BlogGeneral Articles5 Marketing Translation Traps and How to Avoid Them

5 Marketing Translation Traps and How to Avoid Them

5 Marketing Translation Traps and How to Avoid Them

Marketing translation is one of our main strengths - so here are our top five Translation Traps and how to avoid them to help you get the best translation possible from your supplier.

Trap 1 – Not knowing your intended audience

Make sure your translator knows who will be the intended audience for your text – will it be an end user, an engineer, a magazine reader or someone in a related industry? Will they understand what you’re trying to tell them or do you need to adjust the register of the text?

Our marketing translation team are specialists in various areas, from advertising, to press releases, websites or brochures and can help you get the best from your marketing budget.

Trap 2 – Sloppy straplines and slogans

If you have a slogan or strapline, make sure it’s translated correctly – not just by a standard translation, but with creative care, against a background of understanding of what your company’s brand involves. Transcreation is a skilled process and needs almost as much input to create your overseas brand as was needed to create your original UK materials. Once you have these and are satisfied with them, ensure they are used according to your guidelines in every overseas text.

Trap 3 –Getting style and tone of voice wrong

Different foreign readers will expect different things – a friendly approachable style may not go down so well in certain countries where a more formal tone of voice is expected. Let your translators know what you are trying to achieve, send your style guide along with the text for translation and allow them to choose the right register for your materials based on their experience.

Trap 4 – Lack of care with technical products

Technical marketing materials, which make up a large percentage of what we do here at MTT, require a special breed of translator, who knows how to write a fluent, persuasive piece of text, yet also understands the technical features of the product involved. It’s important to make sure that your translator understands how your product functions, what its benefits are for the user and what you need to get across in your text. Any incorrect technical terms may mean that your marketing materials lose credibility.

Trap 5 – Not making the article relevant to an overseas reader

Your translation needs to be appropriate to the reader’s experiences, with examples and references appropriate to his country. Ask your translators for suggestions if you are not sure what to include, for example replacing references to London with another major city might make more of an impression, unless you are selling heavily on the “Britishness” of your product or service.

You might also need to consider changing the name of your product – for example a children’s toy called “Colin the Caterpillar” may be better renamed as “Chenille Charles” to find acceptance in France.

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