Where in the World Can a Language Service Provider Take You?

  |  December 6, 2017

3 things a language service provider must know well to ensure accuracy.

In a rapidly globalizing world, it has become more important than ever for companies to deliver accurately translated content. In order to successfully expand, companies must ensure their language service provider is well-equipped to deliver their message correctly and as originally intended in the source document.

To achieve this, your translation vendor must have a deep understanding of the language being translated, including its alphabet, character sets, and rules of grammar. They must also have expertise in formatting and be knowledgeable about your target market’s cultural sensibilities.

Only a language service provider with extensive knowledge in these three areas can accurately and concisely convey your message successfully across multiple markets. Read on to learn more about these three keys and their role in helping your company expand its brand on a global scale.

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Why Your Language Service Provider Must Have Formatting Expertise

When translating for international markets, you want to ensure your message is correctly understood the first time around and displayed in a manner consistent with your branding and original design. That’s why formatting plays a vitally important role in the translation process.

Content for technical manuals, websites, and other documentation needs to be easily understood and accepted by your target market. Correctly formatting your source document must account for:

Character sets: Your target language may use a different alphabet or character set. These differences must be incorporated into the design of your content, website, or software interface. Text length may expand or contract, depending on your target language, requiring font size or spacing adjustments in a manner that retains the essence of your original presentation.

Text within graphics: Any text embedded within graphic files must be extracted, translated, and re-inserted into the original graphic.

Website navigation tools: Your website navigation must be adapted to reflect the overall look and feel of your original website and to be easily understood by your target market.

Menus, help files, and other internal text: These items need to fit in the available space, when translated, in a way that accommodates the target language.

Regardless of the medium you’re using to convey your translated message, accurate formatting is a crucial step in generating quality deliverables.

Your Language Service Provider Must Understand a Language’s Alphabet and Character Set

In order to deliver accurate, top-quality translation, a language service provider must account for a specific language’s unique alphabet and character sets. Different languages use different alphabets that may be character-based or use a different directional flow altogether. Translated text from another language is almost never the same length as the original English document text.

While some languages may use less space than English, languages such as German may result in much longer sentences.

Character-based languages, such as Japanese and Korean, present an entirely different set of issues. These languages use thousands of variations of glyphs and require transliteration—a process that includes converting one script into another, making it recognizable to the target audience without literally translating the meaning.

Additionally, grammar and punctuation rules vary by language. This requires a translator who is well-versed in the unique characteristics of the target market’s language.

Your Language Service Provider Must Account for Cultural Considerations

You’re ready to market your product or service globally, but aren’t sure how a language service provider can help you deliver your message accurately to your target market. To ensure your message is delivered as originally intended, your translation company must utilize experienced translators who are native speakers and who understand the cultural nuances of your target audience.

That’s because a word-for-word translation cannot fully replicate your intended message.

In places where Spanish is spoken, for example, some words have different meanings depending on the country or even the region. For example, the word “guagua” refers to a bus in Cuba, while in Chile it means “baby.”

Translators lacking knowledge of these nuances can deliver an inaccurate translation that may confuse, offend, or insult the target audience, resulting in lost trust in your brand image and time and money wasted on retranslation efforts.

At International Language Services, we understand the need for accurate, top-quality translation. We offer expert translation in more than 180 languages, using a team of native-speaking translators who understand your target audience and are industry-specific subject matter experts.