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So you’ve made the excellent decision to translate your content into another language.
Congratulations! It’s a great first step to international success, since people are far more likely to place their trust in you, and hand over their money, if you speak to them in their own language.
But what do you need to translate? Where should you start? And how do you decide?
In this post, we’ll show you how to prioritise and triage your translation to-do list.
How to choose what to translate first
The good news is, you don’t need to translate every single piece of content you publish. And certainly not at the beginning. Most businesses start with their website. But you may not need to translate your entire website into each target language. There could be other pieces of content or materials that are more important than each and every webpage.
Which content is the most important can vary with each target market. Perhaps blog posts carry a lot of weight in one market. Or maybe a specific market really values emails and newsletters, while for others they’re just a nice-to-have. How do you know? Refer to your market research. Or check with a cultural consultant or translator.
Another thing to bear in mind is specific regulations. For instance, to sell products in the EU, you need to provide specific types of information in the official languages of the country you’re selling in
Essentially, you need to think long and hard about the experience that customers in each target market have with you and exactly what they need to know, when. Factor in cultural norms, customer expectations and regulations specific to each market. Then, make sure that that information is in their language.
First things to translate for your business
As explained above, what you should translate first will vary depending on your business, and the target market.
But here are the first things we’d generally recommend translating for a business looking to tap into the Portuguese market:
- Blog posts
- Price list
- Downloadable guides
- Key information
Testimonials take the top spot on this list because there are few things that help convince and convert customers more than genuine testimonials. Because people trust their peers more than they trust companies.
Once you’re well established in a market, you can gather testimonials originally written in your target language or languages. But the next best thing is having your existing testimonials professionally translated for use on your website, in emails, in print or wherever they can help win potential clients over.
We’ve all heard how important video content is for marketing. In fact, HubSpot research found that 89% of global marketers plan to continue investing or increase investments in video content in 2022.
But video can be costly. If you’ve put the time and effort into creating a video in one language, why not translate it while you’re at it? This can really boost its reach. You can opt for subtitles or even dubbing; the most appropriate option will all depend on the original video and the market’s expectations.
Blogs are a fantastic way of building your authority and your audience. They’re great for sharing helpful information, while also showing you know what you’re talking about.
For example, if you run a skincare company, you might write how to choose the right cleanser for your skin type or how best to protect yourself from sun damage. Or if you offer exercise and fitness classes, you might pen posts about how to get the most from your workouts or top tips for refuelling after exercise.
Having your existing posts translated, or your new ones translated as they’re written, will help you build credibility in your target market. Plus, blog posts can help with search engine optimisation.
If you have a newsletter that you send out to your subscribers, having it translated can help you build your email list in the target language.
Well put-together, helpful newsletters are fantastic ways of keeping customers engaged with your brand, and coming back for more. You’ve already put the work into creating the newsletter, so why not get the most out of it?
Depending on the services or products you offer, you might have a list of prices available for your customers.
If so, it’s well worth your while translating this price list. This will help avoid confusion, and make customers feel as if they’re being catered to.
Just remember, it might not be appropriate to convert prices into that market’s currency if you don’t accept payment in that currency.
Tagline or slogan
A tagline (or slogan) is only a few words long. It’s not worth having it professionally translated, right? Wrong! While a tagline might seem like a small detail, it can have a big impact on your business. It appears in all kinds of places, from your website to your email signature. A tagline can make ads more memorable and help with brand reputation, so it’s vital it’s translated well.
Strictly speaking, the translation of slogans and other similar marketing copy is known as transcreation. To transcreate effectively, the translator needs to have a deep understanding not just of the language but of the target market, and be able to convey the meaning and have the same impact, which usually doesn’t mean translating it word for word.
Who doesn’t love free stuff?! Free downloadable guides and eBooks are popular ways of reeling people in and nurturing a list of leads.
If you’ve put the time and energy into creating something free and downloadable that you’re proud of, which might, in the tourism industry, be a list of must-see sights or a map of the best spots to grab a bite to eat, then don’t limit it to one language.
Translate it, so everyone can benefit from your knowledge, and watch those subscriptions come rolling in.
This one is a bit vaguer, as it will be down to the nature of your business. If you own a hotel, then making sure both the info pack in the room and printed and online details on refunds and accessing wifi are well translated, will make every guest’s experience easier, meaning happier, more relaxed customers.
Is it actually translation you need?
Sometimes, depending on the purpose of your content, translation might not be the most appropriate option. Transcreation, localisation, SEO translation or even copywriting might help you better achieve your aims. Find out more about the value of going beyond translation.