How Translation Services Drive Customer Engagement and Retention for Startups

Is your startup aimed at a multilingual market? Many startups fail to realize that their potential market size can be considerably magnified by taking advantage of a multilingual and often multicultural environment. Multilingualism and multiculturalism aren’t just an international context, but a national one, too. Many countries in the twenty-first century have multilingual and multicultural communities, even if there is one predominant official language. Multilingualism and multiculturalism are often part of the way national boundaries have been formed over the centuries.

To take advantage of this multilingual and multicultural reality, startups need to engage in professional translation and localization services to drive customer engagement and retention. Startups that build strong relationships with their customer base early on are most likely to have a healthy sales volume and become profitable and successful businesses.

Language as a Barrier to customer engagement

Research has shown that most people prefer to seek information about new products and services in a language they are most comfortable with. This seems to be the case even though the customer base is multilingual. Website browsing volume, for example, is greater if the content of the website has been translated into the languages of the potential customer base.

The Role of localization in customer experience

Localization is a process in which marketing material, web pages, traditional advertising in billboards, leaflets, magazines, newspapers, radio and TV broadcasts as well as through social media platforms is designed and tailored for a specific linguistic and cultural context. At the simplest level, it means converting things like currency and units into those of the target market. For example, a British startup that is intending to do business in the U.S. will need to use American units of measurement and currency rather than British ones. The U.S. example applies to vocabulary, too, even though both communities use English as the main language of communication. American English is noticeably different from British English, enough for potential customers to notice. 

The role of localization is even more important as the languages diverge and cultural factors such as gender roles, religion, dress standards, and the use of colloquialisms and dialect become more important. Localization involves translation as well as a more refined adaptation of marketing material in the form of text, video, images, and graphics.

Building trust through multilingual support

Support for customers is an important aspect of marketing new products. Customers like to know that when they buy a product that is new to them that they can contact the manufacturer or distributor if they have any issues with that product. There may be warranty issues, a defective product, or instructions that are not quite clear enough, amongst other reasons for wanting to contact customer support. 

Startups that set out from the onset to provide a multilingual support system are likely to build trust in their customer base. It’s hard for startups to avoid the reality of customer satisfaction or otherwise expressed through online reviews. A well-designed and effective multilingual support service is likely to lead to more favorable reviews than a non-existent support service for customers whose language is not that of the startup.

Brand perception and reputation management

Entrepreneurs understand the importance of creating an instantly recognizable brand. It’s something that can be frustrating for startups because unless they are offering a niche product or service, they will be up against the brand perception and reputation of their competitors who have been in business for much longer.


Not every startup will be operating in a multilingual or multicultural environment, but the modern reality is that this is becoming increasingly commonest startups can’t doo do all the translation and localization work all by themselves, which means that they need to choose professional services that can take on this important aspect of their marketing strategy for them. 

Business Opportunities for NAATI Translation Services

Professional translation services are now more in demand than ever before because of the growth in the Internet and the desire to communicate with people worldwide. It’s not just day to day communication that needs to be translated but there is a great demand for NAATI translators to translate whole books and a huge variety of advertising material so that it can be read by the global audience and its consumers. Business opportunities for NAATI translation services have seen profits grow in recent years.

Decide Your Language Specialization

A professional translation service provider needs to be proficient in no less than two languages and as so much print media including websites is in English it is important to be fluent in English as well as a second language. Japanese, French, German and Spanish are increasingly important for all types of business translations. However, there are other important languages in demand too.


Go Professional Is The Best Way

The best way to be a successful NAATI translator is to be either college qualified in your two languages or attend some professional language training courses to bring your language standards to that required to conduct an excellent NAATI translation.

The demand is of course always for professionals so you need to give your translation business a professional appearance so that you attract the best clients.

Advertising Your Business As a NAATI Translation Service

The best way to advertise is to set up a blog and start writing blog posts regularly. It should be first posted in English and then you can translate it into you second chosen language which should be posted next to your English post. Through doing this your existence becomes known and your translation abilities are being showcased at the same time. You should insert your contact details clearly in your blog post.

Finding Work

You should register with a translation agency that uses NAATI translators and you can expect to get more work than going it alone. Once you have completed a NAATI translation project don’t forget to remind the outgoing client of your contact details including your blog URL. Word of mouth is often a good way of reaching out to new clients.

Enhancing Your Professional Profile

How you market your professional profile partially relates to the demands of the current market. If, for example, there is a rush for legal document translations make sure you cash in on this event. You should advertise your abilities in this area so you can be more attractive to the market. You should bookmark your favourite translation news websites so you can keep abreast of the market and be ready when demand favours your skills. Being a NAATI translator gives you a head start when someone is looking for a good translator in their language pair.


At Least Three Skills are Needed For a Successful Translator

Translation skills

The first and foremost professional translation services skill is the effective use of both your language and your target language. This means you should have a thorough understanding of the terminology used in both languages and a high level of ability when transferring ideas between the two languages. These are the most fundamental skills but they go hand in hand with other strategic skills too.

A good translator does not simply transfer word by word between the two languages and that’s the translation task achieved but writing skills play an important role too.

A NAATI translation is done by a translator who has mastered the target language and possesses an unbeatable writing style. This sort of achievement is the making of an excellent translator.

Skills in subject matter

Honing in on the subject matter that you believe you can master in two languages will put you above the rest. Subject matter knowledge means you understand the subject so that in your translation you are better equipped to convey the true meaning of the text and use appropriate terms to do so. This comes out as a far more convincing and forceful translation than simply rummaging around for appropriate words that you are unsure really fit the subject matter of the translation.

It might be amazing to imagine but there are some translators with virtually no understanding of subjects like law, business, medicine, and engineering who take on detailed materials to translate and which even appear in print. To be thoroughly equipped to conduct a NAATI translation you must possess a high degree of expertise in one specialist area at least which should have been derived from first-hand experience in that field.

Many translation courses seem to omit this in translation degrees thus depriving the new translator of the expert voice that is so often desired by professional translation services. So often it is found that specialist texts aren’t professionally translated to an expert standard which undermines the expertise of the translation industry.

In summary, in order to produce suitable translated texts to publication standard the translator has to have highly developed skills in the three core areas of writing, translation, and subject matter knowledge.

Quality of a Rushed Translation Can Improve Over Time

Time constraints and rushed jobs are not normally the sorts of things that professional translation services handle well. No one who has gained the qualifications to do a NAATI translation should rush a job because quality is more important than quantity. Being put under too much pressure will not bring the most favourable results.

However, translators like in many industries do of course have to match deadlines but how do they succeed in rushing a translation job but still maintain quality?

Translators who work for translation services in Sydney tell their clients that if they are asked to do a job too quickly the results would not be good enough to circulate to others or be printed or published. They are basically the equivalent of drafts that are incomplete. All good, accurate translations go through the draft stage and before they get as far as the publication phase will have been proofread and checked several times before being released to the client.

When asked to match a deadline that would label the job as a rushed one it is necessary for the translator to be completely free of any distractions. As many translators work from home on a freelance basis complete privacy has to be assured so that the translation is completed to an acceptable standard.

Even though the job has been done in a rush the translator will need to do at least very basic proofreading so that there are no distractive spelling or grammar errors. The pattern of the translated text has to follow more or less the same pattern as the original text so that means all subheadings and bulleted points need to be checked for consistency before releasing the rushed translation back to the client.

Translators are at some time or another asked to do a rushed translation and there is no doubt that the stress levels can increase but a successful job can lead to further work especially if some extra time and effort is put into a quality outcome.

A NAATI translation is expected to be of high quality, so this puts more pressure on a translator with this qualification to prove that a rushed translation of the right quality can be performed.

Does Quick Turnaround of Translation Mean High Quality?

When you are running a business and you have competitors the chances are you race through everything from marketing to selling to delivery. Speed is important to outwit your competitors so that your revenue is maximized and your costs are minimized, spread over a period of time, or spread through your volume of sales.

Translations fit into the same category as any business and those that request document translation services related to the marketing of their products want them done as fast as any other tasks in the running of their business.

Sometimes you have to think twice when it comes to the speed of the delivery of a product and in particular translations. A NAATI translator being told to rush a translation means quality is not met and in the end, satisfaction is less.

All translators are bilingual but when it comes to translating a text it doesn’t mean the task can be completed as quickly as a typist types out a letter or a thesis for a student. A typist may be able to type a minimum of 40 words a minute and in many cases more but a translator can only complete around 2 to 2,500 words a day and for a day that runs for 8 hours that is only 5 words a minute.

Of course, this is only an average, and the speed at which a translation is carried out depends on other variables too such as the context of the translation and how much prior knowledge the translator has in that area. Some translators have created glossaries of the most common terms used in a particular language but they still have to search for the right words that fit inappropriately with the text.

What is involved with a translation?

There is no doubt that every translation is different and not all the original text is necessarily easy to understand let alone translate. In order for a translation to closely resemble the text is not the only word for word translation but context and culture to requires not only language knowledge but the ability to interpret the context and thoroughly understand the culture of the translated language. Often linguists need to conduct research to find the best word that fits nicely into a contextual relationship. This will mean the translation will be of high quality and best suit the client’s requirements.

Where is Machine Translation Heading?

Is machine translation (MT) advancing in leaps and bounds or is it going nowhere? Who uses machine translation technology and are they finding it useful?

Machine translation technology has been around for quite a while now and one would have thought that it would have become sufficiently advanced enough that professional translation services would be taking advantage of it. That doesn’t seem to have happened and MT is somewhere in a middle-of-the-road situation. It’s advanced enough that it can be used for amateur translation and take out some of the load from the work of professional translators but isn’t yet good enough to replace human translation for anything which is technical or official in nature.

Improvements in machine translation software and technology lie with software engineers and software developers. They are in a bit of a quandary because there is a certain amount of doubt about the eventual goal of machine translation. Where is it going? What will it be able to do in say 10 or 20 years’ time?

The advantages of a fully automatic translation tool for any sort of translation services in Australia or anywhere else in the world are obvious, but can MT ever replace the depth of knowledge of a human translator?

Those who work for professional translation services do not have the time to refine machine translation vocabulary and grammar abilities. Time is money and they depend on their own skills to convert text from one language into another as accurately as possible. At present, even the best MT translations need significant post-translation editing and proofreading. Granted, that’s true for any translation task. Woe betides any translator who thinks their raw translation is good enough for a client. The better the editing and proofreading, the more accurate the final translation and the more likely there will be a good working relationship with the client and repeat work.

MT is fine for personal use, especially when someone is browsing a website in a language they don’t understand or when they are traveling or communicating with a stranger. It’s certainly not perfect, but perfection is not the issue. You can’t always wait for a translation to appear just when you want it and there’s not always a suitable bilingual person around to interpret something for you and anyway perfection isn’t always necessary every time.

With the trend towards the internationalization of business and the growing need to communicate across borders quickly and efficiently there is a huge incentive to improve machine translation technology. No one can predict just where the technology will be and how much it has replaced human translators in the near to medium-term future.

Do You Need a Sworn Translation?

If you have ever had to have an important document of your own translated into another language because it had to be submitted to a government department or an employer then you will have come across what is known as ‘sworn translation’. Every year in Australia, for instance, thousands of migrants make use of approved translators to translate their birth certificates, degrees or diplomas, trade certificates and employment contracts.

Sworn translation is generally never left just to those who consider themselves linguistically competent. In Australia, these sorts of official documents must be translated by professional translation services. These companies or agencies have accredited or approved translators who know how to deal with the usual range of legal documents that must be made available to support applications for visas, temporary and long-term employment, study, and citizenship.

Most countries in the western world have established clear procedures for the way in which sworn translation takes place. In Australia, for instance, translations must be carried out by translators who have been accredited by the National Accreditation Authority of Translators and Interpreters (NAATI). Translation done by NAATI-certified translators provides a guarantee that an honest and accurate translation of key documents has been carried out. NAATI translators will ensure that the translation they have been entrusted with is certified by them to show that it is an accurate version of the original document.

In some European countries, the translator must swear that a translated document is an accurate copy before a court (hence the term ‘sworn translation’), but this is not by any means a uniform practice. In the U.K. or U.S., where the equivalent of an organization like NAATI does not exist, the translator bears the legal responsibility that a document they have translated is a valid translation. In theory, a member of the public who is not a trained or professional translator could translate a birth certificate, for instance, and sign the document to say they certify that it is an accurate translation.

If you think you have to have an important document or documents translated, then make sure whether it is regarded as a sworn translation and what the rules are concerning translation. Taking short cuts may lead to a visa being cancelled or at the very least postponed or delayed.

Key Legal Documents that May Need to be Translated

Most people in Australia understand that anyone coming to Australia from somewhere where English is not the mother tongue will probably have to confront the issue of translating key legal documents. Even ordinary tourists may have to translate their driving licenses into English if their home licenses are not written in English. This is not just a requirement in Australia, as most countries insist that foreigners translate their licenses into the host language if they want to hire a car to drive around in.

Of course, an ordinary tourist is unlikely to be searching for the services of a translation service provider by a NAATI-certified translator just to get their driving license translated. They can apply for an international license before they leave home. International licenses are commonly translated into a number of the major world languages like French, German, Spanish, Japanese, etc.

Foreigners who stay for longer in Australia as students, employees, businesspeople, or migrants will soon find that they need to translate quite a number of key legal documents, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, death certificates, employment records, educational and professional qualifications, transcripts, bank statements, and financial statements, just to mention the main ones.

This is where the use of professional translation services in Australia, whether they are translation services in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide, or any other major city, has a major role to play. In general, translated documents need to be translated by an authorized translator. In Australia, that means a translator or translation agency that employs NAATI translators who have been accredited by the National Accreditation Authority for Translators and Interpreters.

It’s not just visitors that may need to get key legal documents translated. Many businesses that have dealings with or business in Australia or wish to do business in Australia will no doubt find that supporting documentation and application forms are translated or at least completed in English. Examples include things like patents and copyright applications. Without these important documents being approved in Australia, there is a risk that both intellectual property and technological ideas could be copied at a financial loss to the rightful owner.

What are the Differences Between UK and US Styles of Translation?

There is always an element of doubt as to whether a non-native translator is able to produce the same quality of translation as a native translator of a language and this rings true when it comes to the translating of different versions of English. Even though English originated from one source it is now a language that is used by cultures who do not have the same cultural affiliation to the language as the original native speakers.

Often a translation service in Melbourne will remind its translator to translate into US English, not UK English. This doesn’t bring about any special problems as long as the translator remembers to set the spell-check feature on his or her computer to US English. Of course, most competent professional translation services should know most of the features of both languages with the commonest difference being some spellings where in US English certain letters are omitted. There are also other less obvious differences such as the way the day and month are ordered when written in a document.

Further differences are typically to do with word usages such as in an employment context whether ‘staff’ or ’employees’ should be used. Normally, these uncertainties can be resolved by undertaking a Google search. The use of adjectives are important too as what the UK English user may feel more comfortable with may not apply to the US counterpart. Words like the use of splendid or superb come up from time to time as do fantastic or excellent.

When using language in either the US or the UK context any translation should flow well and fit into its context seamlessly without any distraction to the reader. When it comes to translating in the business context US and UK readers will understand the English used but the right English operates better in terms of register and tone.

If you go to the BBC website and you find an article that doesn’t fit the bill when it comes to UK English usage but reads as American English you will undoubtedly notice it and may feel uncomfortable. However, if the same article was to appear in the New York Times then you would probably feel completely different.

When I was visiting Miami recently I was wondering for a time why people kept asking me to repeat a request for a cup of coffee. After quite a time, I discovered that when I said ‘May I please have a cup of of coffee’ it just wasn’t specific enough and what they wanted to hear was ‘Can I get a cup of coffee?’

When you don’t do your language research properly as a translator you may found your final translation is put in the wastepaper bin, the trashcan, put out with the garbage in a refuse sack which is put in the dustbin.

How Global Brand Websites are Lost In Translation

It’s quite realistic to assume that when websites are translated into many different languages that sales will be boosted. Consumers are far more likely to buy from a website in their own language and spend longer browsing too. It is taking a long time for global brands to realise the importance of using professional translation services to get their websites and product information translated into global languages.

It is of course not necessarily straightforward when translating brand information as there are variations in the way countries who seemingly speak the same language have local differences that are not necessarily that easy to understand. For example, in the United States, the name for sports shoes is “sneakers” while in Britain the word used is “trainers.” These are two totally different words which only the people from those countries would clearly understand.

Some businesses have begun to learn about these language variations such as Tory Burch who uses different words for his U.S. site and his British site when marketing clothing. He sells “sweaters” in the U.S. and “jumpers” in Britain which are two different words used for the same type of clothing.

Website language is important

If your business fails to take notice of the nuances in a language then sales performance will not be so good. This is partly due to the search words potential customers may use. If Tory Burch used the word jumper on his U.S. site but the term used for this item of clothing in the U.S. is sweater then few people will be directed to his website when they use their specific search term.

Glossaries are built up by translators who work for translation services in Australia so that when they are asked to perform a translation they have a good idea of what terms are used in the country in question for certain words related to the product information being translated. It has taken time for these glossaries to be formed as global brands have only fairly recently seen the importance of translating websites and product descriptions into the type of language used by their potential customers.

Glossaries for Spanish customers from Spain may be different from those compiled for Argentinean customers. This is the same for documents such as legal documents as different terms may be used for legal concepts in different countries so a word by word translation is not possible. Document translation services have slowly built up glossaries so they can better meet the needs of their international clients by ensuring the correct legal terms are used.