With translation, quality matters. Don’t expect global consumers to purchase your product just because the content is written in their native language. If the translation quality is mediocre, the product will be viewed negatively. However, if the quality is great, your product stands a much better chance in the global market. Below are 4 reasons that outline why translation quality is crucial.
Localization improves brand perception
Branding goes beyond a logo or a graphic design. You need to ensure that the message the customer hears is the one that you meant to convey, taking into account cultural differences that may affect the way your message is perceived. It’s not just about translating your tagline or marketing material. It’s about knowing your target audience and effectively communicating with them in a way they understand, resulting in a tighter bond between the consumer and product.
Words aren’t the only important factor, even a poorly chosen color or style can send a negative message. In western countries, white can symbolize purity for marriage, but in China, white can be associated with death and funerals. Surely, a white wedding-themed ad campaign in China would leave quite a few people scratching their heads. When reaching customers around the word, cultural sensitivity and awareness is a virtue. Thus, your product and its content must be suitable for each market that it is sold in.
Quality boosts credibility
Taking the time to have your product material translated for a variety of markets is just as important as creating a great product, attention to detail is critical. Poorly translated material may damage your brand’s reputation.
It’s no secret that credibility is a crucial part of business. Additionally, sustaining credibility across markets with consistent messaging can mean a huge boost to your bottom line.
Translation quality increases consumer consumption
The first time a customer interacts with your product it will leave an impression. Customers can immediately catch translation mistakes and make a judgement about product quality, which feeds into their overall impression of your business. To support global customers and expand your market, you need to have accurate, high quality localized content. Common Sense Advisory, a market research company, states that:
- Over 70% of consumers said they would be more likely to buy a product with information written in their own language.
- 2% of consumers said that the ability to obtain product information in their own language is more important than price.
It’s natural to prefer things that are familiar and easy to understand. Thus, a product with well translated marketing material can command a premium price.
Transcreation is a distinct translation process that is used to describe cross-cultural adaption while maintaining intent, style, tone, and context. Transcreation deals with the nuance of the language and goes a step beyond translation to sharpen your message to a particular market, thereby evoking the same emotions and carrying the same implications in the target language as it does in the source language. In other words, it is the art of tailoring the language for a targeted international audience to create optimal appeal.
“Lost in translation” may be an overused saying, but is a real concern. KFC’s “Finger Lickin’ Good” slogan was translated as “Eat your fingers off” in Chinese, which does not sound quite as appetizing. The most obvious translation might be irrelevant, utterly confusing, or even offensive in this case. Thus, your message should be able to compete with other brands in its target language to resonate most effectively with the local audience.
To conclude, companies wishing to go global with a product or service should realize how critical translation quality is to their success overseas. Well translated content can make your product stand out above the competition and make a true connection with your target market, thereby improving the usability of your product and the overall credibility of your company.
Written by Kwon Billingsley – Technical Writer at CSOFT International