I read a medieval fantasy novel recently that had been translated from UK English into French. Within the first five minutes, the prose had me hooked. The word choice, sentence structure, poetry and flow (not to mention the mastery of medieval terminology) were so seamless, so ornate, that it made me want to compare the translation to the original. The result, however, proved to be disappointing — the English version was far from offering the same richness. It was, in many ways, a paler version of its translation.
This little experiment helped me to more fully appreciate the enormous impact that a single translator can have on a project — whetherliterary or business-related — and on how content is received in new languages.
Translators are all too often an underappreciated, overlooked bunch. They rarely receive recognition for a project well done. There’s no list of credits featuring their names. In fact, most of the time, they remain anonymously behind the scenes, unknown to the clients whose brand images they’re carefully grooming. (The French translator who worked miracles on my fantasy novel received a mere passing mention on the title page.)
This second-fiddle role seems unfair given that translators aresome of the most polyvalent professionals in the corporate world — they often double or triple as copywriters, tech mavens, poets, marketers, editors, ad gurus, engineers and subject matter experts, on top of being superbly multilingual. They rewrite and reinvent some of the most challenging, culturally-embedded contentout there — video game scripts, slogans, digital ads, blog posts, brand names. They juice up product descriptions, training videos and web copy. They add local panache to global-reaching brand communications.
Although they may be invisible to you, translators are your brand ambassadors to the world.
That being the case, you probably don’t want just anyone serving as your spokesperson abroad. Especially when they’re speaking about you, your organization and your products in a language you don’t understand.
So when you’re shopping for a translation partner, put this at the top of your list: Look into how they select their translators. Make sure they know the extent to which you value your international reputation and brand image.
At Acclaro, our translators play a leading role — and are treated accordingly. We have adedicated resource management team that spends thousands of hours each year hunting for the crèmede la crème of linguistic talent. They limit their search tonative speakers with a college degree in translation (or a related field) and aminimum of three years’ experience in a subject matter area. Candidates must also pass Acclaro’s challenging, subject-specific translation test, and those who are successful join our network of over 3,000 translators worldwide.
Acclaro translators have had the privilege of representing leading brands such as Netflix, LinkedIn, Sony, Visa and Intel around the world. They typically work for the same clients over and over again in order to master the company voice as an internal employee would. This enables them to leverage their brand knowledge and create the most precise, relevant and favorable translations possible.
In short — we treat our translators like your brand ambassadors. And they treat your brand like it’s their own. There’s no better formula for success!