International expansion is a major achievement for businesses nowadays. Globalization and e-commerce have made it necessary for businesses to break into foreign markets, which inevitably points to the need for business translation services.
The types of texts that may require translation in any given company are as varied as the broad spectrum of departments that they encompass:
- Business proposals
- Legal agreements
- Brochures and commercials
- And many more…
Therefore, each specific situation will require a unique set of skills provided by SIGNEWORDS professional translation services.
Business translation is multi-layered and filled with a variety of considerations that depend largely on your specific industry and target market.
Here we offer some general tips to keep in mind when arranging translation for your company.
Mere translation often falls short in the business world.
Particularly in a foreign marketing campaign, it is absolutely essential to take a step further into localization, which not only involves the translation of the text, but takes into consideration the cultural factors that come into play when entering a foreign market and strives to create a product that would appear to be locally crafted for the target population.
Word-for-word translations, like those created by automated translation software, often miss the original message and can make for some embarrassing mistakes with dire consequences. In addition, regional differences in language can make a huge impact.
A word that is totally acceptable in Spain, for example, may be considered offensive in certain South American countries.
Therefore, you need a qualified translator who not only has a deep understanding of the source and target languages, but who is also deeply familiar with the regional linguistic characteristics of the audience as well as its cultural background.
Such a translator will be able to capture the message you wish to convey, express that message effectively to a particular demographic and ensure that your web content is relevant to precisely that target market.
For example, restaurants with locations all over the world, such as high-profile fast-food restaurants, need a translator to localize the menu and the marketing campaign, making sure to use culturally-sensitive vocabulary and idioms, that accurately convey the message and appeal to the foreign audience.
Watch out for technical vocabulary
Depending on what kind of company you have, you may need to hire a translator who is deeply knowledgeable in the jargon necessary to communicate in your particular industry.
For example, if your company develops software, your translator may need to understand the engineering language used in both the source and target language. The need for this skill, of course, depends on what text requires translation at any given moment. The language necessary to translate a software’s technical manual differs vastly from that needed to translate the software’s commercial, for instance.
Hiring a professional translation company like SIGNEWORDS, with a team of varied experts will ensure that you can get the technical language support necessary.
Be aware of legal considerations
In any business, legal jargon may also come into play as you deal for example with licensing regulations, among many others. Be aware that legal frameworks differ from region to region, so if you’re negotiating some sort of contract with a foreign entity, make sure your translator meets the relevant regulations in the target region and has a firm grasp of the legal vocabulary involved.
For example, if a German clothing store wants to open locations in Italy, it will need to hire a translator who is aware of the legislation in both Germany and Italy, acting as a sort of intermediary ensuring that the resulting contract complies linguistically with laws in both countries.
Remember that translation may affect the length of the text
Particularly if you’re translating visual media like brochures, flyers, websites or magazine ads, keep in mind that certain languages are naturally lengthier than others, so the visual elements of the document may have to be tweaked accordingly.
Translating a text to a language like French, for example, usually yields a longer text than other languages, which means that you will have to get your graphic designer onboard to figure out how to fit that text in the allotted space by adjusting the font size or the images as necessary while still maintaining the aesthetic integrity of the piece.
Or, if this is not possible, we will need to adapt the translation to the design. Translating a car ad in a magazine, for instance, may require modifying the slogan to ensure that it fits aesthetically into the logo.
A professional translation company, like SIGNEWORDS, will be able to alert you to issues like this so that your team can plan ahead.
Make sure you keep an open flow of communication between your team and the translation company, ensuring that your translators understand your company’s goals, the image it strives to project (formal vs. informal, for example) and the deadlines you are up against.
As you can see, business translation is a very broad term that actually encompasses many different types of translations.
A professional translation company like SIGNEWORDS will be able to provide a diverse team of experts who can pitch in as necessary to tackle any given translation task that comes up at any stage in your company’s development, whether that involves the translation of a business proposal, a brochure or a legal contract.
So, how does this all play out?
Given that business translation is an extremely broad category, here we offer a practical example of a situation that virtually any international business can relate to: meetings with team members from all over the world. Regardless of what type of industry you work in, you will likely need to meet regularly, whether in person or via video call, with people who have various language preferences.
A pharmaceutical company that conducts clinical trials in various locations all over the world, for example, may meet periodically to keep headquarters up to date on research progress. The various satellite locations in Germany, Australia, Costa Rica, Switzerland, Italy, etc. conducting a particular investigational study to evaluate the safety of an experimental drug may need to translate their research statistics, progress reports, regulatory documents, financial breakdowns, etc. into an agreed-upon common language, such as English. If there is no common language, perhaps an interpreter needs to be present at the meeting to conduct liaison interpreting.
As you can see…
Practically every department in those satellite locations will require translation: the finance department, the legal department, the clinical research team, etc. A business is comprised of so many different elements and a progress meeting, with members from all over the country, would be incomplete if one of those elements were not communicated adequately through translation.