Translating marketing content is very specific to each brand.
For example, taglines. Taglines are essential marketing content and belong to the heart of each brand. Nike’s “Just Do It” will always be Nike. But translating “Just Do It” clearly is an opportunity for either great success, or great failure.
Brand voices are typically developed over time, sometimes after years of thought-provoking and challenging creative work. A lot of clients take a very hands-on approach to developing their global brand voice and this is where translating marketing content can get especially tricky. Most international organizations rely on a strong content localization partner to help develop this creative content.
Similar to copy writing, a translator can translate even a 3-word tagline about 250 different ways. Remember Nike’s “Just Do It”? We know that these 3 words can be construed endless ways in a variety of languages. Only the client and the creative team will have the knowledge to properly guide the localization team to effectively create copy that sounds as if it was originally written in the target language.
Tips to Translating Marketing Content
At INGCO, we make sure that all of our clients have clear expectations when requesting translation and localization work. We would never “blindly” translate anything that is marketing related; our translation team would have no background on how you created your content. At a bare minimum to make a project successful, we need a brand/style guide and our linguists would need to work with the creative team that did the copy writing.
True localization is a mixture of science and magic — the science is taking the words from one language to another. The magic is sprinkling on all of the cultural nuances and brand specifics that make this content unique to the client, all the while mindful of the end reader. The translator “gets” the thinking patterns of the end reader and is able to create copy that sounds like it was originally written in that language, but that takes a lot of work and a lot of effort, not only from the linguists, but from the creative team and the client. It’s essential that we work closely with the client to get buy in, otherwise no one will be happy and the end user will end up confused.
In the development of global brands, localization obviously has been there from the beginning. In order to effectively translate marketing content, we need to understand the brand voice from the beginning as well.
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