(This is Part Four of the series of mini shares for the New Translation Client – someone or a company who’d never engaged translation services before and now needs to for various reasons. You can access the other articles here.)
If you are doing business overseas, chances are that you will start to procure translation services on a regular basis.
Remember that translation is a part of your company’s branding targeted at a different group of customers defined by geographical and cultural boundary lines. Like copywriting, attention needs to be paid to the translation of your marketing and branding messages so that you don’t make embarrassing faux pas in front of your new customers.
Keeping a record of translation and communication challenges for each individual market is a good start.
These can be expanded in time to include glossaries and style guides for your brand. This minimises the likelihood of your marketing and creative team making the same mistakes from before.
Whilst there is the common saying that we learn from our mistakes, what that is referring to are the unavoidable mistakes. There are many errors that can be avoided.
“Glossaries and style guides keep your company’s brand voice in other languages consistent.”
A glossary includes general and industry-specific terms as well as brand/product names that you might want to keep a record of so that you can maintain consistency in your future translations.
Even if your translation service provider changes, you won’t end up with different names for products and features in different articles or documents that are essentially referring to the same thing.
This keeps your brand voice consistent and professional.
A translation style guide is somewhat like the style guide a branding agency develops for their clients. It includes cultural pointers specific to the language variant and country, as well as standardisation of dates/time/currencies/punctuation etc.
Common cultural and translation errors can also be included so that learnings from past errors can be retained in a more permanent form that can easily referenced in spite of team member changes down the road.
It is never too early to start preparing for your future communication needs in new markets.
For more information, visit Wei.Trans.Create.