When you decide to expand your business overseas and you look to translate your marketing content, there are two important decisions that you will have to make.
Which service to choose: translation or transcreation.
The second decision follows: which translation company should handle this for you.
Here, at ATL, we have worked with numerous international clients. Some of them need marketing translation to adjust their marketing campaigns to the local markets worldwide. Others, after careful consideration, decided to go for trancreation.
This article will present 3 questions worth asking when you face such a choice.
Standard translation is not a creative process. This is simply changing a text from one language to another.
It’s best for product/user manuals, technical documentation and any sort of training materials or product catalogues, where you don’t have to focus on cultural nuances or linguistic traps.
Of course, this doesn’t mean you should just use machine translation for it without quality checks. These documents still have to be properly translated, as they also influence your company’s reputation. Poor translations damage customers' trust in the brand. That's why you need the best there is.
It’s a great idea to partner up with a marketing translation company that has resources to deliver perfect translations. Your product catalogues, technical documentation, your manuals and even simple copies on your website are how people will view you as a company. Do you care enough to provide all of your content in the right language?
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You have to make sure your message and your brand promotion are culturally appropriate in the local markets. You want your international marketing to be compliant with local laws, regulations and traditions.
Your brand is at stake here.
You do not want to send the wrong message when you enter a new market. So, translation word for word, even if it’s of perfect quality is not the best choice.The answer here is transcreation as the best possible choice for marketing collateral and advertising copy.
And since it is a highly creative art of word, it’s not suitable for your technical documentation such as manuals, product catalogues, etc. It’s good to remember the difference and to not mix those two. Your brand benefits from both great technical translation and your marketing/advertising copy transcreation.
Unless it’s marketing content that contains highly technical details. Then technical marketing translation is the service to use.
It’s best if all these services are delivered by the same translation company. Assuming they have the resources for that, of course. They should also be able to advise you which service is best for your content.
Why is that?
Because the more you translate, the more you save. You can save up to 36% on translation, if you have the right partner with transparent pricing policy.
The actual translation is assisted by an advanced translation software called CAT (Computer Assisted Translation) tools.
There are all sorts of various CAT tools available on the market. You can choose from a web-based software, desktop solutions or a mixture of both. There are even versions for smartphones available.
All of the tools are very similar and serve the same main purpose - they speed up the translation process.
The most basic feature of all of the CAT tools is that they divide the content in the original language into logical chunks called segments and create a bilingual file.
The file is a two-column table with source language text on the left and an empty space - waiting for the translated content, on the right.
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One of the other very important features of CAT tools is the database that stores all the translated segments.
This database is called TM (Translation Memory) and is one of the best inventions of the localization industry, for translation agencies and you.
Everything that has been translated in a document or a project is immediately saved in the TM and can be easily reused at any time.
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For example, if your text contains two sentences that only have a single different word, the TM will immediately recognize the already-translated sentence and point to the only one difference that needs translation.
Translation Memory saves a lot of time during the translation process and increases consistency.
Being consistent is very important so that you don’t confuse the reader or user. Imagine the name of a software option being different in the UI (User Interface) and in the IFU (Instruction For Use). This may lead to the necessity of costly last-minute updates.
Your reputation as a trustful professional may suffer from this localization error.
Now imagine a situation when you need a 100 pages of text translated without this help. You could accidentally translate similar sentences in different ways. You’d also end up manually translating text that you’ve already translated before.
Translation memory is inevitably an asset and it is important to remember about TM maintenance for the sake of consistency, creativeness and savings. The majority of translation companies provide such services.
Creating new copy for your website, landing pages or your slogans for individual local markets can and most probably will generate additional costs. But that’s not the most important thing.
What matters the most here is keeping your company voice and message as consistent as possible. Working on new copies for each market carries the risk of losing it when it comes to consistency.
Using marketing translation services gives you marketing collateral translated by professionals who are not only translators but also copywriters in the target language. Natives who not only translate. They also create copy for you, keeping your vision, your company voice and tone in mind at all times. Isn’t that what you should be looking for?
If you cooperate with a translation company that is able to handle technical copies, marketing content and also technical marketing translation, you are in good hands. They know your company’s voice, terminology and they ensure consistency in language and in quality of your multilingual content.
One partner for all translation and localization projects is the best guarantee of your brand’s successful international expansion.
To find a translation agency that is a good fit for you, ask the right questions to check whether their processes, tools, experience and subject-matter expertise match your needs.
After all, it’s not just a question of which services to use. It’s also a question whether your partner offering those services to you has the resources, the tools and processes to ensure your best interest.
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