Get your international export labelling right of there'll be no gifts this year

Your International Export Labelling Checklist

With the festive season upon us, we thought we’d take the opportunity to share something that would really get you in the mood. And it doesn’t get much more Christmassy than international export labelling!

Those of you who think that export labels are just about the antithesis of Christmas are about to be proved very wrong. We all know Father Christmas is real – that goes without saying – but he can’t deliver every gift we’ll receive this Christmas. Sometimes there’s just not enough room in the sleigh. That’s where international shipping can help.

If Christmas is going to be one to remember this year, then it’s essential that all the international companies you’ve been ordering from get their international export labelling right!

International export labelling 101

As UK exporters will know, every market has its own set of rules. However, no matter where your products go, some rules are relatively constant. This includes the following:

  • Language

It’s a universal rule that all labels must be printed in the official language or languages of the destination country. All the information included on your labels must be translated accurately, as any errors could put your products in violation of local rules. The most notable exception to this rule is a trademark. Trademarks can still be written in English, but only if they have been registered in English in the destination country.

  • Country of origin

The vast majority of destinations require products entering the country to be labelled with their country of origin in the local language. For example, products in the UK but are shipped from China, must be labelled ‘Made in China’. The best practice is to use the most recognisable abbreviations, such as the ‘UK’ or ‘US’, where they exist.

  • The name and location of the manufacturer, packer or distributor

Many countries also ask that the name and location of the manufacturer, packer or distributor are included on the export label. This is known as the ‘declaration of responsibility’, as it provides the details of the party responsible for introducing the product in package form. If the responsible person is a business, then the label must list the legal name of that company.

  •  Product descriptions

The requirement for product descriptions depends largely on the type of product you’re selling and the destination country. However, you’ll typically need to include details of the contents of the product in the local language, along with the net quantity of the item in the measuring system of the destination country.

  • Compliance marks

Some products must also be labelled with a compliance mark, which signals that the product complies with a regulatory standard in the destination country. For example, any product in a category that’s covered by a CE mark must display that mark on its label if it’s to be sold in the EU.

What if you get your international export labelling wrong?

If you do not include the required information on your export labels or it’s not translated accurately into the local language, then your products may not make it through customs. This will lead to significant waste, high costs and unhappy customers.

At Linguistica International, our export labelling translation experts ensure  thatyour products comply with the relevant regulations before they’re shipped. To find out more, give us a call on 02392 987 765 or email today.

Could Southeast Asia be Your Next Overseas Ecommerce Market

Could Southeast Asia be Your Next Overseas Ecommerce Market?

With new internet users coming online all the time, and a young population with lofty consumer ambitions that local retailers can’t satisfy, Southeast Asia holds plenty of promise for online retailers.

Southeast Asia consists of five dominant countries including Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam and the Philippines, each boasting a large population and a vibrant economy. It’s also made up of some much smaller but very wealthy territories such as Singapore and Brunei. Much of this region already has an established ecommerce sector, but it’s the scale of its growth that’s creating so much interest from domestic ecommerce retailers.

The opportunity

Every month, nearly four million people go online for the first time in Southeast Asia, adding to the 350 million existing internet users. There’s also an increasingly urban population with incomes that are steadily rising, meaning many consumers have money to spend but are unable to find domestic retailers that can meet their needs. That makes cross-border ecommerce an increasingly common solution.

The majority of people in Southeast Asia access the internet from their smartphones rather than computers. Therefore, a mobile-first strategy essential for any online retailer intent on cracking this potentially lucrative market. Social media is also a significant influence, with many businesses using social ecommerce as a sales channel they can access relatively easily and cheaply.

The challenge

Although the Southeast Asian ecommerce market looks extremely promising for UK retailers that are looking to expand overseas, there are also plenty of challenges they’d have to overcome to make the move a success.

Some of the countries that make up the region have low levels of participation in the formal banking system, making online transactions difficult. In some parts of the region, people also lack the formal ID necessary to become part of the banking system. In other areas around the world that are underbanked, fintech has provided mobile-friendly solutions such as bank transfer apps and digital wallets, but these are still underused solutions in Southeast Asia.

The logistics could also prove to be a challenge for smaller firms. As yet, there is no reliable, low-cost logistical infrastructure in place across the region, so companies have to rely on a patchwork of local providers. For that reason, you’d have to seriously consider how you’d deliver your products to consumers before giving your overseas expansion the green light.

The important role played by messaging apps

To successfully enter the Southeast Asian ecommerce market, domestic firms will also have to change the way they market their products. Rather than relying on online content and search engines, Southeast Asian consumers predominantly use ecommerce apps, which fuse social media, messaging apps and shopping, to browse online and buy.

An example is LINE, a Japanese messaging app that’s incredibly popular in Southeast Asia, which combines the messaging facilities you’d expect from WhatsApp with mobile payments, music streaming and shopping tools. This type of app gives Western retailers a unique opportunity to engage with Southeast Asian consumers in ways that would not be so successful in their domestic markets. This presents a content challenge for businesses entering the region, but also a huge opportunity for those that can get it right.

Ultimately, it’s the customer experience that will determine whether your ecommerce marketing efforts are a success. Gamified and user-generated content typically performs well in the Southeast Asian market and customers must be served in a language they’re comfortable with. As more and more online retailers flood into this extremely promising market, it’ll be those that understand and meet the demands of local consumers and cater to their specific needs that get ahead.

Moving into the Southeast Asia ecommerce market?

At Linguistica International, we provide a leading range of professional translation, transcreation and copywriting services so you can speak your customers’ language, wherever they are. Call 02392 987 765 or email today to discuss your requirements with our team.

The Impact of Culture on Buying Behaviour

The Impact of Culture on Buying Behaviour

Language is not the only factor you need to take into account when expanding your business into overseas markets. As we all know, culture has a huge influence on our thought processes, but recent research has shown that it also affects our buying behaviour.

Our culture shapes how we perceive the world around us, our place in it and how we make decisions. Add all that together and it’s sure to play a big role in how we consume goods and services. In some cases, that could manifest in an obvious way. For example, some cultures are prohibited from consuming certain products such as alcohol and meat, while cultural preferences may determine styles of clothing and the household products we buy.

However, in other cases, it’s much more subtle. Inherent cultural biases influence elements of shopping, such as trust, social interaction and time orientation (whether a culture tends to focus on the past, present or future), and this can alter our buying behaviour.

Which cultural elements influence buying behaviour?

Culture is something that consumers are rarely aware of, but it influences what feels right, normal and desirable to them. To be successful overseas, retailers must be aware when they are asking consumers to swim against their cultural tide and understand the changes they can make to bring their product or service back within their consumers’ comfort zones.

The following cultural elements may impact buying behaviour:

  • Masculinity vs. femininity – Masculine cultures are more competitive, and material rewards for success are expected. Feminine cultures have a preference for cooperation, modesty and quality of life.
  • The power distance index (PDI) – How does a society handle inequalities among people? People in societies with a large degree of power distance accept a hierarchical order, while those with low power distance strive to equalise the distribution of power.
  • Individualism vs. collectivism – Cultures that exhibit individualism are expected to take care of only themselves and their immediate families. Collectivism represents a preference for a tightly knit society where relatives or members of particular groups look after each other.
  • Uncertainty avoidance index (UAI) – This is the degree to which a society feels uncomfortable with uncertainty and ambiguity. Cultures with a strong UAI maintain rigid codes of belief and behaviour, while weak-UAI societies have a more relaxed attitude to new ideas.
  • Long-term vs. short-term orientation – Societies that score low prefer to maintain time-honoured traditions and norms, while those with higher scores welcome modern education to prepare for the future.
  • Indulgence vs. restraint – Indulgent societies allow the free gratification of basic human drives related to enjoyment and having fun. Restrained societies suppress the gratification of needs and regulate it with strict social norms.

You can read more about the six dimensions of national culture here.

How does culture impact buying behaviour?

Researchers have conducted some intriguing studies on how cultural elements impact the buying decisions of consumers. For example, a study by the University of Hong Kong found that the Asian cultural emphasis on saving face meant that even low-income consumers buy luxury brands.

Another study explored the tendency of consumers in Western and Asian markets to make impulse purchases. It found that ageing was a factor that was likely to reduce the propensity to make impulse purchases in Asian consumers, but it had no effect on Western consumers. Instead, it was cultural elements such as risk avoidance that were more likely to reduce impulse buying in Western markets.

What impact does culture have on your marketing campaigns?

It’s extremely difficult to adopt the mindset of a completely different culture, particularly if the goal of a brand manager is to persuade a new audience to change its buying behaviour. For that reason, really making the effort to understand the cultural frameworks that are at play is imperative before launching a product or service into a new market.

While academic research can play its part, it can be hugely challenging to translate academic research into actionable insights for your brand. Instead, working with a professional localisation and translation team can help. As natives of the overseas markets you’re trying to target, they will instinctively know the right and wrong ways to get your brand’s message across.

Localised marketing with a global impact

At Linguistica International, our native translation and transcreation experts will help you create marketing messages that appeal to the cultural sensitivities of customers in your target markets. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your project with our team.

A picture of a robot - Can you really leave your multilingual customer service to this guy?

Can Chatbots Deliver Multilingual Customer Service?

In today’s global economy, you must put provisions in place to support a global customer base. By engaging your customers in their native language, you boost conversions and build brand loyalty. But creating a multilingual customer service team that can handle all of your customers’ questions, queries and complaints will require a significant investment. If only there was a cheaper way to support your domestic and overseas customers…

What is a customer service chatbot and how can it help?

A customer service chatbot is a tool that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to answer customer questions via a live chat messenger. Chatbots use the existing information and resources you have, such as frequently asked questions (FAQs) pages and knowledge bases, to answer queries and offer help. They can answer multiple forms of the same basic customer questions and be trained to give instant responses in your chosen voice and tone.

You might choose to use a multilingual chatbot if:

  • you have a growing base of international customers
  • you’re unable to provide 24/7 support in your customers’ native language
  • customer service support is required across multiple channels (e.g. social media, website, apps, etc.); and
  • you cannot afford to provide customer service at the necessary scale

Are customer service chatbots truly multilingual?

Although chatbot technology is improving all the time, until now much of the research has been focused on natural language processing and enhancing their ability to answer more complex queries. As a result, improving the language diversity of chatbots has been somewhat left behind.

A lot of the work that goes into creating chatbots has inevitably been focused on a business’s domestic language. This means that most of the improvements have been made in majority languages such as English and Mandarin. Second languages for chatbot development tend to be those that are spoken by the widest customer base – typically languages such as Spanish and French.

That has created language inequality when it comes to multilingual customer service, with speakers of more minority languages – even those with tens of millions of customers – being poorly catered for.

Chatbots cannot replace your multilingual customer service team

Although chatbots can reduce some of the load that your customer service agents have to bear, they cannot, as yet, replace them entirely. Where chatbots are incredibly valuable is in answering simple questions quickly, which frees up your customer service agents to focus on the more complex queries that chatbots would not be able to handle.

Chatbots are also no replacement for an interaction with a real human. If someone is feeling confused or frustrated by your product or service, chatbots can never give a genuine “I’m sorry” or take the necessary steps to make a situation right.

For that reason, you must view chatbots as a support system to help your customer service agents. Used in this way, they can have major benefits for your multilingual customer service function and improve your customers’ interactions with your business.

Customer service support in every language

At Linguistica International, our translation, transcreation and copywriting team can help you create multilingual customer service content that can be your customers’ first port of call for the assistance they need. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements with our team.



Translation sectors

Professional Translation Services for Diverse Industries

We hope you’ll forgive us, but in this edition of the Linguistica International blog, we’re moving away from our usual brand of translation-based articles to focus on something more important – us!

We’re often contacted by prospective clients who want to know whether we can provide translation services in their sector, and our answer, invariably, is yes! To help clear up any confusion, we thought it would be well worth providing a little more information about some of the industries and sectors we serve.

Some of our sectors

It’s important to note that the following is just a small sample of the major industries we serve. We also provide translation services to businesses in industries as diverse as football and fashion.

• Digital marketing translations

One of the most common services we provide is the translation and transcreation of marketing materials for digital marketing agencies and in-house digital marketing teams. The internet has made it easier than ever for businesses of every size to engage with international audiences. We facilitate that process by creating digital content that reflects the culture, the regulatory nuances, and of course, the language of your target market.

• Retail translations

We work closely with a number of international retailers to help them maximise their sales by opening up their brands and products to as many customers as possible. Our translation services for retailers include language translation, international regulatory alignment, labelling solutions and everything else you need to boost engagement in overseas territories.

• Technology translations

The technology industry is one of the fastest-growing industries in the world, so it’s essential that tech companies have a translation provider they can trust to put the appropriate language infrastructure in place, fast! We work with a diverse range of businesses across the tech sector, from telecommunications to cloud computing, to address the linguistic challenges and opportunities they face.

• Legal translations

We provide specialised legal language services to law firms, in-house counsel, legal professionals and more. Many of those services go beyond straightforward translation and include summary translation, certified translation, notarised translation, sworn translation and apostille translation. We use legal translators with experience of working as legal professionals to ensure the accuracy of all our translation work.

• Central and local government translations

Our reputation for accuracy, security and reliability has led us to provide translation, transcription and interpreting services for local and central government organisations. Our staff have undergone rigorous recruitment procedures, including reference checks, qualification checks and DBS checks and all our work is fully GDPR compliant, so confidentiality is assured.

  • Pharmaceutical and medtech translations

Our global network of pharmaceutical and medtech experts will work with you to manage complex linguistic challenges and prepare your products for market in more than 250 languages. Whether it’s translating clinical trials and patient records or medical product packaging and manuals, our specialist medical linguists are ready to help.

Contact Linguistica International today!

Is your business limited by language? With professional experience in their specialist industries and more than five years’ translation experience, we are ready and waiting to help.

Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements with our team.

The challenges presented by Japanese translation

What Makes Japanese Translation so Challenging?

With the Rugby World Cup upon us, we thought we’d look towards the Land of the Rising Sun to discuss some of the challenges of translating for the Japanese market.

Japan is an economic and commercial powerhouse, with the third-largest market in the world and a GDP twice the size of the UK. This means that there are excellent potential returns for businesses that can successfully bridge the cultural and linguistic chasm.

Around 450 UK companies currently have a base in Japan producing goods that include pharmaceutical products, electrical machinery, insurance, business and financial services and much more. Everything from large multinationals to smaller family companies are finding success in this lucrative and varied market, but given the challenges, there’s also a significant risk that your expansion could go wrong.

We’ve helped many businesses translate and localise for the Japanese market, and with the help of our mother tongue translators, we’ve compiled a list of the challenges it brings.

1. Translations are rarely literal

There are many words and phrases in the Japanese language that do not have literal translations in English, and that makes life difficult for our team of Japanese translators.

One of the primary challenges is writing messages in English that make sense in Japanese, and vice-versa, while still retaining the original meaning. This is something that the US firm Taco Bell discovered when branching out into Japan. Its ‘Crunchwrap Supreme – Beef’ became the ‘Supreme Court Beef’, while its ‘cheesy chips’ became the perhaps Freudian ‘low-quality chips’.

2. Cultural nuances are a constant challenge

Professional translators must pay close attention to cultural nuances with every translation they perform. However, this is particularly true of the Japanese language, where the country’s culture is so ingrained in its language. For example, Japanese grammar expresses a sense of politeness and formality that can be difficult for a translator to capture unless they’re a native Japanese speaker.

3. Pronoun choices require serious thought

In the English language, and in many other languages for that matter, choosing the right pronoun is a very simple thing to do. In Japanese, it’s not. Some Japanese expressions provide no contextual clues about the gender of the person being referenced, which makes it very difficult to choose the correct gender-specific pronoun to use.

4. There’s nothing to distinguish between singular and plural nouns

As Japanese nouns do not distinguish between singular and plural forms, there’s often no way to determine whether a word is meant to be singular or plural without looking at the wider context. However, at times, the wider context offers no assistance, which makes the translator’s job all the more difficult. With no plural nouns, the method of counting also frequently changes, even when using pronouns and adjectives.

5. The irregular placement of subjects and verbs

In Japanese, there are many grammatical rules that are less intuitive than in other languages. This is true of the placement of subjects and verbs.

In English, the subject and verb usually appear towards the beginning of a sentence, while in Japanese, verbs are placed at the end of a sentence. Subjects are also not always implicitly stated, which again makes the context of the sentence all the more important.

Experience is vital

With such a varied range of challenges and the cost of making a mistake so high, you need a Japanese translation team you can rely on to get it right.

At Linguistica International, we have helped many firms, large and small, to take their first steps in the Japanese market. To discuss your Japanese translation project, please get in touch with our team on 02392 987 765 or email today.

eLearning courses

The Translation and Localisation of E-Learning Courses

The internet has opened up a tremendous range of opportunities to people who may not have been able to access them before. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in the education sector. E-learning has taken the world by storm. Market research firm Global Industry Analysts predicted that e-learning would be a $107 billion global industry by 2015, and it was. Now the same firm has forecast that the industry will triple in size by 2025, growing to $325 billion in revenue.

Today’s consumers are hungry for information at their fingertips. eLearning gives them access to that information in just a few clicks. That’s why we’ve seen such rapid growth in the e-learning sector and industry-specific education courses that are developed to train employees and teach clients about end products and services. But with e-learning videos, written documents, slideshows, quizzes, tests and examinations more in-demand than ever before, what can you do to make sure you’re capitalising on this growth?

Bringing your e-learning content to the masses

English might be the most widely spoken language online, but it still only accounts for about 25 percent of the world’s internet users. To get the widest possible audience, the translation and localisation of e-learning courses is key.

At Linguistica International, our translation and localisation teams are on hand to make your e-learning courses both globally relevant and relatable to your target market. We work to ensure that the language and references used throughout the course are culturally accurate and available in the learner’s native tongue to help you attract an international audience.

The benefits of the translation and localisation of eLearning courses

Here are just a few of the benefits of the translation and localisation of e-learning courses:

• Scalability

Working with a professional translation agency will turn your English language e-learning courses into a product that’s accessible around the world. You can increase your audience size exponentially without having to generate new content, which, as you know, takes time and costs money. You can continue to localise your course for new markets as you grow to continually expand your reach.

• Increase course consistency

Localised content for every region ensures that you deliver the most accurate and relatable course material to every customer. Our localisation team edits the course material to adapt and eliminate references, images, ideas and messaging that is not easily translatable or understandable in each market and standardises units of time and measurement. The copy is then expertly translated by our mother tongue translators and checked by our professional proofreading team.

• Open up your material to a globalised workforce

Companies are increasingly using e-learning as an inexpensive and convenient way to train their workforce and deliver job-appropriate education. The translation and localisation of e-learning courses allows employees from all over the world to access your content and shows your organisation’s commitment to their professional and personal development.

• Boost course competency

The translation and localisation of eLearning courses is much more than a word-for-word translation of your material. We add culturally appropriate nuances, images and ideas that the audience is already accustomed to. Having to learn and retain information in a second language and make sense of cultural norms they are not familiar with can negatively impact the audience’s speed and accuracy of learning. By localising your content, we make sure all learners have an equal chance to shine, which will motivate them to continue their education or training with you.

Attract a global audience for your e-learning content

We offer high-quality e-learning localisation for everything from online and interactive content to scripts, assessments and more. Call 02392 987 765 or email today to discuss your requirements with our team.

A busy street in Tokyo with localised marketing messages in the background

Why Localisation is the Key to Successful Marketing in 2019

Personalisation and localisation from online pioneers such as Amazon, Facebook and Google have revolutionised the user experience. These days, customers value content that has been tailored to meet their specific preferences above all else.

Privacy has become a huge issue for today’s consumers, with 70 percent of millennials believing that no one should have access to their data or online behaviour. Yet, in the same breath, 25 percent of those consumers said they would be willing to trade that privacy for relevant advertising, while 56 percent said they’d share their location data for coupons and deals. Clearly, in this day and age, even the most privacy-conscious consumers are willing to trade their data for tangible benefits.

With privacy being put on the backburner and customer experience set to trump price and product as the key differentiator by 2020, localisation is becoming a hugely powerful marketing weapon for online businesses, and here’s why.

Brand loyalty is dead

In 2019, businesses can no longer rely on the loyalty they once benefitted from to keep them afloat. A Gallup survey found that brand loyalty is not something that resonates with younger consumers. In fact, just 25 percent of millennials and 28 percent of generation Xers admit to being emotionally and psychologically attached to a brand. With such low levels of customer engagement across a diverse range of industries, companies need to rise above traditional marketing methods to make their content stand out more than ever before.

When we talk about brand loyalty, we’re not referring to a love of a specific make of car or clothing brand. We’re talking about the loyalty and trust that makes customers comfortable buying a product they’ve never seen away from their computer screen or tested out themselves. This kind of trust is built over time and comes from the proven and consistent quality of your messaging. This is where localisation is key.

Localising for an omni-market world

The internationalisation of online commerce means that companies are no longer operating in silos. To make the most of the borderless online world, they must localise their messages to reflect cultural differences. For example, in regions where a hierarchical society is valued, promotional materials showing executives in discussions could garner results. In societies that are more egalitarian in their nature, images that portray equality across the company are more likely to resonate with the target market.

This cultural localisation should be present in everything from the images and written content of marketing messages to seemingly trivial design choices such as the colours that are used. For example, in the American market, the colour yellow is associated with cheeriness and warmth, while in Germany it symbolises jealousy, and in China, pornography!

Language has a predictably important part to play in the localisation of marketing messages. Common Sense Advisory has reported that 72 percent of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites that are written in their own language. So, regardless of the company’s country of origin, they must present content to their audiences in the language they prefer.

Taking the next step in localisation

To be successful internationally, marketing departments must reinvent themselves and produce omni-market strategies that meet the demands of their customers. They must analyse machine data and align disparate departments to produce cohesive international strategies that capture the loyalty and attention of consumers in every market.

Removing the language barrier will undoubtedly be challenging, but ultimately, the opportunities it creates will be well worth the effort.

Reach your customers in any language

At Linguistica International, our translation and localisation teams can help you reach your customers in more than 200 languages. Call 02392 987 765 or email to discuss your requirements.


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