'Getting your message right in foreign markets, using a language that you yourself might not even understand is an extremely tricky process.'
When most people think of translation, they dredge up memories of those dreary grammar lessons at school. Yet translation, and the creation of content in other languages, has little to do with any of that and is only part of the story when it comes to the world of fresh produce. The good thing these days is that communication with your markets is much easier than it used to be; better communication and online visibility are now also a necessary part of business life.
Company websites, social media pages and industry publications such as this one all represent efficient and rapid means of bringing information together for the benefit of your trading partners and customers. You already know that, and this sort of thing is fairly straightforward when dealing with one language only. Many market surveys and studies have shown that access to information in someone’s mother tongue is more likely to generate sales and business than if the same material is read in a customer’s second or third language.
Enter the translator. A translator, or group of translators, working directly with your company’s communications or public relations staff really is the best way to transform your monolingual website into a multilingual one. But you cannot just get any old translator or, for that matter, that young relative who spent a year overseas travelling.
You need to choose a translator who knows about the industry – quite a lot about it, in fact; someone who knows that fruit and veg is not just about fruit and veg, but covers areas as diverse as production, logistics, packaging, international and domestic trade, and a host of other things beyond the scope of this short piece. You are passionate about your business and your place in this dynamic industry. Believe it or not, translators do exist who also have specialist industry knowledge and share your passion.
Translators take care to convey your message accurately so you avoid the disaster of an innapropriate slogan
However, their passion has a somewhat different slant to it. Translators take care to convey your message accurately and ensure, for example, that the particular variety of fruit or vegetable you are selling is correct in the other language, that labelling of your exports follows the standards and guidelines applicable in the destination country, or that you avoid the marketing disaster of an inappropriate slogan. ‘Orange is the new black’ did not work in Northern Ireland for the French telecoms company, for example.
Translators love getting these details right, just as you do. As writers, translators are well placed to create marketing content, either from scratch or via translation – often called transcreation – to bring a fresh perspective to life for those in your target markets. Through translation and transcreation, your business can reap the rewards of access to a wider market.
Isn’t it time you brought a professional translator on board?
This article was originally published in the January 2017 issue of Eurofruit Magazine. Reprinted with permission.