back translation that caused one to find a serious error in the original? Let us know about it in the comments!

When translating marketing materials makes sense for your company

If your company uses marketing materials to reach potential customers, you may have already considered translating these materials into other languages, and wondered what the benefits could be for your company if you do so. Deciding whether or not translating these materials would benefit your company is a big decision, and we understand it may not be something you take lightly. There are a few things to keep in mind when making this decision:

-        Who is your target market? If your business is located in an area with a larger population of Limited English Proficient (LEP) speakers, it may make sense to target this demographic as potential customers. Translating marketing materials into a customer’s native language can help the customer feel appreciated and also help him or her fully understand your business. A customer who does not understand your advertisements is less likely to feel engaged with your brand. According to the 2010 Census, 12.4% of Americans speak Spanish as their main language, 3.7% speak other Indo-European languages, and 3% speak Asian and Pacific languages. Take a look at the US Census for further detail as to language use in your specific area. This is a great tool to help determine the need for translated materials and what languages make the most sense for your company.

-        How does it fit into your budget? Although translating your marketing materials may seem like an unnecessary cost up front, especially if you have a large number of materials to translate, it could easily mean a full return on your investment (and then some) in a short amount of time. If your translations help to attract new clients, it will earn your company new business. If these customers feel appreciated and fully understand how your business works, they will be more likely to become repeat customers, which is wonderful news for your bottom line. Moreover, you may not need to translate all of your materials at once. Prioritize those that will be most effective for this target market. Other materials can always be translated at a later date.

A professional translator will understand how best to deliver your specific brand and message to the desired demographic and provide that translation for these new customers. If the potential client base is there, whether in the U.S. or overseas, we certainly recommend making the initial investment to translate your marketing materials. The long-term payoff for your company is well worth the initial cost to start the translation process. For a free quote, contact us today.