Any business catering to a global audience needs to be multilingual. It is a well-known fact that a large percentage of global population speaks English, but since it is not their first language, some of them face issues related to written communication in English. By making communication multilingual, you can create goodwill and open up your business to new audiences. You can become multilingual by resorting to the aid of bilingual employees or by hiring a translation company.
Using bilingual employees to translate communication is cheap but not the best route. A bilingual employee may have excellent verbal skills but generally not a satisfactory written skill. This may lead to inaccuracies in communication, which can be harmful especially with regard to legal documents.
There are multiple benefits in engaging a translation company. The first one is that a translation company will have translators for multiple languages and, therefore, you will get all your work done through one source. Second, translation companies must be aware of cultural sensitivity in terms of language and are able to prevent messy missteps. Third, your employees stay focused on the tasks for which you hired them.
Whether bilingual employees or a translation company is handling your multilingual efforts, there are some practices you should follow:
1. Do not choose an employee or translation company at random. Scrutinize their work, their policies and past quality before making your choice.
2. Do not just choose random languages. Make language additions that will benefit your business.
3. Standardize vital documents to ensure consistency over multiple channels.
4. Appoint a coordinator, set a budget and plan the translation process. A coordinator ensures someone is responsible for achieving your goals and ensures that you do not exceed your budget. Documentation reduces redundancy and ensures a smoother process in case of future additions.
The purpose of any document is to communicate a concept or knowledge to the end client, in order to invoke an action or a thought process. Using language that requires a PHD to understand will only cause setbacks. Follow the KISS principle (Keep it Short and Simple) when writing and design documents. Ensuring that information is easy to read and understand reduces the need for additional personal contact with the customer. It will even make documents easier to translate. In case of documents requiring certain wording for legal purposes, keep the language simple and crisp.
Transforming an operation from single language to a multilingual process does not change your business or your goals or values. Every document needs to carry the same essence or tone, irrespective of the language. The best way to ensure consistency is to create style guides and glossaries. A style guide lets translators know your linguistic and stylistic preferences. A glossary contains important terms with your preferred translations. These guides and glossaries do not affect costs nor increase timelines. They just ensure that translation companies use languages that best suit your business. Multilingual communication will help increase the overall quality and consistency of your documents.
Once you have hired a translation company, decided on the processes and created style guides and glossaries, you can step back and wait for the results or you can be proactive. Get the most out of translation companies by taking part of the process, which does not mean hovering until the work is done. Just be available to answer any questions or queries the translation company may ask. Join organizations to be aware of any changes in laws, so that changes can be implemented across all languages simultaneously. These processes will help you reach new markets, so, make sure to make the most of them.
Increasing globalization has made multilingual communication necessary for any business seeking to capture new audiences and markets. The best way to go from single language communication to multilingual communication is with the aid of a good translation company. Choose a translation company carefully and ensure that the best practices of translation are followed.