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Two Common Misconceptions about Translation and Localization

iStock_000040205720SmallMany companies are convinced that to localize their product or service means to simply translate related marketing materials. However, in the majority of cases, just translating is not enough.

 

Translating is Not Enough

Oftentimes, the process of localization includes Transcreation, which is “adapting a message from one language to another, while maintaining its intent, style, tone and context”.[1] This involves both translating already existing materials and modifying the content so it better fits the cultural context of a particular market. Here are some examples of Transcreation:

What is a Professional Translator? 

Being able to speak two languages does not make one a translator. Translators are linguistically trained professionals with BA and MA degrees. They are trained to render a message from one language to another using syntactic and grammatical structures appropriate for the language of translation while preserving meaning, style and tone of the original message. They are also familiar with cultural aspects of translated text and would never let slips like these happen:

In 2009, HSBC bank had to launch a $10 million rebranding campaign to repair the damage done when its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” was mistranslated as “Do Nothing” in various countries.[3]

Dealing with a non-translator can even cost somebody their health, or even life.

Did you know that:

 

Next Steps

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References:

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcreation

[2] Examples are taken from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcreation

[3] Example is taken from http://mentalfloss.com/article/48795/9-little-translation-mistakes-caused-big-problems

[4] Example is taken from http://mentalfloss.com/article/48795/9-little-translation-mistakes-caused-big-problems

 

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