Why translation software just doesn’t cut it…

May 7, 2013 at 7:44 am

If you dream of taking your company international and establishing yourself as a global player in your niche, then translation, transcreation & localisation are one of the most mission critical lessons you will learn along your journey.

I’m guessing since you have found your way to this bog, that you have already realised one of the key obstacles to any international marketing effort – language. The language barrier can often be a difficult one to overcome, especially for those companies who don’t have the time or the resources to take on native speaking translators in-house.

In a bid to launch their international marketing campaigns on shoe string budgets, many companies will turn to automatic translation software to help them out. But that can often fall far short of the mark, and can sometimes even have a negative effect on your branding efforts and your marketing message.

The problem with automatic translation software is exactly that. It’s automatic.

If you stop and think about how we actually use language to communicate, you will find that often, words can have different meanings in different contexts. As well as that, we will often think nothing of using regionalised of localised slang or colloquialisms in our marketing materials. Software can often have a hard time translating these things, and can make an unwitting user look like an amateur.

The whole point of translating your marketing message in the first place is so that you can reach local people in their own language and in terms that they can understand. However, if you fail to translate your marketing materials correctly, you’re likely to fail in that very message.

And that’s really the main problem which is inherent with 99% of the auto translate software packages out there. Even the smartest computer program in the world just does not have that same level of language understanding and ability that a human can offer to your project.

Here at the Transcreation Agency, all of our translating work is done by experienced and most importantly, native, speakers. There’s not a single piece of automated translation software in sight. We have seen a firsthand the typical hash up that these software packages can make of your marketing messages. So if you are serious about your mission to branch out into new territories and regions, the only way to realistically make sure that you achieve that goal is to work with knowledgeable and experienced local language experts to make sure that the feeling, meaning and the very essence of your marketing message is translated accurately.