29 Nov /09

Tips to consider when looking for a translation company for your advertising translation needs

advertising translationAdvertising plays a crucial role in every area of business.

Intensifying competition combined with ongoing globalisation mean businesses need to attract and communicate with clients from different cultures.

Companies are crossing national borders to reach markets in different countries, having to advertise products and services in local language, in an ideal case with the same meaning and impact as in the source language.

Translation of advertising materials has become one of the essential services required by corporations having or seeking a multinational presence.

The volume of translations involved in advertising is therefore increasing on a daily basis.

Your company is running an international or multilingual advertising campaign and has advertising translation projects, but advertising texts and materials can not be translated word for word, they need professional and precise adaptation and localisation to suit each target language and create the greatest possible impact.

Here are some tips to consider when looking for a translation company for your advertising translation needs:

  • Choose a translation company which uses the services of native speaker experts, preferably on a local basis.

Native speakers will ensure text adaptation and localisation in the best possible way. This is because they are aware of the socio-cultural and politico-legal frame of the targeted market. Native speakers not only understand what the client is putting across, they are also familiar with the subtle cultural differences in consumer habits and expectations in the relevant markets. Their expertise and feel for language will ensure that your advertising material makes the right impression in the desired language.

Advertising is about gaining customers for products and services. A translation company that has worked for a wide range of companies and sectors for many years has a wider range of knowledge about the actual content of what is being marketed. After all, you want your translation not only to sound good, but also to be right.

It is strange but true that most translation companies are local. For an international campaign it is necessary to cooperate with a company that understands the various markets you are operating in. In other words, local and international. Strange but true: This applies to a maximum of 1% of all translation companies.

  • Make sure your translation project is assigned to an experienced project manager who will analyse your project and decide on the resources needed, both in human and technical terms, guaranteeing compliance with the quality standards and the deadlines; will prepare the project localisation documentation, establish the standard vocabulary and be responsible for the project management and coordination of the work of the translators involved at every step.

The best choice for you will be a translation company which assigns an operations manager to handle your account and who coordinates and supports the project manager and acts as your central contact person, sending you the final invoices for your project and explaining, if necessary, the costs of your particular document translation project in greater detail.

  • Pick a company which has a Quality Assurance Department, which will carry out in-depth quality control to check the linguistic and cultural adequacy of the translated text.
  • Make sure the translation company offers desktop publishing (DTP) services and supports as many DTP programs as possible.

Hire a company which has an in-house team of multilingual DTP staff, which will provide you with a solution to fit your unique business requirements and in the exact format you need. Proper localisation should carefully analyse any graphics which might have local significance and thus affect how the product or service is perceived. The company should provide detailed feedback and suggest alternatives.

  •  Another vital factor for an international campaign is to have someone who is able to understand the minefield of competencies and personalities involved with such a project and who is able to assist in defusing any friction that may arise due to local and corporate, agency and internal advertising responsibilities.
  • Study the vendor’s own service portfolio, projects and tools and ask for references before taking your final decision.

And keep in mind a tiny trick – look at how they are advertising their own business. As a rule, a translation company will offer its website in multiple languages. Check how they have handled the translation of their own advertising materials and this will give you essential information what service you can expect.


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