Getting Ready: Translations for websites, brochures and marketing materials
We define customer facing translations (CFT) as anything you put directly in front of your clients, whether it is B2B or B2C.
We approach marketing related translations under the following framework.
Our translation should:
- maintain your brand
- accurately represent your offer without embellishment or omission
- be fluent in the eyes of the reader
If you would like to discuss your marketing translation requirements then contact us here.
How to get the best translation of marketing materials
- Run an automated spelling and grammar checker (such as in Word). Make sure the language is set for the right dialect so you get the correct spellings (e.g. colour vs color) and this is applied consistently.
- Identify terms NOT to translate such as brand names, product names or personal names, as well as industry specific jargon or acronyms (e.g. “UN” for United Nations”). Give the translator a list of these terms.
- Prices and currencies. When providing content for translation, ensure the pricing currency is always specified, as it can be confusing for the end reader if the translation is in their language, but the currency is not defined.
- Dates. You should always specify the dating system used (in NZ that would be Gregorian) and the order of any numerical dates (e.g. DD/MM/YY), and whether you would like that changed to match the translation language standard format (e.g. the USA typically uses MM/DD/YY).
- Has this or similar content been translated for you previously? If so then provide the translator with the previous original and translation so they can look to maintaining consistency across your translated content.
- Define your audience. Give your translator as much information about who you expect will be reading the translation. Demographics such as age, gender etc. can affect how the translator phrases things as well as vocabulary used.
- Hand the content off to someone other than the author for proofreading. This is not just to check for spelling, typographical and grammar issues, but sometimes authors know their subject so intimately that what makes perfect sense to them can be unclear for someone who is not as familiar with that industry or subject matter.
- Check that your translator can work directly in the original file format. Wherever possible, the translator should work directly in the original file format (e.g. Adobe InDesign when translating packaging or a brochure). It is not recommended that translations are done in e.g. Word for a DTP operator to then “cut and paste” into another format. There is too much risk of “cut and paste” errors creeping in (especially if the DTP operator cannot read the language) and certain languages have specific rules around word and line wraps that need to be observed.
- Space restrictions. Often in forms there are a limited number of character spaces available. If the translator is working in the source format then this should not be an issue, but if the translation is going from an e.g. excel spreadsheet to a web form, then the translator needs to know the maximum number of characters allowed (including spaces).
- Use of CAT (translation management software). For any content that is likely to be updated in the future CAT is recommended. CAT allows the translator to maintain a memory of the translation, so that future updates/changes can be applied rapidly and consistency of translated terminology can be maintained across versions.