A guide to translations & why your business needs them.

For businesses operating within international markets, foreign countries or multilingual societies, such as London, translation companies are somewhat a natural business partner, which allows organisations to truly discover their full potential on an international scale. Today, successful businesses are completely aware of the true importance which lies behind professional translations and the impact expert content interpretation can have on a company’s image, sales figures and position within the chosen market.

Nonetheless, as globalisation affects a growing number of industries and sectors, more and more business owners approach translation providers without any previous experience or a broader understanding of translation services and translation industry itself.

If you just happen to be a business owner who needs to translate their company’s content, but doesn’t know where to start – you’re in luck! In this article we’ll be covering the different approaches to business translation as well as the most important materials to translate when approaching new markets. We will also recommend some of the most reliable translation agencies out there, which specialise in working directly with businesses like yours.

Business translation – human vs machine

Developments in technology inevitably changed the landscape of majority of business sectors and the translation industry is no exception. What 10 or 15 years ago seemed impossible is slowly becoming a reality. Today, an Artificial Intelligence translation machine such as Google is able to translate your content within seconds.

Human translators, on the other hand, are still preferred amongst business owners, especially when it comes to translating marketing or creative content. This is due to the fact that human translators will be able to understand the context, jokes and emotions as well as the intended, end recipient of your message, the consumer.

Working with a human translator will ensure that your content is translated accurately and reliably. There are a number of different factors which can directly or indirectly affect the quality of translation, such as privacy or content localisation. Accents, dialects and local socio-economic aspects as well as consumer behaviours can determine how your translation should be approached by the translator.

What to translate?

A number of business owners feel somewhat lost when it comes to deciding which particular resources to translate. When working with human translators, it’s essential to predetermine exactly what you want to translate as this will allow you to incorporate the costs within your company’s budget.    

One of the most important materials to translate during internationalisation would be your company’s website. In many cases, it will be the very first point of contact between the potential customer and your business. By allowing the visitor to browse the site in their native language, you’ll significantly increase the conversion rates.

In fact, over 80% of European customers state that they feel more inclined to a purchase if the information about products/services is available in their language and almost 15% of them never buys items online if they are not able to read information in their mother tongue.

Other marketing materials such as brochures, business cards or presentations are also extremely important when approaching new, foreign markets.

Marketing content often must not only be carefully translated, but also reliably localised. As previously mentioned, there are a number of different factors which can impact the suitability of a translation – from language to social and economic reasons and other factors influencing consumer behaviour.

An experienced human translator should be able to fully understand these differences and ensure that your material is not only translated word-for-word, but also follows cultural guidelines, which will consequently allow you to avoid any PR disasters.

Also, legal documents…

Translating marketing material is key for customer acquisition, however it’s translating the legal staff that keeps you away from real trouble.

Whether it’s contracts, terms and conditions, warranties etc.; by ensuring that your legal documents are interpreted accurately by an experienced linguist and presented to the customer in their native language, you do everything you can to avoid the potential risk of legal misinterpretations between your company and the customers.

One of the most important aspects to remember when translating legal content is that law differs from country to country and only a translator with previous experience and understanding of the legal sector will be able to reliably interpret your documents.

Where to translate?

By now, you should have a clearer understanding of the differences between human and machine translations. Each translation method has their own benefits and drawbacks, and it’s ultimately your decision to make whether you want to go with the cheaper and faster machines or more reliable, accurate and perhaps ‘company-image safe’ human translators who are also able to look at your content from a localised and individual point of view.

If you decided to invest and go with the human translators, firstly congratulations, and secondly, you’re in luck as there are a number of translation agencies which specialise in providing business translation services. Some translation agencies, such as this one, are great all-rounders and provide a variety of different languages and translation services. This London based translations provider specialises in translating both – marketing as well as legal materials, which will allow you to minimise your translation costs and keep your translated content consistent throughout the process.

Others, such as this transcreation agency, specialise in translating and localising particular content. Transcreation agencies work predominantly with marketing materials and so they will be able to provide the highest standards of localisation, ensuring that your content is not only carefully translated, but also suitable to use within your chosen market.

As you can see, translating business material can be slightly more complicated than it may seem at first. From choosing the right content to translate to choosing the right method and supplier; it’s essential to prepare plan and prepare properly before actually going ahead.

Although costly in the short term, working directly with an experienced translation agency can in many cases prove to be cost-effective in the long run. While mistakes in the translation itself can be rectified, an inaccurate translation can often cause PR disaster and harm your company’s image, something a business owner should wish to avoid at any cost when approaching new and foreign markets.