Avoiding Marketing Translation Traps

Translating marketing documents can be a minefield. Wordplay, puns and slogans are all dangerous traps which can ensnare an unsuspecting translator. A wrong move can lead to a negative brand impression, and worst of all, a loss of potential clients or customers. It can happen to the biggest of brands, and in today’s online world, prolific mistakes are immortalized on various forums and websites.

So how can this be avoided? If the biggest brands are making these mistakes, how can the rest of us prevent such occurrences?

You need to ensure that your work accurately reflects the cultures and languages you are working in.

Choose Native Speakers

No one understands a language or culture better than a native speaker. No matter how hard a translator tries, even if it’s their second language, they’ll never be able to understand unique language characteristics and anomalies as well as someone translating into their mother tongue.

Always check with your translation company that their translators work into their native language in order to avoid any nasty mishaps on your marketing documents.

Industry Understanding and Experience

Your translator should also be an expert in your industry and have a full and well-rounded understanding of the subject they’re translating. If this is lacking, it can have disastrous consequences, especially if you’re marketing a very specialist product, such as pharmaceuticals or medical equipment.

Your translator needs to understand the concepts you’re projecting, and in order to do that, they should be familiar with the industry your marketing materials relate to. Don’t be afraid to ask your translation company if their translator assigned to your project has relevant industry experience. They should be able to apply different terms to different applications where appropriate (see our recent blog post on translating for the pharmaceutical industry to find out more about this).

Choosing the Right Translation Company

It’s essential that your chosen translation company fulfill the above criteria as a bare minimum. Translators should be open and honest about services available, as well as experience and existing knowledge.

Alexika provides translators working into their mother tongue with industry specific experience to work on your project. Get in touch with our team today to discuss your brief.