One of the golden rules of exporting is to ensure that translation to the local language is thoroughly well executed. Much has been written on this and there are many examples of even global brands that have been embarrassed due to a lack of research or understanding of the local market.
While many companies are now well aware of the need to invest in expert translation services, there is one unfortunate set of exceptions that I have encountered. Those exporting from the Europe to the UK!
There are many advantages for European companies looking to build sales in the UK. It is close at hand, has a huge market and it is the home of the English language. Given that English is the number one international language that should make exporting to the UK very simple. If only it were that simple!
This complacency is where problems start for companies that believe they can do more than just ‘get by’ when it comes to communicating to a UK audience.
One of the areas where companies have been regularly caught out is marketing communications, where subtleties and nuances are often incorrectly recreated. It is rarely enough to literally translate your material for the UK, as changes to text, images, format or layout, will probably all be required so as to blend seamlessly with the local language and reflect current trends.
This oversight when trading with the UK can result in misunderstandings, delays, lost business, a damage to the brand credibility and even lawsuits.
Also, it is unwise to believe that the quality of your product will outweigh any flaws in your marketing materials. The UK consumer is one of the most sophisticated in the world. When it identifies with a brand it will build strong loyalty, but will quickly reject brands that it feels it cannot connect with. Poorly presented marketing materials, websites and adverts will, sadly, result in companies with great products failing to make an impact in the UK.
So, tread carefully! The UK may have given the English language to the world, but it expects it to be used with respect!
For those companies looking to trade in the UK or worldwide, RWS offers the following:-
- A responsive translation service that improves the quality level of translation and provides alternate ways of translating marketing copy into any given language
- Advice on terminology management and localisation processes
- The use of local resources to ensure that all marketing copy reflects in-country style and branding requirements
- Localised terminology so the translations are not only accurate but sound contemporary in every language