- Businesses can benefit from broadening their reach into other markets – even those that don't share the same language.
- A business translation service ensures all documents and communications are properly translated into the correct language based on the target market.
- When vetting potential business translation services, business owners should consider localization, quality control, turnaround time and credibility.
- This article is for business owners looking to expand into international markets and considering translation services.
With more and more businesses expanding their operations globally, ensuring that businesses communicate effectively with their foreign counterparts is of the utmost importance. Not understanding what a contract says or inadvertently insulting others overseas because of a marketing translation problem are among the numerous issues that can arise when both parties aren't speaking the same language. [Related content: Small Business Marketing Guide]
To help bridge the language barrier, many small business owners are employing business language translation services, which are designed to ensure all documents and marketing materials – whether websites or advertisements – are translated perfectly.
What is a business translation service?
A business translation service helps companies communicate with people who don't speak the same language. This is especially important if your business is entering an international market and must relay messages in other languages to corporations, colleagues or customers.
Business translation services accurately and efficiently translate marketing messages, corporate communications like emails and memos, product descriptions, selling points, legal and foreign policy documents, and other content.
It's essential for businesses to use accredited translation services to ensure they're solidifying a professional and reliable reputation in the marketplace. Rather than using computer programs to translate, business translation services use accredited translators to work on each project.
Key takeaway: Working with a translation service assures businesses they're investing in professionals who understand the subtle cultural nuances of local languages, helping them avoid costly and embarrassing international marketing mistakes as the debt owed, the initial due date, and warnings of impending legal action if necessary.
Benefits of working with a business translation service
These are some of the top benefits of hiring a business translation service.
- Accurate and reliable translation: Some freelance translators provide faulty translations that don't read properly or are misinterpreted, leading to issues and preventable miscommunications. A business translation service ensures an accurate translation so that both parties are on the same page.
- Broader appeal: Without a business translation service, you might be hesitant to enter new marketplaces with customers and clients who speak a different language. Hiring a translator will allow you to appeal to a broader audience without worrying about language barriers.
- Avoidance of legal issues: A simple miscommunication can lead to legal issues. For instance, if a document is mistranslated and the information is not easily relayed or understood, your business might be deemed unreputable.
- Money savings: While working with a business translation service is an investment, it can save money and time in the long run. Trying to translate by yourself or hiring an unaccredited freelancer can lead to costly legal and communication issues and take up too much of your valuable time.
Tip: If you make an unintentional marketing mistake due to a translation gaffe, be sure to apologize. As apologies differ across the world, craft a public statement tailored to resonate with the culture you're trying to reach.
What to look for in a business translation service
Interested in working with a business translation service? Don't compromise on the following features by working with an untested independent translator, which could lead to costly legal issues that tarnish your brand's reputation.
- Translation localization: Using a translation service that can localize the requested translation helps your business appear more credible in the given target market. Localized translations market a product or service as though it was developed in that specific location rather than where the business is based.
- Quality control: Working with a business translation service that practices quality control, pays attention to detail, has an editing team, and employs naturally fluent speakers will ensure accurate and error-free translations.
- Single point of contact: Having just one point of contact provides a seamless process on your end. While the service might have multiple people and editors working on your translations, you shouldn't have to worry about communicating with multiple people or departments.
- Credibility: The business translation service you choose for your company should have the right experience and qualifications to get the job done. Look for specific certifications (if applicable), educational background and years of experience.
- Quick turnaround: While you want an accurate, high-quality translation, if you have an urgent project, you'll want to make sure you hire a service that works efficiently and offers the necessary turnaround.
- Data security: Especially if you're in a data-sensitive industry like the healthcare field, you'll want to ensure the business translation service you're working with keeps all information secure and confidential.
FYI: If you do work in the healthcare industry, third-party services like translators aren't the only data vulnerability you need to watch out for – you should also know all about cybersecurity for smart medical devices.
Best business translation services
Here are four recommendations for business translation services:
Morningside (formerly Net-Translators)
Morningside, which acquired Net-Translators in 2019, is a full-service translation firm with high-tech expertise, industry certifications and a unique multilingual testing center.
Morningside offers translation and localization services in more than 60 different languages and can translate generic business documents and provide certified translations of official documents. Morningside works in various industries, including legal services, life sciences, IP services, finance and corporate compliance.
- High-tech capabilities: In addition to software localization, Morningside can provide desktop publishing, web content localization and international search engine optimization. The company uses translation memory technology to assist human translators by saving translation sentences or snippets in a database for future use.
- Certifications: The translation service is compliant with the quality management standards of the International Organization for Standardization and the EN-15038, a European quality standard specifically for translation service providers. Morningside also complies with the standards of the Localization Industry Standards Association.
- Support resources: In addition to email and telephone support, each user is assigned a multilingual project manager whose area of expertise is relevant to each translation project.
InWhatLanguage earns high scores for utilizing naturally fluent translators and a multistep quality assurance process to ensure linguistic and cultural accuracy. It offers a wide range of services, including desktop publishing, localization testing and the ability to support a vast number of languages.
Specifically, inWhatLanguage provides translation, transcription and interpreting services for all industries in more than 160 languages. The service can also localize scripts, record voice-overs, implement subtitles, and transcribe audio and video files. In addition, it also offers website translations and international search engine optimization.
- High-tech capabilities: The service excels at desktop publishing, which gives users a simple solution for translating all their overseas marketing materials. InWhatLanguage's desktop publishing experts work with all major design applications, including QuarkXpress, AutoCAD and Adobe Illustrator. In addition, the service uses state-of-the-art translation memory management to help in the translation process.
- Certifications: All translators are certified, formally educated and naturally fluent speakers of the language in which they work. In addition, they are required to regularly pass a series of assessments that evaluate their professionalism, ethics comprehension and translation proficiency.
- Support resources: InWhatLanguage provides each client a dedicated project manager to attend to their needs. It also offers email and telephone support.
Dynamic Language offers a wide range of high-tech translation services, such as desktop publishing, software localization, and translation services for hearing and visually impaired clients. The service supports nearly 150 languages and provides all standard translation services, including website, multimedia and document translation.
The company also offers cultural consulting for businesses looking to expand into new international markets.
- High-tech capabilities: The service can support all major graphic design, presentation and word processing applications, which gives clients the option of getting the project delivered in virtually any format for digital or print use. Similar to other services, Dynamic Language also has expertise in international search engine optimization and uses translation memory tools to help with future projects.
- Certifications: Dynamic Language is compliant with the International Organization for Standardization, a recognized standard for quality management. The translation service also uses translators that have been certified by the American Translators Association.
- Support resources: Every project is assigned to a project manager who tracks the progress of each assignment through the production process. You can also communicate with Dynamic Language staff through a secure and confidential web portal.
TheWordPoint provides high-quality translation services for individuals and businesses in more than 50 languages. The company values effective communication, positive customer results and innovation. It employs professional, experienced, and certified translators and editors. All clients have to do is submit their document, select the translation language, choose their industry and provide project details.
- High-tech capabilities: In addition to translation services with quick turnaround, TheWordPoint offers localization, proofreading, and transcription services for audio and video recordings.
- Certifications: According to its website, TheWordPoint requires employees to participate in a lengthy certification process, including those for ATA, BDU, NAJIT, APTS and ITIA.
- Support resources: TheWordPoint's support team is available 24/7 for assistance. Additionally, businesses will be connected with one translation professional who will help walk them through the process and provide prompt responses to any questions or concerns.
Chad Brooks contributed to the writing and research in this article.