January 23, 2018

Effective Translation Guidelines for Better Branding

World geography with different language translation of hello word
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Language translation services allow businesses to speak the language or dialect of target customers. It is one of the many ways that businesses become more competent and multidimensional on a global scale. In several countries, highlighting the population’s unique way of life enables different services to be marketed successfully and customer demands to be met efficiently. When done efficiently, the use of translation services will eventually help initiate wider collaboration for technology, customer support, outsourcing, internet marketing and several other fields.

Translation plays a big role in branding

Language Translation logo

(Image Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Aside from a detailed knowledge of different languages, translating promotions and services to foreign language also calls for good perception of varying cultures along with a clear comprehension of the client’s business goals.

Since language translation services is designed to boost customer convenience and satisfaction, it is vital to consider what the business aims to achieve internationally. Is the goal to advertise a specific product or to acquire new and long-term customer engagement? Is the promotion backed by a plan to open a branch on the target location or to run a campaign structured for a limited timeframe? Also, what types of individuals comprise the target customers?

Without fully grasping the client’s specific objectives, the translation of the business’ original context will be inaccurate, meaningless and ineffective. It may not even be able to convey the message that the business owner wishes to deliver to target recipients. Here’s an example: In 2012, American financial and business news website Business Insider compiled 11 of the most hilarious and embarrassing translation fails for some business tag lines. The list included hilarious yet very misleading translations. The American Dairy Association’s ‘Got Milk?’ was translated to ‘Are you lactating?’. KFC’s ever-famous ‘Finger lickin’ good was interpreted in China as ‘We’ll eat your fingers off’. Pepsi’s ‘Come alive with Pepsi’ seemed to have spurred assumptions of causing zombie-like qualities when translators interpreted it as ‘Pepsi bring your ancestors back from the dead!

The way that words and sentences are translated is a major factor in how a brand is represented in different countries. When a simple word or phrase is misconstrued, it will post huge risks for revenue and customer acquisition.

What steps can be done to achieve effective and accurate translation service for businesses?

Translation Language Text

(Image Courtesy of Wikimedia)

Document, website, and even software translation are supposed to enable a seamless mode of communication across different countries. And there are five simple steps to achieve this:

  1. Prepare a clear business briefing

Start with an in-depth discussion with the client about the services that should be highlighted in the translation process. A business briefing will help ensure that the brand is being accurately represented throughout the target countries. Defining more clearly the scope of the text that needs translation yields a better understanding of what the content is all about as well as what the key concepts are. Factors such as important terminologies that require intensive research prior to translating, as well as the writing style used will likewise be given keener attention. As a result, the quality of the original content will be maintained.

  1. Look for a reliable translation service

Translating one language to another is no easy feat. While there may be available software these days that make the entire process a lot easier, nothing beats the quality that excellent language background and cultural understanding can deliver. Ideally, a reliable provider of language translation services should be comprised of translators with commendable writing and analytical skills. Not only that, thorough, meticulous research is a constant requirement to reach an accurate interpretation of specific contexts in the documents being translated.

  1. Learn target-based keywords and synonyms

Translation service for businesses should be backed by efficient background in both search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM). Keywords are vital in optimizing content because it contributes greatly in reaching a specific audience. Regardless of what foreign language the content is being translated to, the keywords should still be accurate and able to function as an effective tool for online marketing and branding.

Create a list of language-appropriate target-based keywords by determining the customers’ most used terms when searching online. Check that the keywords are relevant to the content then arrange the list in order of importance. From there, the list of keywords in the original content must be adapted to the cultural idioms, local trends, and geography of a particular country.

There is also another process called keyword localization. It involves the exact translation of online content and keywords to mirror the language used by a specific locale. Context is very crucial. For example, one dialect may have three or four interpretations for one or two words. But with localization of keywords, more relevant terms related to the context being translated will be included.

  1. Proofread content and check readability

How can business owners tell if the language translation service availed produced topnotch quality? Firstly, the translation must be accurate. When translating foreign language, the way phrases and sentences are chunked could potentially change the entire meaning of the original words. The typical length of a sentence to be translated ranges from 5-10 words at a time. If the chunk of words is too long, some terms may not be translated well enough. If shorter chunks of phrases and sentences are translated, the resulting combination of words may either be lacking or unnatural.

Grammar-wise, the final content exhibits good quality control and is consistently readable in both the original and translated language. The translated content should still make sense in the target language. A natural flow of text is also followed, while the original format specified is maintained.

  1. Test with a target audience

The effectiveness of a translation service can never be fully gauged unless it is tested with a target audience. To do this, check if the interpretation of the content is culture-appropriate to the country being marketed to by the business. Was the translation able to preserve the desired tone of message of the original text? Was the business goal effectively carried out by how the context was interpreted to different languages? Whether the text is business-related or casual, the translated document must also respond well to the social trends and unique lifestyles of the people in a specific country. In this manner, it will be more relatable to the target audience.

Finally, another effective way to gauge the efficiency of language translation services is through offering free trials to customers. By allowing customers to check out the services and try it first-hand, a deeper insight into the success or failure of a business’ international marketing goals can be gained. Prior mistakes committed during the translation process can be addressed, and a better understanding of the target location’s verbal communication style can be tailored to fit future branding objectives.

 

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