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world translation day: cicero

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, we talk to Marcus Jones from Cicero Translations.


What’s your favourite phrase in any language for celebrating events like this?

We love Scandinavian words that have no direct translation in English. ‘Koselig’ (Norwegian) is often translated simply as ‘cosy’, but it means much more than this. It can be used to describe a wide range of situations and is ideal for celebrations as it can express the notion of sharing good times with others.

Why is an appreciation of translation so important, generally speaking?

Translation is key to communicating with people from around the world. Learning about people from other backgrounds and cultures is both important and interesting but it can be hard without the ability to communicate in someone’s native language. Translation offers a way to open our eyes to things that are not possible to see without it.

And why is it so important for businesses to treat localisation seriously?

Anything you write is a reflection of your brand and translation is the key to being heard in other countries. Translation is also much more than fluency in a language as it also incorporates other important skills like cultural understanding and creative writing. This is why translation should be taken seriously and invested in by international businesses.

What are your top three tips for companies going about translating their materials for an international audience?

  • Know your audience – you may want your website in Spanish but are you targeting Spain or parts of Latin America? And what age group are you targeting? These questions impact upon the words and tone used to convey your message effectively.
  • Give a detailed brief – the more information you give, the more likely the translation will meet your expectations and be a great success.
  • Always use a professional translator – don’t be tempted to use someone you know who professes to be fluent in a language. Even if they are, other skills required to be a translator are likely lacking so avoid this and always use a professional.