Business English

The Easy Guide to Business Translation

Are you considering expanding your business to foreign audiences? If so, finding out about business translation is likely at...

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Are you considering expanding your business to foreign audiences? If so, finding out about business translation is likely at the top of your list. In this article, we’ll look at how you can connect with consumers who speak English as a foreign language and those who don’t speak it at all. We’ll also provide some points on how you can find the right translation company to meet your particular needs. 

Business Translation 101 for a Translation Company

What is the concept of business translation? Business translation is an umbrella term that covers anything a business might need to translate, from paper-based documents to electronic documents and services such as e-commerce sites. Ofer Tirosh, CEO of translation agency Tomedes, points out that this is a huge area of work. A translation company can deliver many specialist services under the umbrella of business translation. We’ll take a look at some of these below. 

In this article, we’ll be focusing on the example of a business expanding overseas, but many other situations can give rise to the need for business translation. Mergers, acquisitions, new funding partnerships, even reaching out to new domestic audiences who speak other languages natively can all mean a business finds itself in need of a translation company. 

Why you need a translation company now more than ever

The value of connecting with consumers in their native language quickly becomes apparent when you consider that 72.4% of consumers report being more likely to buy a product that has information in their own language. Based on this finding, relying on those who use English as a foreign language to shop in English means missing out on roughly three out of every four customers. 

Add to this the fact that the baseline forecast for the global economy in 2020 is a 5.2% contraction in GDP and it’s easy to see why many businesses are keen to do all they can to expand their reach through business translation services. 

Specialist types of business translation 

We mentioned that business translation is a discipline that includes various specialisms. If your company is looking to connect with foreign audiences, for example, then you’ll likely be in need of some if not all of the following:

  • Website translation services. This is where many companies start their business translation journey. Your website can allow you to connect with potential customers across the world, provided it is in the right language. As this process requires technical as well as linguistic skill, you’ll need a translation company that offers experience in this area. 
  • Localization. This is a service that takes business translation for things like websites to the next level. It adapts the translation so that it suits the target audience, rather than simply translating the copy. On a website, for example, that could mean altering prices to another currency and putting a different e-payment service in place. 
  • Marketing translation services. Whether you use glossy brochures, direct emails, or any other form of marketing, using a business translation service with experience in marketing to your target market can help your materials to shine. 
  • Social media translation. These days, the quickest way to raise awareness of something is to share it with the world via social media. Don’t rely on social media platforms’ inbuilt translation tools to deliver your marketing messages succinctly – using a professional translation company will deliver higher quality results. 

We could go on. Business translation specialisms also encompass advertising translation, financial translation, technical translation and more. Any element of the process of producing a product and getting it to market can mean using one sort of business translation specialist or another. That’s why it’s important to use a highly experienced translation company as part of your efforts to reach out to those who either speak English as a foreign language or don’t speak it at all. 

How to find the right business translation company 

How do I choose a translation business? Start by asking around your professional network for recommendations and then expand your search online should you need to. When choosing a translation company, assess the specialisms that it offers and seek out evidence of those skills in action, through reviews, client testimonials and examples of past work. By pairing the translation company you choose with the particular types of business translation that you need, you’ll be off to a good start. 

It’s also important to prioritize good customer service. Your relationship with your translation company should hopefully last for months if not years, so you need to ensure that you’re happy with the level of customer care that you’re receiving. 

Another point to look out for is that your translators speak the target language natively, rather than the original language of your business documents. This will help to ensure a higher quality end result. By tying all of these requirements together, you should end up with a translation company that can help you to maximize the opportunities that business translation presents. 


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