Scaling up your language resources: a guide for global brands | Blog

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You’ve developed your product in your home market. Your sales have exceeded all expectations. Now, you’re aiming to take the next step… launching your product globally. But new markets bring a new set of challenges. It’s time to start talking to a dedicated company of global creative production experts.

These experts will roll up their sleeves and start preparing the right industry specific linguists for your localisation needs. They’ll ensure that your global marketing campaigns take the cultural nuances within different markets into account, and they’ll create results you can measure. In other words, they’ll solve your global vs local marketing challenges.

How do global creative production companies scale up language resources for new global brands?

  • Firstly, they get to know you, so that they can speak your brand – gaining in-depth knowledge of its history and aims. 
  • They have and continue to nurture their in-depth understanding of your industry, whether it be tech, gaming, wellness, etc. 
  • They discover what markets you’re working in, and analyse the language needs, asking questions like: are there any specific language versions, regional specifics or dialects needed eg. French for Belgium, Italian for Switzerland, Traditional Chinese for Taiwan, Spanish for Colombia, etc. 
  • They map out what language services your brand needs to help you with your global marketing. Do you need technical translation or mostly transcreation? Is your brand in need of copywriting or help with cultural insight?
  • They get a feel of the typical copy they will be working on.
  • They source the right linguists for you.

How do global creative production companies find the right linguists?

Professional bodies and translator associations are able to give recommendations for specialised linguists, meaning your global creative production partner will be able to find that avid gamer you’ve been looking for who really speaks the language of underworld gaming. LinkedIn is also becoming a great marketplace for finding top translators. 


Where should your linguists be based?

For copywriting, cultural insight and transcreation services, linguists need to be based in the country of their first language, which must also be the language they are working in. Language used in marketing is constantly evolving and linguists need to be exposed to their language daily, across all media, to stay up to date.

What about their source language?

Your linguists not only need to have outstanding writing skills in their first language; they also need to have an in-depth understanding of the source language they are translating from. If they don’t fully grasp the tone of the marketing copy in its original language, all the hard work you put into creating the master copy will be lost. 

So, how can your global creative production company determine a good source language understanding? The best candidates are those lucky enough to have spent several years of their life in a country where the source language is spoken. Having lived, worked or studied in that country is a definite bonus as it means they’re aware of how things work, (socially, politically, culturally, etc.) within a country. Language used in marketing differs greatly from the text used in language school books. Linguists should forget the textbooks, instead focusing on the language that people are exposed every day, across all media.  


What background experience should linguists have?

Depending on the services, there are different academic backgrounds your global marketing implementation agency should focus on. Translators need to hold a degree in translation or language studies or linguistics and have at least 5 years proven specialised translation experience. It’s not about translators who can speak several languages. Global creative production companies want translators who are trained in the language combination your brand requires, and therefore understand the intrinsic linguistics of both languages. Copywriters, on the other hand, would have an academic background in creative writing and need to have 5-10 years copywriting experience in marketing. If it’s transcreators you’re looking for, they’ll have to have an excellent understanding of the source language in addition to outstanding creative and writing skills.

How do global creative production companies determine a linguist's specialisation?

Your global creative partner not only wants candidates with years of translation experience in the field, they also want a linguist who’s got hands on experience in the field. Say, for example, they’re looking for linguists in the travel and tourism industry… who’d know this sector better than a previous hotel manager who understands what it means to run a hotel? 

Does passion count?

Indeed. The more passionate a linguist is about the subject matter, the better the translation quality. Is the linguist for travel brands a passionate traveller? Tick. Does the linguist for menu translations immerse themselves in all things world cooking? Tick.

The perfect linguist has been found, what’s next?

  • Testing and assessment of the linguist
  • TMS training for the linguist
  • Creation of translation memory including existing client TM Creation of style guides and glossaries
  • Creation of detailed translator brief

To hear about the translation and transcreation services we provide here at Freedman, take a look at our work for top global brand, IHG.  At Freedman, we help you get your campaigns right, and deliver them across multiple markets, fast. We ensure high quality translations which connect at a local level. To find out more, feel free to get in touch. 

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