Going Global? Translators can help you Break the Barrier of Language!

This is a guest post by Alexander Zeller

going-global

It might seem a heady dream for any business to contemplate expanding past their normal commercial frontier, especially if they think they have something that can beat the socks off the competition that exists already.

For any would-be global business there is of course an important hurdle – the barrier of language. It’s hard to break this barrier without considerable investment in marketing the product the business wishes to sell. It’s one thing having a great website, for instance, and fantastic advertising using the full range of media in one’s own country, but who is going to understand it all elsewhere? Even when the language is as international as English, the reality is that many potential customers only relate to messages in their own language.

When the business is based in a nation whose language is limited geographically, those language barriers are considerable. How does a Turkish company get its sales message across when practically no-one speaks Turkish outside Turkey? How does a Swedish company get its message across when no-one speaks Swedish outside Sweden?

The answer is the use of a good translation service to break the considerable barriers to success that language can impose. It’s not just a matter of using an app. to make a rough translation of your website and any other marketing material, packaging instructions and so on. That sort of level of translation is fine for casual communication. If you are a business person, for instance, who wants to be understood when travelling abroad for a conference or a meeting, using computer aided translation is fine. It’s a different ball game when making your product accessible and available to a wider global market. Customers are choosy. They are unlikely to be convinced that a product is worth buying if the translation is amateurish or poorly done, or even worse, culturally insensitive.

The choice of a good translation service is important for the would-be global business looking to expand their market beyond the language barrier. It’s important to choose a translator that is used to translating marketing material and has expertise in the language or languages you need for the new market targeted. It may not be so obvious just how important it is to get the marketing message across to a specific target group. Are they male or female? Are they young or old? Is there a dialect to consider? Marketing messages need to tune into the idiom of the market.

Once a translator is found or translation service that fits the bill, it’s important to provide sufficient information about exactly what you want translated and how you want it translated. Effective two way communication between you and the translator is really crucial to get the best out of what you will be paying for.

Alexander ZellerAlexander Zeller is a project manager and translator working with The Migration Translators in Australia, providing legal, medical, business, marketing, technical and website translation services in over 130 Languages. 

Vacationing in Sweden?

Midnight Sun in Sweden: Credit: Tomas Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

Midnight Sun in Sweden: Credit: Tomas Utsi/imagebank.sweden.se

 

I usually go to Sweden every summer for 1-2 months, but sadly not this year. Instead I will go water my roots in Sweden during Christmas time. However, I highly encourage everyone to go visit Sweden, especially in the summer, to experience the light summer nights and the beautiful nature. I have previously written about doing business in Sweden. If business is taking you to Sweden, take some time to enjoy some vacation there too.

To prepare you for your visit, I wanted to share an article from CNN: 10 things to know before visiting Sweden. Read it and be well prepared.

Swedish Translation Services will be out of the office June 4-22 but will be back in business again after that, ready to work when most other Swedes take vacation, i.e. in July. By that time I will also have finished my Swedish writing course and can hopefully provide you with even clearer, more convincing, high quality texts in Swedish, especially in IT, marketing and corporate communications.

Have a wonderful summer!

How Swedish Translation Services focusing on improving her writing skills

Skrivtips och språkvård

Skrivtips och språkvård

In order to provide better services to my clients, I have focused on improving my writing skills this spring. I am taking an online course in Swedish writing skills called “Skriv tydliga texter”, with a book and exercises that are evaluated. Earlier I also took a writing course for English on Udemy to make sure I am keeping my writing skills top notch and can provide my clients top notch texts that are targeted to the reader and easy to understand. Now I cannot wait to dig in to more Swedish marketing texts, corporate communications, product descriptions, surveys and more.

I also recently returned from attending two translation conferences, the ITI Conference in Newcastle, England and the BP15 Conference in Zagreb, Croatia, where I also presented on social media for freelance translators. I attend these conferences to network with my colleagues and find co-working partners, but also to improve my skills in translation technology, get new business tips and improve my craft and business as a freelance translator. My clients will benefit by having an efficient, well educated and informed Swedish freelance translator.

Feel free to drop me a line if you want to know more about my Swedish translation services, how I improve my translation and business skills, or how I can help your company reach the Swedish market.

Here are my most important references/resources that I use in order to provide a good Swedish text:

Resources for good writing skills in Swedish

Resources for good writing skills in Swedish

9789147084609_200_svenska-skrivregler_haftad

What is localisation and how it can help your business?

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Master isolated images at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

This is a guest post from Aniello Attianese from Language Reach. 

The world of business is changing rapidly. A trend towards globalisation and expanding businesses abroad, especially with the recent growth of internet, is something that I, working for a professional translation agency, personally see rather clearly. A lot of the businesses from every corner of the world, even small and medium sized, see a truly great opportunity in approaching new international customers and exploring new markets. Many business owners who require our professional translation services however do not realise that translating word for word sometimes simply isn’t, and shouldn’t be, the whole answer, especially when working on marketing material, such as websites; this is where localisation comes into play.

Companies and businesses around the world now spend great portions of their budgets each year for marketing efforts; paying close attention to crafting the perfect message, choosing the right colours or even the right font. But what if they were only to discover, that their perfect marketing material which worked flawlessly in one country, causes offence in another? Having marketing material which is culturally inappropriate will certainly cause more damage than good.

In simple words, localisation amends and adopts content, such as websites or brochures, in order for it to be suitable within a specific market by removing any local sensitivities. Global companies such as Apple or McDonald’s have values and ideas which they like to communicate to consumers across the world, without causing any misunderstandings within any country specific market. This is the reason each of their campaigns is not only very carefully translated, but also localised to suit their specific foreign target market.

American Airlines on the other hand are a perfect example of a company who decided not to trouble with localisation, and only to translate their marketing material word-for-word. After introducing their new stylish leather seats on the planes, AA came up with a slogan which in America worked perfectly fine: “Fly in leather”.  Not carefully localised for the Mexican market however, the message caused the operator to blush slightly as “Fly naked” wasn’t very appealing to the Spanish speaking customers…The lack of localisation in the above example is pretty obvious, and not only caused the airline to embarrassment but also to money loses.

Words however aren’t the only thing which can be a cause for concern if marketing material wasn’t carefully localised. Another great example would be the use of colours. Did you know, that in China the colour white is associated with death? Now, you wouldn’t want your products or services to be associated with such, would you?

Going back to McDonald’s example, you’ll be able to see good, if not great, use of localisation services. The fast food chain restaurant not only localised all of their marketing messages, but they also went a step further and localised their menus, which are perfectly localised for each of their markets. And so in New Zealand for example you will be able to order a Kiwi Burger while McDonald’s India offers chicken Maharaja!

Giving that both U.S and Sweden are rather specific markets, with different cultures, values and ideas, localising marketing material for the Swedish audience should really be a priority for any U.S business thinking of approaching the Swedish consumers. Taking into the account any local sensitivities such as religious, political or cultural differences can have a significant impact on the success of your brand in a foreign market, and although localisation simply cannot guarantee an instant success, the lack of it can guarantee instant failure.

Language-Reach-150x150Aniello Attianese comes from Pagani, Italy. He speaks Italian, French and German fluently and has just started learning Swedish. He currently works for Language Reach and Translation Services 24 as a translator and a project manager. In his spare time he enjoys travelling and good music as much as he enjoys learning languages.

11 examples of what can go wrong in translation of marketing materials

Do you know what your business slogans are saying to the world?

mistakeWith advances within social media and technology, word of mouth truly has become ‘world of mouth.’ Most businesses centralize their global Twitter and Facebook efforts. It has huge benefits, yet it also is vital that you have involvement at a local level; from those who really understand the marketplace language and nuances. We reside within a global economy and therefore it is critical that we have an understanding of our world. Here are 11 examples of translations of marketing material that went wrong:

  1. The successful ‘Got Milk’ campaign that came from The Dairy Association as utilized in Mexico brought lots of attention, as it translated into ‘Are You Lactating?’
  2. The company Coors Brewing’s campaign slogan ‘Turn it loose’ as converted to Spanish actually means ‘Suffer from diarrhea’.
  3. Clairol introduced a curling iron named ‘Mist Stick’ within Germany. Mist in German will be slang for manure. It turned out that manure sticks are not popular in Germany.
  4. Panasonic and Matsushita were to introduce a computer that had an Internet browser within Japan. They were supposed to run a massive marketing campaign utilizing Woody Woodpecker, the cartoon character. Their campaign was placed on hold as an American worker figured out that the translation actually was ‘Touch Woody – Internet Pecker.’ It’s bad in American slang.
  5. In China, Pepsi translated their campaign slogan, ‘Pepsi will Bring You Back to Life.’ In Chinese, this slogan means, ‘Pepsi will Bring Your Ancestors Back from the Grave.’
  6. In France, Colgate introduced toothpaste underneath the name Cue. That is, unfortunately, the exact same name as one ill-famed porno magazine.
  7. In Mexico, Parker Pen wanted its ads to parlay ‘It will not leak in your pocket and embarrass you.’ The company instead believed that the term ‘embarazar’ (to impregnate) was supposed to mean to embarrass, therefore the advertisement stated: ‘It will not leak inside your pocket and make you pregnant.’
  8. Frank Perdue’s statement, ‘It will take a rough man to make a tender chicken,’ is somewhat different within the Spanish language – ‘It will take a sexually stimulated male in order to make a chicken affectionate.’
  9. Braniff Airways had a desire to spotlight ‘Fly in Leather’ yet in Spanish it actually said ‘Fly Naked.’
  10. A Scandinavian vacuum cleaner, Electrolux, utilized the following within the United States: ‘Nothing will suck like an Electrolux.’
  11. In Southeast Asia, Pepsi lost its market share as it changed its vending machines from a deep blue to a light blue. Unfortunately, in Southeast Asia, light blue includes a symbol of mourning and death.

The lesson to be learned here is that mistranslations are sloppy marketing. Therefore, when translating your marketing material or anything business related, it is best to contact a professional translator. A professional translator will ensure that everything that is presented to the public is appropriate and suitable for the intended audience.

If you are marketing to Sweden, contact Swedish Translation Services to make sure that your slogans and marketing materials come across as intended.

Save money by providing your professional translator with good information

Background information

Background information

If you’re interested in expanding your business into Sweden, don’t make the costly mistake of neglecting to get a professional translator, preferably one certified by the MITI or a similar organization. I say “costly mistake” because trying to save a little money on Swedish translations can result in a lot of missed revenue by giving a less than optimal, or even an unprofessional impression with a bad translation, not communicating to your target market or translation mistake. This can even be the difference between success and failure. A better way of saving on translation costs is to provide your translator with good material: a description of your target market, an explanation of any jargon used in your industry, and a correct English version of what you want.

Target market

In many languages, different words are used depending on your audience. You might use different pronouns for speaking to children, for example, than you would use if you were speaking to adults. You’re buying translation services, so use the expertise of your translator, who knows this and a myriad of other subtleties of language. By telling her as much as you can about your target market, you’ll be allowing her to make decisions on syntax you haven’t thought of or might not be aware of.

Explanations and style

Every day at work, you use words that are familiar to you but mysterious to anyone who doesn’t do the kind of work you do. An accountant speaks of “costs” for example and distinguishes between “variable costs,” those that change proportional to the volume you produce and “fixed costs,” those that don‘t. He may further distinguish between “standby fixed costs,” those that occur by simply owning a factory whether you make anything or not and “program fixed costs,” those that are locked in once you decide whether to operate two shifts or one, for example. If it’s necessary or useful to use some jargon that your translator may not be familiar with in your copy, explain it. Have your copy read by someone outside your field to point out jargon that you may not even be aware you’re using.

Proofread

English is a complex language with lots of rules of grammar. You think it’s easy because you speak it every day, generally with people who live near you and have the same level of education you have. But you could be making technical mistakes every day that don’t interfere with communication because they are generally accepted by you and your peers, but can shipwreck an exact translation. Get your English copy read by someone who understands the subjunctive case before you invest in translating it.

Using a professional translator is akin to hiring a professional electrician; it may cost a little more to pay someone for something you think you can get done cheaper, but is it cheaper if your house burns down because of something a professional would avoid? Save money on professional translations by providing your translator with a good explanation of your business and a good English starting point.

Exporting to Sweden – 4 facts to help you with the process

ID-100108260As businesses grow, many owners begin to consider expanding internationally, yet it can be difficult to determine the best country for expansion. One country that businesses should consider is Sweden, which the World Bank Report says is the 14th easiest country for doing business. There are several reasons why companies in the United States find it easy to do business in Sweden, with one of the most important being that English is widely spoken in the country. However, there are some things to understand before deciding to expand your business in Sweden.

Economic Growth

Sweden was able to avoid the financial problems that many other countries suffered during the recent economic crisis. Growth remains strong and economic experts predict that the gross domestic product (GDP) in Sweden will be at 2.6 percent in 2015. Unemployment is at 8.5 percent and industries expected to grow over the next few years include advanced manufacturing and engineering services along with information communications technology.

Market Opportunities

There are many market opportunities for US companies to expand into Sweden. The country has had a long tradition of expertise in shipbuilding, mining, life sciences as well as engineering. There is an ongoing demand for products and services that increase productivity, such as IT products, safety, security equipment and, like many countries, cyber security. Sweden is strongly committed to sustainability, so there are many opportunities for earth-friendly innovations. Sweden is an excellent test market for new technologies as citizens are open to new technology. English is widely spoken and the Swedish kroner is strong, making products produced in the US price competitive.

Business Challenges

Despite the fact that Sweden is ranked as one of the best countries for expansion, exporting to Sweden does not come without challenges. There is strong competition from developing countries for market share in Sweden, mainly because as members of the European Union, developing countries are given significant duty reductions in order to promote economic growth in those countries. The Value-added Tax Rate (VAT) is 25 percent on items exported into Sweden. In addition, Sweden has a high cost of living, resulting in much more expensive labor and high individual tax rates. In fact, the individual tax rates and labor costs in Sweden are some of the highest in the world.

Business Culture

The Swedish put a significant amount of credence in punctuality so it is critical that those doing business in the country be on time for meetings and social engagements. If you must be late, it is very important that you call and let the person you are meeting know as tardiness is considered poor etiquette in Sweden. Swedish people tend not to be spontaneous, preferring to schedule and plan their activities. If you are invited to dinner at the home of a business colleague while working in Sweden, gifts are expected. Flowers, wine, cake or chocolate are appropriate gifts. If there are young children, small gifts should be brought for them as well. Swedish companies have less hierarchy than other countries so that managers are more accessible to employees. With less chain-of-command, it is not unusual for an employee to take questions or concerns directly to the head of the company. Employees are permitted to take frequent breaks, known as “fika” throughout the day. Those breaks are sacred and it is not unusual for employees or managers to be unavailable during those times.

For companies considering expansion globally, Sweden offers many excellent opportunities. However, it is important to know some of the challenges you may face and to understand the culture of the business people you will work with should you decide to begin exporting to Sweden. Swedish Translation Services can help you with your marketing message, website and product info to reach the Swedish customer.

Photo Credit: Stuart Miles – freedigitalphotos.net

Cheap Translations Could be costly for your business

Image courtesy of freedigitalphotos.netHigh quality and accurate Swedish translation of your site may be among st the most vital measures to take in the overall improvement of conversion rates if you are aiming for customers in Sweden. In this day and age, businesses online aren’t just an English speaking group of individuals who are able to read anything you have on your website and understand it. Within most instances, around 1/3 of the visitors landing on your website won’t easily understand it.

If you have a desire to do business, whether in the U.S. or on a global basis, it will stand to reason that you must have your site translated into the most typically utilized languages spoken in your target market. Business simply is more global than it once was. I have seen an increase in demand for Swedish translation services over the past couple of years as the Web has begun to level the playing field and permit medium and small sized companies to compete with major companies and to have access to markets situated any place in the world. While many Swedes can read and speak English, they buy in Swedish.

Translation services aren’t all created equally. Most of these services utilize translation techniques which are less than viable for the translation of your important business documents. As that occurs, you open yourself to multiple business problems. It’s essential for a translator to comprehend the culture and the language of the target language for any kind of translation. Comprehending the culture may make a huge difference in making certain your initial message really is understood by your target audience. One simple word for word translation doesn’t always make sense. Some words might possess different meanings, or the message’s context might be highly specific. It may be simple to unintentionally offend your target audience by having the information translated by somebody who doesn’t understand the culture.

Utilizing a professional translator with expertise in your business may result in more than an improved document and a more complete understanding, it may result in bigger return on your investment. Utilizing something less may result in mistakes, errors, and misunderstandings which might cost you lost business or a client. It might seem that utilizing a lower quality or lower priced translation service is harmless, how hard can it be? But the consequences have proven costly.

A handful of the largest organizations compromised their quality and learned a good deal about why they tried saving money on translations and received cheap translations services, and ended up getting what they paid for—poor quality. Especially with documents like legal or medical texts or how-to manuals, having professional translation services which take language, as well as culture and dialect into consideration is imperative.

To learn more about professional translations services, please email Tess with Swedish Translation Services today, or call +1 (801) 792-3918.

Tess Whitty of Swedish Translation Services Now A Certified MITI Qualified Member

Institute of Translators and Interpreters

Institute of Translators and Interpreters

Tess Whitty, of Swedish Translation Services is glad to announce that she is now a certified English-Swedish translator, having passed her certification from the Institute of Translators and Interpreters in the UK. Tess Whitty is now a qualified member of the institute and she provides quality certified translations from English to Swedish and vice versa.

The Institute of Translators and Interpreters in the UK provides their qualified member status to translators and interpreters with an experience of minimum three years in their relevant field and Tess Whitty has received her MITI qualified membership which now certifies her to provide her clients with translations and interpretation services without a hassle.

Linguistic and cultural barriers often make it difficult for companies to market themselves in a foreign market. For US based companies trying to reach the Swedish market and vice versa, it is quite important that they communicate with customers in a way that is both culturally accepted and linguistically correct. Swedish Translation Services, under Tess Whitty, can now provide their clients with certified translations enabling them to reach their targeted markets more easily.

Tess Whitty helps companies and her clients create texts which are culturally adapted so that their targeted customers can understand what the company is trying to offer them specifically. Swedish Translation Services is currently providing services for English to Swedish translations and technical documents and vice versa.

Price for translation services

Price and quality

Price and quality

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