Need to Translate Global Business Documents? Discover 3 Reasons Why Translation Consulting Will Help You Cut Costs
Businesses that expand internationally must consider a variety of factors.
Whether it’s renting premises overseas, hiring international talent, or launching a new website to target prospective customers overseas: getting things started the right way is essential.
It is tempting to think that you “just” need to translate important documents from English to the local language.
But the truth is that it’s more complicated than that.
For example, advertising messages can’t just be translated, they have to be culturally aligned.
Legal documents that you use in your current business may refer to legal institutes that may not (or not in the same way) exist where you’re going. This raises all sorts of questions regarding legal compliance, an area that you definitely don’t want to neglect.
In this article, I will show you some ways in which qualified translation consulting can help secure your international business venture while being mindful of budgeting concerns.
Let’s dive into it!
Need to Translate Global Business Documents? Translation Consulting Involves Strategic Document Assessment for Cost-Effective Translation
- Methods to penetrate foreign markets
- Identification of target countries
- Customer base
- Understanding of the talent pool
- Product strategy
- Country specific employment policies
- Risk mitigation policies
- Business costs in foreign location
- Collaborating with global partners to enhance expansion
In order for an international business venture to be successful, most, if not all, of the elements above must be organized in a way that accounts for foreign language requirements.
The easiest would be to make a list of documents and to just translate one document after another, depending on relevance.
However, the truth is that, like any business venture, international document management cannot just be put into a one-size-fits all scheme.
Many documents will relate to one another and will have to be translated simultaneously. Other documents may not need to be translated at all, just in parts, or at a later point.
Translation consulting plays an essential role when it comes to prioritizing translation tasks.
Nobody knows your company better than you do. What’s more, every department has different needs.
While your in-house legal counsel will be the appropriate contact person when it comes to translating and harmonizing contracts, policies, and procedures, they will not be the right person to decide on the perfect sales slogan in a foreign language.
A translation consultant therefore cannot decide anything on your behalf.
Instead, they will work closely with the different departments of your company to help with the content analysis and, subsequently, the strategic prioritization of the required translations.
They can also communicate with the relevant expansion contacts/business partners in your target country and help with the analysis of documents that may already be in place.
Do you want to open a new branch? Start to sell a few products to test the waters? Hire international staff? Depending on how expansive your expansion is, a translation budget is used up in no time.
Therefore, it is essential to do an in-depth analysis of what’s already there, what’s needed right now, and what can wait.
This helps you or your client to be prepared in the best way possible when expanding internationally while keeping costs under control.
In other words, in-depth analysis helps determine which documents truly require translation for optimal global impact.
Need to Translate Global Business Documents? Translation Consulting Optimizes Costs through Targeted Translation Strategies—Using the gaming industry as an example
When it comes to product expansion in particular, an audience-centric approach that eliminates redundancies should be embraced from day one.
What does that mean?
Well, let’s say you’re in the business of selling computer games and want to expand your products into the DACH market. As you will know, the times when computer games were played by teenage boys only are long gone.
Anyone can be a gamer, regardless of their age, gender, ethnicity, and socio-economic status.
In fact, data from Global Web Index suggests that more 55-64-year-olds are playing games than ever before.
The so-called “grey gamer” plays competitively, partaking in e-sports and inspiring others their age to give gaming a go.
The “parent gamer” is another group that is becoming an increasingly important target for games companies.
These gamers are not only playing games in their spare time to relax, but are also playing with their kids, with research showing that 67% of parents play video games with their children at least once a week.
You may think that these are exceptions to the rule that places the 17 years old teenage boy in the center of the gaming industry’s attention.
But as a matter of fact, according to the same study conducted by tech jury in 2023, the average American gamer is not 17 years old, but 34.
What’s more, the average American gamer is 34 years old, owns a house, and has children.
And did you know that 32% of women video gamers play five times a week on mobile?
And this data pertains to the US only.
It is of great relevance to look at this kind of data for different countries, before planning a budget for an international marketing strategy and translation.
Does the DACH market have grey gamers and parent gamers? Maybe.
Or perhaps, things are still more “traditional” on the other side of the Atlantic, with the gaming scene mostly consisting of a predominantly teenage and male audience.
I wouldn’t know. You probably wouldn’t know, either.
But you need to know whom to ask the right questions, rather than guessing or, even worse, assuming you know what’s going on in other countries.
Otherwise, this can easily turn into a marketing blunder and cost you a lot of money.
A translation consultant will not do the marketing research for you, but they will have the cultural expertise and knowledge that is needed to facilitate communication between you and your target market.
They will be the person who can translate and adapt the marketing messages to your new audience while keeping costs reasonable.
Very often in my practice, I receive requests for translations that are eventually not even used. And even though this is technically not “my problem”, I find it unsatisfactory.
Therefore, I make it a point to offer my help in the pre-translation document review/strategic consultation process to provide at least a helping hand in the decision-making process that leads to my being hired as a translator.
This way, I help my clients eliminate redundancies and avoid unnecessary duplications while providing a broader, more satisfying service for everyone involved.
Interested in discussing your translation requirements?
Need to Translate Global Business Documents? Translation Consulting Optimizes Costs with Tailored Localization and Risk Management
Let’s shift our focus from marketing to legal texts.
One set of legal documents that is challenging in terms of language, content, and compliance are privacy policies.
When expanding your American or Canadian business into the DACH market, you will probably want to set up a German website to attract German-speaking clients.
As we’ve seen further up, the mere translation of marketing messages won’t cut it. You need to know who you’re talking to, when, where, and why.
While you may think this doesn’t apply to legal documents, I’m here to tell you that it does.
Privacy policies are often overseen on websites, typically hidden at the very bottom of a website’s footer.
And if you would like to shift your focus to the DACH market, you would need to become familiar with the requirements of the EU GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) and the FADP (Swiss Federal Act on Data Protection).
Strategic Localization Planning
In fact, we were looking at 3 entirely different legal systems: the Canadian one, the German (EU) one, and the Swiss one.
Many clients also do not realize that their physical representation in Germany, for example, isn’t required to trigger responsibilities under the GDPR. But the fact is that under certain conditions, the GDPR applies to companies that are not in Europe.
Simply put: If your company is not in the EU, but you cater to EU customers, then you should do what’s required to be GDPR-compliant.
There are the types of questions that fall under strategic localization planning, with which a lawyer-linguist who is familiar not only with the target language, but also the compliance side of things, can help your legal department.
Need to Translate Global Business Documents? Translation Consulting is the Answer. Here’s Where to Find the Best Translation Consulting Services
Selecting the Right Translation Partner
Selecting a translation partner that can help you navigate client expectations, culture, compliance requirements, and language nuances is crucial for the success of your business expansion.
If your goal is to find someone to translate documents for you, you need a translator.
But if your goal is sustainable international success, what you need is a translation consultant.
A professional who not only has the linguistic expertise required to translate the relevant documentation, but also the subject-matter expertise, cultural sensitivity, and experience that are needed to decide what situations require further investigation and planning before proceeding to translation.
Navigating the Landscape of Translation Services
In a nutshell: The difference between a translator and a translation consultant is that the former will do the translation without asking questions, whereas the latter will have a list of questions for you before getting started.
In this way, expertise and precision will be defining elements when it comes to getting your documents ready for international business.
Prioritizing Expertise and Precision
Finding the right service professional for a personal or business project will depend on a variety of factors.
These include the target market, specifications as set by an authority that requested a translation, translator certification, and subject-matter expertise of the translator.
If you are interested in discussing your translation requirements, I invite you to send me a message directly right here at email@example.com.
Interested in discussing your translation requirements?