How International Business Translations Tailor Their Language Needs

With consumers around the world clamoring for content in their own languages, translations should be a top priority for any international business. Fortunately, acquiring international business translations doesn’t have to be a mystery. In this blog post, we pull back the curtain on the process and explore how global companies tailor their language needs.

What are international business translations?

This specific type of translations falls into two broad categories: they might be external, such as legal documentation and marketing content, or internal, such as corporate policies or company manuals. While multilingual content is essential for both, each kind comes with a few specific challenges.

For example, as a company expands globally, internal updates may not be implemented accurately across all offices, especially when too many documents exist. Staying on top of this process therefore requires not only careful attention to language, but also timely management, thoughtful centralization, and a clear translation workflow. On the other hand, external content is responsible for both a company’s brand and its legal standing; translators of marketing content must have the creative flair to interpret messages in a colloquial way that actually wins local customers, while translators of legal documentation must, conversely, translate legal jargon and industry terminology with pinpoint accuracy.

Assess language needs and target market

The next step in tailoring your international business translations is to assess your language needs and target market. Here are some questions an organization might ask to establish these nuts and bolts of the translation process:

  • What languages are spoken by our employees and major global offices?
  • What are the main (highest impact) languages in our target market? What language variants exist that we should be aware of?
  • What are the demographics of our target market? (These help translators narrow down the linguistic nuances that affect various age, class, social, and other groups.)
  • Has our target market expressed a need or desire for multilingual content, and if so, what types of content are most in demand? (For example: customers may want a how-to manual in their native tongue more than an advertising billboard).
  • What are our market and language priorities? How will these affect our deadlines for multilingual content and its worldwide rollout?

Working with a professional business translator can help you fine-tune these questions and isolate the most useful information from any other research conducted.

 Consult with interdisciplinary experts

All this information about a company’s translation needs—as well as its projected deadlines, budgets, brand profile, and so on—is then conveyed to experienced multilingual translators. When hiring a professional, it’s especially recommended that these translators be interdisciplinary subject-matter experts that can advise a company on linguistics and culture, but also on the various types of content needed. What else should you look for? Business translators should be credentialed, possess native-level fluency in their target language(s), and be accustomed to working with confidential materials and non-disclosure agreements.

 Conduct high-quality localization

Once the appropriate translators are hired, the “tailoring” part of the translation cycle really comes to the forefront with a high quality localization process. Here are some steps that form the backbone of localization:

  • Making sure all content accounts for a target country’s variants and dialects
  • Tailoring language content to meet regional regulations or norms
  • Reviewing and adapting non-verbal elements such as graphics, colors, symbols, etc.
  • Selecting a translation management system to keep track of localizations
  • A/B testing and iteration to assess ongoing impact on target audience

What’s more, if localization itself doesn’t quite meet your needs, you also have the option of transcreation—working with language experts to convert your global content from its source language into an emotionally resonant, culturally specific message for a local audience. If you’re on the hunt for international business translations, a comprehensive language service provider will be able to provide you with all of these services and more.

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