If 2020 has taught us anything, it's that companies need to be more agile than ever in today's marketplace. Luckily, it has become clearer that one of the best ways of not only surviving, but thriving, is through expanding your global client base.
Of course, it's not as easy as investing more resources into your overseas operations. Success takes thoughtful strategising. And one of the major things you'll need to think about is your multilingual messaging.
As a translation company, this is our bread and butter. But as a marketer or company owner looking into translation services perhaps for the first time, you may find yourself asking ‘what are translation services?’, and more importantly ‘what do translation services do?’.
This post is going to answer all your questions about what translation services are and how exactly they can benefit your organisation.
What are translation services?
Translation services are professional services that translate written and spoken content from one language into another. Expert translation services typically offer translations into hundreds of languages and for a range of industries. What's more, you can find a translation services provider that has expertise in your sector to ensure an accurate and impactful translation.
What’s the difference between translation and interpretation services?
From our conversations with businesses and clients over the years, the question that often follows ‘what are translation services?' is ‘what’s the difference between translation and interpretation services?’ And we get it, as the two services may seem similar at first glance.
The main difference, however, is that interpretations are essentially translations for spoken language and usually happen in real time, whereas translations are typically for written content and take some time to write and proofread.
If you’re still wondering what is translation and interpreting services, you can read more about it in our blog.
Why do we need translation services?
With the rise of free tools like Google Translate, multiple translation apps and interactive dictionaries, it might seem like we have the capability to translate content at the press of a button. Noting this, you may be asking, “why do we need translation services?”
But the truth is that such tools are offered free for a reason. These tools analyse general web content for their translations, meaning there is no sector or project-specific focus for its service, but rather algorithms making guesses based on the web content's popularity. This often leads to context mix-ups, which can be hilarious at best and detrimental to your company at worst. What's more, they often mistake elements such as word order or grammatical changes, which will make your sound translation inaccurate, clumsy and unprofessional if not fixed by a qualified linguist.
Perhaps the biggest issue with free, online translation tools like Google Translate is that, when you input your content into the tool, your data is automatically shared with the company. In the case of Google Translate, it becomes Google's property. You will likely risk breaching your internal GDPR guidelines, as well as sharing potentially sensitive information.
Professional translation services, however, are experts in translation and data protection, and are trained to avoid these types of mistakes. You could opt for a bespoke, secure and in-house AI translation service, which can be tailored to your needs, or you can opt for your content to be translated by a sector-specific linguist with specialist knowledge in your field.
What does the translator do?
Another common query that arises when asking “what do translation services do?” is wondering what the translator does.
When you work with Wolfestone, for example, you aren’t just assigned a translator at random. Instead, we can hand-pick professional linguists with specialist niches who have years of experience. Your chosen translator will be a native speaker in the language you are translating into to guarantee accurate and authentic translation.
Noting this, your translator will start by reading your text in its original language, before working on the translation, bearing in mind the purpose of your content as well as your specific sector. While the translator does most of the work, your completed translation can then be proofread by another expert to ensure for maximum quality.
What do translation services do?
Now we’ve answered the questions 'what are translation services?’ and ‘why do we need translation services?’, it’s time to get to the big question: ‘what do translation services do?’.
We've already discussed how translation services differ from the awkward, word-for-word translations that free tools offer.
We've looked at how translation services can help you speak to customers in their own language. But what else does a professional translation service offer?
- Localised translations
- Industry-specific translation
- Multimedia translation
- Interpretation services
- Localised translations
In our blog “do I need translation, localisation or transcreation?”, we explain that localisation is a process whereby content is adapted to suit the cultural context of your target market.
A word-for-word translation might not always resonate in the target language(s), so professional translation services can ensure that the meaning of your original text is accurately conveyed, even if this means changing some words, phrases or the sentence structure.
Adapting text for localisation includes making changes to grammar and vocabulary, as well as adapting elements such as humour, words with connotative meanings, units of measurement and much more.
The next service to highlight is transcreation.
While localisation ensures that the same message is conveyed across multiple languages, transcreation involves taking your message in one language and rewriting the content so that it has the same emotional impact and meaning in the target language.
Transcreation is a creative rewriting process that can only be done by experts. A highly-skilled linguist is given the freedom to reimagine and recreate your content so that it reads as though it was originally crafted in the target language. It’s often used in industries such as business and marketing, in which the emotional impact of words are crucial for driving decisions and persuading stakeholders.
3. Industry-specific translation
Translation services use experienced language professionals within your specific industry, to ensure that your translation is fit for purpose and as accurate as possible
When you work with Wolfestone, we offer translation services in a range of industries, including medicine, law, marketing, business, finance, IT, manufacturing and more.
Specifically for industries such as law and medicine, which involve a lot of technical jargon, you need experienced professionals who are well equipped to translate content.
Understanding jargon isn’t the only consideration when translating for different industries. For some sectors or types of content, such as marketing, you may need to be aware of translating things such as puns and idioms, or website translation, and this is exactly what professional translation services offer.
No matter your industry, it’s important to talk to your customers in their own language.
4. Multimedia translation
It might be the case that you require translation for images or videos. Therefore, the fourth service that answers the question ‘what do translation services do?’ is multimedia translation.
If, for example, you’re sending a marketing email, it’s likely that you’ll include some visual elements; an image, a video or both. What won’t work well with foreign audiences is if the written body of the email is in their language, but image or video captions are in English.
Multimedia translation ensures that this doesn't happen, and when you work with Wolfestone, we offer particular care and precision to make sure that all of your multimedia content is translated as accurately as your written content.
We’ve already established the difference between translation and interpreting services, but that doesn’t mean that a professional translation service doesn't also offer interpreting too.
Despite the differences between translation and interpreting, both are a form of taking content from one language and converting it into another.
With professional interpretation services, you can choose between simultaneous, consecutive or telephone interpreting.
Additional services that professional translation companies may offer include proofreading and multilingual SEO.
From reading the five main services that we offer, you should be able to answer the question ‘what do translation services do?’.
When you invest in professional translation, you receive services that go the extra mile to ensure your content is translated to perfection, always bearing in mind your audience, industry and intent.
So whether you need IT content localised for an Italian audience, or marketing copy transcreated into Chinese, we can accommodate.
Get in touch with our expert team to receive a quote in less than 60 minutes for your translation.
Contact us today.