Thanks to the internet, it’s very easy these days for businesses of virtually any size to reach overseas customers. That’s why it’s important to understand the essentials of localization, internationalization, and translation.
Don’t rely on ineffective online translators to communicate your brand’s message to a foreign market. They often provide mistranslations, and they don’t leverage an understanding of cultural nuance. It’s much more effective to coordinate with professionals who can translate and localize your brand’s message for another audience. Here are just some of the ways they can help.
The more people your marketing materials reach, the more customers you stand to gain. Because marketing often requires understanding the culture of your target audience, it’s important to find specialists who are familiar with that culture and population.
Every business needs a website now. If your website isn’t properly translated for overseas customers, your organization might as well not exist in that market. For instance, according to surveys, ecommerce customers generally prefer making purchases from sites in their own language.
Making sure your content is graphically consistent for all audiences ensures that customers consuming it in one language have essentially the same experience as customers consuming it in another language. After the text portions have been properly translated, you may still need to make adjustments to graphs, tables, and any other graphics you choose to include.
Customers rely on your technical documents, like a user manual, when they need more information about how to use your products and/or services. You’re putting your foreign customers at an unfair disadvantage if they don’t have access to these kinds of documents in their own languages.
If failing to properly translate technical documents is unfair for your clients, failing to properly translate legal documents is unfair for your entire organization. A mistranslation could result in significant legal consequences.
A minor translation error in a a quarterly report for Sharp sparked fear in many shareholders when the mistranslation led them to believe the company was in dire financial straits. Don’t let this happen to your business.
If your work involves regularly meeting and speaking with people who don’t share your language, it helps to have an interpreter with you to facilitate easier communication.
When it’s easier to reach foreign customers, it’s also easier to recruit foreign employees. Those employees must have access to training materials and other internal documents in their native tongues. This type of eLearning translation isn’t simply a matter of convenience; employees of a Colorado vegetable wholesaler successfully sued the company by proving the official harassment policy was not made available to them in their language.
No matter what industry you work in, odds are good you could benefit from localizing and translating your content. However, if you’re serious about expanding beyond your current borders, make sure you coordinate with professionals who have the necessary expertise.
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