Website translation

A Comprehensive Overview of Translation for Business

A Comprehensive Overview of Translation for Business
Elizabeth Pokorny
Written by
Elizabeth Pokorny
Elizabeth Pokorny
Written by
Elizabeth Pokorny
Elizabeth Pokorny
Reviewed by
Updated on
April 12, 2024

Doing business abroad can be challenging, and the endeavor will be much harder if your target audience can’t understand your commercial documents.

Undertaking business translation can help bridge such language barriers and cultural differences – you’ll just need to look for the right translation provider or tool to get the job done.

Let’s explore what business translation is, common types of business translation, and your options for getting high-quality translations of your business documents.

Introduction to Business Translation

What Is Business Translation, and Why Is It Important?

Business translation is the process of converting written content from one language to another for business purposes. It helps overcome language barriers and facilitate communication among business clients, partners, and team members who may speak different languages. In turn, these parties can work with each other and further their respective business interests, such as:

  • Closing a deal.
  • Forming a strategic partnership.
  • Collaborating with colleagues on a project.

Business translation also helps organizations market to native speakers of a different language and hence tap into new customer segments. Such target markets are usually situated abroad, but need not be. They could also comprise people in the local market who speak a language different from the business’s general working language.

Investing in business translation can thus help a business reach more customers, work with partners more effectively, and ultimately grow its sales.

Common Types of Business Translation

“Business translation” is an umbrella term that describes the translation of any business document. It’s possible to split such work into subcategories according to the nature of the document being translated.

Common types of translation you may need for business documents include:

  • Legal translation: This refers to the translation of documents of a legal nature, such as commercial contracts, website terms and conditions, and loan agreements. Given the highly technical nature of law, translators will need to take care to preserve the intended meaning of legal documents when translating them.
  • Marketing translation: The process of translating marketing materials into the native language of the people being marketed to. These materials include marketing campaign briefs, advertising copy, video transcripts and subtitles, and social media content such as LinkedIn posts.
  • Sales translation: Sales document translation can involve translating business presentations, proposals, and product descriptions on packaging.
  • Technical translation: The translation of user manuals, technical specifications, product documentation, and other technical documents. When it comes to technical translation, the use of appropriate translations for technical concepts, and clear communication of instructions and directions, is key.
  • Website translation: As its name suggests, website translation encompasses the translation of landing page copy, blog posts, ecommerce product listings, and other website material. With people able to access websites from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection, website translation is essential if you intend to cultivate an international customer base.

Depending on their scope of operations, business translation companies may offer translation services for one or more such types of business documents. Below, we’ll discuss some key factors to consider if you’ll be engaging a translation agency.

There are also translation tools available for translating certain types of business documents more quickly and affordably than hiring human translators. For example, Weglot is the easiest way to translate website content at scale. More details on how it works later!

Popular Languages for Business Translation

According to a survey by Statista, some of the most spoken languages around the world in 2023 are:

  • English
  • Chinese (Mandarin)
  • Hindi
  • Spanish
  • French
  • Arabic

Given these languages’ popularity, you may be tempted to translate your business documents into them right away. But instead of picking target languages solely based on their extent of global usage, we’d recommend adopting a more nuanced translation strategy that considers your target audience’s native languages.

Let’s say you’re planning to enter the Japanese market. If so, you’d want to translate your website content, marketing campaigns, sales proposals, and other relevant international business documents into Japanese.

This is notwithstanding how Japanese isn’t in the list of most spoken languages provided above. But it just wouldn’t make sense to translate your documents into any other language when you know your target audience reads and speaks Japanese.

Key Factors to Consider When Choosing a Translation Provider

As mentioned above, one option for translating business documents is to hire a translation provider. If you’ll be doing so, take these issues into account as you search for translation providers:

  • The level of translation quality they provide: Accurate translation is something you absolutely shouldn’t skimp on. That’s because your translations need to be accurate, culturally appropriate, and readable to help you maintain a positive brand image and reputation. With this in mind, shortlist only providers that deliver translations to a high standard.
  • Their pricing: Apart from checking each provider’s translation rates on their website, get quotes so you’ll have an accurate picture of their fees for your project. Translation providers usually charge more for complex translation work, but may offer a bulk discount for larger projects.
  • The estimated turnaround time: This is the number of days you’ll have to wait to receive your translations. Business translation services will typically quote a standard turnaround time for their translation process and advise on urgent fees if you need your translations delivered sooner than that.
  • The provider’s expertise: Such expertise applies to not just their experience translating the language pair in question, but also their familiarity with your documents’ subject matter. This factor is crucial if you need to translate highly technical documents.
  • The provider’s scalability and flexibility: As your business scales, so may the extent of translation work you’ll need. Consider whether your chosen translation provider can handle the increased scope of work, or whether you’ll need to seek other translation solutions elsewhere.

Weglot: A Comprehensive Solution for Your Website Translation Needs

If you’ll be translating the whole of your website, Weglot, our website translation software, may prove a quicker and more budget-friendly translation alternative to hiring professional translation services for the work.

Weglot uses a mix of neural machine translation to instantly produce high-quality translations of website content in 110+ supported languages. It stores these translations in a central Weglot Dashboard where you can make manual edits and control the translation quality before you use them on your website.

Built-in collaboration features let you invite internal translation team members or external agencies to assist with editing your translations. Alternatively, order professional translations from Weglot’s translation partners from the Weglot Dashboard and the translations will be added to your project within 2 business days.

When you’ve finalized your translations, Weglot will display them on your website under language subdomains or subdirectories.

Weglot also offers useful translation features such as:

  • A translation glossary: Set up rules on how certain terms should always be (or should always not be) translated, and maintain translation consistency across your website.
  • Media translation: With Weglot, you can easily swap out your website’s image and video URLs with alternatives that reflect more culturally appropriate media for your multilingual audiences.
  • Automatic hreflang tag implementation: Such tags help with multilingual search engine optimization (SEO) – specifically, allowing search engines to serve your translated web pages to searchers with matching language and geographical location settings. Hreflang tags can be tedious to implement manually, but Weglot will automatically add them to your web pages when translating your website.

Weglot integrates seamlessly with all major website platforms and custom-built sites, and automatically detects and translates all your website content after you’ve installed it.

Its continuous detection capabilities also mean that Weglot will translate any new content you publish on your website later on. You won’t need to add extra steps to your content workflow to get these translated!

It’s Time to Get Down to Business (Translation)

As you prepare to venture into new markets, don’t neglect to translate the business documents you’ll be using in your expansion efforts! There are many options for obtaining high-quality translations, too, so you won’t have to translate these documents yourself. (Phew!)

One approach is to engage a professional translation agency that can assist with global business translation at a competitive price. Just do a simple Google search and you’ll have no shortage of providers to contact. From there, use the factors we’ve discussed above, such as quality, pricing, and expertise, to narrow your options until you’ve found your ideal translation partner.

Alternatively, if you’ll be translating your website, try doing so with Weglot!

Our powerful yet easy-to-use website translation solution has helped more than 60,000 websites with their translation and international SEO needs. And it can also make your website multilingual as soon as today.

Just sign up for your free 10-day Weglot trial here to get started.

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