In this day and age, no business that wants to maximize its income can afford to ignore the potential that international expansion offers. The global economy is thriving. Statista shows actual and then projected global gross domestic product growth increasing year-on-year from USD $74 779.48 billion in 2015 to $111 569.46 billion in 2024.
Industries of all sizes around the globe are increasingly relying on translation services to stay ahead of the competition – and in some cases just to keep up. We can explore the KOF Index of Globalization to understand this in simple terms. The index ranks countries based on their economic, social and political globalization credentials.
Switzerland tops the 2019 Globalization Index, followed by the Netherlands, Belgium, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. A company looking to make the most of these globalized countries, all of which sit within a relatively small geographic area (at least in global terms), will need both translation services and localization services in order to truly excel.
What is a translation service?
A translation service is a service that converts text from one language to another. What is the difference between translation and localization? Put simply, translation deals with language conversion, while localization addresses a far wider range of elements, from code to images and everything in between. The goal of localization is to adapt the content in question to the specific expectations of a local audience.
When it comes to accessing global market opportunities, both translation and localization are key. Language barriers are a major obstacle for domestic businesses to overcome when they are seeking international clientele.
Overcoming language barriers can also open up access to domestic markets. A Hispanic US company that takes the time to translate from Spanish to English will find that it suddenly has access to a much broader customer base. The Spanish to English translation means that 80% of the US population who speak English as their first language will now have the opportunity to engage with that company in their native tongue.
Why use translation services? Because they have the potential to increase your customer base, open up new partnerships, reduce manufacturing costs and, ultimately, make your business more profitable.
Finding the right translation company (we’re talking human translation here – never machine) is the cornerstone of a successful language translation strategy. A decent agency will have specialists in a range of subject areas. When you’re first developing your product to sell overseas, their product translation team will be there to help. When you’re ready to undertake marketing activities, they will have a marketing translation specialist on hand to help. And when it comes to that all-important website translation, professional translation services will take care of everything from blog posts and imagery to coding and tags.
It’s important to layout your need for document translation services clearly as part of your overall go-to-market strategy. This is not some last-minute bolt-on, but an integral part of your international success. This planning process will outline whether you’re likely to need all of these translation specializations at once, or whether the translation work should be completed in phases.
Who needs translation services?
Businesses across a wide range of industries need translation services. If you want to connect with customers overseas, but don’t speak their language, you’ll need a professional language translator on hand – or several of them, most likely. Many businesses tend to rely on several core translation services.
First off, many businesses use legal translation services in order to ensure that their contracts and agreements with international partners are watertight. Many also use certified translation services to affirm the authenticity of the translated documents. Certificates of certification are particularly useful when dealing with government agencies.
Manufacturing companies also often rely on technical translation services in order to bring their products to the global market. Technical translators have specialist knowledge that means they can translate everything from detailed instruction booklets to datasheets.
Another commonly used language translation service is financial translation. Financial documents can be tricky to translate, so it’s important to use a suitably qualified individual. Whether it’s your accounts or an intricate costing proposal, there’s no room for error when it comes to financial translation.
How to contact agencies for providing translation services
Finding a suitably skilled and experienced translation services provider isn’t difficult but does require some careful consideration. Different agencies cater to different translation specialisms, so be sure to find one that provides all of the business translation services that you need. Research them in detail and read reviews online and asked for a clear and detailed explanation of their costs, timescales, and approaches to quality control.
Remember localization as well as translation
If you’re planning to access global market opportunities, it’s also essential to ask about localization services. Translation alone will not suffice if you want to do all you can to connect with local audiences.
An effective translation is one that is curated specifically for the target audience, not only in the way that copy is translated but also how it is presented, from images to the way that it caters to specific cultural trends and quirks.
Ensure that the agency you use delivers both translation services and localization services and you’ll be doing all you can to maximize your chances of success.