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Asian Voices

Are translations beneficial to any business?

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In the era of globalisation, a rapidly increasing number of organisations and businesses begin tonotice the real value behind a tailored approach to foreign markets, andso as languages are today at the centre of custom-made marketing campaigns, translation agencies are quickly becoming an integral and fundamental part of everyday business across different sectors.

Languages shape cultures and cultures shape the markets; consequently, in order to remain competitive, translation providers are nowadays specialising in much more than only literal translations. A number of translation agencies today offer much more focused services, such as international consultancy, localisation or transcreation, which are just additions to the standard translation services they offer.

As translation agencies become more prominent within the business and corporate world and business owners begin to understand the value behind professional translations, the translation industry grows rapidly. It is predicted that by the year 2021 the translations sector will be worth over £40 billion. The industry’s rapid growth shows just how important translations are now, and that their importance for international business will only become more prominent over time.

Nevertheless, could any business benefit from working with a translation agency? Surely, translation services can be a costly process, especially for smaller companies and organisations with strict budgets. Should such businesses from the SME sector even bother approaching translation providers to translate their material/documents when going abroad? Absolutely.

Often, the estimating potential ROI can be problematic to estimate when it comes to professionally translating your business materials. Nonetheless, allowing your potential customers to find information about the products/services you offer in their native language is nothing short of essential. A recent studyconducted by the Common Sense Advisory showed that over 50% of consumers are more likely to purchase a product if the information about it is available in their language and 74% of them are more likely to be a repeat client if the post-purchase support was offered in their native language. You can find a summary of the research here.

These are astonishing numbers which only emphasise the true importance of accurate translations for companies during their business internationalisation.

Taking a company abroad is an expensive venture in itself, especially for smaller companies, and therefore ensuring that all steps in order to increase the chances for successare taken is nothing short of essential.

What materials should a business translate?

Let’s face it – many smaller businesses simply won’t be able to incorporate the costs of a professional translation into their budgets. Often, translating the entire website or marketing content can be a rather costly and lengthy process.
Nonetheless, even smaller organisations could be able to afford an expert translation of their content by simply approaching the process strategically.

SMEs often trade internationally with their business partners and customers via their digital means, whether it’s a website or a mobile app, and without a physical store in the foreign marketplace. In such case, company’s website would often be the first point of contact between them and the potential client. Consequently, translating the website into the native language of the target audience would be crucial, bearing in mind the Common-Sense Advisory study previously mentioned, in order to drive higher conversion rates.

As translating the entire website might however be out of reach for a number of SMEs, identifying which content to translate primarily would be a strategic move which would allow the company to approach consumers in their native language without straining the budget. This approach would also allow the organisation to better understand how the translated content performs within a new, foreign market, what is the return on investment and whether any adjustments should be done in the future to further improve the process.

Instead of translating the entire website, which can often be extremely extensive, a business should identify which products/services they wish to approach the target market with initially and only translate the relevant content. Often however, due to the lack of in-depth knowledge about the chosen target market and consumers, a company will not be able to successfully identify those factors; that’s where expert language agencies come into play.

We have spoken to Kiran Adatia, who’s language and international business expert and the founder of Translation Services 24, one of the leading London based translation agencies specialising in business and corporate language services. According to him, the number of UK SMEs and start-ups which want towork with their agency without a clearly identified content to translate is surprisingly high. Kiran adds that “In order to stay competitive our agency now offers far more than simple translation services. We specialise in a number of language and international business services, which allows us to work directly with our clients not only translating their content, but also advising them during their internationalisation process, which in many cases saves such businesses money and time.” If you’re interested in finding more information, you can find some reallygreat content about the translation agency itself as well asthe translation industry and language services by visiting this site.

Translation ROI

Return on investment is the driving force in majority of business sectors. Companies and organisations are trying to spend the least money with the highest returns possible in mind. Estimating the ROI of translating your company’s content can be problematic and requires an in-depth study of the foreign market you wish to target, nonetheless it becomes fairly straightforward to understand the true value of translations once the interpreted materials begin to attract clients abroad.

Whether it’s a website sale or a sale in the physical store – tracking back that sale and assessing what initiated it is simple and bearing in mind that more than half of the customers are more likely to commit a purchase if the information about a product or services is available in their native language, chances of the translated content influencing consumer behaviour are always very high.

Does the price for translation depend on type of content?

Yes, and there’s a good reason for it. As you can imagine, translating legal documents such as contracts or terms and conditions would require the linguist to be knowledge in the sector or industry and laws in both countries, but will ultimately be a straightforward interpretation of the original text.

Marketing content on the other hand, such as websites, brochures or presentations require the translator not only to be an expert within your particular business sector, but often would also require them to have a creative flair, as such materials are translated literally very, very rarely.

In some cases, the content will need to be completely re-created without changing the original message a company is trying to put across. We know this process as transcreation.

Professional translations are now more significant than ever before. In a fast, globalised world, custom-made and personal campaigns are nowadays the new standard. People no longer respond to generic messages and expect brands to approach them from an individual angle and language is perhaps one of the most important puzzle pieces. I mean, how would you feel if Ikea emailed you in Swedish or Gucci’s website was only available in Italian? Exactly…

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