Lost in translation

Working with businesses who use multiple languages can be quite challenging. Everything, from titles and text, to captions for images and links to the correct language translation page needs to be thought of, including disclaimers and error messages.

The meaning of language

There is also the possibility that a marketing message can be lost in translation. What means one thing in English may not mean the same in another language and all use of colloquialisms and slang terminology has to be thought through carefully particularly where culturally it can cause insult (easy enough to do in a home language as it is).

Text spacing

Another complication with multiple languages is that the space required for one line of text in one language may translate into a much longer (or shorter) line of text in another, throwing layouts in adverts and menus on websites out.

Updating a website or email in multiple languages

Care needs to be taken when cutting and pasting translated text into emails or web pages too as if the content editor isn’t familiar with the language, they can’t know if they have made a mistake and they can’t proof-read either. It is a good idea to get the translator to check over the work once it has been completed.

Regardless of all the above, working on marketing material that reaches a wide range of audiences can be beneficial and well worth doing.