Pitfalls to Avoid When You Translate Company Content

When you are ready to translate company content, it’s important to get the translation process right. Business content conveys essential messages about your business, from who you are in the marketplace to the products and services you offer. The stakes are high, because mistakes can damage your brand image, cost you potential customers, and result in the loss of significant investments of funding and staff time in market penetration efforts. Translation services play an essential role in accurately conveying your company’s message and products to the markets you are targeting. The following is a closer look at three common pitfalls that can occur when you translate company content and how to avoid them:

1. Choosing the Wrong Provider

The first decision you need to make is who will translate your content. If your first instinct is to select the largest agency you can find, you may be on the wrong track. It is important to evaluate how specialized your content is, how many languages you need to translate your content into, and the overall scope of your translation project. Budgets and target timelines also play an important role when selecting a provider.

For multinational companies that invest large budgets into localizing hundreds of content assets for many markets, working with a large agency can be cost-effective and the right strategic decision. However, if you’re translating highly specialized content, specialization is ultimately more important than size. Consider looking for agencies or freelance translators that are familiar with your industry. If you’re translating a small amount of content for just one market, a freelance translator may be the right choice. Begin the process by defining your needs and then seeking a customized translation solution that is right for you.

2. Hiring Only a Translator

Hiring a translator is just the first step in getting your content or campaigns ready for new markets. Consider the writing process for developing copy in your native language. First, a writer produces the content. It may be then reviewed by other writers for conceptual issues or word choice. An editor then reviews the material to shape it into a polished final product. Proofreaders lend an eagle eye to look for misspellings and grammatical errors.

Successful translation also takes a team. Typically, translations need to be reviewed at least by an editor to provide another set of eyes and a layer of professionalism to the final product. Talent may be needed to proofread and ensure layouts and visual choices also work with your brand image. Build the right team to make sure your final product has the quality and effect you’re seeking.

3. Changing Translators to Speed Up Production or Improve Quality

Over time, translators learn more about your business. They become familiar with your voice, tone, messaging, language choices, and workstreams. Experienced translators that have worked with you before also understand how your translation software solution works. Each time a translator who has worked with you before takes on a project for your business, he or she can apply that knowledge.

Eliminating learning curves, minimizing errors, and increasing both speed and accuracy can help you improve the final product and get your products to market faster. When you hire a new translator, you need to factor in time for that learning curve. If you’re likely to have recurring translation needs for specific languages or markets, consider establishing a long-term relationship with a translator or a small group of translators who can handle the volume of work you require.

The right technology platform and translators can save your business time, money, and stress. Learn more about how to launch an initiative to translate website content or other company resources to fuel your global growth initiatives.

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