by Yonel Enriquez
Translations and multicultural marketing should be treated as the strategic imperative that it is. The most successful executives make sure translation/localization is considered at the start of every project. They realize that it isn’t a task to simply “get over with” after content in source language (often English) is complete. If you truly want to address the needs of diverse demographics, don’t make them an afterthought!
Organizations waste precious time and millions of dollars when they don’t think about the concept of “translatability” and “multicultural suitability” as they are developing their source language strategy. You should work with your translation/localization partner early on in your projects (examples include Annual Enrollment Period for health insurance, clinical trial design for life sciences) because you don’t want to have issues further down the process.
there are a few ways to think about translatability:
1. Do the concepts/copy/visuals of your work have the capacity to be transferred from one language to another without undergoing fundamental change?
2. Are you red flagging potential translation difficulties in your global source? This includes culturally sensitive or taboo subjects, idioms, terms with no equivalent in certain languages. As you would with source language, leverage communication to create a differential advantage in every language. You want to be sure you resonate in an increasingly diverse market!
3. Did you review comprehensibility — the ease with which your copy can be understood? Another term is readability, or meeting the literacy capabilities of all your target audiences.
4. Have you evaluated improved translation management? Your language partner should help you understand how improved translation workflows and technologies can better support evolving regulatory needs as well as your cost/timing goals.
5. Are you developing content in localization friendly formats to experience translation memory savings? Were you aware that something as simple as discussing file formats early on in your project can make a big difference? Many organizations spend thousands of dollars in ancillary costs recreating files to get them into a localization friendly format. Translation memory leverages previously translated segments to cut down on time/costs.
digital translatability issues
a. If we don’t have editable files (often a PDF with no source file), we often must convert into a separate document (for larger files, it can take a lot of resources)
b. eLearning localization –building the files so that localization engineers can easily comprehend them. Developers often build modules with the end goal of strong design and functionality for the end user in the source language. Often there is little consideration for the localization teams to easily understand how it was built. There are ways to clearly structuring modules for localization. The engineer hours of ‘figuring it out’ could easily be avoided with some foresight.
c. InDesign files with “hard returns” make files look great in source language. However, translation memory leverage needs proper segmentation.
CQ fluency, culture experts.
These are just a few of many examples. The right language service provider, like CQ fluency, can help you establish guidelines and coach your teams to prepare for translatability and multicultural suitability. For companies looking to successfully expand globally, don’t leave the task as an afterthought or rushed as a last-minute part of the process. We want to be sure you meet your deadlines, don’t go over budget and have the best level of quality/consistency in your communication. Feel assured that with CQ fluency you will have cultural experts with subject matter experience to ensure your message isn’t just heard but understood. We look forward to being an integral partner as you enhance your multicultural communication around the world.