2020 hasn’t been the best of years for UK businesses in general so far. From the everlasting uncertainty of Brexit to now a world-wide pandemic, companies and business owners had to tackle several difficulties at once, which in many cases profoundly affected their day-to-day operations. Nonetheless, on a more positive note, the recent breakout of coronavirus now appears to be relatively under control, and so more and more business can again re-open their services to the consumers.
Despite these turbulences, business owners and organizations still remain somewhat positive when it comes to approaching foreign markets, and perhaps rightly so. With developments in technology, widely available internet and a globalized business climate, penetrating foreign markets and acquiring overseas customers has never been easier and more beneficial.
Businesses however, in order to successfully approach new foreign marketstoday, must fully adapt their campaigns and tailor them specifically for each of the chosen markets. Despite globalization, consumers are nowadays fully aware of their individual value to the world-wide market, and so approaching them with a generic message usually no longer works. A company must customize their strategy, approach and messages in order to reach those consumers successfully.
There are several factors, which must be fully adapted in order to create a fruitful campaign, nonetheless, one of the most significant aspects, which simply cannot be ignored when expanding abroad is the use of language native to the potential customers. As a result, translation agencies offering professional language services have become key business partners for a number of organizations, across practically all corporate sectors.
Although professional translation services are nowadays an integral and essential part of expanding your business abroad, many business owners, especially those who have never required a translation of their materials before, do not fully understand how to go about acquiring them. We have prepared this article in order to help you in navigating through the different options, as well as to explain how to choose the best translations agency and which aspects you should pay attention to when professionally translating your documents and materials for the first time.
Do I really need a professional translation?
If you are expanding your business abroad, the answer to that question is remarkably simple: Yes, you do need professional translation services. You cannot successfully approach a foreign market if you do not do so in its native language. A recent study shows, that more than 80% of European customers are more likely to complete a purchase, if the information about a product or service is available to them in their language and 1 in 4 says that they never buy products if they are not able to read about them in their mother tongue. As you can see, the correct use of language and ensuring that the key information about your business are provided to the market in a language the potential customers will be able to understand completely is nothing short of essential.
Where do I start?
For many, acquiring a translation service can be a confusing process, especially if they do not have any previous experience in doing so.
Fortunately, however, most of the professional translation agencies in the United Kingdom have now streamlined their processes, and so that getting your content, materials or documents converted into another language is actually fairly simple and straightforward.
Nonetheless, deciding which materials to translate in the first place can still be challenging task, affected and determined by numerous internal and external factors.
For example, if your organization plans to trade with the international audience online, it is key to translate the company’s website. It will, in most cases, be the initial way of interacting with a potential customer. As a result, making sure that all the information about products, services, as well as the legal aspects (warranties, returns etc.) are professionally translated into the market’s native language can significantly increase the conversion rate, as well as build a positive company image – further helping you in growing your revenue.
If in addition to trading online you also plan to have a physical presence in the target market, e.g. a store, translating other marketing materials such as leaflets, business cards or brochures should strongly be considered.
Fortunately, majority of translation agencies can nowadays advise you which specific content, materials and documents you should consider translating based on your particular circumstances. Thus, if you plan to expand abroad but still aren’t exactly sure what to translate, simply contact a professional translations provider and based on their experience they will be able to advise youcompetently.
How much do translations cost?
The cost of a professional translation can be a complex matter, as there are many aspects which can influence the final price. Although the pricing in United Kingdom might vary from one language provider to another, we’ll look at the average costs and give you a ballpark figure of what you can expect when working with a translation agency.
Generally speaking, in the UK, prices are usually based on the per word basis. The price for translating a document depends on 4 key factors, and those are:
- Total wordcount
- Language pair
- Type of material
- Expected turnaround time
Naturally, the total wordcount of a document is the major factor defining the final price, nonetheless, it is the least significant when it comes to establishing the actual cost per word. It shows in the fact that some language agencies might offer slightly cheaper rates or discount for larger documents.
Language pair and type of material you wish to convert are perhaps the two most significant factors affecting the price per word of a professional translation. Some of the more popular languages, for example Spanish, French or German tend to be slightly cheaper than for example Mandarin or Hebrew, simply due to their availability amongst professional linguists. Similarly, legal documents are generally speaking easier to understand and to translate, as a result, the price per word is usually cheaper than for example, marketing materials, which must to not only be accurately translated, but also require a second, independent proofreading and a careful localization, to ensure that they are suitable for the target audience.
The turnaround time can also affect the price of a translation. More urgent projects are usually more expensive compared to those with a more flexible timeline, and so if you intend to translate your documents/materials, make sure you reach out to a language providers relatively early, as this will not only ensure lower prices, but will also give you more time to find just the right translation agency for your particular needs.
How can I findthe best translation agency for my needs?
In order to find the best possible translation agency for your particular requirements, you must fully understand the specific factors which can directly impact the quality of language services the agency provides.
- Working with native linguists
- Specific sector expertise
- Official memberships
- Secure, in-house system
- Streamlined processes
Finding a reliable translations provider can be a difficult task, especially for businesses or organizations which haven’t required such services in the past, and so they perhaps do not have a clear overview and a deep understanding of factors, which can prove to be key when choosing a translation agency.
One of the most important aspects to pay close attention to when browsing through language suppliers, is to ensure that your content will be translated by a native speaker of the target language. This will guarantee not only highest possible linguistic accuracy but will also allow your materials to be translated by a potential customer and a consumer within your chosen market.
The translation agency of your choice should also display knowledge and expertise within your particular business area and type of materials you wish to translate. Translating, for example, legal documents, is different to converting medical, marketing or even financial documents. As a result, making sure that the supplier/agency has previous experience in working with organizations similar to yours can ensure accuracy when it comes to jargon and terminology specific for your particular business sector. Additionally, a great way of making sure that the agency of your choice is able to translate to the highest possible standards is checking whether they are a member of an official translation body, for example, the ATC (Association of translation agencies). In order to become a member of such association, a company must demonstrate that the quality of their translations as well as customer service are extraordinarily high.
Last, but definitely not least, when contacting a translation company, it is key to examine whether they use their own, bespoke and secure in-house software to store your documents and issue quotes. This guarantees not only security, but also allows the agency to streamline their processes – from receiving your documents, to issuing price quote and delivering your translation. Such straightforward process can be time and budget friendly.
Where do I a professional translation agency?
There are numerous ways in which you can begin searching for a professional translation services provider. Some of them include:
- Google search
- Visiting specialized websites, such as the ATC or CIOL
- Browsing third-party review websites, such as TrustPilot
- Asking business owners from your sector for recommendations
Professional translation is a key element in today’s business world. Any company wishing to expand into foreign markets and to trade with international customers must do so in their native language. There are several elements you should consider covering – from your company’s website and other marketing materials to legal documents and other business elements – working directly with an expert language agency can prove to be extremely beneficial in the long term, especially in such globalized world.