Translate your business for new markets like a pro. Part 1Mikołaj Gołębiewski
Translating your content into other languages may be a large undertaking. However, numerous surveys show that when it comes to online shopping, looking for service providers or simply browsing the net, online users tend to opt for websites in their native language. Choosing not to localise your content is one of the most fundamental mistakes you can make while entering a new market.
Once we decide to translate our texts, we should include that service in our budget. Its cost differs depending on the amount and scope of work. However, the price decreases at the later stages of the undertaking – as we keep on adding more material to translate. That’s why we should be adequately prepared for the whole process.
In this part of the article, we will explain how to decide which content is best suited for localisation and how to find a translation service provider that will meet our needs.
Select the content you need to translate
Before you ask a specialist – be it a translation agency or a freelancer – to localise your content, you have to specify the scope of work. There’s probably no need to translate every single text that has ever been created within your business activity. Determine if:
- A particular text is still up-to-date and helpful for your users.
- Your target audience comprehends and interprets your content the same way your “original” recipients do. Sometimes cultural differences call for introducing significant changes. In such cases, consider going for transcreation instead.
- You need to localise a number of shorter texts – if so, include them all in one file (e.g. an Excel spreadsheet) to streamline the process and provide translators with a wider context.
By preselecting materials you can determine which texts are the most relevant and avoid any potential unclarities. Even if your content base is larger, you can always limit the range. To learn more about the preselection process, check out our article.
How to find a high-quality translation provider?
Let’s say you’ve settled on the content you want to translate. Now you have to face an even more challenging task – selecting a contractor. Unless you work in a large international corporation with a dedicated in-house localisation team, you’d probably have to turn to external specialists. You can choose between a translation agency and a freelance translator.
Once you have set your eyes on some interesting options, check the reviews. Visit the most popular industry-specific sites, google your prospects and peruse their LinkedIn profiles. Some translation agencies run their dedicated websites where they share their knowledge and enlist the essential terms of cooperation. You can also simply ask your friends and colleagues for recommendations. You may be surprised at how many people have found themselves in need of translation services, and how glad they are to put in a good word for the freelancers and agencies they consider to be the most reliable.
While exploring dedicated websites, you probably start from analysing the price list. It may seem unclear at first, but remember that the lowest base rate does not always equal the best offer.