Translations: The Case For Being Savvy

101 Guides, Translation & Localization12 January 20183.1k

For many brands, the prospect of translating is a big scary one.

It is human nature to be afraid of something you do not know or understand, but firms should view the localization process as an opportunity to hone a message and dispense with unnecessary information. 

Is the translation necessary? 

According to the American Translators Association (ATA), a French company was able to trim a manual from 500 pages to only 230 after employing the services of an expert translator. This was because much of the material was found to be superfluous and didn’t apply to foreign clients before starting the job.

This raises a key point when it comes to marketing in different countries, as not all information will need to be translated. Instead, companies are far better off translating only relevant sections of existing documents to produce shorter, more digestible texts. As part of this process, you should decide which information is actually required in order to convey the right message.

The power of visuals

Visual content works and so brands should never miss an opportunity to engage a target audience through its use. Better still, ATA pointed out the judicious use of maps, pictograms and diagrams can work much better with international audiences. 

“Your translator’s job will be easier; there will be less risk of stumbling over the precise technical term. And your translation bill will probably be lower,” the group stated. 

It used Ikea as a perfect example of the use of pictorial marketing, as its guides are largely word free to account for the fact it has 316 stores in 38 countries representing 25 different languages. Some 80 per cent of instructions are pictures only, with the remaining 20 per cent text that is required to communicate safety information. 

The bottom line is translation offers brands the opportunity to be savvy with their message and streamline their marketing materials where possible. So, what are you waiting for?

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