The recent outbreak of a worldwide pandemic has severely affected not only individual businesses. But also many corporate sectors as a whole. Nonetheless, with the vaccine in sight, many business owners believe that the coming 12 months might just allow them to turn the card in their favor. So; they look into the near future with relative optimism. Certainly; feeling more positive than they did throughout last year.
As many corporate projects and schemes had to be postponed due to budget cuts, travel and meeting limits as well as other general constraints related to the world-wide pandemic, a number of organizations decided to delay their international expansion plans until the general business atmosphere becomes a little bit more certain. That time, perhaps, is now.
The importance of certified translations
International business expansion can be a truly complex and challenging venture. It requires not only an in-depth research and an extremely detailed plan of action, but also a flawless implementation of the said plan. Undeniably, approaching foreign markets with your products and services is often much easier said, than done.
Regardless of the particular target market you choose or the size of your organisation, one aspect of internationalisation seems to be identical across all countries, and that’s the consumers’ preference of being approached directly in their native language. In fact, more than 80% of European consumers state that they would be more likely to complete a purchase, if they were able to read the information about the product in their mother tongue. Such statistics show precisely the true and irrefutable importance of officially certified translation services within the business environment, especially for UK based companies.
Being able to communicate your message directly in the market’s native language will give your business an enormous competitive advantage. From allowing your potential customers to fully understand what your brand really represents as well as to learn more about your services – both of which can directly impact the revenue – to building a strong, trustworthy and consumer-friendly brand image, which in the long run can be extremely valuable, especially for new businesses within a foreign environment which are yet to gain consumers’ trust.
What’s worth translating… and what’s not
When entering a new market, translating your content and documents is undeniably one of the key aspects to consider in your business plan. Deciding which materials should translate and which on the other hand can leave in English. It can be a challenging task. So the answer to that question can depend on a number of different factors.
One of the most important considerations to think about is whether your organisation will approach the foreign market solely using the digital means, e.g. online shop, or will also have a physical presence in the country, such as a high street shop.
If you decide to trade physically, the number of documents needed to translate will relatively high. From marketing materials, such as business cards, leaflets, brochures or even business presentations to legal documents – employment contracts, warranties, terms & conditions, and product descriptions.
Trading online via website and other such digital channels limits that number slightly, nonetheless, even then, there are plenty of documents that need to be converted by an experienced linguist into the market’s native language.
Additionally, if the main method of approaching your chosen market will be via your company’s website – it should be the very first thing you translate. Your website, in most cases, will be the primary point of contact between your brand and a potential customer. Ensuring that all the information is available in their native language is therefore essential. Other digital channels, such as articles, social media, or digital advertisements should also be careful and accurately translated.
Can just about anyone translate my documents?
Certified translation is often a service, which is still considered unnecessary by some of the ‘more traditional’ business owners. As a result, in order to cut costs and save time. They use free translation tools, such as Google Translate, or ask a friend or family member who speaks the language to convert their business materials.
As a result, over the last decade or so, we have witnessed several cases of businesses, which approached foreign markets with their content mistranslated. Consequently; not only damaged their brand. But also led to additional costs. As the documents required another, certified translation by an experienced linguist.
Generally speaking, Google Translate and other similar tools are fantastic solutions when it comes to translating internal documents or content intended for personal use, such as communicating with friends or family.
For corporate and business documents, it has always advised to work directly with a professional translation services agency.
Often, translating business materials involves much more, than simply converting words from one language into another. There are other significant factors, such as cultural, political, historical, or even religious aspects. They must be taken into account when approaching a foreign market. An expert linguist or an accredited translation services company will be able to not only convey your message into the market’s native language. But also incorporate these important factors into the translation itself. This will guarantee, that any content will be suitable and fully tailored for your target audience.
Freelance linguist vs. translation agency
There are two main approaches when it comes to translating business documents, files, and materials. Each of those approaches has its very own set of benefits as well as drawbacks. Each type may be more suitable for different circumstances and businesses.
Working with a freelance linguist is the option. This method may somewhat better suitable for smaller organizations. They have very limited budgets and with less demanding projects. For example, finding a freelance linguist can be an ideal solution for translating short documents into one language, without having a tight deadline for its completion. Freelance linguists tend to work only in one language. So; if your organization requires the documents translated into several different languages. This approach may not be most appropriate for you.
Working with a translation services agency is the alternative. In the eyes of many business owners, especially from medium and large-scale corporations, having the documents professionally translated by an expert agency is a necessity within the business environment. Although the price may be slightly higher than in the case of a freelance linguist. But; an agency guarantees not only linguistic expertise but also in-depth knowledge of the target market. The potential consumers, ensuring that your company’s content is fully suitable for the chosen audience. Additionally, a translation services agency will be able to offer much faster turnaround times and cover a much wider range of languages.
The bottom line
Professional translation services have been around the business world for decades. We have witnessed organizations approaching foreign markets and damaging their brand, simply because of a mistranslation. We have also seen companies fully understanding the importance of language translations within the corporate environment. Also; the direct impact it can have on their revenue.
Translating your materials in a globalized world is nothing short of essential. Consumers today better understand their individual significance within the worldwide market. As a result, they can easily decide which brands they wish to associate with, and which ones they wish to avoid. By having an expert linguist or an agency translate your content and documents into the consumer’s native language. You allow your organization to create a customer-friendly and trustworthy image. Something that will be extremely beneficial in the long run, especially within a foreign market.