The way in which companies conduct business has changed dramatically over the recent years. Today, even a small company from the SME sector can approach and penetrate international markets successfully without having to have a large budget and a big team of experts. With the globalization and developments in technology, approaching new, potential customers and expanding into foreign markets is now more achievable than ever before. Nonetheless, one thing which remains unchanged throughout the years is the fact that people prefer to obtain information in their native language; this is where professional agencies offering translation services come into play.
The good old days when the ‘one-fits-all’ approach was commonly used by business owners who wanted to cut corners seem to be long gone. Today, successful entrepreneurs understand that in order to be competitive within an international market, a more tailored solution is required.
As the world becomes smaller, more and more companies understand just how important local values really are to consumers and that every culture, country and market naturally follows a different set of rules and customs. Consequently, the potential customers within those markets are driven and motivated by different stimuli.
Today, in order to successfully acquire a consumer and convince them to trust your brand, simply showing them a marketing message which worked, even perfectly well, within your home market just isn’t good enough. With the growth of social media and widely available internet the consumers became more sophisticated and now somewhat expect messages, products and services tailored specifically for them.
As this trend continues across international markets, a growing number of business owners understands it and decides to work with professional translation agencies specializing in translating content and materials for the commercial world.
The statistics and data also send a clear message; by 2020 the translation industry is predicted to be worth over £35 billion worldwide.
Working with a translation agency
With these astonishing numbers in mind, a question arises: how crucial are translation services exactly for businesses in 2018, and do business owners predict that translating their company’s materials will become even more significant over the next few years? To establish this and get an expert insight on the matter, we’ve spoken to Adam Miller, the Managing Director for one of London’s fastest growing fin-tech companies. “Typically speaking, translation agencies are nowadays considered as one of the most important business partners for multinational companies, like ours.” He says. “It is often extremely difficult to find a language provider which guarantees accurate translations and fast turnaround times, we’ve been somewhat lucky however. Our company has been working closely with our chosen translation agency for over 3 years and we cannot complain.” He adds that “Translation services are today an inseparable part of our business, not only due to their linguistic knowledge, but also due to their in-depth knowledge about our business.”
Adam isn’t the only business owner who appreciates the importance of a translation agency which can guarantee reliable work. Today, over 60% of London companies asked work directly with their preferred translation provider.
Nonetheless, when it comes to business and marketing translations, linguistic skills often aren’t enough. In order to provide material suitable for international audience, the linguist must also understand the market’s culture and consumer habits.
Cultural, socioeconomic or even political and religious differences between countries and markets can significantly influence whether a company’s international venture will be successful or not. A great example of this could be some Asian or Middle Eastern counties, where symbolism, history and religious views have a direct impact on consumer behavior and play key parts in determining how the market works.
An experienced company providing translation services will be able to determine these nuances and differences between different markets and advise businesses on their material. This can be especially advantageous for businesses translating their marketing materials. Often, a literal translation of such materials is given back to the company. This can be a very dangerous practice as if the company doesn’t have an in-house native speaker of the target language who is able to verify the translation, literal interpretation, especially of advertising material can often negatively affect your company’s image.
Human or machine translations?
One of the most commonly repeated misconceptions is that AI or machine translations are sufficient enough for the business world. Automatic translators such as Google Translate are fantastic tools to translate personal content and be able to communicate with friends and family. For business translations however, it is essential to use a professional human translator who not only has the linguistic skills required, but also understand how your business works and what factors drive your chosen market, which allows them to carefully craft and localize your message so that it is specifically suitable for your target audience.
Translation services are becoming an extremely important part of any business venture, especially for companies which intend to approach foreign markets and customers. Choosing the right company to work with can be a key decision and should be thoroughly planned. A good approach to the problem would be asking translation agencies for sample work, and shortlisting them according to their reliability, price and customer service.