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January 16, 2020 |

5 Ways to Get Your Business Translation-Ready

A company with global reach should consider translation a regular part of its operations. That’s because when you start building multinational relationships, translations are no longer a one-off necessity, but a recurring job. So, getting your business translation-ready is crucial to your overall efficiency. 

Here are five ways to make sure your company is prepared. 

1. Gather the Content that Needs Translating

Initially, it may seem as if you only need to translate a small part of your website to facilitate sales abroad. But soon, you’ll have to handle privacy policy statements, user manuals, and sale contracts–among a million other documents and marketing content. 

The list can go on infinitely, depending on what you sell, where you sell it, and the industry-specific rules you have to comply with. 

So, getting your business translation-ready starts with clearing up what content you’ll have to translate for every local market you’re targeting. You’ll want to have an exhaustive list before starting that will serve as a roadmap for people who get involved in the process. 

This way, you can estimate the scope of your project accurately, as well as calculate translation costs. 

Moreover, when you have all the content that requires translation in one place, you have an overall idea of the work that needs to be done. It allows you to analyze the entire process and make adjustments that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. 

You can also analyze everything that you plan to translate. Correct any errors in the documentation and eliminate irrelevant content. This is a crucial step that saves you time and money in the long run. 

2. Find the Right Partner for the Job

The second thing to define when getting your business translation-ready is who is going to handle translations for you. If you’re changing language service providers every time a new type of document pops up, you’ll end up working with too many people who can’t communicate with each other. This is a recipe for failure in the long run.

Once you know what content you need to translate, you should find a team that can handle it and hand the job over The trick is to work with people who can communicate effectively both inside the team and with you. 

As this is a fundamental step, take the time to go through multiple offers before making your decision. Ask the right questions and analyze all the details that matter to your business. 

For instance, you should check the tools the translators use, whether they’ve done similar projects before, how large the team is, and if the language service provider has a confidentiality policy they comply with. 

Professional accreditations, case studies, and testimonials from previous clients can all help you to better evaluate the candidates.

Whether you choose an agency or a team of freelancers, it’s essential that you get in touch regularly. 

Ideally, you should assign someone from your company to work alongside the translators and the project manager to make sure nothing gets lost on the way. After all, no one knows your company and its interests better than the people who work with you. 

3. Know Your Target Audience

Business translation is rarely just a word-to-word transcription into a new language. Most of the time, translators will have to transcreate content and localize it to match the expectations of a new public. 

To be able to do this job properly, your translators need to know who this public is. So, you’ll have to identify your international target audience before the translation process begins. 

It’s similar to targeting your ideal English-speaking clients, except in the local markets that you’re targeting. You’ll have to conduct market research, in which you analyze local competitors, potential buyers, cultural aspects, as well as the legal environments and multiple other country-specific elements that can influence buying decisions. 

4. Create a Style Guide

The work that precedes the actual translation also includes documentation–mostly on your side. That’s because before you handle the content to your translation team, you must know what you want them to do with it. 

You may not speak all the target languages you’re translating your content to, but you still know what message you want to send out there and how you want to do it. All this information should be included in a style guide and given to translators. 

This document explains who you are as a company, what you do, and why you’re doing it. It gives essential information about your brand, such as the tone and voice that you prefer, as well as style and ways of communicating with people. 

The purpose of having a style guide is to ensure a unique brand voice across multiple markets. Just because you have to adapt to local cultures doesn’t mean you should sell an image that doesn’t reflect your actual values. Your international public might not speak your language, but they do feel your authenticity (or lack of it). 

5. Have a Glossary of Terms

Before you start large-scale translation, you should take the time to create a Glossary of Terms. This preparatory step toward getting your business translation-ready includes working with translators to put together your terminology and translate it into the relevant languages. 

It should give details about the company’s lingo, industry-specific terms, accepted synonyms, and whether you have any preferences on which word should be used in the content. 

Any error in this document can affect the translation process significantly, so make sure you double-check every entry before approving it. This way, you’ll give translators a valuable tool that ensures consistency across multiple languages and speeds up processes. 

For the success of this step, you should see the glossary of terms as an investment for current and future translation projects. 

Getting Your Business Translation-Ready

There’s more to business translation than language-related requirements. When it becomes part of your routine, you should make sure every detail is managed correctly. A good start is the most effective way to create smooth workflows and ensure everyone knows what their tasks and responsibilities are. 

These five steps will help you to prepare your business to translate content and facilitate communication with international partners and clients. The sooner you complete these stages, the better for both you and your partners in translation.