You may not know this, but it's World Translation Day on Saturday September 30th September. We spoke to three major translation companies about the day and the work they do in helping UK exporters to be understood internationally. In this interview, the team at AST Translation Services Ltd.
What’s your favourite phrase in any language for celebrating events like this?
We love the German expression for wishing a Happy New Year - einen guten Rutsch ins neue Jahr! – which is literally wishing someone a good slide into the new year! Maybe this could be also applied to the World Translation Day from now on??
Why is an appreciation of translation so important, generally speaking?
It is important because translation lets us talk to each other beyond our immediate surroundings and it opens doors to other cultures. It is a very skilled profession which is vital to ensuring clear communication across language barriers – in certain fields, such as medicine, this work can save lives, for example when providing healthcare information in people’s local languages. Translation makes us more knowledgeable as people and the world a more fascinating place!
And why is it so important for businesses to treat localisation seriously?
Professional translation eliminates the risk of misunderstanding. Clear and concise communication in your customer’s own language will make your brand and/or product more appealing to them, and will motivate them to buy from you; customers are now much more likely to buy when they can get the information in their own language on websites and other marketing materials.
What are your top three tips for companies going about translating their materials for an international audience?
- Research your target market when writing copy and advertising material; what works in English will not necessarily translate into other languages, and could even cause offence. Avoid slang and idioms.
- Make sure you specify the area that your translation is aimed for, bearing in mind that Spanish and French, for example, are spoken in many different countries and there are variations between regions.
- Go to a professional such as AST Language Services: the translators and proofreaders are rigorously screened and tested, and are all professionals experienced in their specialist fields. They also have the capacity to handle multiple large projects to tight deadlines, and can offer you a complete service to include project management, translation and careful checking of the final text.