When you first come across language services, you might be confused:
“Transcreation? Localisation? Translation? I just want my content in another language!”
In truth all translation services have their place, and you might need most of them at different times – Each of them might need different teams of translators, processes, tools and pricing structure. This is why it’s important to use the right service at the right time to make sure your translation process is successful.
So, which service is right for your situation? Let’s start by understanding the differences in each one:
Translation is the process of rendering text from one language into another. Which is like saying “writing is the activity of composing text” – technically correct, but oh so broad.
Usually translation is categorised based on the sector it targets and the expertise that a translator needs to have to do a good job.
Some popular categories are:
According to the specialism, different translators will be needed – affecting both turnaround times and pricing. A legal, technical or medical text, for example, will require a deep knowledge of the selected field as well as translation experience, which will increase the cost of translators for the agency and will affect the final price. The increased complexity and/or research needed will often make the translation take longer.
This is a non-exhaustive list of file formats that can be translated:
DTP refers to a service used mostly when translating marketing and printed materials, carried out in the original sources files of a graphical document and includes typesetting and formatting to deliver a print-ready translation.
Wikipedia defines localisation as “the process of adapting a product to a specific country or region”.
The main difference between translation and localisation is that the target culture, as well as the language, must be taken into account in order to successfully adapt the product to local markets. This means making sure that the content as a whole, including references, pricing, time and date formats, and at times even colours and images, fit in and are familiar to the local culture.
Localisation is not confined to countries where different languages are spoken: often it can be useful for a single language that has regional or national differences – for example, South American and European Spanish, but also UK and US English.
Now, there is some confusion: lately the terms “translation” and “localisation” have been used interchangeably, especially when referring to “good translation”. So, it’s good to clarify with your vendor.
Localisation is most often required for the adaptation of websites, software and video games and usually has a strong technical component to it. It is (or at least it should be) often followed by a QA process, carried out by native speakers.
Localising your website into other languages can be one of the best investments you make.
It’s a great way to:
The website localisation process:
This service is usually charged per hour.
Find out how much it would cost to translate your website here:
Transcreation is often described as ‘creative translation’, but in fact it is far more complex than this.
Transcreation, carried out by translators who are also copywriters in their own language, takes into account the cultural and contextual differences between source and target markets, which often means making cultural adjustments beyond the point of localisation.
As a result, the transcreated text should read as if it were originally written in the reader’s native language and deliver exactly the same impact and evoke the same emotions as the source text gave to readers in the original language.
An example of translation vs transcreation can be seen below:
Sometimes, the translation of content is not the best approach to engage with consumers in new markets. These consumers have their own unique culture and identity – that’s why brands may choose to engage with their international customers with content created specifically for them.
Copywriting is a highly creative process and as such requires detailed briefing and an open channel of communication with the end client to ensure that work is created to their specification.
Reference material is a large factor in ensuring the copywriter has the necessary information to produce copy that meets the requirements ands expectations of the end client. Some examples of reference material include information about the target customer, images of products, previous examples of creative content, and brand’s tone-of-voice guidelines.
Multilingual copywriting is carried out by native-speaking writers. In this case, their writing ability is much more important that their understanding of other languages.
Clients will often ask for a “certified translation”.
In this case, the most important thing is to ask which kind of certification they need, as there isn’t a single, global certification.
Usually a translation certification from an agency consists in a stamp and an accompanying letter stating that the translation has been completed by a professional translator and is, to the best their knowledge, of high quality and true to the original text.
This is certainly the case in the US and UK, but to complicate things, different countries have different certification systems in place. For example, in France and Spain, translations to be used in court will have to be carried out by “sworn translators”.
In some cases, translations will need to be accompanied by a notarisation, an extra step where a notary is required to certify the translator’s signature on the affidavit used to attest the accuracy of the translation.
With the recent advancements in AI, Machine Translation is on everyone’s mind.
But what is it? And how good is it?
The term “machine translation” (MT) refers to the use of computer software to translate text automatically.
There are two types of machine translation: rule-based, where software attempts to model the rules of a language; and statistical, where the computer attempts to learn from large amounts of text that have been previously translated.
Although great advancements have been made in recent years, machine translation should not be used for business-critical content, as the quality is currently far inferior to human translation.
Although general machine translation still leaves much to be desired for, when machine translation engines are customised, they can provide a better result.
During the process of customisation, human translators train a specific engine to handle a specific client’s work.
To make machine translation a realistic option, you need to meet these criteria:
First, let’s look at how Google Translate works:
We test Google’s machine translation regularly to see how the quality compares.
The hypothesis is that one day Google’s quality will be sufficient that it can replace the translator in the translation process, and then be edited by a professional human translator to get it up to the required quality.
All of our testing so far has shown that it is more time-consuming correcting Google’s translations, but there are deviations from language pair to language pair, and according to the type of text.
In our tests Google Translate has consistently performed better when translating English into Spanish and Italian than it has translating into French and German. It also translates general texts – simple communications and simple grammatical phrases – far better than more complex specialised texts.
However, even in the best cases we have so far found that the time required to correct the machine translated text means that it is more cost-effective to translate from scratch.
It’s impossible to talk about content without mentioning SEO, no matter which language you operate in.
Building a site and forgetting about it hoping for traffic is the online equivalent of opening a shop in the desert. In the same way, a localisation of your site alone often won’t be enough if it’s not executed with SEO in mind.
Sometimes referred to as global or multilingual SEO, international SEO is the optimization of a website for internet users within a specific locale. This service is often executed in conjunction with website translation and it helps building the online presence of a business in a foreign country.
We go through a detailed account set-up process for each new client to build a profile of exactly the right linguistic team. We then hand-pick a team from our pre-vetted database of language and translation professionals. Where necessary we head-hunt through our global network. Our network of professional translators extends around the globe and includes more than 6,000 expert linguists. They support our translation services from on-site locations all over the world.
Because of the volume of work we do, we regularly work with many of the world’s best professional translators. Our translation workflow tools continually track and assess the performance of our translators, but there is no substitute for the quality assurance and customer service provided by our in-house expert linguist Project Managers. Our translation services have been independently audited and awarded the ISO 17100 and ISO9001 quality standards. Internally we have created a client service charter which distills our aspirations into a set of key principles that guide the way that we work, the way that our clients are treated, and the way that we deliver our translation services. Call us to find out how we can help you manage your translations.
If you’re looking for a way of marketing your products and services to consumers around the world, you might wish to harness the benefits of creative translation – or transcreation services. You may already have marketing copy that has proven effective in reaching one target market but in order for it to attract consumers who speak other languages you will need to enlist TranslateMedia’s award-winning transcreation services.
Our document translation services are fast, secure and flexible. We’re able to handle almost any document format. At the core of our document translation services lies our proprietary translation management software STREAM which links in with our dedicated translation management software. While other agencies have now followed in our path, we were among the very first translation agencies to implement a document translation workflow system. This gives us the advantage of having been continuously developing our software for over five years which means we have a mature and highly evolved suite of tools.
Founded in 2004, TranslateMedia Legal is an established leader in translation services. We continue to enjoy success thanks to our efficient, professional approach. We have passed successive quality audits and in 2010 were ranked in the top 10 fastest growing digital media & technology companies in Europe. We develop our own translation management technology that allows us to focus on providing a top quality customer experience.
TranslateMedia understands that there are different types of documents which need to be translated in the pharmaceutical industry. To ensure that documents comply with Regulatory standards in Europe, North America and Asia TranslateMedia has partnered with ERA Consulting. ERA Consulting are Regulatory Affairs experts for the pharmaceutical industry and offer Pharmacovigilance solutions.
Founded in 2004, TranslateMedia Financial is an established leader in financial translation. We continue to enjoy success thanks to our efficient, professional approach. We have passed successive quality audits and in 2010 were ranked in the top 10 fastest growing digital media & technology companies in Europe. We develop our own translation management technology that allows us to focus on providing a top quality customer experience.
We understand that your website has the potential to connect your business to a global audience, but a poor translation can alienate your target market. Our expert language services guarantee accuracy, punctuality, and confidentiality, which is why TranslateMedia is currently a market leader for translating websites and blogs into over 90 languages.
The way in which a brand communicates with consumers varies by culture and also according to the product itself. Translating copy from one language and culture to another is therefore a highly sensitive operation. We provide a wide range of services for all kinds of international campaigns. Sometimes what we do falls somewhere between translating and copywriting “creative copy”. Often there is no simple name for what we do – it’s just explained in a creative brief…
Market research translation can be a valuable tool for success, whether your business is trying to improve its current standing on an international stage or expanding to reach a new foreign language market. At TranslateMedia, we offer market research translations to businesses around the world. Our post-graduate trained, qualified linguists work hard to provide high-quality results – they have a thorough understanding of the language and culture in which they are working, as well as the objectives of your multilingual research translation project.
We achieve very high quality technical translations by first selecting professional expert translators who have direct expertise in the relevant field. Then we examine the use of glossaries, implementing them through a Translation Memory system. Consistent, high-quality, clear technical translations can make a real difference to the uptake and perception of your product. Please contact one of our professionals to discuss your needs.
We have a large market share in online gaming based on our ability to build teams that deliver quickly. In terms of volume, our main gaming work is translating direct email marketing into multiple languages in a short period of time. This helps our clients to reach their subscribers when the news is as fresh as possible.
We are very familiar with the whole tendering process and welcome invitations to tender for public or governmental sector work. TranslateMedia has a long-standing relationships with various parts of government in several countries. We can also offer to consult on how to run an effective translations tender.
The need for sensitivity from your translation team is imperative. We translate and summarise political risk analyses for several leading security consultancies. We also translate highly confidential and sensitive materials where our data security and ability to maintain secrecy is of critical importance.
|“A big thank you to all, it’s a pleasure working with TranslateMedia. Out of all my third party suppliers you guys are no doubt the best!” Susie, Wunderman|