Challenges regarding marketing translation

Challenges regarding marketing translation

A dash of creativity, a teaspoon of inspiration – marketing translation in a nutshell

Nearly all types of translation revolve around precise transposition of a given utterance into a foreign language. Nearly – with a noble exception for literary and marketing translations. Nobody questions the challenging nature of medical or legal translation, as if it were one of their inherent traits; few people, however, recognise the demands of marketing translation. It might seem that a great idea, a dash of creativity and a will to play with words are enough to come up with a compelling text; after all, there is no specific field of expertise that one has to thoroughly understand. The thing is, the target audience comprises of thousands (if not millions) of people that a translator is required to understand. And in case of international brand launch, one mistake might be a make or break for a given company.

Finding the perfect balance between unleashing your wild creativity and keeping within the boundaries

Marketing translations constitute a fundamental element of any company’s international development. These services are necessary at every single stage of such launch: from translating financial statements and offers for potential business partners, through establishing social media channels, to creating brand awareness among future customers. Leading business activity in a different country requires also thorough understanding of local culture, slang varieties, political life and technological limitations. Client’s requirements are of utmost importance, but so is linguistic and political correctness. There are far more aspects that have to be considered before even sitting down to proper work – and it does not get easier once we actually start brainstorming ideas and preparing initial propositions. While the texts are always supposed to be creative and eye-catching, they have to fully convey the intended meaning and reflect brand image and values – and this is the area where many negotiations take place. Such translations do not depend on literal, word-for-word transposition. This is the one field where freedom is vital for positive outcome, allowing the translator to unleash their creative potential and deliver revolutionary work that surpasses everyone’s expectations.

single string of words

When seemingly unimportant words have an overwhelming effect: the unforeseen and unwanted consequences of a simple mistake

While such translations are seemingly nothing more than just a wordplay, they might have a tremendous impact on someone’s success and further career – hence the great responsibility that comes with a single string of words. It does not even take thirty seconds to look up the worst translation fails in marketing history – but for these companies it surely did take longer to compensate, both in terms of finances and brand image, for such a misstep. Marketing translators are supposed to make the company speak the language of their target audience; that alone is a heavy burden, with the linguist being nearly solely responsible for making a given brand stand out among their rivals on the ruthlessly competitive international market. In order to succeed, one has to get to know the target audience; their cultural background, expected customer behaviour and inclinations. Every marketing translation starts with thorough research – and this applies not even to the commissioned text, but also to brand name.

Keeping two steps ahead of the competition: efficient use of marketing translation

This type of translation might be also used effectively as a daily tool in marketing activities; social media posts, newsletters and website updates also require adaptation to linguistic demands of target audience. Keeping close to your clients has proven to positively contribute to building a trust-based and long-lasting business relationships; retaining high quality of linguistic content results in positive feedback from the clients. International launch of a company is usually a revolutionary change – and it should not be done in a hurry. Preceded by thorough research, careful selection of specialists and adapting the content to the target audience, the final stage of presenting the overall effect to your potential clients seems to be the easiest one. And this is precisely how it should feel like.


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