marketing, marketing translation

Marketing translation: The additional expert skills required

At eSense Translations, we only use translators who are specialists in their field of translation. And there is a good reason for this decision. In order to translate content accurately and effectively, a complete and up-to-date knowledge of sector-specific vocabulary and processes is vital. When working on translating marketing copy, it could be argued that specialisation in this sector is even more crucial. In our blog this week, eSense Translations explores the reasons why.


Expertly, translating marketing material can be the difference between the success or failure of a client’s campaign in a new foreign market. First impressions of a brand are critical and a poorly-worded campaign can lead to an irreparably damaged reputation. With this in mind, translators and/or language service providers need to work closely with clients to get a full understanding of their ethos and the angle they are looking to take with their campaign.


Organisations can spend a great deal of time and money in creating the copy for their marketing projects. This copy can take the format of website content, social media posts, email campaigns, blogs, marketing brochures etc. In all of these formats, brands will want to convey a certain image to engage effectively with their target market and maximise their sales. With every phrase, the style and tone of writing will be carefully considered. A marketing translator must be able to take this original content and translate it in such a way that this style and tone is retained.


The goal of the brand’s campaign should also be fully understood. What is the client looking to achieve with this campaign and how can this aim be realised? The translated message from the brand must as persuasive and powerful in the foreign target market as it is in its native country.


As well as translating content in a style that is in-line with the original, translators working on marketing copy should also have a good understanding of other digital marketing strategies when creating their content. For example, marketing translators should have a good knowledge of SEO and how to embed keywords into digital text, so that it generates the best search results for the client, whilst still reading well for the audience.


The use of content as a digital marketing tool for inbound marketing has grown rapidly over the last few years. This, alongside the more traditional outbound marketing strategies (brochures, emails, leaflets etc), has meant that the need for well-phrased, intelligently translated marketing copy is greater than ever.


Being able to manipulate words for effect in this way is an additional skill set on top of straightforward translation and for that reason is sometimes referred to as transcreation. Where technical translators are expected to stay as faithful to the original text as possible, marketing translators need to adopt a more creative approach. Literal translations will often not work with marketing copy. Marketing translators should look at the elements discussed above such as tone, style and the goal and use this knowledge to recreate or transcreate it for the foreign target market.


Sourcing the right translators for your campaign is critical. Brands put a lot of faith in them that they can deliver the right message. At eSense Translations, we recruit translators who have a marketing background and have honed these skills to ensure that our clients’ campaigns are as successful in the global markets as they are in the U.K.


By Lorna Paice

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