Any brand that’s targeting customers in multiple countries will need marketing translation in order to directly appeal to their new, multilingual consumers.
This process involves taking all kinds of marketing content – from ad copy and social media posts to video scripts and product descriptions – and translating it into local languages and dialects. However, translating for marketing purposes is more than just a simple direct translation, it is much more nuanced and involves everything from the words used to the colors chosen.
Before you hire a professional to translate your marketing copy, it’s helpful for you to understand just how it works.
Marketing Translation Is Different
The process of translating marketing materials varies a bit from standard translation. This is because the translator needs to find a way to communicate the same business message in one or more different languages.
This is crucial to your brand, because what appeals to one audience won’t always appeal to another audience in a different country. And if your content offends the people who speak a particular language, your brand image will suffer as a result.
Additionally, with marketing translation, a wide audience will see your content, whether it’s on a billboard or social media. Compare this to the content a medical office gives out only to patients, or the technical copy that a company only lets employees read.
In those situations, you have more control over who reads your content, while taglines, website content, and other marketing copy is all in the public eye. This is why your marketing translation needs to be perfect and why you should hire a professional with experience in marketing specifically, not just with translating legal, medical, or technical copy.
Idioms Don’t Travel Well
It’s not uncommon for a brand’s copy to feature idioms and metaphors. The problem is that while these are often appreciated by the audience in one area, they might fall flat in another country that doesn’t speak the same language.
This is because the target audience has to understand the reference in order to comprehend an idiom, metaphor, or any type of play on words. Fortunately, marketing translators take this into consideration when preparing content for different languages.
The result is that they won’t translate the copy word-for-word. Instead, they will change the reference completely for each audience. This means that even if you translate a tagline from English to Spanish, for example, the translations won’t match. However, the message will remain the same.
A Brand’s Values and Voice Need to Shine Through in Every Language
The bottom line is that no matter which words you use in your marketing copy, they need to convey the same thing: the brand’s voice. So whether you’re marketing in China, France, or the US, the content should have a similar voice, even though the words and possibly the literal meaning may be different.
In addition, marketing copy should reflect brand values in every language. It might take different words to relay the quality of your brand in every country you’re targeting, but those words should add up to the same message.
Fortunately, there are professionals — like those at Accredited Language — who are experienced enough with marketing translation to know how the process works from beginning to end. This can help business owners feel confident that their message is being relayed correctly in every targeted language.