In early 2020, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold across Europe and the US, companies hesitated to give the green light on new business projects, especially in the face of potential job losses. As the year continues, however, many are once again moving forwards with plans to build on business growth and, for some, this means entry into new overseas markets. Demand for products or services in a new country can represent a lucrative opportunity and helps a company to future-proof growth or offset problems or sluggishness in a domestic market, though it’s rarely without risks and challenges.
Growing internationally means building a multilingual presence
Building a successful presence in overseas markets requires the capability to seamlessly deliver multilingual content and communications across multiple offline and online channels. This is no easy feat, and the finance director may question rising cross-company spend on the associated translation and localisation services. Your business needs a strategy. From establishing an effective tech stack that is designed for globalisation, to deciding when, where and how to deploy MT solutions or human-centred language workflows, comprehensive solutions ensure costs can be controlled and that content assets, as well as technology, will add value rather than drain budgets.
Here are 5 key areas to consider as translation demand rises:
#1 People and processes
Correct management of content over different projects and languages is fundamental to any company building an international and multilingual presence. Are the people and processes involved in content production helping to generate long-term value? Proper terminology management, both on the client-side and from a translation service provider, is vital. It’s also important that a business clearly defines and assigns roles relating to content production, as well as final sign-off, to ensure that no deviations in style and corporate terminology start to occur.
#2 Tech stack
Any company that plans for globalisation must have an appropriate tech stack that will facilitate this. A simple example: choosing a Content Management System that is designed to manage content in different languages. Making the right technology choices early on helps businesses to avoid problems which may occur further down the line as a result of using programs that were never intended to handle more than one language. This is certainly true for e-commerce.
#3 Process automation
For very regular demand, a translation management platform helps to centralise processing and streamline the entire process from quotation to delivery. Client portals offer comprehensive overviews of activity and spend, which drives greater efficiency and helps businesses to control spend on translation services.
#4 Machine translation versus human expertise
Human-centred workflows are the preferred approach for many globally facing businesses when it comes to delivering engaging and compelling content experiences, which can be a differentiator for consumers. Machine translation output is still wide-of-the-mark in areas such as high-visibility marketing content, but technology-led solutions (such as MT as the basis for multilingual chatbots) must also take their place in the mix. A technology-led approach or human-centred approach should be deployed according to the kind of content being produced and its end purpose. Using translation engines that have been trained in a specific subject area or language will help to produce more reliable output and an engine that operates within a closed system, rather than in the cloud, guarantees data security. (Read our recent case study about an MT solution for a US-based Mergers & Acquisitions team.)
#5 Using an outsourced translation department
Large language service providers act as an outsourced translation department for multinationals. Our team, for example, becomes a central hub for businesses and processes demand coming in from all internal departments (e.g. finance, legal and HR). This can dramatically reduce costs as well as the administrative burden for a company, while allowing for greater quality control and data security. EVS Translations holds major contracts with leading multinational firms under this type of procurement model.
If your company is looking to new overseas markets for further growth in 2021, it’s worth thinking about these issues early on and setting out how your business is going to deliver global content across global channels in a way which is efficient and cost-effective. Whatever your business decides, new or increased appetite for globalisation is undoubtedly an exciting journey.
Speak to our team today. They can advise you on best practices for the points highlighted above and help your business to build an international and multilingual presence.
EVS Translations UK Ltd.
+44 (0)115 964 4288
EVS Translations USA Inc.
EVS Translations GmbH
+49 69/82 97 99-99