Your marketing team has just produced a beautifully designed, first-class sell sheet to send to your customer base. It has the perfect images, the perfect captions, and the perfect message — all in English. The one thing you didn’t think about — your global audience. How many prospective customers will never see your message because you’ve failed to translate the content?
Global Brands Need to Speak Global Languages
Simply put, your business has sold its products and services effectively in the U.S. Now, you are expanding your geographic boundaries. However, none of your sales or marketing materials are ready for this global audience. Fully translated documents are not a nice-to-have; they are a must-have to expand globally. Ensuring a good customer experience is essential in today’s economic climate. Properly translated materials help achieve this goal. But, there is more to this work than meets the eye. First, what do we mean by “proper?”
Proper translation means:
- translating your documents accurately while addressing the nuances of each culture
- ensuring that brand integrity and voice are maintained throughout the document
- editing all embedded images with appropriate translation
Working with a company that can not only properly translate your copy and embedded images but also has experts on staff to recreate your documents (as initially designed) helps your brand reach new audiences and leads to new sources of revenue.
When you translate your business’ marketing documents, brand images, website and more, you enhance your company’s content strategy to:
- broaden your global audience,
- improve the customer experience, and
- reduce the risks that stem from improperly or non-translated documents
Multilingual Translation Use Cases
Website translation and translation of other online content now represent a significant part of translation services for businesses. Regardless of your company size, there are many benefits of translating copy and embedded images on your website or in social media graphics into multiple languages. Engaging your global visitors with appropriate content opens new doors, keeps non-native visitors on your site longer, and improves SEO and your company’s brand awareness in these languages and countries.
You should also consider translating the following materials into languages other than your native language.
- PowerPoint presentation
- Marketing and advertising (social media graphics, website carousel images, emails, newsletters, videos, tradeshow signage, and displays)
- Brochures and pamphlets
- Thought leadership pieces (white papers, case studies, ebooks)
- Technical documents
- Press releases and other corporate communications
- Other forms of graphics and visuals where you might use an image with embedded text
- Product descriptions and instructions
- Sales presentations
- Employee handbooks and benefits package
- Training manuals
- Internal presentations
- Operations manuals and diagrams
- Sales training materials and presentations
Preparing for Content Translation
Content translation involves taking your content and translating it sensitively and relevantly for a certain region, culture, or audience. This is known as localization. To ensure the best outcome, there are steps you should take prior to engaging a language services partner.
The following process outlines the primary steps to help you prepare your material.
1. Identify and research your target audience(s).
Understand what is expected of your business from prospects in your target regions. This is likely to differ from your domestic target audiences. Additionally, research the cultural nuances of these target audiences. Later in the process, this information ensures that translated content appears appropriately. It’s important to not make assumptions about a culture or language when translating content.
2. Prepare your content based on your research but with subsequent translation in mind.
Here are some points to consider:
- Why are your services a good fit for an audience in a different location?What’s different from your home country that you must keep in mind? How do you want to communicate these messages through visuals and text?
- How can you use your answers from question one to target localized areas, populations, or individual clients? Include these points in your marketing and document translation plans. For example, are there images you’ve selected that would be fine for some cultures but offensive to others? Are you using the appropriate currency symbols, date layouts, etc.?
- Once you start designing, remember that everything will eventually require translation. For this reason, you should leave sufficient white space in graphics for text layout adjustments in the target language (see graphics and text considerations below).
- Choose Unicode fonts that include special characters so the translator can use them when necessary.
The Translation Process
A professional language services company receives your files (in your native language). They will meet with you to ensure they understand your goals and then will get to work. A professional language services company ensures accurate and culturally relevant translations that will retain your original meaning and resonate with your target audience. Often, they will enhance your content by providing additional relevant cultural information to you during this process to improve your messages.
With presentations and any desktop publishing images with embedded content, the language services firm strips out the existing language replaces it with the targeted language, ensuring not just accurate translation, but in the case of images with embedded text, also physical “fit” within the image’s confines. This is particularly important when translating from English, which tends to be a more compact language than others.
Expertise in marketing collateral, desktop publishing and the target language/culture is essential to appropriately arranging content within the confines of the original layout. For example, in one language, one or two words may be all that’s needed to explain a concept, while in another, you’ll need five or more words. In the German language, for example, many nouns are joined to make a very long word! Also, don’t forget that your target language may read right to left and not left to right. This is why enlisting the help of a professional language services organization is critical.
Cultural nuances and translations also affect your document’s original layout or design. Remember that an image may need to be replaced with a more culturally appropriate one.
Why Use Professional Translation Companies?
Given the complex issues related to translating text and graphics while maintaining brand identity and voice, cultural sensitivity, layout and design, using a professional translation company with layout and design expertise makes so much sense. Professional language services companies stake their reputations on the proper translation of native documents. Finding a translation company that also has expertise in layout and design makes your projects run smoothly and more efficiently. These companies work with multilingual content projects every day and do it better and more cost-effectively than you might do by hiring contractors, advertising agencies or relying on bilingual employees.
Design Follows Translation
Due to the reasons cited above, a professional language services company knows that the translation comes first and then the design. They focus on quality translation and correct terminology for your particular business, as well as specific diacritical marks – paying special attention to how numbers and currency, for example, are displayed for the dialect. The company then returns the newly translated and designed file to the client for distribution.
File Formats and Page Layouts for the Translation Process – Working with Translation Experts
Page layouts and graphic design are the starting points for your digital images. Your graphics team has the page layout skills in Adobe Photoshop, Adobe Illustrator, Canva and Adobe InDesign software to create your content. These file formats are universally accepted and accessible. However, your team must also remember that translating the embedded text in any image or graphic element is just as important as translating the document text. It’s a best practice to provide the original InDesign file, not a PDF or other non-design format. Your translation team will work within your original design file to embed translated copy. Providing the native graphic files for visuals in addition to your InDesign file is a bonus step you can take to shorten turnaround time.
Why Should Your Business Consider Multilingual Publishing?
You’ve already read how translating content from your native language into multiple languages can increase your global reach and brand awareness. Multilingual publishing capabilities will incrementally improve your brand reach and foster ongoing awareness in countries where you wish to do business, leading to increased leads and repeat customers.
Costs of Doing the Work Yourself
Of course, you can always bring the work in-house, but here are some things to consider:
- Time: How long will it take you to complete multilingual translations of documents yourself accurately
- Resources: Do you have the in-house resources to translate content into multiple languages?
- Budget: How much will it cost to hire in-house resources?
- Brand Embarrassment: Will you miss an essential nuance or concern because your cultural knowledge is incomplete – thereby causing damage to your brand? How do you know you’ve done it correctly?
When considering the potential ramifications of even one of these costs, you can’t risk not having translation done professionally and accurately.
Top Reasons to Hire a Professional Translation Service
- Investing in a professional translation service sounds like a low-priority expense, but it’s a critical investment in your future. The professional translation team ensures that your message is heard and understood in every content piece, whether in print or online.
- Increasing your global reach in a customer-friendly way builds your credibility and trust in your brand. An expert language service company will maintain this credibility with meticulous translations.
- No sales mean no business. Targeting as many ideal customers as possible – in their native languages, sensitively, and in a nuanced, culturally appropriate way, will ultimately pay for itself. This is the purview of translation experts.
- You and your team are already fully occupied creating your brand, marketing content, and services. A professional translation service will manage the finishing work on your digital and print documents because they understand the nuances of different languages and will meet with you to ensure they understand your industry, and your business goals and objectives.
- Professional translations improve your turnaround time and speed to market. Because of their proficiency, professional translation service companies actually reduce costs versus doing it yourself. These companies have certified linguists that ensure accurate, efficient translations, plus layout and design experts to bring the newly translated material artfully into the output file.
- A professional translation provider has the editing skills needed when checking the translated content. As the final task they do for you, a professional service ensures that there are no missing items, formatting errors, incorrect or missing hyperlinks, etc. The result is a perfectly re-created and culturally translated content piece. This allows you to concentrate on running your business.
A Great Investment for Your Business – With Added Benefits
Multilingual digital document translation is a technical process requiring software training and design expertise. These professionals offer the best of both technical and layout skills as well as translation skills and language proficiency to provide a well-rounded service offering. They offer efficiency and timeliness in finalizing your documents, allowing you to focus on other business priorities. In business terms, this combined expertise optimizes your investment.
A certified professional translator understands the ins and outs of both the technical processes/software and the human side of translation processes. Using a professional service ensures that you’re not compromising any sense of visual or written consistency, or formatting once the translation is complete.
A professional translation services company will double-check translation accuracy and formatting to ensure that their work has left no information untranslated or misinterpreted. The benefit of working with a professional translation service is quality. You cannot receive the same level of quality using search engines, Google Translate, native speakers, or friends who speak the language!
Translated Materials and Documentation Help Your Business Advance
You’ve spent years honing your brand and go-to-market strategy – now it’s time to expand your reach to engage potential customers geographically. A professional translation service ensures the customer experience in other languages and dialects is accurate – anything less may have negative implications for your business.
In a world where diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) are the day’s hot topics, your brand and content must be accessible to those who speak other languages. Engaging a professional translation services company is an investment that repays you in increased brand awareness, customer satisfaction, and long-term ROI.
INGCO International is your home for all your business document translation needs.
Translation work is complex if you want to get it right. Whether you need translation in one or multiple languages, you can trust INGCO’s dedicated team of expert human linguists (WordologistsSM) to efficiently, and accurately translate and convey your message with the desired emotion that’s both culturally appropriate and on-brand.
We also work in every desktop publishing platform available – Adobe Creative Suite, WordPress, Canva, handwritten notes; you name it!
Global marketing is one of our specialties. We know that marketing and communications starts with a deep understanding of people – their culture, language, norms, and preferences. With that in mind, we’ve engaged some of the best and brightest translators and interpreters in the industry. Our linguistic specialists collectively speak 200+ languages and live in 60 countries across the globe, giving them first-hand experience, insights, and perspectives into the local markets you’re trying to reach.
Our linguists are the heart of the work we do, and they’re supported by innovative translation technology that helps them work efficiently and improves consistency across the work, ensuring timely and accurate translations every time. INGCO International is ISO-certified, so you’ll always receive the highest quality translations.
Ready to get started on seamless translations of your marketing content and documents? Contact us today. We’re looking forward to working with you on your global communication needs.