Your client in another country only sees a translated version of your marketing material. Uncomfortable, isn’t it?

By Marcos Chiquetto

To define your communication strategy for your public, you hire a creative agency.

And choosing a creative agency is a difficult decision. You find out about their client portfolio and ask to see examples of their work. Then you choose the company that you believe will best meet your expectations.

At that point, they begin developing your marketing material: taglines, websites, material for social networks, packaging, pre-sale pieces, telemarketing scripts, etc. And you actively participate in the creative process. You give opinions. Vet proposals. You stay involved in the process until you feel good about the results.

After all, this material is the message your company delivers to the potential clients who don`t come to your offices, don`t see your factory, don`t see your lab, and don`t see your face. Many times, they don`t even see your product. And if you sell a service, they will only get to know your product after they have made their purchase.

All they see are your marketing messages, which compose for them an image of your company.

And then you export. Your potential clients are now in another country, speak another language and have a different culture. How will they get to know your company, get to know your product, get to know you?

− Through the same marketing messages that I took so much care to develop.

Well. Not exactly the same messages. They will receive those messages translated into another language.

Have you thought about what this means?

What does translating involve? To translate is to understand a message in its original language and recreate it in the target language. When your marketing material is translated into another language it is recreated. And since you are not embedded in that culture and perhaps aren`t fluent in that other language, you won`t be able to participate much in this second process of creation. You`ll have to take it on faith that it turned out well.

And if the translator doesn`t do a good job, he may ruin everything that was achieved in the original creative process. Your target public may receive messages that are different from what you intend to convey, which could have a negative effect on their willingness to do business with you. They could even decide not to buy your product because of a bad translation.

And it is likely that you won`t even know that.

Uncomfortable, isn’t it?

So how can you get more comfortable? The safest way is to choose your translation agency with the same care that you took when you chose your creative agency. Find out about the company`s portfolio of clients, look at examples of work they have done, and choose the best company.

Adopt this basic concept: the money you spend on translations shouldn`t be classified or thought of simply as an expense. It`s an investment that has to bring a return.

− And if I choose a bad translator?

Then the accounting is much simpler. The money spent on translation can simply be considered an expense.

Marcos Chiquetto is an engineer, Physics teacher, translator, and writer. He is the director of LatinLanguages, a Brazilian translation agency specialized in providing multilingual companies with translation into Portuguese and Spanish.

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LatinLanguages Translation

Brazilian translation agency founded in 1985. We translate to/from English, Portuguese and Spanish. See more at http://www.latinlanguages.com.br/