Sure, you may be multilingual. You’re fluent in communicating in several languages and that’s an amazing accomplishment. Or, you may have some highly-rated software that translates documents for you. That’s terrific, too. It’s not the same when it comes to the translation of market research materials. If you attempt to translate your surveys into different languages yourself, you’re apt to run into challenges that could seriously derail your success. You’re going to benefit greatly by working with a translation agency skilled in marketing. But why?
True Translation Does Not Equal Literal Transcription
You may be adept at speaking the language of your target audience or maybe you can translate word-for-word in another language. However, that’s not the key to the translation of your research project. Changing up the literal words into a new language can cause your messages to lose its intended meaning. The German language, for instance, features sentences that are commonly two to three times as long as American phrases. In the USA, we try to steer clear of passive tense statements, but in China, they are the most common. Proper translation cannot be a word-for-word – it must reflect more than that.
Knowledge of Culture
The secret to any successful marketing campaign is to make the message feel like you were writing it just for the intended audience. Personalization and attention to detail is key. Consumers are always going to gravitate toward the product or service that understands them. Without knowledge of the culture, you could seriously miss the mark. For example, Pampers tried to sell their diapers in Japan using images of the stork delivering a baby. The attempt fell flat because peaches deliver babies in Japan – not storks. Needless to say, that message didn’t resonate well!
Because cultures differ greatly across borders, it’s essential for translators to have a creative license with the material. Often, as a seasoned researcher, it’s easy to get excited about the content you have written, proud of the imagery and eloquent message. The style is all “you,” but when the message is translated, it should be all “them.” If you’re delivering the content to Japan, Germany, Korea or India, the translation needs to reflect that through the creative license. A professional translation service, like us, will take your message and convert it properly to the intended audience. Not only do we speak many languages, but most importantly, we speak market research. We understand the nuances involved in translating it across borders.