Translation Services and the Use of Multilingual Labeling Solutions

Dynamic Language | March 31, 2015
earth-110296_640Labels can tell us a lot about a product: a label can be used to learn about nutritional facts, country of origin, construction components, or other important facts. Because of the amount of specific information found on labels, as well as unique country regulations that govern them, labels can be challenging to localize for new markets.

Translators must be prepared to deal with the challenges that they will encounter during the label localization process whether they are working on content for pharmaceutical labels or children’s toy labels.

Complexities Posed by Label Localization

A big challenge for translation services for labels is gaining legal certification or regulatory clearance. Most countries require businesses that are selling goods to meet certain standards on their labels so that consumers can have the information that they need to sufficiently understand the product. If your labels cannot be localized effectively enough to pass these standards, you could face an indefinite delay in your localization and distribution plans.

If label localization is not completed accurately, it can lead to a negative user experience. Not only could this negative experience degrade your organization’s reputation in the eyes of your target market, but in certain fields it can be life-threatening. We saw a good example of this in 2007, when it came to light that hundreds of cancer patients in a French hospital in the commune of Epinal had received an overdose of radiation treatment. It was determined that part of the reason for the fatal error was that the instructions for the equipment were originally written in English, making it difficult for the operators to understand them.

How can companies overcome these challenges when the stakes are so high? One way is through multilingual labeling solutions.

How to Optimize the Multilingual Label Translation Process

Companies that have to deal with a large volume of label translations or need label accuracy for legal clearance reasons will benefit tremendously from a defined process that uses advanced information management concepts like DITA processing and intelligent content implemented via Content Management Software. A well thought out process can also help content creators and providers of translation services in a few critical ways:

  • Helping organize the translation of what can sometimes be hundreds of products and language pairs simultaneously: communication and organization are critical and can be aided with planning and foresight
  • Helping manage changes more easily: when there is a single system for revisions in place, it is less challenging to make sure all changes have been recorded and applied to label translation
  • Simplifying the review process: it is easier to review labels when they can be examined within a unified platform for managing content, especially when there are many labels and/or languages to be processed simultaneously and multiple people participating on the team

Don’t let labeling challenges throw a wrench into your localization process. Choose the right tools, processes, and a translation partner to collaborate with, and you can improve the efficiency of label translations while making it easier and safer for users to understand.





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