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What do multilingual brands really need from translation services?

Published on March 25th, 2020

Multilingual brands come in all shapes and sizes in the digital age. From global eCommerce websites and financial firms to international traders and local businesses operating in multicultural cities, diversity is intrinsic to multilingual brands.

One thing these businesses all have in common, though, is the need for quality translation services. This is what enables multilingual brands to engage with every audience and maximise business performance in each target market. So what do these companies really need from translation services in 2020 and beyond?

The key essentials of translation services

Every translation project is unique and the same will go for the individual needs of any business. However, there are some key essentials every multilingual brand should ensure they get from translation services. Any language service agency should deliver the following as standard:

  1. A long-term game plan: Multilingual brands need a long-term translation strategy that scales with their business plans and facilitates faster growth.
  2. Professional translation: Translators should be pros with proven experience and in-depth knowledge of the latest translation tools.
  3. Subject knowledge: Language skills alone aren’t enough – your translators should have specific knowledge and experience in your field (eCommerce, finance, healthcare, legal, etc.).
  4. Project management: Long-term translation strategies require ongoing management to ensure targets are consistently met and opportunities for improvement are spotted as soon as possible.
  5. Deliverability: Your translated content should be delivered on the right platform and in the right format every time without the need for conversions or reformatting.
  6. Translation technology: The latest translation technology allows language pros to complete tasks more quickly and maintain consistency across long-term and complex projects – tools that should be made the most of.

Depending on the nature of your business, you’ll have some more specific requirements from translation services. For example, you might need translated subtitles for online video content or interpreting services for multilingual business meetings.

Your language agency should be able to cater to these specific requirements, but regardless of what your individual business needs may be, the six key essentials above should be delivered with every service provided.

Moving beyond translation services

For multilingual brands, translation is the gateway to engaging with foreign-speaking audiences, but it’s not where the language journey ends. To truly engage with audiences, you have to think beyond the confines of language and connect with people at a culturally relevant level, too.

The ultimate aim is to make your entire brand feel native to each audience, regardless of where your business is based.

To achieve this, you’ll need extensive marketing campaigns complete with localised content to address the unique interests of each audience. For example, your Christmas marketing campaign might be killing it in the UK, but it’s not going to have the same impact in countries that don’t traditionally celebrate the holiday.

In the case of advertising campaigns, you’ll also want to adapt your messaging to overcome the intended meaning of them getting lost in translation. The solution to this problem is called transcreation, which focuses more on the reaction you’re aiming to get from audiences than the specific words that achieve it – something that’s crucial for multilingual marketing strategies.

Again, the specific needs of your business will be unique, but any decent language agency will be able to guide you through this.

Ultimately, it’s an agency’s job to make sure you get everything you need from translation (and any other language services) without getting in the way of your existing workflow. If you need any help with defining what your translation needs are or think your current translation strategy isn’t working as well as it should, you can speak to our language pros by calling 020 7324 0950.

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Posted on: March 25th, 2020