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 study conducted 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.
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…
A 3-decade ‘moving picture’ of young Australians’ study, work and life, thanks to LSAY
The Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth (LSAY) unpack the lives of young Australians as they leave school, enter further study or the workforce and make the transition into adulthood.
The latest findings are now available for the group of young people who completed their first questionnaire back in 2009 at age 15. This group’s 11th and final survey shows young people are completing university at higher rates than ever before, while participation in apprenticeships and traineeships is taking a dive.
The information collected from these groups of students, or “cohorts”, is used to better understand what helps or hinders this transition. This includes things like the effect of schools on year 12 completion, whether government benefits like Youth Allowance help students complete their studies, and the factors that help a young person find full-time work sooner.
Each cohort starts with about 14,000 students in the first survey, or “wave”. From the age of 15 to 25, they complete a 20-minute survey once a year to share what’s been happening in their lives. LSAY asks about their experiences at school, their post-school study and work, as well as their health and home life.
Six cohorts have taken part so far. The recent release of findings from the fifth cohort’s final survey is a milestone, with LSAY data now available across three decades. This means we can study generational changes in transition patterns.
To capture the many changing events or factors that affect young peoples’ transition, the survey has added questions about caring responsibilities, volunteering activities, participation in the gig economy, their personality traits and whether they have access to social support.
Data dating back to the ’70s
LSAY is one of Australia’s biggest and longest-running panel surveys. More than 60,000 young people have been surveyed since 1995. It’s recognised as one of eight core longitudinal data assets in Australia.
The surveys grew out of the Youth in Transition (YIT) studies in the 1970s. The decade’s oil price shocks caused unemployment to soar, with young people hit the hardest. This created a need to better understand their school-to-work transition in the face of global technological and economic change.
Then came the Australian Longitudinal Surveys (ALS) and Australian Youth Surveys (AYS) in the 1980s. One of the more prominent pieces of research using these data found the aptitude of new teachers fell substantially as teacher pay declined compared to other salaries.
These three longitudinal studies were combined to create the LSAY program.
Researchers mine LSAY for insights
More than 300 published research papers have used LSAY data. The report 25 years of LSAY: Research from the Longitudinal Surveys of Australian Youth showcases some of the highlights.
LSAY research has shown working just a few hours a week while at school improves prospects of getting a full-time job. But working long hours has a slightly negative effect on school completion. The research also found females are better at balancing school and work than their male peers.
Research has also shown that students participating in school-based vocational education and training (VET) had higher rates of school completion, full-time employment and incomes in their first year after school than non-VET students with similar characteristics. Ex-VET students were also more likely to be in a job they liked as a career. These benefits were associated with school-based VET programs with a workplace learning component.
The Productivity Commission used LSAY data to investigate the demand-driven university system. Many disadvantaged students successfully attended university as a result of the expansion of the system. However, those with lower literacy and numeracy were more likely to drop out. The study recognised schools and universities need to do more to prepare and support students, and that university might not always be the best option.
LSAY has been an important source of evidence for policy. National reviews and inquiries informed by LSAY data include the COAG Reform Council’s reporting on youth transitions (2009), the Bradley Review of Higher Education (2008) and the House of Representatives inquiry into combining school and work (2008-2009).
The recent Education Council Review of Senior Secondary Pathways, released in July, draws heavily on LSAY to establish how students can choose the best pathway for their transition from school.
LSAY has a high degree of comparability with international youth surveys. These include the Transition from Education to Employment (TREE) study in Switzerland, the Youth in Transition Survey (YITS) in Canada, the Education Longitudinal Study (ELS) and National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY) in the United States, and Next Steps in the UK.
Most of these have a starting sample of about 9,000 individuals. Next Steps has 16,000. LSAY’s starting sample of 14,000 young Australians makes it one of the largest surveys of its kind in the world.
Tracking lives through the GFC and COVID-19
These datasets enable us to transform a snapshot of a person’s life into a moving picture. Compared with cross-sectional studies, these longitudinal datasets provide a much clearer picture by accounting for personalities, life events and pathways.
Combining a longitudinal study with cohort studies sheds more light on this picture by controlling for inter-generational differences, or crises such as wars, financial downturns or natural disasters.
For example, using data from four LSAY cohorts, one study found the well-being of those whose transitions occurred during the global financial crisis (GFC) was much worse on several measures, including standard of living, home life, career prospects, social life and independence.
The extraordinary challenges Australian youth face as a result of the coronavirus pandemic will be documented when the sixth LSAY cohort, now aged 20, complete their sixth survey in 2020 and further surveys in the years thereafter.
By providing a valuable resource to explore the longer-term effects of this crisis, LSAY continues to stand the test of time.