7 simple translation tips to help you elevate your business content

07 February 2022

Hiring a translation company is always the last option people tend to reach for when they’re struggling with translation, and the reason is usually cost. 


In situations like this, the translation gap is usually filled by multi-lingual employees and teams who DIY translation tasks internally because they see it as a budget-friendly alternative to working with a translation company. 


The problem? Your employees usually aren’t formally trained linguists who frequently translate brands for globalization. And, being fluent in Arabic and English doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll make a good translator. 


A translator is a trained linguist, and it’s their job to get your content right the first time. Asking a junior employee in marketing to work on the Arabic version of your website isn’t the same as hiring a professional language service provider. And you definitely won’t achieve the same result. 


If this sounds familiar and you’re stuck in this situation right now, then fear not. We’ve got some simple-to-implement translation tips to help you. 


And once you’re ready to commit, we’ll be here for you. Ready to take the load off your (already busy) team. 


Boost your translation with localization

Don’t wait until you’ve reached the end of your translation to check your work for messaging that doesn’t match. Work in-line with your content, and make changes as you go. You’ll find that the right words flow more naturally to you. 


Marketing material often requires localization because the content needs to account for the cultural and social nuances of the target locale. This is another reason to throw ‘word-for-word’ translations out of the window*, and instead, work with a fluid and conversational approach to the words you select. 


*Of course, when it comes to legal or financial translation, these suggestions do not apply. In this case, we highly recommend hiring a professional translator. 


Give context to your words 

When we shared our top 10 favourite Arabic translation fails blog post, one of the main issues that came up, again and again, was the idea that the wording used by the translator didn’t make sense in the context it was required (and that’s part of what made the bad translations extra funny). 


To avoid embarrassing context-awkward mistakes, it’s good to show the translator where the words will appear. Are they for a website? A sign on a street? A menu in a restaurant? The context your words appear in matters. Context makes a huge difference to the words used for translation and localization. 


The source language is king 

Whenever you feel like a translation is going off-message, check back with your source language content. What was the originally intended message? Who was it originally written for? Why was it written? What problem does it solve? What need must it fulfil? These are all questions you can ask yourself when your translation veers away from the original piece. 


Use supporting resources 

Translating a product page for an e-commerce platform isn’t as easy as it looks. Make sure you have clear photos of the product you are describing so you have a clear reference for what you’re localizing. If you’re translating content for an event, you might want to see the designs that have been created for the content. 


Designs and images can really impact the tone and synonyms used to describe something in the target language. If the design of an event looks fancy or high-end, you may need to be more formal in your word choices. 


Translate images and graphics 

Translating content for digital includes localizing graphics so they fit the translated text. If you do need to edit graphics and you’re working with a translation team, always provide the editable source files for the graphic designer to work from. Another consideration to improve your translations is to be mindful of the cultural differences that may need to be conveyed in the graphics you use. 


For example, an image of a white family might not relate to a Middle Eastern market, so you may want to consider using a culturally recognisable family that fits your audiences’ understanding of ‘family’.


Have a style guide 

Whenever we work with a business, we insist on a style guide to support the consistency of the wording we use to translate and localize your content. 


If you want to get ahead of the game and make life easy for your future translation partner (hey, e-Arabization!) then start building a list of terms that define your brand. Creating a guide or glossary of terms to guide the person translating your content is a brilliant way to save time on your translation projects, and ensure that you develop a strong brand identity in your target language too! 


Consider working with us 

If you liked these tips, then you’ll love working with us. We make sure all of your projects are as easy and jargon-free as this blog post. 


We understand the challenges of selecting a translation partner, and we know how daunting it can be to commit to a professional partnership, but this is why we share tips like this with you.


We want you to walk into a conversation with us feeling empowered and knowledgeable about all-things-translation. And if that means you’ve got to go away and do things for yourself before you come to us, then that’s okay. We get it. We love go-getters, and we’re here for you when you’re ready to go-get that global audience.