Do Your Translation Strategies Match Up to Your International Ambitions?

Last Updated On: September 6, 2023

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Translation Strategies

There is no doubt that international markets are growing. The evidence of trade increases can be seen through the increase in internet sales. Consumers are looking for quality products at an affordable price and they aren’t concerned about where the goods come from. Recently, Pitney Bowes published a study that showed 70% of consumers had purchased a product through an overseas website. It has also been noted that 55% of customers will not purchase from a website if it isn’t written in their own language. One of the key strategies for any business is to assess its translation strategy.

Internationalisation strategies

The following points should be assessed before adopting a translation strategy.

1. The business’s targeted market

You should conduct an assessment of the sort of people who need your product or service in your targeted country and the size of the group. This will determine the sort of language you use in your advertising material.


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    2. Sales channels available

    What are the channels that can be used for the targeted market and what are the websites and other avenues that are commonly used in your targeted country? These should be those used by your likely customers.

    3. Organisation

    You will need to decide who should be allocated in your business to take on your international marketing. This means finding appropriate people in the place where your business is based as well representatives in your targeted country.

    As soon as you have your marketing strategy in place and you have allocated your workers to undertake specific tasks the overseas trading can begin.

    Setting up your advertising campaign to match the local market

    Getting the advertising right to suit your targeted market is an essential task. For example, if you are selling cardigans to American markets and you are a British manufacturer, you won’t use the word cardigan as no one will immediately understand this term. To be effective you will need to use the American word ‘sweater’. Emphasizing the place of origin of your product isn’t a good idea.

    It’s likely that the potential consumer will think that the delivery time will be too long and cost too much. One thing you can do if your product advertising needs a translation is to hire native speakers of the language of your targeted country who of course are fluent in English too. This ensures the right vocabulary and style is used in the advertising and fits in with the language used by the targeted customer. Making mistakes in advertising that don’t match your targeted customer’s vocabulary won’t help in increasing your sales. In fact, some advertising material can prove quite offensive if it’s been translated incorrectly.

    Test out your product first

    If your product is new to the market you need to test its viability and the only way to do this is to start offering the product. Once you have established you have a healthy market waiting to purchase your product you can go through the translation of your product information and your website. The whole website should be easily accessible by your targeted customer in their language. This means that the navigation tools need to be translated too.

    Don’t assume your potential customers are going to understand your website unless it’s laid out in a way that makes it seem familiar. You have to remember that customers are likely to be hesitant about getting out their credit card and buying your product and not someone else’s if there is anything that impedes their understanding.

    For example, take a wetsuit manufacturer which has translated carefully all their product information into the language of their targeted customer. This includes the email facility on the site’s webpage which should be designed so that it matches the language nuances of the local market. However, when you look at the payment page it is only partly translated into the targeted language. This makes it hard for a potential customer to completely understand the website so invariably these sorts of customers will be put off purchasing the product. No one is going to give their credit card details on a website that hasn’t been competently translated into their language.

    When you start looking for translation services for your international marketing you must make sure that the translators can complete the translation project in a certain time frame. You can also speed up the allocation and delivery service by having a centralized area where the material that needs to be translated and the returned translations take place through the same website tools. This means you can easily observe the information flow and how well your internationalization objective is working.


    Once the major translation and updates to your website have been completed, now you will find out if all of your investments were worthwhile as you should see advertising converting to sales. Setting goals for selling your products on the international market will quite likely increase your product’s marketability to the local market at the same time. Local customers will see you have a marketable product overseas and will test it out.

    So, in the end, you should see a twofold gain in sales. One is from the targeted new market while the second is from your traditional local market. Internationalising your product is simply about growing your sales and increasing your profit level as well as becoming a reputable brand. On a final note, good, professional, a human translation will reap the best results, not online machine translators that could end up ruining your business’s reputation.

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