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

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