The convent era in international business, when approaching each of the chosen target markets with the exact same campaign and product was considered suitable, is long gone. Today, some of the world’s leading and fastest growing organisations understand, that in order to successfully penetrate a foreign market, you must approach it in a fully tailored manner. Nowadays, companies such as Nike, Apple or McDonald’s spend plenty of their time and resources in order to ensure that any socio-demographic and cultural aspects are fully considered and completely represented when approaching an overseas audience. One of the most important factors of such method is language, and so a rapidly growing number of businesses decide to partner and work closely with professional translation agencies, which are able to accurately translate content into the market’s target language.
The importance of language
Language plays a key part in practically every culture and country. As societies developed their particular customs, values and beliefs, languages developed alongside them, and so very often they are strongly intertwined with such aspects and can reflect the country’s culture in many ways. For example, many cultures pay a special respect to the elderly or have a very strict hierarchies, for example in the workplace, and so many languages, particularly in Asia, have evolved in order to fully reflect this. On the contrary, majority of the Western and European counties tend to be somewhat more relaxed and so we can also witness this in the way the language is used within societies and hierarchies.
Interestingly, a recent study showed, that more than 90% of EU respondents asked, strongly or very strongly agrees, that they would be more likely to complete a purchase if the brand provided key information in their native language. 25% of people asked said to never buy products if they were not able to read about it in their mother tongue. With studies indicating a strong economy recovery from the recent Covid-19 outbreak, these numbers seem even more significant.
As you can see, the correct use of language by brands and organisations can directly influence how well they do in foreign markets and when trading with international consumers, which is then, as a result, directly reflected in their revenue.
True benefits of translation services
The advantages of working with professional agencies specialising in translation services are today relatively obvious to brands and business owners. With a shift in the way organisations now market themselves internationally, language translations became an inseparable part of business and so a rapidly growing number of companies, both small and large alike, partner with translation providers.
Nowadays, a company which indents to trade with international consumers and business partners approaches their chosen market in a completely different way than they would have done just 10 or 15 years ago. As the world is becoming more and more globalised due to technology advances, although trends and fashions develop across borders, consumers in individual markets now better understand their particular significance within the global marketplace. As a result, they respond better to campaigns, which are highly tailored to their specific customs, beliefs and way of life, and the correct use of their native language is one of the key factors within such approach.
Consequently, working with translation agencies, in many cases, became a priority for businesses wanting to expand overseas and reach international audiences. In order to gain more expert insight into how translation agencies operate and are perceived today and also to better understand which particular language services are nowadays most sought after amongst business, we spoke to a representative of one of the fastest growing translation agencies in London, TS24 UK, which specialises in providing translation services in more than 200 different languages and works with clients across several business sectors.
“The role of a professional translation agency within the business world has changed considerably over the last decade or so. Today, our language services extend to so much more than simple word-for-word translations or interpreting. Our clients fully understand that language is one of the most significant aspects of an internationalisation, and so our agency works closely with them in order to build a strong international presence. Although translating and interpreting are still two of the most popular services we offer, in the recent years we have seen a dramatic growth in clients requiring other language services such as transcreation or multilingual copywriting. As we work solely with native speakers of the target language, a number of organisations also rely on us when it comes to socio-cultural advise.”
What do businesses translate?
The variety of documents and content businesses decide to translate during their internationalisation can be truly astounding. From marketing or promotional materials to legal or internal communication documents – translation agencies must be fully prepared to work with a wide range of different content types.
Often, the way in which businesses intend to approach their target markets can directly impact the type and quantity of materials they would have to translate. For example, if the brand wants to trade predominantly online, it’s imperative that the their focus is directed at accurately translating and localising their website, as in this case, their digital space will be the initial and perhaps only point of contact between them and a potential customer.
Similarly, if the company wants to have a physical presence within the target market, e.g. a physical store, translating other marketing materials such as leaflets, business cards or brochures can be truly beneficial.
Legal documents should also be carefully converted into the market’s native language, regardless of the way the company intends do trade. Translating contracts, warranties or terms and conditions can prove to be truly beneficial in the long run, especially if your organisations runs into any type of problems later on.
Finding the best provider
Deciding which documents and materials to translate can be a challenging task, however, it’s still somewhat easier than finding the right provider for your language needs.
In the UK alone, there are thousands of translation agencies and freelance linguists, each specialising in a particular language or business sector. Discovering one that is suitable for both – your target language and type of documents you wish to convert can often prove to be a very time-consuming task. In addition, if the chosen agency doesn’t provide high quality of work, it can negatively affect your budget and brand image.
There are, fortunately, agencies which work with clients from variety of sectors and are able to translate a wide array of documents into a number of different languages. A great place to start your search for such provider can be the ATC UK (Association of Translation Companies) or CIOL (Chartered Institute of Linguists). Such associations are the official translation bodies in the United Kingdom, and so they list all of the professional translation agencies which have passed rigours evaluation. Other websites – such as Proz.com or Clutch list providers based on their customer reviews, giving you the opportunity to read more about past clients’ experience with the provider before you make a decision.
As you can see, translation services today play a key role within the international business. From converting documents and interpreting business meetings to providing socio-cultural advice – business partner with professional translation agencies for variety of reasons. Nonetheless, their knowledge and expertise often proves to be irreplaceable for businesses wanting to trade globally.