This is a guest post by Alexander Zeller
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 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.