Business translations: The ultimate guide

As international trade becomes more prevalent, desirable and complex, businesses need reliable, expert translation services more than ever.

Here are some reasons why finding a trusted resource for accurate business translations is top of mind for savvy business leaders:

  • Appealing new markets are opening every day.
  • Companies need to expand their multinational, multicultural footprint as efficiently as possible.
  • The world marketplace is competitive, highly regulated, multi-layered and constantly evolving.
  • Doing business internationally requires being able to communicate seamlessly with local employees, business partners and customers.

The goals of business translation

Multinational businesses depend on well-written, accurate and culturally relevant translations of a wide range of documents in order to:

  • Communicate effectively with audiences around the world
  • Penetrate new markets
  • Boost sales
  • Manage daily operations

Just think of all the aspects involved in opening a new market. There’s due diligence, distributor and supplier recruiting and auditing, regulatory compliance and customs documentation. Preparing accurate financial and legal documents requires familiarity with local and international government and regulatory agencies and standards.

Both internal and external documents need to be accurately translated. A single business must ensure that consistent content exists worldwide across a range of documents, from annual reports and user manuals to employee handbooks and learning materials.

Sample business documents that need to be translated include patents; handbooks; contracts; RFPs; sales and marketing materials; training materials; and corporate videos. The list goes on.

Cultural relevance

In addition to accommodating a company’s preferred terminology and brand, effective business translation includes incorporating culturally relevant images, graphics and words. Here are a couple of specific examples gleaned from our own experience at Protranslating:

  • A newsletter that worked well in the United States for a major airline featured the image of an American football goalpost, which was not meaningful in Asia or South America.
  • While American retail businesses make extensive use of superlatives in their communications, using such language is against the law in China. Hence, in that country, a company could not claim in advertisements to have the “best ….”

Finding a qualified business translator

No one can argue that choosing the right language services provider is vital. Some traits to look for include:

  • Translators vetted through a rigorous process
  • Many loyal, longstanding customers
  • Track record of success in countries where you operate or wish to
  • Flexibility – quick turnaround
  • Availability – business translation services should be available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year
  • Proven expertise in your field and access to industry-specific language
  • Wide range of languages represented
  • Appropriate business translation software
  • ISO certified
Business translation best practices

Here are some tips for managing the business translation process:

  • Translators should sign commercial confidentiality and non-disclosure agreements.
  • Translators should have native speaker-level fluency and be versed in local customs and practices, as well as popular and traditional cultural references.
  • Localized translations should match both the technical content and the “look and feel” of the source documents.
  • Translations should be suitable and useful for the chosen audience for each individual document.

What Protranslating offers

Global customers are linguistically and culturally diverse. Therefore, to market effectively to them requires both translation and transcreation expertise. The two go hand in hand.

By maintaining the intent, style, tone and context of the original material, transcreation allows a company to market its products internationally and to transcend the boundaries of language and culture.

Click here to learn more about the services we offer in these areas.

In summary

Business translation services are a critical component in the daily operations and business plans of international players.

Selecting a language services provider with the skills, experience, and depth of industry knowledge required can boost your competitive position on an ever-expanding world stage.

Click here to learn more about why we’ve been in the translation business for more than 45 years.

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