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Translating marketing texts

Stanislava Dengová Ciferník14.01.2021 About Translations Reading time: 2 min.
How to translate marketing text

Do you remember how you wrote content for your company website or tried to create product descriptions?

The public rarely sees version 1.0. Often, hours or sometimes even days of meticulous rewriting and rich correspondence with your copywriter occur before a few lines or even words are made public.

But, at last, the final version is completed, and it’s time to order the translation, thereby launching your planned marketing and trade activities. Then, a few days later, you get your hands on the translated text:

"We produce energy, we have numeric data"

But something doesn’t add up, not even after the fifth time you look at it. You don’t even have to be a native speaker to see that this text should not be the one to represent your company. And so, you return the translation for correction. And the result? Regarding both content and grammar, the translation was correct, any changes are pointless and your complaint is unfounded. So what’s wrong exactly?

You find different provider, and they start wasting your time by asking seemingly superfluous questions. You answer: the text will be published online, its aim is a specific persona type, after looking at it, the reader should..., etc. The order is confirmed and, when the deadline arrives, here’s the result:

"Our numbers tells the story"

What makes the translation of marketing texts different?

Texts designed to sell and reach marketing goals require a different approach when compared to translating a pacemaker implantation manual or a lease agreement.

Even the source text likely results from more than one person’s efforts. A product specialist creates the product descriptions, they ask a colleague to look it over and a marketing specialist or a copywriter suggests corrections.

Translating marketing texts works in a similar way. Therefore, a crucial part of successfully translating these texts is further creative editing. We cannot realistically expect a single translator to not only produce the translation and be the source of objective criticism, but also wear the hats of a creative designer and the target-language native speaker simultaneously. A translation lacking creative editing often fails to capture local customs, puns or rhymes, depriving the translated text of its punch and clarity.

That is why, at Lexika, instead of a single multi-purpose linguist, we turn to a verified translator, reviewer and a native-language creator. First, the translation and its revision are produced, as described in our previous article. The translation “We produce energy, we have numeric data” becomes a useful piece in the puzzle for the copywriter, who doesn’t understand the source-language text. Then, their task is adjusting the translated text to the target market, country and persona and waiting for the client's final approval.

What is required for creative translation or text editing?

Optimally, the client should provide the assignment along with a marketing brief that contains, among other things, the following information:

  • company/product definition
  • distinctiveness from the competition
  • target persona/group description
  • tone of voice
  • how the text will be published (website, social networks, brochure etc.)
  • the text’s purpose (to inform, raise brand awareness, sell etc.)
  • examples of target-language texts that the client liked

The more precise the definition of the contents and the idea that you want to express, the more valuable the result will be.

Do you need engaging and functional content in a foreign language? Contact us.

Stanislava Dengová
Stanislava Dengová
Project manager

I began working at LEXIKA as a recent graduate in translation and interpreting studies. At university I took a class in which we simulated a translation project thanks to which my vision for the future was clear – I wanted to work at a translation company after graduating. I am happy to have landed a job at LEXIKA where I have been working since then ?. I primarily oversee translation projects and communicate with our clients and translators. Sometimes I contribute to our internal documentation and since I am a certified memoQ trainer, I am in charge of our CAT tools and together with my colleagues I organize memoQ training courses for beginning and advanced translators.

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