You’ve established your brand and now you want to reach out to new audiences. One of the best ways to approach new clients and customers is to approach them in their native language.
How to Get the Most Out of Your Translations
Not only will translating your content make it easier to find your business internationally, but it will also improve communication between your client and your product. Translating your content isn’t as simple as pasting it into a translating software, there are many things to consider to ensure your message is delivered properly.
Choosing your language
When beginning to expand your business linguistically, it is important to take your time choosing your destination language. It is always a good idea to take a look at your already established customer base and look into what other languages are spoken within it. It also helps to have an understanding of said language in order to resolve any customer service issues that may arise (another solution here would be to hire a customer service representative who speaks the language to handle that for you). Once you’ve decided on a language, it’s time to move on to the next step.
Finding your voice
The written word has an important role to play in the perception of your business. Are you looking to be seen as more formal like a law firm or a doctor’s office? Or are you looking to appeal to the younger generation with a more youthful, relaxed approach to language? All of this is extremely important when it comes to translating your content. It is vitally important to make sure your message is the same across all platforms, no matter who is reading it. In order to do this, make sure to let your translator know who your audience is, how they will be interacting with the content, and whether or not you want them to be spoken to in a formal or conversational manner.
Be sure to keep in mind that there are many dialects and small variations within certain languages. For example, if you are looking to tap into the French Canadian market, make sure you use language local to that community, rather than European French.
What to translate
Next is to consider which parts of your content you’re going to include in your translations. Most would assume all content needs to be translated, but that isn’t always the case. Many well-established brands choose to forego translating their name, most often to keep a consistent brand image. Foundations (The Kidney Foundation/Fondation du rein) and federally funded entities (The Canadian Tulip Festival/Le Festival canadien des tulipes) are both examples of situations where you would want your whole brand name to be translated. Ultimately, unless required by the law, the choice is yours.
If you’re selling a product and it happens to have a unique name that doesn’t translate quite the way you would want it to, you may choose to leave that in the original language as well, as long as you have a translated description of what the product is.
Preparing your text
You’ve gone through all your setup and now you are ready to send your text off to your translator. There is no universal way to format your text, that is up to you and your translator. Short messages or social media posts can usually be sent as is. Longer documents like newsletters and whole websites will usually require some extra formatting. It is always a good idea to mark where elements like buttons occur, as those usually require a lower word count. Speak with your translator to see how they prefer documents to be formatted to ensure the smoothest translation possible. Be sure to include any stylistic choices such as capitalizing every word in a title.
These are just some suggestions to ensure you get the most out of your translation. Above all, make sure to be consistent. If you are looking to translate your content from English to French, contact Karma Creative Solutions and we would be more than happy to provide that service for you.
Bri is a marketing coordinator and translator. She finds joy in taking client ideas and translating them onto the page, screen, or even into a whole other language! With experience in graphic design and web design, she can make your dream brand come to life.