All posts by Linguistica International

Public health translation

Public Health Translation: A Matter of Life and Death

As translators, we have to take our responsibilities very seriously. When we’re translating legal documents, the slightest error could have serious and potentially costly consequences for our clients. The same can be said when translating product information and manuals, where the wrong choice of words could give rise to product liability or personal injury claims. However, there are also instances where the accuracy of our translations could be the difference between life and death.

As well as medical translations, we have also produced public health translations for charities and other organisations operating abroad. In this instance, transparent and credible communication is the key to getting the message across. That means there’s no room for ambiguity and certainly no room for error.

The importance of public health information in the real world

Nobody enjoys being injured or ill. If you give people information about how to protect themselves, more often than not they will. However, providing relevant information alone is not always enough. You also have to make sure it’s in a language that the target audience is comfortable with, which is not always the official language in the area you’re targeting.

One example is the recent Ebola outbreak in Africa. One of the biggest obstacles to effectively managing the outbreak was disseminating the information in a way that people would understand. Initially, most of the information for local people was produced in English or French, when in reality only 20 percent of the people in the affected areas spoke either of those languages. That led to widespread miscommunication, with 30 percent of people in Sierra Leone believing Ebola was an airborne disease and 40 percent thinking that salt-water baths were an effective cure.

Translation errors undermine your messaging

Vaccine hesitancy has been recognised as one of the greatest threats to global health in 2019 by the World Health Organization. Over the last few years, the number of people who think vaccines are safe has fallen sharply, and in fact, a global survey of attitudes found that in Western Europe, only 59 percent of people think vaccines are safe, falling to just 50 percent in Eastern Europe. This has led to several major measles outbreaks in a number of countries.

To stem the rising tide of vaccine hesitancy, public health authorities have been disseminating information en masse. In New York City, there are several ultra-Orthodox Jewish communities who do not vaccinate for religious reasons, and that has left them vulnerable to outbreaks.

To increase vaccination rates, the New York State Department of Health produced leaflets in Yiddish. However, according to CNN, the translations were “practically indecipherable”, with spelling, phrasing and grammatical mistakes, as well as incorrect and outdated terminology to describe the symptoms of measles. The errors have been blamed on Google Translate.

Trust matters

Perhaps not surprisingly, the Yiddish messaging in the above example fell flat. Community leaders suggested that “if they can’t even put an ad together right, how are we supposed to believe their science”.

Trust is vital if public health campaigns are to succeed. With so many different sources of information available, you must establish your credibility and use language that people understand, and use it correctly, to really make an impact.

With so much at stake, there’s no other choice!

At Linguistica International we have decades of experience in government, health and medical translation and work to rigorous quality control standards to get your public health translation right. Our quality control process is certified to ISO 9001:2015 standards. To discuss your requirements, please call 02392 987 765 or email today.

Do your translation skills need a boost?

5 Tips to Give Your Translation Skills a Boost

Like most occupations, being a translator is a process of continuous learning. You can never know everything about a language and there will always be words and cultural nuances you encounter that you’ve not seen before. As a general rule of thumb, the more professional experience you have, the better translator you’re likely to be, but even the most experienced translators still have to put the work in to improve their translation skills.

So, what can you do to become the best translator you can be? Here are five simple tips to give your translation skills a boost.

1. Never stop reading

Many of the world’s most celebrated authors put their success as writers down to their insatiable appetite for reading. Miguel de Cervantes, author of Don Quixote, and William Shakespeare, author of… we’ll let you fill in the gaps there… famously read everything within reach. As language specialists, translators should do the same.

Reading as much of your foreign and native language as possible is a simple but effective way to keep your translations current, contextual and accurate. Reading local newspapers, books and journals in your specialist field will allow you to absorb the jargon, trends and events within your chosen language and your field of study. Reading articles translated by your peers and esteemed translators in your field is also a great way to pick up some tricks of the trade.

2. Write your own words

Translators write day in and day out professionally, but many don’t spend time writing anything original. Doing some writing of your own and committing it to paper is an excellent way to practice picking your words and formulating cogent phrases. Once you’ve finished, critically evaluating your writing and editing it where necessary will help to improve your writing and translation skills.

3. Maintain your source language proficiency

Immersing yourself in your target language is a sure way to improve your translation skills, but not if you start to lose your native language as a result. People tend to assume it’s impossible to lose your native language, but like any skill, if you don’t practice it regularly, it will deteriorate over time.

As anyone who has lived abroad for a prolonged period of time will know, the more immersed you are in another language, the more foreign your own language starts to feel. Reading in your native language, listening to podcasts, speaking to friends and family on the telephone and travelling back to your home country regularly will all give your skills a boost.

Here’s an excellent podcast on this subject.

4. Fine-tune your specialist knowledge

At Linguistica International, all of our translators have professional experience in the fields in which they translate. But that alone is not enough to keep them up to date with the latest trends and terminology in their areas of specialisation. Reading industry news and journals and attending conferences all help to build their expertise in those fields and maintain their position as an authority within their chosen subject areas.

5. Translate the other way around

If you usually translate your native language into your secondary language, try doing it the other way around. Doing so will not only improve your knowledge of the relationship between the two languages, but it could also pave the way for you to perform two-way translations professionally, which will further expand the range of projects that are available to you.

Are you a talented translator?

We’d love to hear from you. At Linguistica International, we translate into more than 200 languages and provide translation services for some of the leading brands in the UK. If you’re looking for professional translation work, just give us a call on 02392 987 765 or send your CV to

Technical translations

The Role of Terminology Management in Technical Translations

Have you ever tried to read a manual for a microwave or even the instructions for the thermostat in your home (I’m speaking from personal experience on that one) and found that, although it definitely looks like English, you don’t understand a single word it says?

It’s safe to say that some areas of translation are more difficult than others. At Linguistica International, sometimes we are asked to translate documents in fields such as medicine, law and manufacturing that are highly technical in nature. These technical translations can include a significant amount of industry-specific terminology that the average native speaker on the street would simply not understand.

The role of terminology management

Industry-specific terminology, whether it’s medical, legal or technical in nature, needs to be managed properly. In this type of project, pinning down the terminology that will be used and making sure it’s translated accurately and consistently every time is a major consideration.

To do this, the translation team will put a terminology management system in place. Although the exact system tends to differ from one translator to another, a database or glossary of terms will be created to guide the translators. This can then be built on during further projects for the same client or when completing translations for firms in the same sector.

Having a terminology management system for technical translations is also essential if there are multiple translators working on the same project. It’s not uncommon to use teams of translators to speed up larger projects, but that increases the risk of inconsistencies, which is why it’s so important to create a terminology management system that can be used by the entire team.

The importance of client involvement

Creating a terminology management system should ideally be a two-way process. It’s beneficial for the translation team if they are able to work with the client to reach an agreement about the best terms to use. It’s also valuable for translators to receive guidance about whether abbreviations are suitable or if less technical equivalents can be used to make the document more accessible to a wider group of people.

In most projects, the client’s involvement can be minimal. Simply authorising a glossary of terms can be enough. However, in other cases, a more rigorous approach may be necessary. Translators may need help understanding how certain terms relate to one another and which terms are trademarks, product names or brand names that must remain in the same form in international markets.

What does a terminology management system look like?

Creating a terminology management system for a translation project can be as simple as building a glossary of terms. It does not have to be a drawn-out task that adds to the cost of your translation project. In fact, creating a terminology management system before the translation begins will save you money, allowing the translation team to work more quickly and reducing the requirement for time-consuming edits.

For other projects, it may be necessary to put a more comprehensive system in place. This might include information such as cultural notes that are relevant to the target audience, details of when and how terms should be capitalised and abbreviated and even examples of how they should be used in textual context.

Expert assistance with your technical translations

At Linguistica International, each of our technical translators has professional experience in the industries they translate for. We also create a glossary of terms to make sure every technical translation project is completed accurately and consistently in more than 200 languages.

To discuss your project, please call 02392 987 765 or email today.


Spanish translation services

How Spanish Translation can Boost your Global Expansion

Are you ready to transform your business from a domestic provider into an international superpower? A cost-effective way to expand your business into new markets quickly is to open it up to potential customers from more than one country. Translating and localising your online and offline content for each new market individually demands a huge amount of time and resources. A simple way to deliver the best bang for your buck is to translate it into Spanish.

So, why are Spanish translation services such an excellent starting point for your business’s global expansion?

Spanish spans the globe

Spanish is the official language of 21 countries around the world and the second most spoken language after Chinese. There are more than 600 million native and bilingual Spanish speakers and counting. It’s the official language of countries including Spain, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, Mexico and Venezuela. It’s also commonly spoken in the United States, which has more than 41 million Spanish speakers.

More and more people are learning Spanish

While the number of native Spanish speakers is large enough in itself, there are also a great many people who are learning Spanish as a second language for work, education and travel. In fact, a British Council survey found that Spanish was the most popular language for budding linguists in 2018, with 21 percent of UK adults who were planning to learn a language opting for Spanish. That has helped to make Spanish the third most studied language in the world.

Spanish social media is booming

Social media can be an incredibly engaging and cost-effective way to communicate with existing and prospective customers. Spanish translation services allow you to tap into markets where Spanish is the primary language of communication and connect with your audience in real-time. Currently, there are an estimated 377 million active Spanish-speaking social media users, making it the second most popular language across the social media platforms.

It makes good business sense

Research conducted by the Telefonica Foundation found that bilateral trade increases by around 290 percent if businesses are able to communicate in Spanish. Considering that 54 percent of customers prefer to shop online or in shops that speak their native language, translating your marketing content into Spanish could create tremendous demand for the products and services you sell.

Professional Spanish translation services

Take your business to the next level with professional Spanish translation services from Linguistica International. Our native Spanish-speaking translators, copywriters and proofreaders will help you create engaging marketing content for Spanish-speaking markets around the world.

Call 02393 987 765 or email to discuss your business’s expansion today.

The upcoming translation trends in 2019

5 Translation Trends to Look Out for in 2019

The translation and localisation industry will see extensive growth over the next few years as more and more businesses of every size choose to expand their operations abroad. Forecasts suggest that the global translation industry could be worth an estimated $56 billion by 2021, with a number of emerging technologies and trends helping to fuel that growth.

Here are five translation trends that we expect to drive the translation and localisation service industry over the next year.

1. Artificial intelligence will become more widespread

Artificial intelligence (AI) is becoming more mainstream and influencing a much wider range of business functions. AI in translation is nothing new, but it is expected to grow rapidly over the next year. One of the main advantages of AI in translation is its ability to understand linguistic nuances that other forms of machine translation might miss. Website chatbots that are available in limitless languages is one area where we expect to see significant growth.

2. Video localisation is set to surge

The power of video online is indisputable, with 80 percent of all the online content posted in 2019 expected to be in the form of videos. When businesses have invested in producing high-quality videos, many will quite rightly choose to use localisation services to make sure those videos are seen by customers and clients in as many of their target markets as possible.

3. Machine translation combined with human editing is on the rise

At Linguistica International, we’re not the biggest fans of machine translation when used as a standalone translation tool, simply because the results are not of the quality we’d want to put in front of customers and clients.

However, we’re the first to admit that when it’s combined with human editing and proofreading, machine translation does have its place. If you have a significant number of translations, such as product descriptions, that you want to be performed quickly, and a limited budget, then combining the two can represent a viable solution.

Over the next year, we expect to see a rise in the use of neural machine translation, which uses network-based technology to produce more contextually accurate translations. This, combined with a human editor, can create accurate, culturally relevant translations.

4. More companies will choose to globalise

Research from the Institute of Export and International Trade has found that more businesses are seeking expansion opportunities overseas than ever before. Selling to EU countries remains the most popular trade route for UK businesses (we’ll see whether that changes over the next year or two), but China, India, Indonesia and Vietnam are also proving to be popular markets in 2019.

5. Translation services will generate an improved ROI

With more and more businesses opening up to markets overseas, translation companies are continuing to refine their services and processes and deliver more cost-effective work than ever before. They are using all the available resources and tools to generate the best possible return on investment for their clients. This includes the following:

  • Computer-assisted translation – We create a database that keeps track of repeated phrases, sentences and industry-specific terms so human translators know exactly how to translate those words. Automating part of the process in this way saves time and reduces a business’s costs.
  • Cloud collaboration – Collaborating on the cloud ensures the individual elements of a project move much more quickly and seamlessly than they would via email.
  • Internationalisation – Internationalisation is the process of producing software and applications in a way that simplifies localisation for foreign markets. That can save businesses significant time and money further down the line.

Partner with Linguistica International in 2019

We can cater for all of your translation, localisation, copywriting and proofreading requirements in more than 200 languages. All of the work is completed by native-speaking professional translators with more than five years’ experience. Join the likes of Orange, Manchester United and Santander and partner with Linguistica International in 2019.

How to create a internationally visible website using multilingual SEO

Multilingual SEO: Creating an Internationally Visible Website in 2019

Nothing stays the same; everything must change. Nowhere is that truer than in the rapidly evolving world of SEO.

To borrow from, search engine optimisation, commonly known as SEO, is:

‘The practice of increasing the number and quality of visitors to a website by improving rankings in the algorithmic search engine results.’

Research shows that websites on the first page of Google receive 95 percent of the clicks for the search term the user entered. The higher up the results your website appears, the more clicks and traffic you’ll receive.

The trouble with SEO is that it’s an extremely fast-changing discipline. Google can, and does, change what it thinks makes a ‘good’ website on a whim, and if you’re not meeting those new parameters, your once high-flying website could be banished to the bottom of the pile, leaving you with no traffic, no enquiries and no friends ☹.

So, to keep you up to date with Google’s latest whimsies, we’ve produced this guide to multilingual SEO in 2019.

1. In-depth keyword research is a must

No matter what language you’re operating in, in-depth keyword research is the foundation of every visible website. You need to know exactly what terms consumers in your target market use to search online for the products or services you offer. Simply translating the keyword research you have done for your original site will not do. Even countries that speak the same language can use different terms to describe the same things.

As a quick example, a website optimised for the term ‘flip flops’ might do brilliantly in the UK, but use the same term in Australia, where they’re called ‘thongs’, or New Zealand, where they’re known as ‘jandals’, and you’ll receive very little traffic at all.

2. Cater to the popular search engines in each market

Google might call the shots in most of the world, but there are a number of exceptions, perhaps most notably in China, where other search engines are on top. If you’re creating a website for the Chinese market, then you must take the time to understand the SEO requirements to rank well on Baidu. Similarly, in Russia, it’s Yandex’s boxes that you need to tick. Fail to customise your SEO accordingly and you’ll be left behind.

3. Mobile search and voice search are HOT in 2019

SEO experts expect voice search to be a big deal in 2019. To futureproof your site, you should consider optimising your site for voice search in the languages spoken by your target markets now.

There’s nothing new about mobile search, and if your website isn’t already optimised for users on mobile phones, you’re missing out on a huge proportion of the market. In the US, 41 percent of all web traffic comes from mobile phones. In Asia, that jumps to 65 percent. Talk to your website design team about responsive design, which will ensure that your website works just as well on small screens as it does on desktop computers and tablets.

4. Get it right technically

A big part of your multilingual SEO strategy should be to look at the technical elements of your site. It’s important that you signal to Google that you have multilingual versions of the same website. The best way to do that is to use different URLs for every version of the site. It’s also important that you use hreflang tags correctly to send people to content in their own language.

Get expert advice from our team

At Linguistica International, our translation, transcreation and copywriting services help you optimise your website for all the languages you want to do business in. Give us a call on 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your project.

What are your business translation options?

What are your Business Translation Options?

When it comes to translating your website, articles, product descriptions, brochures, marketing content and other assets destined for overseas customers, there are a number of avenues open to you. But not all of your business translation options are equal. In this quick guide, we’re going to run through the different translation solutions that are available and look at the pros and cons of each.

Ask a bilingual employee

If you’re lucky enough to have a bilingual employee in your team who is a native speaker of your target language, it makes sense to harness their talents to produce your overseas content, doesn’t it? Well, yes and no. You’re paying them anyway, so the translations they produce will certainly be cost-effective.

However, translation is a specialised skill. Just because someone speaks the language, it doesn’t mean that they’ll have the writing skills, cultural fluency or grammatical accuracy to render the source text effectively. If you really need the translated document to read well, only a professional translator will do.

Use machine translation

Why not just get Google Translate on the case? It’s fast, it’s free – what more do you need?

As you can see from the previous blogs we’ve written (Google Translate vs. Human Translator and Google Actively Penalises Machine Translations), Google Translate is certainly not a cure-all for professional business translations. Far from it, in fact.

While it might just help travellers communicate with people overseas, it’s nowhere near accurate enough to produce the sort of translations that you’d want to represent your business. If you want to create a business translation on a really tight budget, you may choose to use a machine translation initially, but you absolutely must have it proofread and edited by a professional translator.

Crowdsourced translations

Could you use the power of crowdsourcing to create a reliable and accurate business translation? If you already have a large community of users, you may consider harnessing their talents to create the translations on your behalf. There are certain benefits associated with this approach, as it can increase engagement with your users and help to build a global community – but most importantly, it’s cheap. In reality, though, the complications usually far outweigh the benefits.

The first challenge you’ll have to overcome is how you’ll organise and manage your team of volunteers. You’ll also have to think about quality control and how you’ll ensure the translations are accurate and reflect well on your brand. Crowdsourcing also deprives you of a relationship with a professional translator who will take the time to understand your brand, get to know your story and has the finesse to communicate your message to your target market overseas.

Hiring freelance translators

Another potential route that businesses can take is to hire a freelance translator and work with them directly. This could be a cheaper option than using a translation agency, and if you check their credentials carefully, you should get a qualified and professional translator. However, there are still a number of potential drawbacks to this approach:

  • Quality control – How do you know the business translation they’ve produced is entirely accurate? Do you have staff in-house who can proofread it? If not, you’ll have to pay for an independent proofreader, too.
  • Project management – You’ll still have to manage the translation project in-house, source and vet the translator, provide a detailed brief and liaise with the freelancer regularly.
  • Amendments – Translated documents often need to be redesigned to accommodate changes in format, script and text length. You will have to go back to the freelancer for every change, which will add to the costs and delay your project.

A professional translation agency

If your business has ongoing translation needs or requires assistance with a large one-off project, then using a professional translation agency may not be the cheapest option, but it often provides the best value. Here’s why:

  • Accountability – At Linguistica International, we assign a project manager to every business translation. They are your first point of contact and are responsible for keeping every project on track.
  • Technology – We have access to translation technology that makes it easier to manage projects and that stores translation memories that are relevant to your particular industry and sector. This makes the translation process more accurate and efficient to reduce your costs.
  • Quality control – We have consistent quality control procedures in place and every piece of copy is checked by the original translator, the project manager and a professional proofreader before it’s released.
  • Data security – We adhere to the latest secure data handling practices to protect your business and your customers.
  • Other services – As well as like-for-like translations, we can transcreate your documents to account for cultural differences and write original marketing copy to appeal to unique target markets.

Contact Linguistica International today

Get in touch to discuss your business translation project. Call 02392 987 765 or email

Cross-border ecommerce

What are the Implications of Brexit for Cross-Border E-commerce?

E-commerce in the UK is an unrivalled success story. Much to the ire of the high street retailers, the domestic e-commerce market is the largest of any country in the EU. British consumers shop more often and spend more than any others in Europe, with 86 percent of internet browsers making at least one online purchase in 2017.

Unfortunately, a little-known phenomenon called Brexit could be the potential stumbling block that threatens to bring the e-commerce success story to a shuddering halt.

What will Brexit mean for domestic e-retailers?

That’s undoubtedly a question that will have crossed the minds of e-commerce operators across the UK. You’ve worked your backsides off to create a successful and profitable e-commerce business. You’ve risen to the top of the search engines, have received endless positive reviews and established yourself as a trusted retailer. Now, something you have no control over threatens to undo all your hard work.

  • Will Brexit affect your sales overseas?
  • Will you have to comply with new regulations?
  • Will UK shoppers buy more goods from domestic sellers?

These are all very good questions. Unfortunately, with the ongoing Brexit turmoil, we don’t have solid answers for you as of yet. However, what we do have is opinions and predictions from the experts at the European eCommerce and Omni-Channel Trade Association (EMOTA) to hopefully bring you some peace of mind.

EMOTA is the European federation that represents online retail across Europe. We asked EMOTA a few questions about the potential implications of Brexit for cross-border e-commerce and sales within the UK.

What does a no-deal Brexit mean for online sellers?

Currently, a no-deal or ‘hard Brexit’ seems like the most likely scenario. In that instance, we expect to see serious disruptions in cross-channel trade as all products have to pass customs, product conformity procedures and other potential hurdles. The likelihood is that it will cause long delays for customers who are waiting for their parcels to be delivered. More problematic still is likely to be the issue of returns. With return rates of up to 50 percent in some product categories, the likely delays could lead to dissatisfied customers and a serious downturn in sales.

What are the implications for cross-border e-commerce in Europe?

In the months following the EU referendum, many UK online retailers actually saw an increase in sales as a result of the falling pound against other major currencies. However, according to the IMRG MetaPack Delivery Index, there was a slowdown in online sales towards the end of last year, with delivery volumes lower than forecasted.

The trouble is that if shoppers are looking for the lowest price, UK retailers will always lose out to China. Moreover, EU shoppers also have to pay customs duties on goods from the UK, and in some competitive product categories such as clothing, these fees can be high. That can negate savings that EU customers might have made due to the weakening of the pound.

Which regulations will be affected?

Many important pieces of EU legislation affect cross-border e-commerce, including the recent GDPR rules, the Consumer Rights Directive, cross-border parcel delivery, a directive banning geo-blocking and more. The UK will not change EU laws that have been accepted and made into national laws, which will make life easier for UK e-commerce businesses. Over time, it may also be the case that domestic legislation is introduced that will be advantageous to British firms.

What are the biggest challenges facing online retailers?

The biggest challenges facing UK e-retailers in a post-Brexit world are undoubtedly the duty and delivery issues. While larger operators will be able to solve this problem by opening fulfilment centres in Europe, smaller operators will struggle until the terms of Brexit are ironed out and it’s business as usual once again.

Helping cross-border businesses thrive, whatever Brexit brings

At Linguistica International, we are dedicated to helping British businesses trade overseas, whatever the future brings. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your translation, transcreation, copywriting, proofreading or telephone interpreting requirements.

How Catering for Minority Languages will Drive Online Sales

How Catering for Minority Languages can Drive Online Sales

English has long been the lingua franca on the web, but as more and more of the world’s population go online, that dominance is diminishing. The proportion of online content in English has shrunk to around 30 percent, while Chinese, Spanish, German and French content is increasing. In fact, between 2000 and 2010, Chinese content grew by a whopping 1,277 percent. But that’s not the growth area we’re interested in.

With global populations increasingly participating online, new audiences are being created who do not speak the 10 most commonly used languages. This is creating an opportunity for what marketers like to call ‘quick wins’.

The growth of online minority groups

Every day, around a million people go online for the first time ever. Much of the English-speaking market is already online, which means that many of those new browsers are minority language speakers. The Indian market is a prime example. In India, a mind-blowing 450 languages are spoken across the country. Although all of those languages are not spoken by an equal proportion of the population, they still represent an opportunity for astute online businesses that are willing to cater for their linguistic needs.

In India, Netflix offers its content in English and Hindi, which are the country’s two most commonly spoken languages. However, local competitors have been able to steal customers away by offering their services in languages such as Tamil and Kannada. Although they are considered to be minority languages, they are still spoken by tens of millions of people.

Tremendous untapped potential

One of the main benefits of targeting speakers of minority languages online is that very little competition exists. The online market in English-speaking countries is saturated with websites that already target those consumers, which makes it time-consuming and costly to produce content that will be able to compete. In much less established online marketplaces, you could create a native language website that jumps straight to the top of the search engine rankings for your key terms and generates traffic instantly.

However, that’s not to say there aren’t also challenges associated with this approach. These new audiences are likely to be novice internet users, which means that their specific needs can be hard to cater for. They may also be based in countries that are difficult to reach in terms of getting your products to their door. For example, in Iran, there are year-on-year internet growth rates of over 130 percent, but trading in such a market could be tremendously complex.

Significant rewards for those willing to take the risk

Despite the costs and complexities associated with targeting minority language markets, for those businesses that are willing to take the risk, the rewards could be huge. The key is to cater for the target market by using native-language content that’s culturally appropriate and engaging, which is precisely where we can help.

At Linguistica International, we can translate and transcreate your existing copy into minority languages, or use our copywriting service to create original content that grabs the attention of your target market. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements with our team.

Businesses exhibiting at international tradeshows

How to Prepare your Business for International Trade Shows

The digital revolution has led many businesses to turn their back on the tried and tested offline marketing techniques they once relied on in favour of online campaigns. While spending on newspaper and magazine advertisements, brochures and events has fallen, the amount earmarked for social media, pay-per-click, SEO and email marketing has soared. But offline marketing is still a contender.

For companies looking to go global, international trade shows can be an excellent way to raise your profile and create brand awareness in a new market. One of the key benefits of trade shows is that they are usually industry-specific, so you can exhibit your wares directly to your target market. The result can be new leads and direct sales opportunities.

But getting ready for the big day requires a lot of work, particularly when you’re going to be exhibiting to some of the industry’s leading lights. Here’s how we think you should prepare.

1. Localise display stands

As soon as your place at the tradeshow is confirmed, you need to think about getting assets like display stands, banners and brochures ready. You don’t need us to tell you that turning up with your straplines and core messages in the wrong language is probably not going to get you very far. Where possible, you need to localise your display stand to meet the preferences of your target market. This includes the translation of everything from audiovisual content to messages displayed on video walls, LCD screens and any other tech you have for the event.

Digital content should also be translated and localised ready for the show. Interactive tablets are often used by exhibitors at international trade shows to help customers learn more about the products and services on offer. Language options should be provided so the audience can access content in a way that suits them.

2. Get print materials on point

The next job is to make sure any take-away information you have is translated and localised for international customers. It doesn’t have to be quite as big a job as it may sound. For example, it could be that you give out your business card as a way for interested parties to get in touch. In that case, it’s useful to have your job title translated and ensure contact information is presented in the right way. Don’t assume that customers will know how to add the correct country code to your phone number to get in touch.

3. Communicating in person

Your display stand and print materials will now look the part, but when interested customers ask you about the products and services on offer, you could have a problem. Thinking about how you will communicate face-to-face with international customers before an event of this kind is essential.

If you have speakers of the target language in your team then make sure you take them along. If you don’t then the fact that so many people speak at least a little English and your marketing materials have been translated will certainly help, but at least learn a few greetings and key phrases in the target language to show that you’ve made the effort.

If you operate in a technical industry, it could also be worthwhile hiring an interpreter for the day with specific experience in your sector. Their knowledge of the key concepts and terminology in the local language could be invaluable.

4. Before and after the event

Before the big day, you should think about how you’re going to promote your appearance at the event and book meetings ahead of the show. Creating a localised landing page on your website that targets event specific keywords could be a good start. It should include details of the event, the location of your stand and a booking form, all translated into the target language of course. Social media updates and email marketing campaigns can also be used to engage customers before the show.

Your final consideration is how you’ll follow up with any new contacts you make at the show. Will you use email to follow up with leads, in which case, will you need a translator? Perhaps a phone call would be more appropriate, and if so, will you need a telephone interpreter so you can discuss the customers’ requirements?

Get all the help you need

At Linguistica International, our professional translation, transcreation and telephone interpreting services will get you ready for international trade shows. Just call 02392 987 765 or email for expert assistance from our team.