Translating isn’t just translating: it’s an opportunity to generate more trust among your readers.
The mere fact that the text is written in your readers’ language means they’ll already be more receptive. Beyond this, with a professional translation, your readers will feel the text is more relevant to them. If it’s properly adapted to their culture, they’ll identify with your message more closely, perceiving you as being more aligned with their needs.
A professional translator considers the context and purpose of the message. This includes the reason why the text was written, where the text is coming from and what needs it seeks to cover.
A professional translator thoroughly analyses the contents of the original text, adapts them to the reader and then incorporates them into the new text, creating it for them. As a result of adapting the text this way, the message is optimally adjusted to the needs and expectations of readers from the other culture.
Translating is not just translating: it involves generating trust through a message adapted to your readers.
Numerous details change between languages, like, for instance, the relationship between colours and emotions (so important in advertising). In English, blue represents nostalgia, but, in Spanish, blue is more closely identified with joy.
Numbers also change in translation. Some languages use full stops as decimal points; in others, full stops are used to mark thousands. The use of inverted commas also varies between languages. In German, they are like this: „German convention“; Spanish uses chevrons, «Spanish convention»; while in French, the chevrons are separated by a space « French convention ».
When properly adapted, these details ensure readers identify with the text, which makes them more receptive to what you want to tell them.
Beyond these examples, translating is an opportunity to adapt:
- user instructions for a medical device you distribute;
- a presentation you’ve prepared on business positioning in your sector;
- the anti-fraud policies your employees have to follow;
- the user interface of the IT program you’re going to launch;
- an article on the essentials of Internet advertising campaigns;
and many other documents, to the needs, expectations and values of the readers of your texts.
Translating is generating trust and allows you to adapt to your readers’ needs.
When you commission a translation, you don’t just want the translator to transfer phrases from the original document into the other language, right? What you want is for the translation to work as a whole, and achieve the effect you’re looking for.
To do this, you need:
- the message to make sense;
- the message to follow your readers’ rules and conventions (so it reads naturally to them);
- examples to be relevant (so they understand them and identify with them);
- the register to be appropriate (so they feel comfortable and receptive).
What does the last point mean?
If you’re careful to use the style and register your readers are used to, you’ll generate trust. This way, you’ll reach more readers who may be interested in what you’re offering. In short, your text will help to attract more potential customers.
Writing for consumers isn’t the same as writing for teenagers or hotel owners, and each group of readers has different needs depending on whether they speak, say, Spanish from Spain or Argentinian Spanish (just as Brits express themselves differently to Americans).
Neither is it the same if the text is going to be used on a website, product packaging or medical consent form.
This is why translating is much more than translating. Translating is adapting your written communication to the needs of your readers.
This is why you need to trust your translator. Share your concerns with them and provide them with all the information you have available about the text: where it will be published, why it’s been written, who it’s for, what background knowledge the reader is expected to have, etc.
All this information will be very useful to them and will help them make basic decisions to ensure the text achieves the effect you’re looking for.
Trust your professional translator and if they ask you questions, remember it’s because they’re trying to understand your project as deeply as possible, to help you achieve your objectives.