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The Ultimate Guide to Translation Services

By Josian Phillips, 

Translating can be a complex and nuanced process, and it’s essential to get it right. For a business strategy to grow in foreign markets, collaborating with a professional translation company is crucial.

A professional translation company helps a business expand globally by ensuring that their message is relevant to the various cultures they are looking to engage with, error-free and in a language that natives of their targeted country understand.

That’s why we have specialists in a range of fields to ensure that, whatever kind of business or organisation needs translation services, the message is clearly understood and communicated.

Translation services need to be 100% accurate; there is no getting around it whatsoever. Translation is necessary for the spread of data, information, and concepts. The importance of accurate translation for powerful and empathetic communication between different countries and cultures, across every industry, cannot be understated.

Translation is the bedrock for a global economy; without sound translation, international trade would not be what it is today. When a new market appears and develops rapidly, the need for translation to and from its native language increases too.

At Brightlines, our translation services cover every industry and every language. This requires incredibly skilled teams who are passionate about conveying your organisation’s exact message to the world, the way you intended it when you developed the information for your native country.

Since this is an ultimate guide, let’s unpack the many facets to translation services. In this article, we will give you an overview of each aspect as well as a look in on the services we provide.

The Benefits of Using Professional Translation Services

Several benefits come from using professional translation services. If you are looking to take your company global, you understand the importance of marketing it to a wide range of clients and customers. No matter what industry your business caters to, or what service it provides, a professional translation services agency will benefit you in the following ways:

Localisation

Breaking into foreign markets isn’t as simple as offering your products or services in another language. Too frequently, not enough effort is made to really understand a culture that companies want to operate in, and cultural faux pas can be challenging to recover from.

This is why localisation is crucial, and professional translation services will help you with that, especially from a marketing perspective. Any messaging you put out – whether, in terms of text, images or even design needs to be relevant to your audience.

Marketing

A professional translation company has the experience and expertise in targeting your designated market. However, they also know the technology and will have worked with similar businesses in the same country you want to target.

Consistency

Professional translation services will help your business maintain awareness of any changes in your targeted country’s culture and language. Furthermore, they will help you keep the same tone and voice throughout all of your translated content.

4 Tips to Get the Most Out of your Translation Agency

If you are interested or have just started to work with a translation agency, you will want to get the most out of their services. Through working with multiple clients over the years, we have put together a few tips on how you can get the most value from a translation agency:

Provide the translation agency with as much information as you possibly can which may include the following:

  • Other reference material related to the subject matter
  • Previously translated material
  • Style guides, which relate to the tone of the document, the target audience, and use such as a web page, internal document or for print.
  • You should make sure to provide the translation agency with editable documents as this will speed up the process and allow the agency to give you an accurate word count.

If you have worked with a translation agency before, then be sure to share translation memories to recognise previous ‘strings’ of translation and glossaries for reuse, which will, in turn, save you money.

When to use Professional Translation Services

If you want your translations to look professional and be 100% accurate, or if you would like to fix common mistranslations, and increase your reach in foreign markets, then you will need to use professional translation services.

An agency that provides professional translation services will cover the entire process, from translating the source material to publishing the content and maintaining a specific style and tone throughout all communication and across multiple languages.

The Importance of Medical Translation Services

Other than healthcare professionals being able to communicate effectively and efficiently, medical translation services are incredibly important for the pharmaceutical and medical equipment production industries. Why? For global healthcare businesses, medical translators make sure that accurate information and instructions accompany every imported medication or piece of medical equipment on the market.

For pharmaceuticals, each label and medication package insert must include extensive details, such as indications and usage, storage instructions, dosage forms, warnings and precautions, side effects, adverse reactions, drug interactions, contraindications and expiry dates.

Medical translation services are also crucial for when medical documents must obtain a certified translation, for product support on medical equipment and marketing materials for healthcare businesses.

How Can Translation Services Benefit Your Finance Company?

Translation services have an essential role to play in the financial industry. Yes, the banking and finance industries are about numbers, but getting the words and feel right is key to successful partnerships, client relations and legal compliance, like any other industry’s services must be marketed. In an industry where tiny margins mean big rewards, finding the right translation partner can be the crucial difference.

To maximise the chances of success in one of the most globalised sectors in the world, financial services need to engage translators that will guarantee speed, accuracy and confidentiality, as well as carrying the right brand message into new territories.

Legal Document Translation: Everything You Need to Know

Legal document translation isn’t confined to law firms or large corporations. Global marketing and sales teams responsible for providing and publishing terms and conditions on websites or printed materials should always use a professional translation service with legal expertise.

But any document that will be used in the legal system in a different language is very likely to require professional legal translation. Legal documents that need a professional translation service include but are not exclusive to:

  • CD or tape recordings
  • Contracts
  • Filed patents
  • Financial documents
  • Legal rulings and precedents
  • Transcripts
  • Witness statements

There will be instances when an equivalent translation doesn’t exist in the target language, and a literal translation won’t make sense. An excellent legal translator may need to define the legal concept, paraphrasing in sentences what the source text took mere words to say.

As well as being an outstanding linguist, a proficient legal translator must also be an exceptional writer. They need to be able to master grammar, large vocabularies and legal terms.

Legal translation is the replacement of the source language with the target language, but what makes it different is the law is culture-dependent. Aside from the language barriers, the differences in legal systems can make legal translation very complicated.

The importance of Marketing Translation Services

When it comes to the translation of your marketing materials, conveying the right message to a new audience is imperative. A translation agency will effectively develop a new marketing message and strategy in the target language to reflect your brand’s intended marketing message in a way that intrigues your foreign target market.

Having a deep comprehension of the goal of your marketing copy is essential. Marketing translation introduces your brand, its personality and communicates its USP to a foreign audience. That is why your translation agency needs to understand the aim of the copy.

Marketing translation ensures the message is creatively adapted, communicates effectively and stays on brand.An excellent translation agency needs to be able to communicate the source message in a compelling and culturally acceptable way wherever and however, it appears in the specific country your organisation is targeting. Your translation team must speak the native tongue because the only way to deliver high-quality results is to have a firm and thorough understanding of the target audience and their language. Furthermore, a combination of skilful and emotive words is needed to ensure your messaging hits home with a foreign audience.

Why Technical Translation Needs to be 100% Accurate

Technical writing is incredibly specialised as it is. Therefore, technical translation needs to be flawless. Technical translation is accountable for making sure instruction manuals, user guides, research papers and a wide range of technical documents are accurately translated into other languages. Using a professional translation agency is vital to people getting the exact information they require.

Technical documents contain content that deals with scientific and technological terms. This subject matter needs professional and accurate translation that is mistake-free.

A translation agency will translate the primary contents of a document through an expert understanding of the relative subject. Even seemingly insignificant errors could have a potentially harmful impact on an organisation and its targeted audience.

As a result, the translation must also be sympathetic to cultural and contextual nuances. It should also take into consideration industry-specific jargon or usage.

There are particular problems you should be cautious of when it comes to the technical document translation, such as ambiguity of the text and a lack of knowledge of technical terms of an average reader.

Now that we’ve specified the uses of translation services and how they can benefit your organisation let’s take a look at the translation services we offer here at Brightlines.

Transcreation services

More than just a simple translation of semantics, transcreation goes to the heart of an idea before repackaging it for foreign audiences. It is a specific type of translation process that requires more than straight translation. Instead, it is considered to be a creative writing and localisation process that is carried out by specialised mother-tongue translators who are also copywriters.

This service is particularly useful in marketing and advertising, where slogans and straplines might have nuanced or dual meanings, for example. Rather than only doing a direct translation, highly qualified writers and linguists will recreate the spirit and tone of the intended messaging.

Document translation

Document translation is a broad topic, involving the interpretation of a wide variety of documents across all industries. Its something many people wrongly assume can quickly be done using online machine translation systems, such as Google Translate. We have to say that we wholeheartedly disagree!

Documents – whether they are from the financial industry or the healthcare industry – are frequently packed with industry-specific information and terminology, all of which require a lot of care and attention to translate accurately into a different language. You can take a look at our blog post about the importance of professional document translation for more information.

At Brightlines, we can translate into all commercial languages and aren’t daunted by looming deadlines. Take, for example, Western Union. When it came to delivering marketing materials for a new European roll-out, they needed a translation partner who could be trusted to manage a massive project for multiple markets. We were subsequently tasked with the translation of the complete campaign, including a website, a Global Pay app, and marketing materials for every major market. The Brightlines team not only checked and proofread every syllable, but they also brought the essence of the Western Union brand to life across an incredibly diverse range of languages.

Whatever industry you work in, our document translation services will ensure your source material is treated with the respect it deserves.

Website translation

Translating your website is pretty much a necessity if you want to reach an international audience. However, there’s a lot to consider to ensure it’s done effectively. Do you want it translated for a basic understanding, or would you prefer a translator to adapt the copy specifically for the audience? It all depends on what you’re translating and whom you’re translating it for.

Take a look at our ultimate guide to website translation to help you understand the ins and outs of the entire process, including how to decide which method would be the best for you and your business.

If you are thinking about getting your website translated, you’ll be pleased to hear that we speak digital in any language! But before getting stuck into your website translation, our team of experts will get under the skin of your brand, to ensure that all messaging is fully localised. And then we’ll really get stuck into the nitty-gritty, ensuring your multilingual website is accurate, engaging, and fully optimised for the target language.

Multilingual SEO

What works for search engines in one language may be less than ideal for another. If you want your site to rank – and climb to the coveted number-one slot – you’ll need to consider multilingual SEO.

Our four-stage SEO process can help you rank highly for those searching in different languages. We conduct exhaustive keyword research, translate your website, localise for the target culture, and offer expert technical guidance for those all-important website best practices.

Legal translation

Words matter. And as we mentioned above, in legal texts, there’s no room for error. Using the wrong word – or a word that can be interpreted in more than one way – can entirely alter the meaning of a legal document.

This is why we call on experienced, well-respected experts in the law for our legal translation. We take pride in meticulous work that accurately reflects both the letter and spirit of the law, in any country.

Technical translation

Often, precise specialist language is used in engineering, manufacturing and science. To ensure utmost precision, we only use translators who are authorities in their fields for our technical translation.

Regardless of how technical or complicated the source material, we can guarantee that our translations will meet native experts’ exacting standards. Take a look at our ultimate guide to technical translation for more information.

Machine translation

You may well have used machine translation before, perhaps to quickly understand the gist of foreign a document or email. With this in mind, most would consider Google Translate to be the pinnacle of machine translation, but there’s so much more to the process than meets the eye.

When used alongside a professional translation agency, machine translation enables a streamlined process whereby the translator will be required to edit the translated content. This process – referred to as post-editing machine translation, or PEMT – is useful for large volume in a short timescale, and will offer you the quality of translation you need.

Translation technology is continuously improving, but there’s still a long way to go before we can rely on it as the sole method of translation. Using raw machine translation, without any post-editing, could render your documents unreadable.

Make no mistake that machine translation certainly has its uses, and it can be a handy tool when used alongside professional translation. It can, in certain circumstances, speed up the translation process for large translation projects and in the long run, can save time and money. You can read more about the difference between machine and human translation here.

Multilingual desktop publishing

As mentioned above, even design can be honed to ensure your message is easily digested. Artwork and typefaces, for instance, can be localised for a target market. That’s where multilingual desktop publishing comes in. By editing the design of your artwork, you can transform translated messages into attractive, engaging and persuasive content that is specially tailored to your international audience.

If you think your business would benefit from multilingual desktop publishing, then it’s well worth looking into. Translating words is one thing, but translating an entire visual identity could be the extra mile you need to go to make your brand feel at home in an overseas market.

Video services

When it comes to speaking to customers online, video is everywhere, and increasingly essential for businesses of all stripes. It’s one of the most engaging tools in your marketing toolbox, which unsurprisingly means that getting your video content right is absolutely vital. When it comes to video translation, the same theory applies. You need your video content to be relatable and digestible, which is where a professional translation agency can help.

Here at Brightlines, we’re well versed in providing multilingual voice over services for translating your audio, and subtitle services for customers who process information visually. Have a look at our recent video translation project for the Malaria Must Die campaign featuring David Beckham. We were asked to translate and transcreate the content of the video into 13 different languages and provide accurate subtitles.

Got a project in mind? Get in touch today

Here at Brightlines, we take pride in offering an all-encompassing service, covering all aspects of translation.If you’re thinking of making your business or organisation multilingual, we’d love to talk to you about how we can help. Contact us today to find out more about how we work, what it costs, and how fast and efficient the translation process can actually be.

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