Even though travel has become more problematic since the beginning of the year, the world has grown smaller. With face to face meetings difficult, there is more and more openness to online marketing and video conferences to promote products and services to get the word out. The main obstacle remaining is language, but translation services and language tools can help you reach and sell to new audiences. We’ll consider various ways you can combine these tools and services to make a truly global online marketing business.
Translation Services are at Your Fingertips to Bridge Language Gaps in Marketing
Before you jump on just any translation company that you see online, it’s best to do a bit of research. While you technically save money going with a freelancer or a startup translation company, you’d actually be losing money from poorly translated marketing material; what’s worse is when your target audience sees the mistakes in your copy there’s a large possibility to lose consumer trust. This is it’s advisable to seek help from an established agency.
There are three key things to consider when looking for a company to work with: first, is consistency and quality of output; second is efficiency and fast turnaround times, and third is the specializations they excel in. Prominent, industry-leading companies such as Tomedes, PoliLingua, or Lionbridge are known to provide translation services with expertise in diverse industries and a variety of specific services. By going with an established company, you are eliminating much of the guesswork; and what remains is only a matter of choosing the one that best fits your needs. For example, Tomedes excels in technical translations including medical and legal translations as well as having worked with some of the largest tech brands in the world. PoliLingua’s expertise is closer to international consumer brands and educational institutions. Lionbridge on the other hand specializes in AI and machine translation integration working as a third-party provider of translation API training.
The advantages of working with a translation company as opposed to a freelancer are reliability, coverage, and quality assurance. Essentially a language services agency provides a one-stop-shop for all of your translation needs. You have the security of working with a global organization and having a personal account manager to service you and be accountable for the fulfillment of your order according to the agreed budget and schedule. You will have several people working on your project for each language, usually, a pair of translators, plus editor and proofreader Agencies also guarantee the accuracy of their work for a period of time, so even if a mistake is discovered after the fact, they will fix it immediately.
The main disadvantage of working with translation agencies or localization companies is cost. Because of the overhead of working with a translation company, the project cost will be significantly higher, by 20% up to 100% more. This may be reflected in a higher cost per word or in management fees that may be tacked on. You can find freelancers on Upwork or Freelancer.com and compare their rates, ratings, and reviews to find one that meets your translation. If you are lucky, you will hook up with a professional translator who can deliver a secure translation that meets your needs.
How Do You Use Translation Services Most Efficiently
If you have already selected a freelance translator or translation agency, the next step is planning your localization strategy. Some of the questions you need to answer are:
Which markets make sense to go after first with secure translation?
In many cases, you will have a good idea about this to start with, but don’t be afraid to consult with your translation or localization agency about this. Often they will have on-staff digital marketing experts laser-focused on the translation need in various regional markets and can offer free consultation as part of the preparation for your project. Or consult with an online marketing agency in your candidate market. Do your homework first and save yourself headaches later.
Before you translate, which languages are your targets in those markets?
Sometimes we assume that the majority language is the way to go in a given market, but that is not always the case. For example, French Canadians is a geographically focused and cultural homogenous market compared to predominantly anglophone Canada. The fast-growing Spanish-speaking segment of the United States may also be worth pursuing in addition to Latin America.
Are than any landmines you need to watch out for in translation?
Don’t assume that a foreign market is just like you except for the language. There are loaded words that can provoke and offend in any language. Consult with a trusted native speaker and have them review every translation before it is published.
Are there free translation tools and online translation services you can exploit?
The answer is a cautious yes. The quality of machine translation has come a long way in recent years. Google Translate, for example, is useful not just for text to text translation needs. it can also be used for simultaneous voice interpretation and camera translation of images.
Using translation software is fine for internal research and routine communications. But never rely on algorithms to render valuable marketing content. Machines have a long way to go before they can rival expert human translators in quality and reliability. So for published works, never trust software. Instead, employ not one but at least two professional translators, freelancers, or translation agencies, to vet what the public will see. If not, you risk your company’s reputation getting lost in translation.