What are the most common mistakes when translating marketing materials?

What are the most common mistakes when translating marketing materials?


Suppose your product or service is the perfect solution for a specific customer problem. Better than the solutions of all your competitors worldwide. That sounds like a gold mine, but only if potential customers know about your solution and believe in it. In addition to compelling marketing copy for the domestic market, you need good marketing translations to tap into that international market. Translation agencies often offer marketing translation as a separate specialty, because it requires specific skills and knowledge. The texts should appeal directly and personally to your target audience. In doing so, you use all kinds of stylistic options to arouse the interest of potential customers and encourage them to take action. Not every translator is good at that. But the final quality is not only dependent on the translator: you can influence it yourself. Check out 3 of the most common mistakes when translating marketing materials.

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1: Not localizing content

Actually, marketing translation is not the right term. If you really want to convince foreign customers, your marketing materials must be localized. A literal translation is usually not enough. The message must be adapted to the relevant target group and region. This includes common words and expressions, relevant cultural examples and even colors and design. You are looking for a translator with a fluent pen and commercial and cultural insight. You yourself must clearly state what freedoms the translator has and be able to rely on his or her expertise. Otherwise, you risk confusing or scaring off potential customers with irrelevant or even offensive marketing material.

2: Not giving the translator a clear briefing

If you don't provide enough information to the translator, you can't expect a perfect result either. A good, experienced translator will dare to ask questions, but you can ease the process and improve the end result by proactively sharing information. Provide the translator with at least basic information, such as the specific language variant (American or British English?), the form of address (formal or informal?) and any glossaries or style guides. In addition, share project-specific information. Does the translation have to match certain images, are there length restrictions, what is the target audience, where will the content be published? All of these are important questions in marketing translation.

3: Skipping the revision phase

Translation is human work and subjective. If you have written something yourself and proofread it, you will probably find it perfectly clear. But someone looking at it with fresh eyes might find it a bit complicated, vague or long-winded. It is therefore always a good idea to have a second pair of eyes look at a translation, especially for marketing copy. And sometimes problems are only noticed during the layout phase, for example because the translated text does not appear to fit on the banner. If your internal DTP staff don't speak the language, they can't provide the best solution either. If you have the formatted file checked by the translator, they can give instructions to shorten the text or insert a line break in a logical place. You can also often outsource such revision and formatting steps to a translation agency.

Venture Across Borders with Scriptware Translations

We hope that with this blog article we've given you a little more insight into marketing translation problems you should avoid. If you are ready to share your product or service with the rest of the world, you can always contact with Scriptware Translations. Our professionals are happy to work with you to find the perfect approach for your marketing materials. Together, we will get your message across effectively.

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