The translation of marketing texts and the localisation of marketing communications are complex processes. Although the translation of text intended for marketing a product or service is a translation, just as the translation of, say, medical documentation or contracts, the translation of marketing content is different. More important than translating the words is conveying the ideas found in the source language into the target language in a way that both promotes sales and reads as fluently as possible. Translators of marketing texts are, above all, excellent writers who are able to create marketing content that is catchy and interests the target audience.
When a company enters new markets, it needs marketing material that is suitable for that specific market. It’s only natural, then, that the first texts to be localised are often related to marketing. Typical places to start are websites, brochures, packaging texts and advertising campaign materials. At Delingua, we are very familiar with these text types as our project managers, translators and editors work with them on a daily basis.
Delingua’s Top 6 tips for ordering translation of marketing texts:
Analyse the source text
First of all, you should make sure that all of the text serves its purpose in the target market as well. For example, references to public figures, phenomena or cultural conventions of the company’s home market are not necessarily recognisable to people who live elsewhere. If the source text contains humour, it’s a good idea to consider if the tone and style are appropriate for the target market. In addition to these general points, there may be more language-specific questions to consider. For instance, in Finnish, there is only one gender neutral pronoun used to mean both ‘he’ and ‘she’. Therefore, characters may appear in Finnish texts whose gender remains unknown to the reader, but in other languages you may need to make a choice between genders.
If you feel that a standard translation is not enough to convey your message to the target market, the answer is possibly transcreation, that is, a more creative form of translation where the text is thoroughly reviewed and edited to fit the target culture and its conventions. With transcreation, collaboration and dialogue with the author of the original text is necessary to achieve the desired end result.
Before starting the translation work, it’s important to determine the extent to which you’d like the text to be edited, in order to make sure that the end result matches your needs. It’s much more cost-effective to make the text meet your requirements first time around. Negative feedback from target market customers and editing the text after the product or service has been launched is significantly more expensive.
Determine your target group
Tell your translation agency which market area and target group the translation is aimed at. For instance, is your software company’s English-language material primarily aimed at all international visitors to a trade fair or at Scottish consumers? In many cases, the first marketing content is written with an eye on a group of experts, retailers or wholesalers rather than actual consumers or end customers, which will affect not only the tone of voice but also the use of specialist terminology. If this is the case, make sure to get this information passed on to translators. In the case of languages that are spoken more widely around the world, it’s also important to let your translation agency know which language variant you prefer.
Ensure the use of desired terminology
If the marketing text is the first or one of the first pieces of material from the company written in the target language, it’s a good idea to first discuss the desired target language terminology with the translation agency and decide on preferred terms before starting the translation work. If texts related to the product or service have already been localised in the target language but no marketing content has been written, it’s a good idea to decide on whether the same terminology should be used in marketing materials or whether they should first be reviewed with an eye on Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Multilingual SEO is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways of ensuring the success of your marketing efforts in new target markets. We always consult target market specialists in marketing content translations.
Schedule enough time for the translation
The translation of marketing content takes more time than many other text types. We want to choose the translator who best knows the conventions of both your home and target markets and who is therefore able to produce the best translation of your text. With this in mind, you should leave some room in the translation schedule as the translator may not be available immediately.
If you choose one of our optional services, copy-editing or transcreation, for your marketing content translation, you should schedule some extra time for this as well.
Tell us about any character count limits
Is your idea to fit the marketing translation in an elaborately and skillfully designed brochure or on side of a package? In such cases, it’s especially important to let the translation agency know if the target language text has to fit in the same space as the original. It’s also worth keeping in mind that it’s best if the translator can work directly with the layout file. At Delingua, we can also create layout files for your target-language material or review your final layout to make sure the material looks as good in the new market as in its country of origin.
Decide if you need translations for slogans or taglines
Slogans rarely work when translated. If your company has a great slogan in English, for example, it usually takes at least thorough editing to localise it into the target language, and sometimes it’s best to create a completely new slogan in the target language. International marketing textbooks are filled with examples of translated slogans with catastrophic outcomes. Therefore, when deciding on the translation of a slogan, in addition to translating, make sure that language specialists in the target country are consulted.
With a professional localisation and translation partner, you’ll get your message across in the target market and grow your sales. We hope that these tips are useful for the next time you order a translation of marketing content!