It’s about the integrity of your brand.
And if you’ve got your sights set on global domination, or just your first foray into international markets, then integrity (or lack of it) can make or break your success.
So whether your vision is to see your products flying off the shelves, to see company profits soaring, or to give local competition a real run for its money, you must deliver consistent, credible branding.
But there’s one small hurdle – the language barrier.
You’ve invested plenty of time and money into creating your unique brand identity, honing your core message and ensuring every bit of your communication in your own language – from adverts and press releases to websites and product packaging – has the desired effect on your target audience.
But how do you get across the exact same message, tone and impact in a foreign language?
You enlist the support of someone who can help you to Go Global With Confidence
Hi, I’m Valérie Lapotre and I’ve been a professional, certified translator for the past decade.
I specialise in translating marketing materials and I love what I do. I especially get a buzz out of working for the cosmetics and fashion industries and have worked with the likes of Lancôme, Alessandro, Esprit, Coast, Stylebop, Schwarzkopf, MontBlanc, Hasbro. And in other categories: Tata Steel, Western Union, McCain, Solidarités, Heineken, TEVA Pharmaceutical Industries, Europart, Unesco and many more…
Before I became a full-time translator I worked for multinationals as well as start-ups, so I understand the needs of a business whatever level they’re at.
I especially know that your time is precious and your budgets are tight – which is why I want to let you in on a few translation traps that many companies fall into and I’d love to help you avoid so you don’t waste any time or money unnecessarily.
The big thing that catches out many companies is thinking they’ve hit the jackpot because they have a bilingual team member and won’t need to spend extra on translation.
Well let me tell you a little story. Not long ago I was at a cosmetics industry trade show and a very big name company had a new product they had just launched in France. I read their packaging, which they said had been translated by a staff member who “spoke fluent French”, and watched the colour drain from the rep’s face as I shared with her that the packaging asked people not to wash their hair… but their horses.
The bigger the company, the bigger the blow.
Not only did they lose thousands of pounds reprinting the packaging and many hours rectifying the mistake, they lost something far more valuable – trust in their brand.
Just as heartbreaking is the number of times I have witnessed Google Translate disasters. Companies who have a pristine and beautifully presented English website cut corners and use this (or another) free service that ends up creating pages that are clunky and far too literal at best, and incomprehensible at worst!
If you’re an international company (or want to be) with a reputation to protect and enhance, then you need translation done right, and you need it done right the first time.
Here’s the thing… being bilingual doesn’t make you a translator
Bilinguals speak two languages to a level where they sound like a native, but they are not trying to accurately translate someone else’s ideas. Plus, oral fluency is not written fluency. Even if you have spent years speaking and living in a culture, 9 times out of 10 your writing will still show you up as a non-native.
Professional translators are writers. They have the ability to move information between two languages so that the intention remains intact, the language remains stylish and easy to read, and the target audience would never identify it as “foreign”.
So even if in-house “help” looks cost-effective in the short-term, unless you think delivering a certain “foreignness” in your communications is good for your image, then the long-term cost to your business could be devastating.
Don’t jeopardise your hard-earned professional image by entrusting it to an amateur (albeit well-meaning).
The best in the industry don’t just translate, they transcreate
This is the part of my job I love the most – playing with the language until it “pops” and I know I have found the precise combination of words to relay exactly what my client intended.
Transcreation is more than just plain word translation, it’s about using all the linguistic and cultural nuances of a language to evoke the same emotions in the customer as the source language does.
What I’m really talking about is puns! A powerful marketing tool, but one of the hardest things to translate as they are almost never literal. Which is why translators must have a sound cultural knowledge of the target country they are translating for.
And they’ve got to have in-depth sector knowledge too, which is why I can translate marketing and promotional copy with ease thanks to a decade living abroad and five years working in direct marketing (you’ve probably already read my stuff on packaging or in an advert), and why I will find someone on my team to work on things that aren’t my cup of tea. (Whether translating legal contracts from German to English or Chinese software manual into French – I’ve got an expert on tap.)
Consistency is king
You and I both know that if you want consumers in a new market to give your brand the time of day from the get-go, and then stick with you for the long-haul, then your image has to be spotless.
So inconsistencies in meaning or message, typos or confusing instructions can put your company on the back foot and leave you grasping for market share rather than bolting out of the gate.
Many companies find themselves in this tricky position after working with translation agencies. The challenge with agencies is that they give work to the next available translator, which means your material is being translated by different people in different ways.
The result? A lot of time wasted rewriting to make sure everything is consistent. Worse though, is when you don’t even notice these inconsistencies because you don’t speak the language of your translated document!
But that’s not the way I work.
To ensure the quality and consistency of your translation, I only ever use the same translator for your work, whether it’s me or one of the small team of highly-talented translators I have cultivated. Guaranteed.
I’ve been working with several of my international clients for a decade now and they know that building a relationship with a top-notch translator has been integral to the successful expansion of their brand.
Translation is invaluable to your bottom line
If you have spent billions of dollars on preparing a launch in a new market, and miss the last, crucial step of getting the message right in another language, then you may as well throw all that money on a bonfire.
Which is why if you truly want to go global with confidence, then professional translation is not optional.
And it’s far more affordable than you might think.
The average cost of creating content is €0.50 per word, while the average cost of translation is only €0.15. And the return on investment with translation is huge as you tap into to a whole new audience of potential customers.
Plus, my team of freelancers and I all use an industry-approved CAT programme (Computer Aided Translation) that saves everything that we translate for you in a translation memory that can be reused for any other text – so that you never pay twice for a sentence that has already been translated and you get consistency throughout. We can also build glossaries that you can then use internally, which again will ensure consistency through your product names or company’s own jargon.
Here’s how it all works
Between us, my team and I can translate over 10 languages. Plus, if we don’t have the language or specialty you need, I will find the right person.
One: you need to ensure your text is 100% finalised before starting translation (this will save you time, money and avoid any unnecessary errors from working with drafts and rewrites).
Two: send those materials over to me via email and ask for a quote.
Three: I will run your documents against my translation memory to check if there are sentences that have already been translated.
Four: I issue a quote accordingly and check the availability of the translators on my team.
Five: once you accept the quote we establish delivery schedules and get to work (I pride myself on always meeting a deadline – no matter how tight!)
Six: I liaise between you and my translators, if necessary, to make sure we understand exactly what you want to say.
Seven: once I have received all the translations, I do a final proofread before sending them back to you.
Et voilà, powerful translations that will have the precise impact on new audiences that your company desires.
In addition to translation services, I also offer proofreading and editing, so if you’re unsure of the quality or consistency of a translation someone else has done or want to make sure it hits the same persuasive mark as your original materials, then I can put your mind at ease.
Translating is done on a cost-per-word basis. But again, thanks to the translation memory programme, you will never pay for a sentence that has already been translated.
Proofreading is done at an hourly rate. (FYI, that horse vs hair issue I mentioned – it would have cost them €30-40 per packaging to save them all that time, money and embarrassment.)
Got a budget to stick to? No problem. Take a look at my set-price translating packages over here.
Are you ready to Go Global With Confidence?
Then email me for a quote and let’s get you on track to expansion.
(I will get back to you within just a few hours.)
Don’t take the risk of a tarnished reputation – get your translations done right the first time.