Six tips to make the most of your translations

Ambitious export goals, intercultural audiences and globalisation mean that businesses are translating now more than ever, so it’s useful to look at ways in which companies manage this process to achieve the best results. Quality translation and localisation services are an integral part of any successful international business strategy and with over 40 years in the translation industry, The Translation People know where you should focus your efforts to get the best possible results from both cost and quality perspectives. Here, we tell you how.

Insist upon professional, specialist translators

You spend considerable time and effort producing content for your business, and having anything other than highly experienced, specialised linguists translate your material would run counter to this. Choose a reputable Language Service Provider (LSP) who insists on the highest standards. Translators should have professional qualifications, extensive sector experience and all processes should be in accordance with ISO certification. Knowing the credentials and expertise of your translators means you can expand your business with confidence.

Don’t judge an LSP on cost alone

Clients whose translation decisions are fuelled solely by price will often attest to the false economy of low pricing. It can be indicative of less qualified linguists or even Machine Translation and whilst these are viable solutions for some projects, the cost of poor translation on customer-facing or business-critical material undoubtedly outweighs initial cost savings. Embarrassment, insult, stress and even serious harm are all a hefty price to pay, so we suggest ascertaining a company’s translation quality by using loyalty as an indicator – find out an agency’s key clients and ask for references.

Give guidance to your LSP

Nobody knows your business better than you, and to achieve translations which truly reflect your original material, communicating effectively with your LSP is vital. By providing stylistic guidance and relevant reference material, you’ll enable linguists to build a clear picture of your intentions. Any credible LSP knows that there’s no such thing as too much information and will encourage you to let them know of any preferred phrases or approved terms your business uses, for example.

Consider also that what works for one audience won’t necessarily work for another, meaning adaptation of content is imperative to maximise the impact of your material. This is especially true when working in technical and marketing arenas where references to country-specific regulations, standards or certifications need to be carefully considered, and marketing tact reviewed to ensure it is appropriate, engaging and effective in the target marketplace.

Make the most of technology

Translation technology is incredibly powerful: it can utilise previous translations, incorporate edits retrospectively and capitalise on similar or repeated content. The cost, quality and consistency benefits are passed on to you, so use it to its full advantage by providing your LSP with any existing foreign language material, giving feedback and relaying any edits so your preferences are stored moving forward.

Less is more when reviewing

Harnessing in-house linguistic capability can bring employees’ invaluable marketplace and industry knowledge to the table and using this insider expertise to create glossaries, for example, before translation commences will increase consistency whilst saving time down the line in the review process. To avoid making an arduous, unwieldy process out of an otherwise beneficial step, The Translation People recommend setting clear parameters for your reviewers beforehand so the sole task remains reviewing and not rewriting. Multiple reviewers can work against the consistency provided by translation technology as they add their subjectivity to the mix so keep a designated, defined team to hand.

Consider life after translation

If it’s successful, translation won’t be the last step in your international journey. Whether prospective buyers or overseas employees, translations will drive customers to your business. You need to capitalise on these interactions so it’s vital to have the infrastructure in place to respond both quickly and appropriately: you may decide to employ multilingual staff to reply to queries or ask your LSP to help manage your international social media presence. Whatever you chose to do, take into account that translation is only the first step in building successful multilingual campaigns.

From small- and medium-sized businesses starting out in translation to experienced multinational corporations who have departments devoted to the task, taking translation from a mere transactional process to an integral part of your business will help you achieve your international goals. If you would like to discuss how The Translation People can help you achieve optimum quality and cost, please get in touch with us on +44 (0)161 850 0060 or [email protected].

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