In a world that is increasingly online and digitalized, marketing a business globally is not only possible but doable. However, even though English is a global language it doesn’t mean you’ll always be able to communicate effectively with your audience using English alone. If you are looking to expand your audience to areas and groups whose native tongue isn’t English, you might want to hire a professional translator.
Some business owners think hiring a translator is an unnecessary expense. After all, English is a global language that is taught and spoken all over the world. What these business owners do not take into account is that language and cultural barriers persist even where people do have a
basic understanding of English.
Cultural blunders easily go undetected in advertising. Scenarios American audiences find funny, may be offensive to an audience in another culture. A turn of phrase used in American English might not be understood correctly by a person whose second language is English. Not taking
these things into consideration can completely ruin the impact of an ad campaign directed toward a foreign audience. Your best bet for building credibility with foreign audiences, will always be to translate your content into their native language.
If you do decide you want to market your business to an audience with a different language or culture, hiring a professional translator is essential to reach your marketing goals. It isn’t enough to hire a writer who is fluent or bilingual. The ability to read and understand a language doesn’t necessarily translate to ability to market effectively. It also doesn’t guarantee a thorough understanding of the accompanying culture.
Tailoring your content toward a specific area can be helpful in connecting with local audiences, but it’s essential that your understanding of their language and culture is firsthand. If you do not have experience with the area or language, hiring a translator who does, is going to be the difference between making your audience feel seen and making them feel targeted.
What your business has to offer needs to come through with perfect clarity, and a professional translator will make this happen.
If you need to translate certain documents, such as contracts, you want to look for a translator who has legal translations, or legal experience in their portfolios. Language mistakes in legal paperwork can be costly, and you may also lose customers or potential business connections.
As with most things you get what you pay for, and a cheap translator is likely to give you cheap work. Regardless of what you pay, you want to make sure you check your translator’s credentials, portfolio, and references. Fluency, or bilingualism, in a foreign language doesn’t
equal the ability to write convincing marketing copy. If you need a translator with industry-specific experience, like marketing, legal, medical, or advertising, you may need to shell out extra for this too.
Perhaps the most important thing to take into consideration about content translation is the potential for something to go wrong. If the language is one you do not speak, it might be close to impossible to catch mistakes.
Vetting your translator’s experience level and skill is essential, but you also want to ask what measures they have in place for quality control. If the answer is none, you want to keep looking.
Always ask any potential translator for references that had similar work done, and make sure you check them. Ask what kind of processes are in place for mistakes or customer complaints. If a translation agency that does not have a process in place for customer complaints, or doesn’t know how to answer this question, this is a huge red flag.
In the end, catering to audiences of different nationalities will help you strengthen your international recognition and set you apart from your competitors. Translating your content into other languages will also boost your multilingual SEO and improve visibility. With the help of a professional and skilled translator you will be able to reach foreign markets that might otherwise be out of your reach.