Three Steps to Creating Multilingual Promotional Material

If you are considering branching out into new markets or have a haphazard communication technique with your current client base in a foreign language, perhaps the time has come to get your brochures, flyers, labels or adverting material translated.  Below we discuss the steps involved with translation guru Grant Straker who has made a business out of getting his clients their documents translated into a format they can confidently go to the printer with.

As CEO of Straker Translations, he provides insider knowledge to put you on the path to creating a document that will increase sales, increase customer satisfaction and hopefully result in and increased bottom line for your business.

Step One

Firstly, the content of your original document will need to be reviewed to ensure that it is relevant to the new audience.  Some research into your target audience, what they need and what type of style or tone is suitable, is a must.  A local native speaker with marketing experience should be able to help you out.  Grant Straker says, “You may know someone who can help with this, some one who knows your market and is a native speaker and if possible is familiar with your product.  If not, go to a translation company that can provide you with a translator who is a native speaker in the target language (the language you are translating into) and who also has a marketing background.  Most larger reputable translation agencies should be able to provide this service for you.”

Step Two

Consider the layout of the text.  InDesign is a great product for producing brochures and flyers.  Many translation companies will offer you a good price to translate the content but you will then need to fit it back into the documents’ original layout.  This can be very difficult when the text is going into a language with a different script, for example, English to Chinese or French to Thai.  Arabic is especially tricky as it reads from right to left and requires a specific version of InDesign to cope with it.

Some languages are just more concise than others.  Text translated into Spanish will generally expand by about 20%.  German for example has an average word length which is much longer than English and can effect the terminology you will choose or the font size you end up with, critical when considering text for titles, headings and subheadings.  If you do not have a large difference in volume, the new text may be able to fit into the original layout design of your brochure.

Some agencies will provide a comprehensive layout service for you, Straker Translations CEO, Grant Straker explains the process.  “For around $USD20 – 30 extra per page we can take your InDesign file, have it translated and return it to you with the translated text adapted to fit the space.”

Step Three

Get your electronic version reviewed.  If you are going to print, always have your document reviewed by a second person.  “It might represent a small extra cost and an extra 24 hours time but it is certainly worth it,” says Grant “we always recommend clients have their document reviewed by a second translator so that any anomalies can be found before going to print, publication or even online.  Not just to catch errors, but to also offer the client another way of phrasing that may be more desirable.  Product labels are a great example – high impact text that has to be just right – once the label is on the product the expense involved in changing it can be astronomical.”

Feeling Overwhelmed?  If in doubt, check out a translation company that can provide you with a service that includes

  • Native speaker in the target language
  • Translator with a Marketing background or at least knowledge of the content topic
  • InDesign services in the language pair you are using
  • A review phase before publication.

Straker Translations is a translation agency that specializes in translating published media material.