20 Nov I think, therefore I am. I export, therefore I translate.
Nowadays, companies are not only providing commodities exclusively within their own national borders. Many end up entering international markets and export overseas. A product’s commercial presence in a new country calls for a translation of the product itself and everything that goes with it- even a new marketing strategy.
So what do you need to consider when exporting a product?
The process of internationalisation and exportation involves communication between two countries. Legal documentation in the appropriate language may be required in order to comply with the relevant local legislation on commerce. You may even consider international legal consultancy or interpretation for business communication.
On the other hand, when we are thinking of exporting a product to another country, we also need to make it available and accessible to those consumers. This may include a large number of factors, depending on the type of product or service it is:
Naming: The name of a product or company is one of the most primordial factors determining customers’ initial attraction to it. It may be maintained, translated, or re-named, depending on what market experts and professional translators deem best.
Images: Images are an essential part of advertising, as they immediately and subconsciously send out messages and produce connotations. These, however, may be different in different cultures and an image that is appealing in one culture may not be in another.
Labels: On the more practical side, many products have labels. Although things like ‘ingredients’ are arguably something we don’t look at much, customers need to be able to read and understand it!
Instructions of use: And on the even more practical side, an instruction manual is a fundamental extension of a product. If it is necessary for the use of a product, it will have to be translated, especially if it includes health and safety warnings.
Website: The internet is today’s society’s principle form of reference and research for everything – from shopping to homework to medical advice. Naturally, any company that wants to flourish in today’s society needs to have a website.
Leaflets and catalogues: The more traditional paper methods of advertising and displaying products haven’t completely died out, however, and many companies still produce leaflets and catalogues.
So I think we can see by now that when we translate, we are not only exporting a text from one language to another, but also from one culture to another. This is where the term transcreation comes in. Advertising and marketing professionals may refer to transcreation to talk about the adaptation of a text from one language to another, particularly in a context of business marketing and when introducing a product into a new market and country.
Transcreation takes into account the emotional response and perception of the original audience and attempts to recreate this in the target audience, and this may involve a complete re-working!
Failing to consider a transcreation process can have disastrous results. For example, Mitsubishi launched its ‘Pajero’ car in Spain, having tragically overlooked the unfortunate detail that ‘Pajero’ is a sexual slang word in Spanish! They subsequently changed the name to ‘Montero’ for Spanish-speaking markets, but lost a fair amount of money along the way.
Clearly, this is different to simple translation, and it is fundamental to hire professionals to guide you through this process before you begin. At LexGo Translations, because all of our translators are native, they are familiar with the target audience, market and culture, meaning you can trust in us to make informed decisions and avoid misunderstandings.