Translation Services

4 Tips for Language Translation Planning

4 Tips for Language Translation Planning

When it comes to planning for translation services and developing an international business plan, it's essential that companies know as much as feasible about the target market they're adapting their content for. The more tailored the message is for the new audience, the more effective it will be. There are many articles on the internet on how to go global but very often they leave out the translation.

To ensure global success, the translation must be part of your strategy. When done correctly and planned for in early stages, it is sure to give you a competitive edge against other foreign companies who don’t put as much thought and effort into customizing their messaging for the new market. Following are 4 tips to help support you in language translation planning.

Know Your Audience

When figuring out the proper blueprint for translation and global strategy, one must learn as much about the target culture as possible. With any marketing initiative, it’s important to understand your audience so that you can tailor your content to them. For example, selling beef in India will most likely flop as cows are considered holy in India and many Indians are vegetarian.

What are their preferences, where do they spend time online, what is popular in their local media? Working with a language service company with native translators will be of tremendous support in this phase. Translators who are native speakers can easily judge what will work and what won’t; offer you the viewpoint of the local people.

Finalize Your Content

It may be tempting to get your projects underway as fast as possible, but it's more time-consuming and expensive to translate a first draft version. When translating for several languages, adjusting in the source language is better than revising each of the target-language versions.

The single most crucial factor in ensuring a good translation is a clear, well-written source document. Make sure the document is proofread and up to date. Use the same terminology throughout, avoid colloquialisms and slang, and eliminate grammar and spelling errors.

In short, make sure your content is final and provide the original, editable source file which will also help you to maximize your budget.

Understand What Factors Affect Turnaround Time

Many clients ask how long it takes to complete a translation. There are many factors that affect the speed of human translation. Translation can be a very time-consuming process and speed of work isn’t a proper gauge of quality. In fact, you may want to be wary of extremely quick turnaround times as it’s possible the process was rushed and not proofread or edited. The speed of translation is affected by factors such as the quality of source text, whether professional tools are being used, and the overall complexity of the source.

The largest factor that will affect your delivery time is the length of the document. While a couple of hundred words can be turned around in 1 business day, a couple thousand will take a few days longer. Rare languages may take longer than common languages with many translators readily available. Lastly, how complex is the design of the document? Graphic design and text manipulation to create a mirror image of a sales brochure can also add time to the final project. It is required to plan for text administration which goes beyond simply writing content that lends itself to translation.

Here are a couple of tips to prepare your documents for translation:

  • Try to maintain white space in the primary document which will accommodate the text expansion that often comes along with the translation.
  • Try to avoid narrow tables or sidebars. Consider this: if your tables and graphics are just the right sizes in the original document and there is not much white space, it is likely that they will not be large enough to house translated version and the design must be altered to accommodate the new text.

While taking these points into consideration while creating a document, try not to stress about them too much. They are certainly important if you need to have something printed with strict dimensions such as say an advertisement. If there aren’t strict regulations on the size, though, working with a reliable and flexible language services partner, they will be able to consult with you on what they can do to accommodate your original design.

Provide Company and Subject Matter Information

Preparing your translator with background information on both the project and your company will ultimately help to save time on the translation process as there will be fewer questions from the translator on the content. You can tell them which direction you are going and how you want the information to be understood. This is a great time to share any market research you have performed on the target market!

The more detail you can provide the better, so as to ensure that you get the best translator for the job. That translator can deliver the best quality possible. The information should include:

  • a brief overview
  • the nature of the message you are trying to get across
  • the target audience
  • side notes for clarification on unique topics

Now that you have a solid plan in place, it’s time to find the best translation services company to partner with. Here are some questions to get the conversation going to determine whether they are a good fit for your business.

  • Has the company translated subject matter that is similar to mine?
  • Can they provide references of clients in a similar industry?
  • How do they approach customer service?
  • Will you work with a dedicated team or have one point of contact?
  • What does their translation process look like and how does it affect the cost?
  • What is their confidentiality policy?

While this may seem like a lot of up-front work before even engaging in your first project. Consider the time and effort that you have put into building your business to this point. It’s done so well that you’re considering expanding to new countries! Don’t let your hard work go to waste because you haven’t tailored your message to the new audience and don’t let your company get lost. Once you integrate a translation strategy into your overall strategy, you’ll be well on your way to global success.

Annie Pagano
Annie Pagano

Annie has worked across all departments of Interpreter and Translators, Inc for 8 years giving her a unique perspective on the buyer’s journey and the customer experience. She has had a fascination with different languages and culture as far back as she can remember. She loves to step outside of her comfort zone through travel and is passionate about yoga, health, wellness, skiing & bringing people together, no matter their language or background.

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Sonia Singh
June 7, 2019 05:37

Nice post. Thanks for sharing with us. Keep it up. Keep sharing with us. Thanks once again

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March 17, 2020 12:15

Hi Sonia. We are glad that you enjoyed the post. You may check out our other blogs to further explore the rapidly growing technological trends.

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