When it comes to global market research, translating marketing materials is considered a necessary, but tedious, final step in the process. It doesn’t have to be. Instead of an afterthought, make your translation team part of the initial strategy. The following suggestions can help reduce costs and create efficiencies:
Involve Your Translation Team Early in the Process: Knowing the ultimate purpose of the document (research? education? ad?) allows for quicker translation and extraction of comparable data across markets. It also allows for content applicability in target countries. Data and regulations can be localized so they are relevant to the intended market segment.
Write For Translation From the Start: Eliminate idiomatic expressions, colloquialisms, and acronyms. A precursory view of the English document by the translation team will red-flag problem areas before changing them becomes costly and time consuming.
Take Advantage of Translation Memory: If your content is repetitive in nature, make sure your translation agency uses a translation memory system (TM). Remembering previously translated material keeps costs down (you don’t pay to translate twice) and ensures consistency in language.
Plan Ahead For Page Design: Translation produces differing lengths of text. Spanish expands but German contracts. Hebrew and Arabic will change the direction of the page. White space proportions will change and forcing translated text into small graphics can be problematic.
Debrief With Your Translation Team: When all is said and done, include the translation project manager in debriefing sessions to leverage any feedback to improve further translation projects.