Brand identity

The pitfalls of translating website text

The pitfalls of translating website text

The Type of Text – It seems obvious, but in practice, clients often forget to consider this. What type of text is it, really? A legal text is quite different from a news article. And there are many forms in between. Consider a page explaining a certain production process. Such a page can be viewed from different angles; on one hand, it’s marketing, and on the other hand, it’s firm customer promises. This makes it both a legal and a marketing text.

The Right Translator – In our previous article, we discussed the voice and tone of a text writer, which, of course, applies just as much to translators. It’s not for nothing that awards are given for the best translations of novels or classic works! Therefore, choose a translator with a certain style and affinity, because the texts you’ve labored over in (presumably) your native language might completely miss the mark when translated directly. Choose a translator who matches your thought behind a text and who fits the type of text.

With the increased adoption of AI technology, the right translator might often work as more of an editor. They will judge the quality of the translation and, especially important, the jargon and any technical facts. Aspects your audience will certainly notice. It’s a great way to quickly translate a website text while still keeping quality in mind.

The Right Briefing – You have a clear picture of the type of text and have found the right translator for it, now it’s time for the briefing. You’ve written the texts in a certain tone, focusing on certain keywords, a specific structure, and a clear call-to-action. Take the time to explain this well to the translator so the texts retain the value you’ve invested in them.

It may seem like a final concern, but if your company is serious about its commitment to a foreign or different language market, then take the communication with this market seriously as well. The fact that the texts are already there is no reason to neglect the translation. Remember, nothing is as bad as reading a poorly translated piece of text in your native language. When was the last time you bought something on a website that was sloppily or unclearly translated?

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