Translation is an art that calls for a delicate balance between accuracy and flexibility. As by Jeff McGaw points out in a recent article, cultural norms vary widely, and cutting costs in translation may save money up front but result in lost opportunities or serious financial losses down the road.
The translation industry has boomed over the last few decades as global trade has spread. With that increase in translation has come a wide range of companies from those specializing in fast, low-quality translations at rock-bottom prices to boutique translation companies that ensure everything from your graphic images to the last idiom is conveyed in a culturally appropriate manner.
If your target audience speaks a different language, make sure someone on the team is in charge of translation quality control. This should include:
- translation company selection
- pre-translation review: look for idioms and jargon that has a high potential for mistranslation
- translation evaluation: make sure the translation you get back is accurate, even if you need to pay for a second opinion
- follow-up: after the translation is deployed, see how well it works
Make translation an important part of your business model to ensure your message is reaching your target audience in the way you intend.