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Communicating across cultural borders has never been easier, but nor have the expectations been higher. The pressure is on to provide a seamless brand experience for all audiences, regardless of where or how the brand is accessed.  If your team lacks the cultural knowledge or skill to create content in different markets, you can always turn to a professional translation service for assistance.

Like any outsourced group, translators need the right kind of information to help PR and marketers deliver their messages accurately. To help you save time and money while gaining credibility with your audience, we asked our translation team for a few tips on navigating the translation process.


Plan ahead
Translation is an art that takes time; it’s not just a typing job. Many factors, such as complexity of terminology, the need for reference materials and word count can impact a translator’s ability to turn around a document. Try to give your translation team as much lead time as you can. For CNW’s translation team, the busiest times are during earnings periods and at month’s end, so try to avoid those times if you can.


Share a clear deadline
Always come to a translator with a specific date and time in mind. That way, they can plan their workflow and ensure your deadline is met. Including an approximate word count with a “heads up” request helps translators gauge their turnaround time.


Have reference materials ready to go
Translators enjoy a “Glossary of Terms” document, the best of which lay out any industry-specific terms along with definitions, executive names and job titles, and product names. If your products or executive job titles have already been translated internally, be sure to provide your translator with that information so that it appears consistently across all final documents. Feel free to also share past releases, previously translated content and similar texts if you think that would help them find a voice for your material.


Share your most final version

The approval process for a news release can involve many edits, but to avoid mistakes, try to provide translators with your final FINAL version. If you must make changes when the translation process is already underway, share them with a blacklined copy.


Provide your content in an editable format

Always provide any texts in a Word document (.doc or .docx file format). For images or infographics, its best to insert the image into an editable document, with the caption or other descriptive text typed out underneath. Being able to see the image is especially helpful when translators are working with phrases instead of full sentences.


Proofread before you send

Scrub your content for correct spelling and grammar, consistency, proper in-text citations and proper nouns. Errors could result in an improper translation (i.e., using ‘ad’ when you really meant ‘add’). It’s also best to spell out any acronyms, as the language you are translating to may not have an equivalent acronym. Consider the necessity of any slogans, idioms, sarcasm or clichés in your text. While they may work perfectly fine in English, there may not be an equivalent in other languages, which can spoil the intent of your copy.

About Melissa Meyer

Melissa Meyer is Cision’s Manager of Community and oversees Cision’s online customer community, Cision City. She has over 5 years’ experience in PR, writing, community and social media management. You can find her chatting about all thing PR, pop culture and basketball @_MelissaMeyer

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