Are you overlooking one quick and easy step to appealing to the global market?
One of the most frequently overlooked way to go global is also one of the easiest to rectify. The internet gives businesses unprecedented access to nearly every corner of the globe. But if you feel like you’re not seeing results reaching people beyond your shores, chances are you are not communicating in their language.
Don’t make the erroneous assumption that just because English is the most widely used language on the net, that your particular target audience speaks it.
In fact, research shows that 72% of people prefer to buy a product with information in their own language. More than half are willing to pay a higher price if you’re willing to speak to them in their own language. So the question is, can you afford to NOT translate?
The translation industry is one that actually grew during the recession. That’s because smart companies know that to effectively communicate, they must speak in the target market’s language.
So if you’re looking to translate your business communications, here’s an article to give you some ideas on what languages to start with and how to go about finding the perfect translation service.
If you prefer to watch a video instead, click here:
This post has been updated in October 2021.
Why is business translation so important?
We’ve written a comprehensive article on why you need localization and translation. In short, business translation helps you:
Expand your market. Localization will open your business to people who may not otherwise know it. And if they don’t know you, they cannot love you. When you make yourself more accessible, you’ll be making your brand much easier to find.
Better brand exposure. It looks good for your brand to speak the local lingo. It gives you a competitive edge. Translation also improves your SEO, because you’ll be optimising the keywords and metadata in lots of different markets.
Effective communication leads to more conversions. When you can communicate effectively, you’ll be able to build stronger relationships and improve credibility and trust, which leads to loyalty.
Avoiding cultural missteps. Even the largest brands in the world have made cultural faux-pas when it comes to going into new markets. When you take the time to learn the local culture, you may be able to make the right moves and sidestep potential mishaps.
What languages should you be considering for your business translation?
19.8% of the world’s internet users use Chinese. And with 1.35 billion people already speaking it and more learning, it’s also the fastest-growing language in the world. That’s why it’s the most popular language for business translation.
China is also the second-largest economy in the world, so it is a useful language if you’re looking for new business opportunities. China will exceed $1trillion in e-commerce next year to become the largest e-commerce market in the world.
There are definitely opportunities in this market, but note that many Chinese people do not speak much English. So translating would makes sense if you’re looking to get a slice of this pie. However, note that Chinese is a very different language from English, with a completely different alphabet system; look for a skilled translator to get it right.
After Chinese, it’s the second most spoken language in the world, so Spanish makes sense as a popular language for business translation.
You’ll reach over 500 million people from countries in Europe and Latin America. These countries have great potential for economic growth; Spain, Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Chile and Peru have the top 50 highest GDPs in the world.
To get the most out of your business translation, you must localize for each country you’re planning to expand to, as speech and vocabulary vary from region to region and country to country.
280 million people speak Arabic in 28 countries. Almost 46 million people exclusively search the internet in Arabic. If you make Arabic your choice, you could appeal to a market that will reach $20 billion in e-commerce by this year.
Less than 2 percent of the written content on the internet is currently in Arabic. The Middle East contains a vast potential for businesses, so if you invest in Arabic now you’ll be gaining a competitive edge.
Like Chinese, Arabic is a challenging language for translation. You will have to invest in native expert talent, so do note that you will be making a larger initial investment to localize your content.
4. Brazilian Portuguese
Brazil has 140 million internet users, the largest in Latin America. It’s also a country with high economic potential; its economy is finally on the mend after three years of recession and high unemployment rates. This market also comprises a very young population with more than half of Brazilians under 30 years old. This means more people in the workforce, with a potentially higher income and a growing middle class.
Indonesia has over 150 million internet users, making it an attractive market for digital marketers. Indonesians also love social media, and content marketing in Indonesia has great potential. The e-commerce market reached $5.6 billion in 2016, so it could be lucrative to translate into this language.
Although German has less than 100 million speakers online, German is still one of the most popular languages on the internet. It’s the official language of many countries with important economies like Germany, Austria, Luxembourg, Switzerland, and Belgium. The German e-commerce market boasts the fastest growth in Europe and was valued at $65 billion in 2018.
You’ve decided to embark on a business translation. Great! What are some questions to ask your translation service provider?
It’s tempting to save costs and maybe even use your current employees to do the translation work, especially if you already have some native speakers on staff. However, your business translation would benefit far more if you were to search for a professional translation partner.
There are many translation service providers out there. And price should only be one of the factors you take into consideration. Here is where you would want to ask the correct questions, to ensure that your translation partner is a great fit:
- May I have some references? Just like any other service provider, you should ask others for their prior experience before signing the contract.
- What is your area of expertise? Your industry may be very technical, with very specific language. If this is so, you’ll do better to enlist a translation service provider that specializes in your industry.
- What is your screening process for your translators? Many companies work with freelance translators. This is nothing to worry about as long as the company has a strict screening and qualifying process that ensures great quality work and confidentiality.
- What is the process and will I be assigned a dedicated team? A good company should have a process in place that makes things easy for their client. It should include estimates, project milestones, a communication plan, and a delivery date. You should also be assigned a dedicated team for the entire duration of your project.
- How do you handle confidential information? Your content may include sensitive information; the company you eventually choose should be able to assure you that this information will be handled properly and securely.
- Tell me more about your technical infrastructure. Depending on its size, your project will likely require significant hardware and software to get the job done. For example, if you’re working with large audio and video files, you’ll be concerned with bandwidth and storage. Find out first hand if your chosen partner has the infrastructure in place to manage your requirements smoothly, and what you can do to make the work easier.
- What is your quality assurance process? The end product you receive should be of high quality. The translation company should take steps to make sure that the work is edited well, proofread and tested with a focus group to ensure that it is error-free and effective.
- How do you handle revisions? You may have revisions during or after the project. Check with your chosen partner to see how this is handled and what you can do on your end to smooth out the process and avoid unnecessary delays or added costs.
- Do you have experience handling projects of our scope and size? Some companies simply do not have the resources to handle a massive assignment. Asking this question upfront will ensure that your project doesn’t suffer any hiccups.
- How accurate are your estimates? This is in regard to cost and turnaround time. Small projects usually match up to estimates well; however, if your project is of a much larger scale, you have to make sure the company understands the scope and your expectations.
In conclusion, a business translation is a handy asset to help you reach larger markets. Languages you can start off with include one of the European languages, Chinese, Arabic, Indonesian or Brazilian Portuguese. Finally, there are certain questions you should ask your translation service provider, to ensure that they are indeed the best fit for your business.
If you should require more help with understanding the process, this article tells you how to select a great online translation service. Or simply reach out to us at the Bunny Studio to find out more.
Find the best translator for your needs today with Bunny Studio!