The Benefits of Content Localisation for International Audience Engagement

Businesses that have substantial international penetration have to get on top of language barriers and cultural nuances to be sure of success. When marketing their products, whether this is via their websites, or through more traditional advertising, there are key benefits of content localization if there is going to be any expectation of international audience engagement.

Understanding content localization

Content localization is the conversion of text, video, and graphics used in marketing content into versions that are aimed at a different cultural environment. There used to be a time when businesses assumed that language and culture were more or less constant everywhere in the world, but soon realized that to succeed outside their own home market they had to recognize cultural differences just as much as they have to recognize that the world is multilingual. 

Content localization is mainly done by specialized translators who have an in-depth understanding of the individual cultural preferences of the target market for which the material they have been supplied is to be converted. Content localization means:

  • translating the words, phrases, logos, and web pages into the distinctive language of the target market, taking into account local dialects and colloquialisms. 
  • avoiding text that could offend the people for which the marketing is intended; this might mean adapting the messaging to suit religious preferences, ensuring that potential customers are not offended by the use of culturally insensitive 
  • using phrases and words that resonate more with the intended market.

Enhanced audience engagement

The main objective of content localization is to enhance audience engagement and through this boost the international brand locally and lead to sales growth and greater profits.

Improved user experience

There is considerable evidence from marketing research that individual consumers prefer to inspect and choose marketing messages that are presented in their own language and are culturally appropriate. Businesses that fail to take advantage of content localization soon find that they will lose out to more aggressive marketing by their more savvy competitors. 

Increased brand visibility and recognition

When businesses develop their business, they aim to shape a brand so that it becomes synonymous with their products. Brand visibility and recognition are very important aspects of good business practice. International expansion doesn’t mean that the way a brand is recognized in the home base is going to be appropriate everywhere else. Even well-known brands like Coca-Cola and McDonald’s have learned the hard way that their brand messaging has often had to be revised to avoid miscommunication, confusion, indifference, or offense. There are numerous well-known examples of big brands being embarrassed when their marketing messages have failed by not taking into account local cultural preferences.

Access to New Markets and Revenue Opportunities

Content localization as part of preparing business expansion into an international market provides greater access to new markets and revenue opportunities. The ready uptake and use of the internet as well as modern super-fast communication has effectively created a global market. Any business that is used to a local market of several hundred thousand potential customers can now potentially expand its business with access to hundreds of millions of potential customers.


To reach a much wider market, businesses often get to the point where they make the decision to expand internationally. With the huge advantages that digital communication brings to doing business outside traditional boundaries, there is a strong recognition that to succeed in the twenty-first century businesses have to get ahead in an increasingly competitive world by expanding into the global market. Professional translation and localization services are important partners for internationally driven businesses.


The Importance of Cultural Sensitivity in Translation

One of the drawbacks of computer-based translation programs that the translation industry is repeatedly pointing out is that it totally lacks any ability to integrate cultural sensitivity into their software. Well, that could all change of course in the future, but at present, if you are looking for a translation service for whatever it is that you need translating for a foreign market, make sure that it takes into account cultural sensitivity as well as pride in accuracy.

What is cultural sensitivity?

Cultural sensitivity is simply an ability to adapt translated text so that it doesn’t offend or confuse the readership at the translated material is aimed at. This is more important at the translation stage because professional translators are expected to have feet firmly planted in both the culture and language of the source of the text and that of the target for the text as we. 

Most businesses, for example, may have little notion of what the sensitivities are of the people for whom they are aiming their material. They may not even realize that the target readers use different currencies, numbering systems, and units and live in different time zone. They may not realize that certain colors which mean something to the people in one country may mean something quite different to people in another country, or even a particular community in that country. Humor could be different, so a joke in one culture may be a slur or insult. Clothing, appearance, and gender differences can all have an impact on translation outcomes.

What is the importance of cultural sensitivity in language translation?

Cultural sensitivity can be an extremely important aspect of translation, or it may not be very important at all. It all depends on what is being translated and who is the expected target readership. At worst, material that is aimed at a new market that has not been subjected to culturally sensitive may invite ridicule, scorn, anger, disinterest, or just confusion. There are many examples that are used time and time again of typical mistakes in translating marketing material in particular insensitively. Some of the classic examples are slogans translated from English into Chinese such as the often quoted KFC “finger-lickin’ good” that translated into “eat your fingers” in Chinese. 

It is rare these days for successful international corporations to get their messaging wrong through translation simply because of an understanding of the importance of cross-cultural communication. It is more relevant for new businesses or businesses expanding their sales into new markets that have yet to appreciate the importance of cultural sensitivity in communication.

How do you handle cultural sensitivity in language translation?

The main message from this focus on the importance of cultural sensitivity is that you do need to be choosy about who translates your material for you. The greater the focus on marketing and the use of colloquial slogans and messaging, the more important it is for you to use translators who understand how to adapt the text you submit so that it becomes culturally sensitive. This needs for cultural sensitivity becomes less important for such things as technical manuals, scientific documents, medical research papers, and so on, as these often use a more recognized ‘international language’, understood by the users of these materials. 

When professional translators translate material that needs to be adjusted to suit a specific target readership, then they will use localization techniques. Basically, this is an assumption that it would be impossible to literally translate the material they have been given as it may offend or confuse the readers, so the words and phrases are changed to best get the message across.


Take cultural sensitivity into account when planning to get your material translated for the first time in a new language. Culturally insensitive translation could end your experiment in this new market. It is advisable to hire a team of experienced translators who can help you create culturally sensitive translations.


Why Social Media Translation Can Help Your Business

Social media seems to have become so omnipresent these days that businesses have had to adapt their marketing strategies to target customers who use social media more than they might use what might have been used more in the past like newspaper and magazine ads, billboards, and TV and radio ads. Social media content that is devised for marketing must also take into consideration markets that are international and typically use another language or internal markets which also use another language (ethnic minorities, migrant communities, for example).

Because of the global reach of social media content, social media translation has now become a must for many businesses that have customers and potential customers who understand and prefer to use another language other than that of the business. That means that social media campaigns and social media jargon must use professional social media translation agencies to ensure the widest possible audiences.

How to Devise a Social Media Translation Strategy

1. Do your research first

What are you selling? Who are your most likely potential new customers based on gender, age, lifestyle, socio-economic group, etc.? What languages do they use and which languages do they prefer to use when using social media content? What social media platforms should you aim at and research the target market?

Some countries don’t spend as much time on social media as others. Not all countries use social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram. It would be wasteful if you translated content for a social media platform that’s hardly used in your targeted country. For example, the preferred social media in Russia is VKontakte, while the QZone platform is the social media king in China.

2. Develop a targeted hashtag strategy

Hashtags are commonly now used as highlights and links on several social media platforms, originating from Twitter where they are still most widespread. Businesses can use hashtags in their social media strategy but this isn’t something that should be left to amateurs. Hashtags sometimes last for months, but at others, they are gone in hours, so their use, especially considering that the words linked in the hashtag are to be translated. Social media translation needs to take into consideration the commonly used social media jargon of the target market in the target language as well.

3. Keep a separate account set aside for each language used in your social media campaign

Keep in mind that your ‘other language’ targeted markets will be of different sizes and importance. This means that you need a strategy for each language market. In terms of budgeting and planning, it’s best to separate your accounts for each language. 

4. Consider the jargon used in social media

English is the main language used on social media platforms, so it’s important to be aware of jargon. You should ask yourself two leading questions and they are:

 What jargon do I need to translate and what don’t I need to translate?

5. Avoid automated translation services like the plague

A common mistake for businesses first exploring new marketing strategies targeting markets in another language is to rely on automated translation services. These are actually improving, but at this stage are not sensible options for commercial use. The obvious advantage of using them is that they are much cheaper than professional translation agencies, but their ability to adapt their language translation to the nuances of other cultural and linguistic environments is poor. This becomes even more pronounced when considering that social media jargon is often very different from the standard use of a language. In the end, experiments with automated language translation services are doomed to fail. At worst, a botched experiment with automated translation could have a negative effect on the perception of that business by the very market the business is trying to cultivate.

Marketing Materials and Translations

What are Marketing Materials?

Marketing materials are materials used specifically as a method for promoting a product, brand, or service. Commonly used marketing materials are any kind of printed literature that does a good job at presenting and promoting a product. This could include flyers, postcards, business cards, letterheads, brochures, and presentation folders.

Marketing materials can quite easily be adapted into their digital forms too. Promotions could be online through social media where images can be used as part of the promotion.

Types Of Marketing Materials To Be Translated

There are many different types of marketing materials and a business will choose the type that best suits their marketing needs. These could include any of the following:

  • sales brochures;
  • websites;
  • white papers;
  • product descriptions/categories;
  • product catalogs;
  • press releases;
  • newsletters;
  • case studies;
  • ebooks;
  • fact sheets;
  • leaflets.

Marketing Material And Translation

Businesses like yours that are intending on penetrating the global market will not get far unless they interact sufficiently with their desired audience. That means translating your product’s information and marketing materials into the target market’s language. This builds a trusting relationship between your business and your intending customers. One of the best ways to do this is to hire an experienced NAATI translator who has been accredited with this status through hard work. A NAATI translation is held in high regard.

The main aim of any marketing material is to promote your product so that it will sell well. This means any professional translation must be perfect. Once the translation has been completed you must make sure that you proofread it for perfection. There should be no grammar, pronunciation, or spelling mistakes. You can get someone in your business who understands the translated product information to skim through it to ensure the message is correct. There may be certain metaphors you use or a sense of humor that is embedded in your marketing materials that represent the true nature of your product. If you provide a summary of terms your business uses for the translator to use you will get a better translation the first time around and won’t have to ask your professional translator to do any revisions.

Getting the translations consistent for your products is important so that people recognize your brand from the way it is presented in the translated text. Some international brand names like McDonald’s restaurants have been very successful at marketing their product overseas and have gained a trusting customer base by the way they have created reliable translations in many different languages. They haven’t just relied on English to present their brand as this would not be as attractive in say a Spanish-speaking country as a product description in Spanish.

There are many professional NAATI translators who have gained knowledge of many different brands and the language used in the pair of languages they specialize in. This means they can create just the right translation when asked to do so and the client is more than happy with the newly translated marketing materials.

Marketing Materials Translation

Reach, engage and support your global clients with localized marketing content such as product catalogs, websites, or brochures in English, Russian, German, and 30+ other languages.




Understanding the Relationships between Translation and Culture

The relationship between language, translation, and culture is a key feature of communication.

The relationship between language and culture

Language and culture are certainly linked. What is most noticeable about the relationship between language and culture is the unique vocabulary and phraseology that particular culture or sub-culture uses. Often, there is no literal equivalent in other languages for some words in one language. The reason is that the words have developed to suit the needs of expression in one specific culture. 

Can you learn a foreign language without learning the culture?

Many people learn another language at some time or another. In most cases, they do so without being familiar with the culture that is associated with those who speak that language as a first language. How much of the relationship between language and culture is appreciated depends on the reasons for learning the language. A person who is interested in becoming fluent in another language because they want to travel, live, work or study in a country where that language is spoken will find that they will soon be confronted with a culture-specific language with which they will want to familiarise themselves with to effectively communicate.

Language and culture in translation

Translators who deal with the translation of marketing material, app translation, video and film dubbing, and literature will need to develop a keen interest in the culture of the people for whom the translated text is targeted at. They may be asked to ‘localize’ the translated material, i.e. make it attuned to cultural nuances. The translation of technical, medical, or scientific material will be less affected by any cultural differences.

Cultural considerations when translating content

Culture exposes how certain groups of people behave in relation to their beliefs social habits, customs, and traditions. Language plays a key in defining culture. Language is a complex communication system that humans adapt depending on their cultural backgrounds. Translating is a converting process that helps people who speak other languages to understand one another. It helps to connect cultures and eradicate the cultural differences that may be present.

The translation is important to both language and culture because it enables better communication between two people. The relationship that exists between translation and culture helps to bridge the voids that are created by different languages. The interdependency that exists within the human race such as the need to trade, has given a high status to translations.

What a good translation does and how does it have an effect on cultural exchanges

Good translations offer readers the same feelings about a specific text when it has been translated into their own native languages as the person feels about the text content when in its native language. Translation helps to communicate ideas and beliefs in the right way so that people who come from different cultural and literary backgrounds get the same feeling about the text.

Translating for international audiences

Translation began so that no communication gap existed between different Nation-states so cultural exchanges and trade may occur. As Eugene Nida, a renowned American translation researcher said, translation reproduces one language so that it closely resembles the source language, in terms of style and meaning. The translation should assist a reader to connect with the text and gain a thorough understanding of his or her own language.

Translations are highly influenced by cultural dissimilarities so the translation accuracy of a translated text is proportional to the translator’s knowledge of the other culture. Therefore a translation doesn’t just test the linguistic ability of the translator but also the amount he or she knows of the targeted language’s cultural background. The more the translator knows the more useful the translation is to international audiences.

Cultural translation

The knowledge the translator has of another culture makes it much simpler to translate as well as helps to ensure the translation is accurate. A translation’s aim is to gain semantic equivalence which can only take place if the translator has good knowledge and understanding of both the source and targeted languages’ cultural backgrounds.

What is a cultural universal?

A culture universal helps us to enhance communication and is not possible to achieve without translations. The exchanging of ideas, intercultural- growth, and trade is a result of the concept of a cultural universal which makes up most of our material and spiritual lives. Translation and culture have deeply rooted relationships.

Hiring the right translation services

There is an undeniable fact that both translation and culture do have a deep bond. However, only good translations can be performed by human translators who strengthen the bond between cultures by performing translations that are not only accurate but include the cultural differences that exist between different language speakers. The translators expose the targeted audiences to accurate translations that are intertwined with their cultures. Many of the best translators work for reputable translation companies.

Eight Occasions When You May Need a Birth Certificate

Often you may think, why do we need birth certificates? Or, what is the point of keeping a birth certificate as most of the time it just occupies space in a safe deposit box which you are probably paying a fee for? However, quite unexpectedly you may be asked for your birth so then you have to find a way of accessing the safe deposit box. Just to prepare yourself, these are the times when you are most likely to need your birth certificate.

  • Registering for a school or university.
  • Many schools and universities want to see your birth certificate before you complete the registration process. A birth certificate provides evidence of your age and name so that you get put in the right class or you are old enough to enrol in a university course.
  • Getting a Driver’s License often requires showing your birth certificate as it proves your identity and age which are important in order to meet the eligibility requirements to become a license holder.  
  • Getting your marriage license typically involves providing birth certificates of the two parties. A marriage license is a legal document so the facts included on it must be correct.
  • Registering for certain types of sports where age is relevant is a time when your birth certificate comes in handy.  It ensures you compete with people of your own age so that preventable accidents don’t take place.
  • If you have ever thought of traveling overseas you will need to get a passport and to prove who you are you will be asked to provide your birth certificate. Many cruise ships in your own country may not ask for a passport but they may require confirmation of your age so this is a time when a birth certificate can become quite an asset.
  • When you reach a ripe old age and you are eligible for a seniors card the issuing authority will ask for more than one form of ID so if you have your birth certificate close at hand you can use that as one of the three. 
  • You may get into difficulties one day and need to get a quick loan. No loan company will lend you money unless you provide at least 2 pieces of ID. If you don’t have a passport then you can use your driver’s license and your birth certificate. 

When a certified translation of your birth certificate is required

When birth certificate translations are needed the most are: 

  • If your birth certificate was issued overseas in a language that is not used in your present country or in a country you are applying to migrate, a birth certificate translation is often required. 
  • A certified translation of your birth certificate is essential for almost all immigration requirements. For example, when submitting an application for a visa or residence permit in another country, you are asked to provide a certified copy of your translated birth certificate. This means the translator will have to translate every detail on your birth certificate and provide a signed certificate vouching that the translation is accurate.
  • If you have decided to get married in an exotic location that requires travel to another country and the language of that country is not the same as your birth certificate you will be asked to provide a certified translation of your birth certificate.
  • If you have been accepted overseas to study at a university in a language that is not on your birth certificate, the school or university will want a certified translation of your birth certificate for their records.

What you need to know when getting a birth certificate translation

When birth certificate translations are needed there are certain things you have to look out for in the translation process.

You have to be very careful if your birth certificate isn’t written in Roman script as the translator may have problems with translating your name. You can help by writing it our in full as the translator will not translate names.

Some birth certificates are written by hand, which sometimes makes difficult reading for even the most experienced translators. You can help your translator by writing out your name and place of birth as they will not be translated.  

Before sending your birth certificate to the translator, make sure your birth certificate contains the following information:

  • full name;
  • place of birth;
  • date of birth including month, day and year;
  • full names of both parents;
  • date of birth of both parents;
  • place(s) of birth for both parents;
  • the issuing authority’s seal.

Finally, make sure the professional translation services you choose is familiar with the legal formats and terms for government-issued documents like birth certificates.   If you get everything right, then your birth certificate translation will be useful proof.

Translation Apps for Mobile Devices

We don’t always have time to learn a new language, especially if we are going to visit a new country for just a few days or weeks. You can take phrasebooks and dictionaries with you, of course, which helps, but now there are much better aids to comprehending another language. As long as you have a cell phone or tablet you can get a translation app which takes much of the work out of guessing what a sign or message says. Translation apps aren’t as much use if you are trying to work out what someone is saying, but you could get that person to write out (or type out) a simple message in their own language then tap a button and hey presto! Hopefully, everything will be revealed.

Here are 5 of some of the better translation apps available on the market today. These apps are continually being improved and refined and it’s worth keeping an eye on updates on the latest mobile features on offer, especially if you are planning a trip overseas.

Google Translate

is available on both main platforms, iPhone and Android. It is free and is very good as long as you don’t try using it for anything too important. The app can handle over 100 different languages so it is hard to imagine travelling to any country around the planet with a Google Translate app on your mobile device and not being able to understand what is going on around you. Google Translate does offer voice translation in mobile as well as image and handwriting translation, but this may not work so well as straightforward text translation.

Naver Papago Translate

comes out of Korea and fills a gap in translation tools for 10 of the most commonly spoken Asian languages. It’s not that the other apps can’t handle Chinese, Hindi or Japanese, but don’t do it as well as this app.

Trip Lingo

is the most expensive currency of the 5 apps described here, but if you need to use a translation app a lot and the language you want to access is one of the 43 that Trip Lingo has to offer, paying around $20 a month is good value. Trip Lingo offers voice, image and text translation like the other apps, but will also get you in touch with a live translator for a fee if you get stuck.

Microsoft Translate

is Microsoft’s very own translation app. It provides voice, image and text translation services and is available on Microsoft devices as well as smartwatches and other mobile devices. App translation can be downloaded for offline use and you can share the content between linked devices. This is currently available in 60 languages.


is the Apple equivalent of Microsoft Translate and is available for use in more languages – around 100 in total, so is a rival to Google Translate. It is free up to a point. If you want to use the Pro version it costs a small fee to use. Like Microsoft Translate, it can be used for both online and offline content.

The Role of Official Document Translation in International Events

There are a whole host of international activities that take place today including business conferences, climate conferences, trade conferences and human rights conferences. Each one of the conferences depends on understanding to be a success.
Most events depend on interpreters and translators who competently ensure everybody attending a conference has a full understanding of what is being discussed through official translations of official documents.
It wasn’t too long ago that the United Nations General Assembly officially adopted a resolution which recognised the role professional translators play in linking nations while encouraging understanding, peace and development. In this resolution it declared that September 30th is to be the UN’s International Translation Day. This date actually marks the feast of Jerome who was a historian and Roman priest. He remembered for his achievement of initiating the first translation of the bible into Latin from Hebrew. In 2015 the United Nations General Assembly recognized multilingualism for how it has promoted the achievement of United Nations goals.

Official Document Translations

There are many different types of documents that benefit the international community when they are translated and shared. These include the following:

  • scientific documents;
  • technical documents;
  • literary work.

Immediate official translations at key international events mean that the researchers and writers are able to share their discoveries with the international community without having to pre-arrange translations. This is also relevant to those giving keynote speeches which are of significance to the international community. Interpreters who provide their services for international events are quick to translate word for word what speakers are saying so there is no interruption to the speeches. They sit out of sight and use ear phones and communication tools that enable those who want to hear the speech in that language can access it without disturbing anyone.
Interpreting and translation services for international events
Great communication is necessary for the success of any type of event. In the world today multilingual events have become more and more commonplace but language barriers may easily hold up the success of an international event. Key to organizing any kind of conference, sporting event or even a film festival, then a reliable translation and interpreting service is essential to make sure that communication throughout the event is flawless and every participant manages to share the message, document or information s/he presents.

Document Translations Before an International Event

If international participants are expected at an international conference, translations will be required prior to the event. These include:

  • delegates invitations – in key languages, that match the event’s style and tone;
  • e-mail correspondence to international delegates and their organisations;
  • translation of the conference website into the required languages;
  • conference programmes;
  • conference-related logs and event notices provided for both web bulletins and e-notice boards
  • Simultaneous interpreting at an international event

This is the real-time communication that is used at international events. It is sometimes referred to as conference interpreting and it requires specialised skills where teams of at least two interpreters are required for each language. Each interpreter takes his/her turn at a set interval. The process of sharing listening and delivery makes sure there is uninterrupted accuracy of the translation. A pair of interpreters typically uses electronic systems to convey messages simultaneously to delegates who are wearing either headphones or ear pieces when the presenter or the participant is engaged in speaking.
After the international event has taken place a post-conference e-communication is likely to be dispatched thanking the international delegates who attended the event. This should be made available in the languages of the international delegates.

The 3 Percent Problem: The Challenges of Fictional Translation

About 3 percent of all fiction worldwide ends up being translated into English, according to a survey in the U.S. a decade ago. That might have changed for the better according to recent comments from an organisation called Literature Across Frontiers (LAF), but does the percentage matter and what are the particular challenges of literary translation?

Why Fictional Translation Matters

Literature translation is not new. It has been around since the invention of writing itself. Perhaps the first known literary translations were those of the Bible from the original Hebrew into Greek and Latin and from them into dozens of other languages. Literary translation is the translation of fictional prose and poetry from one language into another. Without it, the world’s population would lose out on the huge diversity and richness of stories and poetry spun and created around the planet. Literary translation is not restricted to modern literature but also encompasses past literature including ancient works of art.

Literary translation provides a glimpse into the thoughts and ideas, as well as the way people live in places other than our own. It provides an opportunity to build an understanding of politics, economic conditions and historical connections and an insight into common human problems.

The Challenges of Literary Translation

Literary translation is very different from the translation of technical manuals and medical experimentation, or even legal and court documents. For a start, it can mean the translation of hundreds of thousands of words, which is no mean feat. Literary translation cannot use the method of word for word literal translation which is so much the preferred practice for technical translation. Much of the literary text that is translated may not be able to be easily converted without a lot of thought and personal input by the translator. The translated version somehow has to capture the power and flavour of the original text yet make it understandable by a different audience. Often, the literary translator must be almost as creative as the original author. In fact, this has been recognised by the changing of the Man Booker International Award in 2016 to give equal recognition to the translator as it does to the original author.

Explaining the Low Literary Translation Publication Figure

The 3% figure represents the estimated percentage of foreign fiction, prose and poetry that ever got published in English in the U.S. after translation. The figure is somewhat dated now, but is probably still relatively low. The equivalent percentage of English literary work into other languages is probably a good deal higher and more so when minor languages are concerned. One of the reasons for the relatively low amount of published fictional translation is that publishers will not touch material unless they think they can make a profit from it. The most money is made by high volume book sales and translated literature generally does not fit into that category, however well it has been translated.

The picture may be changing. The world is certainly becoming smaller and more cosmopolitan. People are probably travelling more away from their own countries than they have ever done and have learned that the way people live elsewhere, their culture and way of life can be fascinating. This can make the creative products of those foreign countries, the art, music, literature, film and dance more attractive. Of all these aspects of culture, literature is the least transferable unless it has been translated. To put it another way, film can be appreciated because it is visual, even if the language is not understood. Music can be appreciated again without understanding the lyrics. Art is a language all of its own and is entirely visual. Literature alone is a mysterious code that cannot be cracked without the translator’s help!

The director of LAF, Alexandra Büchler, reports that the publication of literary translations has grown by about 66% in the last two decades, although that figure may be overshadowed to some extent by the fact that all publications have grown at roughly the same rate anyway.

An encouraging trend in the rapidly expanding epublishing sector, led by Amazon, is the creation of an arm of the company that is expressly devoted to the publication of online literary translation called AmazonCrossing. This route for literary translation publishing now makes up over 10% of all published literary translation.

Conclusion: Fictional Translations in Brief

Literary translation has been around for as long as the existence and appreciation of literature itself. Fictional translation allows all of us the opportunity to appreciate the fictional works of authors and poets around the world. Literary translation is one of the most challenging fields of translation, partly because of the sheer volume of material that must be translated as well as the difficulty in conveying the essence of someone’s thoughts and ideas in another language. Literary translation is not generally a high volume market as far as publishing is concerned although there is a steady growth in publication, especially in the form of online material.

Should I Choose a Local or International Translation Agency?

Is it a good idea to use an international translation agency rather than a locally based one? It’s a good question and there is no hard and fast answer. Both local and foreign-based translation agencies have their good and bad points. The question really needs to be reframed as “which professional translation agency should I use?”

The translation industry has certainly grown in leaps and bounds over the last two decades, and one reason for this is that the Internet allows you, as a potential client, seeking a translator, to search anywhere around the world. Payment for services has never been easier and if you want to check on the standard of translation, all you need to do is to search the reviews for each translation company you are having a look at.

What Translation Agency is Best for you?

The reality is that there are good local translation agencies and equally good international ones. What are you looking for in a translation agency and what are your translation needs?

The Pros for a Locally Based Company

The main rationale for a locally based translator is that if you really need to talk to the translator face to face for any reason, it will certainly be a lot easier than trying to arrange this with a translation agency based in another country. If there have been misunderstandings about what you need translating or how you want something translated, then you are more likely to get it sorted out if you can go and talk face to face with the translator.

On the other hand, if your business is in one part of the country and the nearest “locally based” translator is several hundred kilometers away, then the value of having a local translation agency is reduced. What’s the difference between choosing a translator who you only contact by email who happens to be at the other end of your own country and another who happens to be based in another country?

One possible benefit of using a local translation agency is that it could possibly be cheaper if the value of your local currency has significantly diminished recently. For example, if you are U.K.-based, you must take note of the value of the pound versus just about every other major currency. It has dropped somewhat since the Brexit saga remains unresolved. This makes it more expensive to use any foreign-based translator as you will have to use your weaker pounds to pay for their service.

The Pros for an Internationally Based Company

Assuming that you can communicate easily with a particular international translation agency, that is based somewhere else, there is no reason why their standard of translation is any less than a locally based translator. Some countries, Australia, for example, in fact, have higher standards of both translation and interpretation than many other countries. That’s because there is a national accreditation system in place. It’s hard to get much traction in Australia as a translator unless you have passed Australian-based translation exams and become certified. If you actually need to have anything translated into English for an Australian business, employer, educational institution, or government department, you may have to use an Australian-based translator anyway.

Summary: What’s best – a Local Translation Agency Versus an International Translation Agency?

There are many ways to decide which translator you eventually end up using. Questions of reliability, skill, accuracy, speed of delivery, ability to communicate quickly, and value for money are all part of the mix. Unless you intend to see a translator face to face, there are more important criteria than just focusing on the place the translator is based