I’ve recently been invited to moderate a panel on social media networking at Translating Europe Forum in Brussels. This was one of my last presentations for a while. Plus, Translating Europe’s goal this year was empowering young translators, so the room was filled with students and recent graduates. Put these two together and you’ll inevitably …
"Some words that have more or less equivalent meanings. We are hardly confined to translate when we speak of that activity, but we can choose a synonym with a different connotation, like render, interpret, or compile".
Companies large and small often see export as a way of strengthening sales performance, and improving profitability. The logic is clear, if you can sell successfully in the UK, surely you can also sell in international markets. Leaving aside product or service specifics, (i.e. suitability for international sale, which is a large topic in itself), translation is often an overlooked “Cinderella” service. Both small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and large companies who are new to international trade often overlook its importance. So why would you translate for international markets?
1. Legal compliance: many products are required by law to... Advertisement
...have certain information on pack, or instruction leaflets, or product labelling, or all three. Quite simply, if the information isn’t in the language (or languages) of the country of sale, you will be breaking the law. We translate in several highly regulated areas, most countries require food labelling to be in the local language, and care labelling is also highly regulated, as is toy labelling.
2. Marketing: many companies never get beyond point 1, electing to get the legal minimum wording translated, if you have a small product, and need to include lots of languages, this approach is very logical, and often unavoidable, but we would argue that marketing is the most compelling use of translation for most products and services. Quite simply, your product may have very compelling features and benefits, but if your customer isn’t aware of them, they are likely to buy something else.
3. Brand image: which brand would you trust more as a consumer, a company who had all their packaging in Dutch, French and German (no English), or a brand who had English on pack? At best you may choose the none-English labelled product if it is substantially cheaper, or if it has compelling other... continued on page two >
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