A survey from CSA Research revealed that 76% of consumers prefer to purchase from brands that offer information in their native language. In today's globalized business landscape, translating and localizing content is paramount for creating a robust global presence, building trust, and making sales.
So how can businesses effectively communicate with customers, partners, and employees in different regions? In addition to producing content in other languages, companies must also consider cultural nuances and regional preferences.
Read on to learn the most effective methods to leverage the power of language and become a global player in your industry.
What is business translation?
Business translation refers to converting business-related content into other languages for multilingual markets.
It could include the translation of texts for:
Business translation and localization involve specialized skills. As well as being accurate and engaging, content must be appropriate and relevant for the target market, including industry-specific terminology and cultural nuances.
The importance of translating business content
An effective translation process is integral to a successful international business expansion strategy. There are many reasons why companies should ensure the quality of their translated materials, including:
Effective communication. Accurate translation ensures messaging is understood and prevents misunderstandings that could have negative consequences.
Global reach. Multilingual communications allow businesses to tap into new markets and become international players.
Increased trust. Going global and connecting authentically with customers increases credibility and customer loyalty.
Research opportunities. Reaching wider audiences in new terrains can provide more data to understand how people interact with your business.
Legal and regulatory compliance. Businesses may need to translate legal and compliance documentation to satisfy local regulatory standards.
Localization and translation strategies to boost global presence
So what are the best strategies that national or international businesses can employ to expand into new markets?
Contract the right professional services
Partnering with a professional language service provider (LSP) specializing in localization and translation is essential. Language services can be agencies or individuals. LSPs provide high-quality translations and ensure you don't make cultural faux pas.
Understand the local culture
Before entering a new market, companies should conduct in-depth market research to understand the local culture, language, customs, and consumer preferences. This research helps international businesses tailor their products, services, and marketing communications accordingly.
Ways to do market research
Collaborating with in-country experts can provide valuable insights and feedback on localization and translation requirements and ensure content resonates with local audiences.
Use Google Analytics to identify where your web visitors are based and what languages they speak. This can help you determine which regions and languages to prioritize for your localization and translation efforts.
Assess your competitors' translations to pinpoint gaps or key areas where you can differentiate your business. Consider factors such as their tone of voice and varying localization strategy per region.
Survey your customers to get insights into their language needs and preferences. This can help identify the types of content and languages that are most important to your business, as well as any pain points.
Utilize advanced technology
Companies can leverage technology tools to streamline their localization and translation process.
Useful tools include:
Translation management systems (TMS). A software solution that streamlines and automates the process of translation and localization projects, including coordinating projects, organizing files, and working with translators.
Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. A tool that assists experienced translators in their work by offering tools like terminology management, translation memory, and automated quality checks.
Machine translation (MT). Tools that translate text from one language to another using computer algorithms. They are typically used for quick and rudimentary translations but will require post-editing by a human.
What are the best web-based translation management tools?
There are many different translation management systems in the industry, one of which is Smartcat, an all-in-one artificial intelligence (AI) and human hybrid translation and management platform ideal for project management, digitized translation, and collaboration. It integrates directly with Zendesk, WordPress, Figma, Google Docs, etc., helping get your translations to market quicker.
Other benefits include:
Improved user experience – a localization tool can be easily customized to fit the specific needs and preferences of the user, enabling them to work more comfortably and efficiently.
Increased productivity – by automating many of the manual tasks involved in the localization process these tools save valuable time and boost output.
Better quality control – a localization tool can also help ensure that translations are accurate and consistent, reducing the chances of substandard deliveries.
Teamwork and collaboration - by smoothly facilitating collaboration via smart tools, team members can effortlessly work together on translations, share feedback, and ensure high quality output.
Flexibility - tools that are adaptable to any file format, workflow or translation method empower teams to choose the process that works best for them.
Scalability - a localization tool can help manage the translation of large and complex projects, ensuring they are completed on time.
Potential cost savings - by cutting down manual tasks and providing features such as a translation memory these tools help cut costs.
Companies should customize specific elements to suit norms and align with local preferences. These might include:
Test and iterate
Businesses should continuously test and iterate upon business translations for the most effective results. Companies should optimize texts for the target market, seeking feedback from local customers to identify gaps or areas for improvement. You can also run A/B tests to evaluate the effectiveness of different versions.
For example, a company targeting a Spanish-speaking market could create two versions of their email, one using informal Spanish and the other using formal Spanish. They could then use A/B testing to send each version of the email to a sample of their email list in the target market and track engagement metrics, such as open rate, click-through rate, and conversion rate.
How to double productivity and halve costs
Let's explore an example to understand better how international businesses can leverage translation technology. E-commerce company expondo, which operates in 18 countries, increased productivity by 50% while reducing outsourcing costs by half by using translation tech.
Challenges expondo faced included:
Their localization process
Manual file handling
Seeking a solution that could integrate with their existing tools, improve efficiency, and scale with their business, they chose Smartcat. With Smartcat's integration capabilities, machine translation, and a large vendor marketplace, expondo doubled productivity while halving costs.
Frequently asked questions
How do you translate a business document?
There are multiple ways to translate a business document. You can:
Hire a professional translation service. You may hire a freelance contractor from a job board or go to a professional agency with specialist experience.
Translate it yourself. To successfully translate yourself, you should understand both languages. You must also read and analyze the document, research, choose appropriate language and style, verify business terms, translate, review and edit, and ensure the proper format.
Use translation software for businesses. AI translation tools or computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools can help you get a rough translation that you can edit yourself or with the help of a translator.
What is a certified translation of a document?
A certified translation is a document translated by a professional approved by a recognized entity or agency. It should come with a signed declaration attesting to its accuracy and completeness.
Which methods can be used to assess a business translation's quality?
Methods to assess translation quality include:
Human translation evaluation - reviewing translations by a human linguist to ensure accuracy and quality.
Quality assurance tools - software used to automatically ensure consistency and accuracy across all translations.
Proofreading and editing - the process of reviewing and correcting any errors in a translation before finalizing it.
Comparative analysis - carefully comparing translated text to the original to ensure quality.
Back translation - reverting a translated text back to its original language to check for errors and ensure accuracy.
Client feedback - input from the client on the caliber and relevance of the translation.
Linguistic and functional testing - testing to ensure translations are precise and appropriate for the intended audience.
Industry-specific standards - guidelines specific to a particular industry or field that ensure suitability of translations.
Post-translation review - a final review process to ensure expectations are met before it is published.
How to verify business translation quality?
There are various steps to ensure the quality of a business translation:
Ensure professional quality with business document translation services
Check for accuracy and consistency
Review grammar and syntax
Judge cultural appropriateness
Check domain-specific accuracy
Ask clients for feedback
Use quality assurance tools such as translation memories with integrated glossaries, language quality assurance software and comprehensive style guides.
Evaluate post-translation reception and effectiveness
How much should business translation services cost?
The price of business translation services can vary depending on the source and target languages, the length and complexity of the business documents, the translator's level of experience and expertise, the project's urgency, and any additional services (such as proofreading, formatting, or certification).
As a general guideline, business translation services may charge between $0.10 and $0.30 per word, though you can reduce this by using AI Translation and human workflows on Smartcat to $0.06 per word on average.
Unlock the transformative power of business translations.
In today’s globalized world – where consumer expectations are sky-high – business translations can play a key role in empowering companies to expand their reach, build trust and establish strong relationships. With a concrete localization and translation strategy in place, it’s possible to not only overcome language barriers and connect with customers worldwide, but also to unlock new opportunities for sustainable growth and success!