June, 2022 - Into23

Legal document translation – best practice

Legal document translation covers translation that’s done for legal purposes. If you’re looking to translate your legal documents, then this is the service you should go for. That’s because legal document translation is a specialist area of translation, and there are unique aspects that make it different from other types of translation.

Read on to find out more on legal document translation, including what documents are classified as legal, the different legal systems in place around the world and some top tips on how to navigate the legal document translation process, so you get the best result at a fair price. 

Types of legal documents that may require translation

There are many different types of legal documents, formats and translation requirements, such as certification, depending on the purpose of the translation, but the main ones are:

  • Wills and testaments
  • Witness statements
  • Contracts
  • Confidentiality agreements
  • Court transcripts
  • Laws
  • Birth certificates
  • Notarized documents
  • Bank statements
  • Patents
  • Licenses 
  • Legal disclaimers
  • Arbitration documents
  • Adoption papers
Legal document translation

Legal document translations often involve life-changing developments, such as executing a person’s will.

Importance of legal translation 

Legal documents should be translated extremely accurately, as the consequences of poor legal document translation can be catastrophic. For instance, the reasons why legal documents are translated often revolve around life-changing developments, like adopting a child, buying a house, or executing a person’s will. The world’s legal systems have their own jargon and complex concepts. Therefore, it’s wise to pick a legal translation company with demonstrable experience translating the kind of documents you need.

Legal systems

Every country’s legal system is unique, resulting from a complex set of factors. Despite this variation, there are clear categories for the world’s various legal systems. They fall into common law; civil law; customary law; religious law, and mixed systems featuring legal pluralism.

The two commonest systems are common law and civil law, the latter predominant in countries that were British colonies, like Hong Kong and Singapore. Civil law is the commonest system. Rather than being based on the precedent of previous judgments, as with common law, civil law is based on laws written by the government. Hong Kong and mainland China operate different systems, for example.

If you’re translating a document for use in different jurisdictions, this is an important consideration to keep in mind. 

certified legal translator in hong kong

Despite their proximity, Hong Kong and mainland China operate on different civil law systems.

Certified translations

There is an idea circulating that legal translators need to be sworn in or certified to work on legal documents, but this isn’t the case in many common law jurisdictions. However, this concept of a sworn translator does exist in countries that operate a civil law system, like Spain, for example. 

However, legal translations often need to be certified, especially certified translations, notarized translations, or apostille-authenticated translations. With apostille translations, a stamp is put on the document as proof of its genuineness. Many countries require these translations for legal processes, such as proving marriage status when applying for a visa. 

The certification process is straightforward: 

1: Check what type of certification you need

2: Find an expert translation agency

3: Get a quote including details on the turnaround time

4: Accept/decline the quote

5: Submit the document for certified translation

Tips for translating legal documents

Seek advice from legal professionals such as solicitors, lawyers or barristers when needed

These experts will be able to advise you whether you need a certified translation or whether there are special formatting requirements for your type of document. This advice will prevent you from making an expensive mistake. 

Be clear about how and where the translation will be used

As there are various types of documents, not to mention legal systems, as well as myriad uses for translating documents, the best approach is to be clear with the translator as to why you want to have the document processed. A certified legal translator will know how to proceed. This advice includes what language pairs should be used, for example, Chinese to Japanese translation. 

Go with the professionals 

Your old classmate may be good at translating newspaper articles or the odd email but would not be capable of translating a legal document to the degree of accuracy necessary. Look for a professional agency that is used to dealing with these types of documents. 

Master the art of search

Getting to grips with search engine keywords is helpful when looking for a potential translation partner. Use different combinations of keywords relating to the topic you are searching for. For example, try “legal translation company” and “legal document translation services near me” or “legal translation services” or “legal document translation” to get a wider array of results and find the top translation vendors. 

Master the art of search for legal translation

Master the art of search engine keywords when looking for your potential translation partner.

Master Bates numbering

Make sure the translation agency understands how to maintain Bates numbering. Translation tends to expand or contract the length of the source document, so the agency needs to consider this and plan appropriately.

Pitfalls to avoid

Don’t use a cheap inexperienced translator

The legal world is one brimming with specializations, like contract law, litigation, family law, criminal law, and constitutional law, to name just a few. Using a cheaper, less experienced translation agency could work out, but the risk is much higher, and a mistake could be costly. Look for a translator that has experience in the field relating to your document, and take a look at what previous clients have said about the quality of both the legal translation services and customer services. If there’s a lot of poor feedback online, that’s a big red flag. 

Don’t use an online machine translator

While it’s true that machine translators have come on leaps and bounds in terms of accuracy over the past few years, they aren’t up to the job of translating legal documents accurately. These documents are far too important to put through a machine that doesn’t understand the nuances and complexities of the legal system. 

Avoid tight timeframes if possible

High-quality translation takes time. Even if the translator is highly experienced and efficient, the nature of these types of documents means they can take a bit longer. For instance, the review process is more stringent, and if you require a certified document, this process can take extra time compared to a straightforward translation of, say, an email.  

How to pick a translation agency for your legal document

Not all legal translation services are made equal. But how do you pick the best suited to your unique needs and circumstances? 

  • Ask your legal professional for a recommendation
  • Make sure to conduct due diligence on potential translation partners
  • If you need a certified translation, check if the agency provides this service
  • Look for indicators of good customer service

With the right translation partner at your side, translating your legal documents will be a straightforward process. 

To find out more about legal document translation services, get in touch with Into23’s team of highly experienced experts today. 

Can English continue to be a dominant global language?

No other language has held sway the way English has globally. Can it maintain its dominance as the most important language for business? 

It’s estimated that more than 1.75 billion people around the world speak English, that’s a quarter of the world’s population. Around 400 million people speak English as their first language, with more than a billion knowing it as their secondary tongue; it’s also the official language in at least 59 countries and the lingua franca of many more. While English is not the most spoken language around the world, English is the language of business, diplomacy, science and much more. If we were to rate English on a financial level, its GDP would massively overshadow other languages. Yet English is just one of 7000+ languages spoken globally, so how did it become the most important global language, and will it continue to hold its business and cultural dominance?

translation and localization

Photo by Polina Tankilevitch from Pexels – The English language has shaped how we do global business but will its dominance remain?

A brief history of the English language

Map – Photo by Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels – Caption – “English has its roots in the nomads that used to roam the southeastern European plains some 5000 years ago.”

Belonging to the Indo-European family of languages, English is a West Germanic language that has its roots in the nomads that used to roam the southeastern European plains some 5000 years ago. As migrations happened in the 5th and 6th centuries, Old English began to take form. Words were taken from French during the Norman conquests of 1066, and in the 12th century, English transformed from Old to Middle English as Greek and Latin words began to enter and influence the language. In the 1500s, English began transforming the modern English we recognise and use today. Between trade, conquest, religion, and British colonialism, English spread worldwide. 

Fun fact:

The closest modern relative to the English language is Frisian. It is 80% lexically similar to English and is a language still spoken in parts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, though by only around 450,000 people.

English’s success is a result of money, status, and politics, as well as the ease with which it borrows words from other languages and its flexibility in adapting to changes in the world and technology. Economic and technological development has played a major role in English dominance. The US still leads economically and has been one of the most dominating modern cultures, which was heavily influential to English dominance during the birth of the internet. The result of this history and influence has led other countries to place a high value on English speakers, in that those that can speak and use English have a higher chance of getting ahead or entering the global elite, thus furthering English’s influence and dominance in business and more. For example, China has the most speakers of English as a second language than any other country. 

While English generally remains the international business language, global business is changing, and its dominance is starting to waver as more and more companies aim to enter other markets and expand using a localized marketing and advertising transcreation strategy for their business.

How technology has changed the prevalence of English

advertising transcreation

Photo by www_slon_pics on Pixabay – eCommerce business and other global markets are changing English’s prevalence in business.

When the internet started in 1998, there were around 70 million internet users, with English speakers accounting for over 80% of them. However, since then, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of web pages in English. In 1998, 75% of the internet was in English, whereas now it’s only around 25.9%. Today Simplified Chinese alone accounts for 19.4% of web content, just shy of English, which shows the growing trend of companies expanding into different global markets with the use of technology and the necessary use of translation and localization for websites, eCommerce translation services, eLearning platforms, and more. 

Further studies have also found that more than half of consumers would pay more for a product if it were presented to them on a platform in their native language. This shift away from English has even been noted by The British Council as far back as 2006, when it published a report that stated that even though English is becoming more widely spoken, its dominance as a language appears to be fading. This shift is happening for a variety of reasons. 

Related: The Top 9 Emerging Languages for Business

Countries with large populations now have more access to technology than they did in the past, and many of these same countries also have a growing number of middle-class consumers that are eager to spend money. With 72.1% of consumers spending most of their time on web pages in their native language, the demand for localization and translation services and a shift away from English has increased. Other factors, such as continued globalization in general, changes in the economy, and other creative alternatives, such as emojis, may also influence the prevalence of the English language in business and online.

English’s future as a global language

high quality translation services

Photo from Pixabay– Other languages are starting to make their way into mainstream business and culture.

It’s estimated that 50-90% of the world’s languages will be extinct in the next century. This is because linguists believe that with more people moving around and native languages not being passed on to younger generations, there will be a drop in the overall number of global languages.

A Dutch sociologist named Abram de Swaan classifies languages into four categories. The peripheral language category includes 98% of the world’s languages but is spoken by less than 10% of humanity. The national or central category includes languages that have a territory to call their own and are written and taught in schools. Next, in the category of super-central languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili, as each host around 100 million speakers or more and are the most commonly spoken second languages worldwide. At the top is the ‘hypocentral’ language. It is the language that holds the whole language system together, and that crown is held by none other than English. Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura, who has written on language, similarly described English as a “universal language” and that this status is held not by the number of native speakers of the language but rather by the greatest number of non-native speakers.

With that said, it seems likely that English will continue to hold its super-power status for the time being; however, it will also have to continue to make way for other super-central languages that are growing within political and economic spheres. For example, China’s presence outside of Asia continues to grow. As other countries and populations continue to gain traction in online consumer markets, businesses will need to adapt and recognise that business is no longer an English-only affair.

If you’re ready to start localizing your business or need high-quality translation services, Into23 can help you transform your business for any local market. Specializing in Asian languages, Into23 offers English to Chinese translation services and more, as well as website localizationtranslation and localization marketing strategies to suit your business needs. Contact us today for a free quote!

Why your company needs a legal translation partner

If you have a global company or are a company with global aspirations, legal translation services are needed to protect your business. Certified multilingual translation services ensure that your documents are correct and reflect your company regardless of region or language.

Did you know that over 50,000 companies today operate in more than one country? If you’re thinking about expanding into international markets, regardless of what type of business you’re running, it’s important to have an expert legal translator. Having a legal translation partner or outsourcing services is important for keeping your business running smoothly. Legal translation is a highly specialised field that ensures your business’s documents are in order no matter what localized market you’re working within.

What is included in legal translation?

require legal translations

Image from Pixabay – Contracts and binding agreements often require legal translations.

What exactly is included in legal document translation? If you’ve just started looking into these types of services, here are a few types of documents that often require translation services,

  • Contracts and commercial proposals
  • Purchase agreements
  • Service agreements
  • Technical documents and manuals
  • Financing agreements
  • Company by-laws
  • Patents, trademarks, and copyrights
  • End-user license agreements (EULA)
  • Application letters
  • Deposition records

Why legal translation is important?

legal translation is important

Photo by Fauxels from Pexels – Effective team communication is one reason legal translation is important.

Having your documents in order is hard enough in one language, let alone others. When companies look to go global or if they’ve acquired an international merger, their business documentation should be translated into the native language of the area where they’re working. This ensures that communication is seamless and that the policies, procedures, and brand are consistent across the board. Further, businesses’ legal documents need to be translated appropriately when localizing to avoid lawsuits, hold-ups, and serious misunderstandings that could jeopardize the businesses’ legitimacy.

Machine translations don’t offer quality or consistency

Not even today’s current machine translations are a match for the translations performed by translation experts. Only a real person can understand cultural nuances, regional differences, and specific legalities that a machine may misunderstand. Official document translation performed by high-quality translation services ensures that translation mishaps won’t happen. With that said, machine translation can be suitable for certain types of legal projects, such as large-scale discovery projects. Output from the machine translation process can then be enhanced by introducing a human editing stage to correct obvious machine translation post-editing errors.

Related: Why Google Translate isn’t effective enough for business

Accuracy And Efficiency 

Legal translations need to be completely accurate, and this attention to detail can only be provided by a legal translation expert, making it imperative that you have a translation partner for your global business. Not only is having a partner more efficient it also takes the guesswork out of your sensitive documents while providing the right tone and avoiding potential liabilities.

Why do you need legal translation services?

International translation companies can help expedite a business’s international goals while getting through the legal hoops of a new global region by ensuring that all your legal documents are in order no matter where you’ve expanded.

Timely delivery

Like anything in business, a quick turnaround is important, especially if you’re moving into a new market. When you have an experienced legal translation partner at your fingertips, they will know the language and region you’re working in and will have a translation memory database to work with that will allow for a quick turnaround on documents that will be professional, accurate, and relative to the business area you’ve expanded into.

Complex legal terminology

Legal jargon can be overwhelming and complex, even in one’s native language. Legal translators know how to maintain the essential legal specifics of a document from one language to another so that it is comprehendible and maintains all the critical legal meanings, thus avoiding any liabilities or potential misunderstandings when making business deals and arrangements in your new region.

Cost-effective

Professional legal translation services will already have the knowledge needed to get the job done effectively and efficiently, cutting down costs and guesswork. This means you can get back to what your business does best within its new area.

Project management

A good legal partner can effectively manage a translation project as they can allocate the right number of translators for the job and will be able to manage the project from start to finish.

Ethical

Google translate or other machine translation post-editing can never ensure that the documents they translate are confidential. Items such as non-disclosures and contracts are important documents that must be handled securely and efficiently. A legal translation service can ensure that your documents are kept private and that they are accurately translated into the languages that you require.

Into23 is perfectly positioned to be your legal translation partner. Into23 specialises in document translation services, localization translation services, website translation services, and more for your global business. Contact us today for a free quote, and become our partner today.

From PUBG to Apple: How Localisation helped these Brands Dominate Global Markets!

Brands Beyond Borders

Some companies have grown exponentially by accommodating consumers with diverse dialects, languages, and cultures. Many brands have made localisation a force to help them conquer this kind of growth, allowing them to tap into the new markets. However, the trend of transforming content to a specific region or culture is not new. Many American software giants like Microsoft deployed their solutions worldwide back in the 80s. Today, with the help of digital communication, some famous brands are rendering content to countries outside their geographical location. It has allowed them to stay locally and globally relevant.

PUBG

Companies like Coca-Cola and Visa have made their brand almost invincible by recognising the power of “local relevance.” These brands dare to translate their content to regional contexts and are confident in curating content specific to a region’s preferences and tastes. Gaming brands like Nintendo and PUBG have gone global while managing to keep their local relevance alive.

How does maintaining “Local Relevance” help these brands grow? 

Localisation recognises the role of values, cultures, and dialects during brand messaging. It allows businesses to adapt to local language, style, and design. These elements take shape due to geographical barriers; however, localisation helps brands go beyond texts and phrases. Localisation does not mean mere “translation.” It is more than that. Although translators play a massive role in localisation projects, localisation has numerous key factors that come into play.

Competition in the international market is fierce; therefore, no two brands can afford to offer similar brand experiences. Such continuous differentiation has forced brands to pay great focus on a customer’s personal experiences. In addition, a brand with the ambition of going global cannot target diverse consumers using the same marketing campaign! Hence, we see companies optimising their ads for specific target markets. Consumers also want brands to communicate in their native dialects. It gives them a more personal feel. 

marketing campaign

According to a report by Common Sense Advisory, 72% of shoppers prefer purchasing from sites that use their native language. Almost 55% of them exclusively choose these sites over others. Let’s evaluate some brands communicating with global customers and understand how they connect with their audiences at a deeper level to drive engagement. 

Apple

There is no doubt about how much of a marketing genius Steve Jobs was. He helped Apple establish itself as a desirable, unique, and fashionable electronics brand. Their simplistic yet stylish products differentiated them from the herd in the USA. Apple is one of the biggest companies globally that launches culturally-relevant marketing campaigns all over the globe. Their previous localised campaigns are noteworthy! For instance, let’s look at their campaign in Japan. The Japanese culture disapproves of criticising others; therefore, Apple’s Mac vs. PC marketing campaign couldn’t work in Japan. Apple couldn’t take a direct shot at Microsoft! Rather than translating their American ad, they collaborated with local comedians to show Mac is for fun-loving individuals. Their marketing team didn’t just translate their content but also aligned it to match the cultural expectations of the native audiences.

Apple

Coca-Cola

This brand sells more than 2 billion bottles every day! Coca-Cola was one of the few global brands that focussed on capturing international audiences. Their campaigns, such as “Share a Coke,” used common English names like Jack, Tom, Mike, Alisa, etc., on the label. It helped them build familiarity and gave customers a reason to share their drinks. In countries like Russia, Coca-Cola localised the names using native names to synergise with the locals. However, in China, people don’t use initial names to address others. They prefer to address individuals by their last name. Therefore, Coca-Cola used taglines like “Share a Coke with your close friend or classmate.” The campaign brought impressive results for the brand, allowing them to bypass cultural constraints in China.

Nintendo

If we talk about app localisation, we must address the brilliant work done by Nintendo. Nintendo invests aggressively in in-app localisation, allowing them to customise their content for a specific demographic. They tailor the gaming experience by inducing local elements that appeal to the local audiences. Their strategies have helped them double their growth! They have also localised business steps like segment testing, product development, and content translation. Today Nintendo works with numerous localisation experts to develop marketing content. They also customise their official releases as per different markets. All this makes the brand deliver native gaming experiences while consistently maintaining the same level of satisfaction.

Gamming Language Translation

PUBG

PUBG, developed by Brendan Greene, is a popular action game with more than 400 million users worldwide! The game is widely popular in countries like China, the USA, the UK, Germany, India, etc. Acquiring such a huge base was impossible without translating or localising the content. You see, gaming is all about “emotional experiences.” That is why the game features twelve languages, including English, allowing them to engage local audiences and develop stronger connections. PUBG enables users to experience the same thrill regardless of their language.

Poor Translation & Localisation can Result in Branding Disasters!

As discussed, localisation is more than translation! It allows you to capture, grow, and retain new markets in the global economy. By now, you must have understood how localisation provides a competitive advantage to brands. 

But branding your business in an unfamiliar market is a challenge in itself. It would be best if you had insights and data that could highlight the preferences of your target audiences. Your business should partner with a professional translation and localisation company that can provide the right intellect and strategy to localise your content. Or else, poor translation and localisation can have severe business implications. Let’s evaluate them.

It can hinder communication.

If your brand wants to establish itself in multicultural settings, you must launch global marketing campaigns in many languages. To achieve that, you need to curate and deploy your final content within a fast turnaround. Failing to do so will hinder global communication and growth.

Low-quality translations

Imagine you have set up a website to expedite your products and services. What if your newly launched website is unable to deliver the right translation? What if the terms, measurements, and product descriptions are inconsistent? If your website translates your content into inappropriate language, it will severely harm your brand’s reputation and may lead to financial loss. 

Extensive pressure on customer support

Low-quality translation and localisation can pressure your customer executives. What if customers come to your website and raise support requests because they cannot understand the content? Therefore, your brand must ensure that support materials are localised for native markets.

Slow translation process

A slow translation process can hinder your international success. Imagine during an international launch; you cannot push out your content. Local players can benefit from that situation by launching the same services or content before you. Therefore, you may lose business to local players if the translation takes too long.

Language Translation Services

No centralised control 

No centralised control over the content will lead to inconsistent translations. Your brand messaging may become unreliable if your business partners or stakeholders use different translation suppliers.

No translation management portal

Falling for ineffective translation solutions can add severely to your business cost. Without a translation management portal, you won’t be able to keep track of your actual spending on translation and localisation. Exporting requirements, importing, billing, etc., requires you to keep a central solution for costing visibility and control.

Simply Localising Your Content is Not Enough to reach New Customers!

Today, 60 percent of the websites are in the English Language. According to a report by Statista, 26 percent of online users search using English keywords. It means that a massive online audience is underserved! Hence, localising your content is not enough to drive new clients. That is why brands need multilingual SEO and eCommerce Localisation

Let’s break these two factors into separate segments.

E-commerce Localisation

E-Commerce localisation can help you achieve excellence in the international marketplace. It allows you to transform your online business’ content (an app or website) in a way that it resonates with the native audiences you are targeting. It can help your eCommerce website or app adhere to local regulations, preferences, format, or currencies. 

E-Commerce Translation Services

Multilingual SEO

Since there are numerous users on the internet from different linguistic backgrounds, your brand needs to adopt multilingual SEO optimization. It can support your business in addressing and engaging the rest of the world! For instance, if your eCommerce business is based in the USA, you might consider attracting non-American clients or visitors from non-English speaking countries. Your brand must optimise its SEO strategy to attract and engage them. You can get visibility across different languages and locations. You’ll get to attract more traffic and more growth compared to your competitors. It will also help you evaluate the demands of your international clients.

Want to go Global? Consider these Checkpoints Before You Take Action!

Financial & operational stability of your business

International expansion of your business demands huge investment and a lot of resources. Your brand needs to have financial & operational stability before you sign up for this change.

Presence of potential international customers

If you have figured out an existing customer base for your product in an international market, it’s good to expand. Ensure you invest in the right metrics and surveys to evaluate the market potential and size. 

Knowledge of Markets suitable for your brand

As a gradually progressing brand, never focus on entering all spaces simultaneously. First, you must determine which market you want to tap. You can choose a market closer to your location so that your new customers share the same dialect, behaviour, or culture. It would keep your brand’s initial cost of translation and localisation low. Similar market space shares the same business climate, size, innovations, etc.

Are you “Ready” to tap into the new Markets?

Before opening up to the concept of “going global,” your business must prepare for the new markets. Brand messaging, marketing assets, logos, content, images, taglines, etc., must be localised to make your brand sound native. For this checkpoint, eCommerce localisation and multilingual SEO can be very effective tools.

How can Into23’s Localisation & Translation services help?

Into23 has a deep supply chain of professional freelance translators in key markets who use the latest technology during the translation project. We have years of experience as a language translation agency in Hong Kong. Check out our Portal for central billing, reporting, and ordering solutions.

We also provide automated translation management, which allows us to distribute content at lightning speed. Apart from automated content management, our team also offers Automated Translation Quality Assurance to meet the highest compliance standards. We help you adapt your brand’s message to your target audience’s cultural norms. Businesses like yours can develop custom translation workflow and achieve impactful marketing translation. 

Clients can leverage our neural machine translation engines for localising support documentation and FAQS. For your legal documents, you can utilise our native language translators. However, the post-editing process involves the manual presence of editors who correct the output. Allow us to take away your pain of managing translations! We respond to all incoming inquiries within 1 hour during our operational hours. Contact us now

How Voice Actors Helped “Netflix” Expand Their Business to 190 Countries?

Scene 1

The era Booming of Localisation

Today the most popular American subscription streaming service, Netflix, caters to more than 190 countries! But how did it manage to accomplish that? With popular dubbed shows like Bridgerton and Stranger Things, the voice talent industry is helping Netflix expand its services to more countries. The Spanish hit “Money Heist” has also been dubbed in numerous local languages. Many countries love consuming this Spanish original in regional accents as they prefer dubbed shows over subtitles. 

Netflix

The pandemic brought covid protocols and several travel restrictions to our lives; however, it couldn’t restrict the audiences from virtually traveling to witness new cultures via Web/TV shows. You may have noticed the massive popularity of action-packed anime. It is a testimony to how easily audiences can welcome content from different countries. According to a recent report, more than 50% of global viewers on Netflix watch anime, and these numbers seem to be on the rise. Japanese Dubbed series like Naruto and Fullmetal Alchemist has also received immense love worldwide.  

Netflix watch anime

These dubbed shows have put Netflix’s content in the front and center. Do you want to know more about dubbing? The dubbing process involves recording an alternative audio version of the content with a different voice. Although dubbing is quite similar to translation, the process is intricate and demands precision. It isn’t about repeating the same words in the local tongue; combining the right context and local flavor is the game! When content from different locations is localised, it allows audiences to enjoy the same thrill and adventure. 

Well, thanks to thousands of translation and localisation professionals who help us curate more localised content! Today many big streaming services have great opportunities for skilled localisation talent as they understand how translation and localisation professionals can help them deliver content to global audiences.

Scene 2

Make Your Business Talk like a “Local.”

If your business wants to go global, you must engage with your target audience as a “local.” Your brand voice should resonate naturally with its target customers and must communicate in their local language. According to a report, 70% of users feel more loyal to brands that provide support in their native language. Therefore it’s pretty evident how critical localised communication has become.

To achieve this, your brand needs a localisation strategy. Localisation is about translation, but it is also more than just translation! Talking to a customer in their native language requires you to maintain the right context, cultural relevance, terminology, and tone.

Voiceover
If implemented correctly, you can position your business to attract specific market segments. Due to these reasons, today, many businesses aim for multilingual and localised communication via video and audio content. Quite similar to what Netflix did, in the same manner, they want to engage with their prospects, customers, employees, and partners. 

They want to translate their digital content, but they also consider localising their audio and video content using voiceovers for the different languages. 

For instance, there is a surge in demand for voice-over work in eLearning content. Traditionally, eLearning courses were long-form, most from 30 minutes to an hour. However, today, more and more eLearning courses are available in short, bite-sized chunks to allow learners to consume them at their own pace.  The rise in demand for voice-over in the eLearning industry is evident in the growth of demand for eLearning voice-over. 

The demand for voice-over services is also rising in the corporate sector. Many companies have adopted new working models like the hybrid working model (home working/office working). Offering online eLearning training content to their employees is great for increasing employee engagement. We expect eLearning training to continue to grow, leading to increased demand for localised voice-over services.

voice-over services

The Interval

The role of Voice-Over Artists in the Whole Scenario

A professional voice-over artist can help businesses add a dialect and overtone to their content to which the local audience can connect. An expert voice-over artist can help companies understand the different approaches used in the local language and then incorporate them into their content. Standard dialects and visuals can allure more potential buyers and build a stronger connection with the audience, increasing revenue. Let’s briefly specify the benefits of working with voice-over translation.

  • More Box Office Collection: More local clients & sales

According to Harvard Business Review, 72.4% of customers say they are more likely to buy from a brand if the information regarding a product is in their native language. It shows that you can even boost your sales by using the power of voice-over translation; you can attract more local or native clients and boost your sales. A local customer will be more interested in interacting with any kind of information if it is presented in their local language. Therefore, if you plan to target a foreign market with a different language, you must use voice-over experts to make this expansion successful. 

Box Office Collection

  • Wider Fanbase: Reach a broader customer base

If your target audience is not limited to a single language, try reaching out to them in a different language. Consider multilingual voice-over translation services to reap the maximum benefits. With this type of translation, you can reach a broader audience base. Promoting the video in the native language will no longer be confined to language barriers.

Behind The Scenes

Into23 voice-over Translation Process

A standard voice-over translation process is not as simple as it sounds. Precise and accurate voice-over translation requires both detailing and the skill of a professional. During translation, accuracy is of utmost importance because even a single mistake can change the entire meaning of the video. The translation process begins with transcribing the original audio content of the video. There is no way one can translate the content without going through the script. 

Into23’s voice-over services involve script transcription, where needed, translation of the script; we also record the translation in different versions. Professional translators conduct the translation process, and professional voice actors do the voice. 

Into23 works with voice actors that primarily use their home studio. How does that benefit our clients? It allows our team to offer services at economical prices, offering a price that is more competitive than high-end professional recording studios. We must clarify that we do not target voice-overs for the movie or TV industry as these do require these high-end recording studios. 

The Climax

The typical process of Voice-Over Translation

Firstly, we consider the type of voice our client is looking for, e.g., age group, accent, male or female? Our team offers 4 to 6 voice samples matching the profile; the client then chooses their preferred voice. Once the voice-over artist is shortlisted, we provide them with a brief. Our brief includes the following things: 

  1. Voice style: in general, eLearning will be conversational. But because the courses are long, the conversational tone needs to be engaging.
  2. Pronunciation: Guide for any brand names or unusual words/terms.
  3. Audio recording specification: We specify whether we want 16-bit audio, 24-bit, or 32-bit audio files. The usual is 16-bit.
  4. Audio sample rate: The usual sample rate is 44.1 kHz for eLearning but 48 kHz for dubbing/video.
  5. Channel: Mono or Stereo channel. The usual for eLearning is Mono.
  6. File format: MP4, Wav, or MP3?

The Different phases of Voice-over translation

Voice-over translation

Phase 1: The artist records the script. 

Phase 2: During the post-processing of the recorded script, the professionals remove pauses, breaks, verbal ticks, or noises. 

Phase 3: They also validate the script recording to ensure accuracy. Re-recording is requested if any parts need correction. For eLearning courses, we split the audio files following the flow of the course.

Phase 4: We also take client feedback and implement the necessary modification due to script changes, pronunciation change requests, etc. Into23 allows 2 to 3 rounds of corrections.

Into23’s pricing model:

Our pricing model depends on the length of the script or the final audio length (in minutes). Voice-over actors charge per final audio minute. However, we estimate the final length after recording; we prefer to quote based on script length in words.

  •   Up to 10 mins of audio is less than 1500 words.
  •   30 mins of audio is a script between 3000 and 4500 words
  •   1 hour of audio is a script between 7500 and 9000 words.

The Cast

Different Categories of Voice-Over Translation

Voice replacement

One of the most common voice-over translation services within video content is voice replacement. Engineers mute the original audio, and the voice-over artist replaces the verbal content with his voice in the native language. One of the biggest challenges of this type of voice-over translation is matching the speed and delivery of the original voice. For example, there must be an emphasis on specific points in the original voice, some pauses, or breaks. It becomes difficult for the new speaker to match it accurately in such cases. 

The UN-style

Another voice-over translation service within video content is the UN-style. There are videos where both the original voice and the audience’s native language need to be heard. The UN-style translation never replaces the original speaker as the native language is just spoken over. 

The audience can easily hear the original voice for the first couple of seconds, followed by the native language voice. The sound of the native language usually surpasses the original speaker. It is helpful if you wish your audience to relate to the original voice. 

Off-screen voice over

This type of translation is ubiquitous in the eLearning realm. All the voices used over the translation are usually heard off-screen in this sector. The user can simply keep following the on-screen animations and texts.

Many international translation companies provide off-screen voice over. It is also the most straightforward type of translation since it requires only a single actor as the new language just needs to be synced. 

Dubbing

Dubbing might be the most recognisable type of translation. If you want the video to look like it has been initially shot in the native language, then dubbing is the right option. By the look of things, dubbing makes the video look more relatable in terms of the native language. 

For this, you have to choose from international translation companies as dubbing might be one of the most effective types of voice-over translations, but at the same time, it is challenging to implement. 

The End

Future Plans?

The future of voice-over translation will be a combination of AI and human voice recording. AI-generated voice recordings will allow a voice-over actor to produce a recording quickly, then edit it to correct any mispronunciations or other errors in the generated audio file. Into23 is also planning to offer synthetic voice recording services by 2023. We shall collaborate with some of our voice actors to provide this as a service. It will result in faster turnarounds, guaranteed high-quality output, and lower costs. For more details regarding our voice-over translation services, contact our experts now!

How to ensure your translation partner is data-secure

With legislation being implemented around the world to protect people’s privacy online and secure information, such as GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679) in the European Union, which went into effect in 2018, and China’s Data Security Law (DSL) as well as its Personal Information Protection Law, which were implemented in 2021, the handling of data is governed by a complex patchwork of rules. 

Transporting data across borders is growing ever-more challenging. And with translation and interpreting often covering the transfer of information online, clients and vendors alike need to ensure they are compliant. The consequences of non-compliance can be onerous. For example, under the EU’s GDPR regime, penalties include a fine of up to 10 million euros, or 2% of a business’ entire global turnover for one fiscal year. 

In the EU, data security non-compliance can result in a fine of up to 10 million euros

Having a translation partner that’s data-secure makes good business sense and is the foundation of data compliance. 

When using a translation agency, it’s important to check that it’s data-secure. This means that the data is encrypted in transit and stored in a risk-appropriate manner. If you’re sending documents for translation, you want peace of mind that the best translation services company is handling the information securely. 

Read on for some top tips to keep your information safe and stay on the right side of the law.  

What is data security?

It covers the process of preventing digital information from being accessed by unauthorised persons, including by thieves, and encompasses security measures like ensuring hardware is physically secure, restricting administrative controls, and managing access.

The threat

Data security measures go a long way to preventing data breaches. They are necessary because such hacks are a growing problem around the world. The Identity Theft Research Center reported a 17% increase in data breaches in 2021, year on year. 

These attacks are partly attributable to intellectual property (IP) theft. IP covers inventions, creative expressions and ideas, and includes copyrighted work, music, software, movies and designs, to name just a few. Imagine engaging an agency to complete technical translation services on a new scientific discovery which has yet to be announced, and the information is hacked ahead of the launch and released to the media. 

Due diligence is the leading way to make sure your choice of translation services is a sound one. Whether you’re looking for a legal translation company, technical translation services, general business translation solutions, the process of assessing a potential partner is the same.

There’s an army of hackers out there driving a rise in data breaches, with a 17% increase in 2021

Conduct due diligence 

If you want to source expert translation services that are a good fit and are data-secure, you’ll need to conduct some thorough research. The aim is to gather information to make an informed decision. As well as looking at the vendor’s pricing and experience, data security is one criteria to add to the decision-making process. If a company falls down on data security, that’s a potential indicator it doesn’t pass muster in other regards too, like customer service, or accuracy.

What to look for?

Reputable language translation technology will have in place appropriate processes and protections to keep the information they handle secure from prying eyes and to stay compliant with data privacy policies. But how do you tell whether a translation agency in Hong Kong or a marketing translation agency in Singapore is data-secure? Here are the top things to look for. 

Check the platforms used

A Nimdzi report in 2021 identified more than 750 tech solutions in the translation industry, including translation management systems, legal document translation services, transcription services, audio transcription services tools and deep voice narration, among others. Using software localization services and multimedia localization services reduces the risk of a data breach. 


Ask what protocols are in place to comply with the law

If you’re transmitting and receiving data across borders and are concerned about staying compliant, it’s a good idea to flag any concerns or ask what measures are in place. This may involve just an assurance that the translation partner complies with the relevant regulations. 

Inquire about a track record of compliance

If presented with a choice between a company that had been fined for non-compliance several times and a company that had never been handed such penalties, the best course of action would be to go with the latter. Information that is indicative of a company taking compliance seriously is whether it conducts regular security and data audits. 

Ask about freelancers

Most translation agencies make use of contract freelancers. Therefore, it’s prudent to inquire whether your prospective partner ensures it has non-disclosure agreements in place and uses secure work platforms when working with freelancers.

Signing a non-disclosure agreement safeguards information

Sign a non-disclosure agreement

This is a good first step for safeguarding information. An NDA, in its essence, is a legally enforceable agreement that binds the signatories to a set of clauses restricting the sharing of confidential information. If you’re a company translating a series of patent applications, or you’re translating the documents for an initial public offering, for instance, an NDA would help ensure that sensitive information is not released or divulged. NDAs can be tailored to fit specific circumstances, with the parameters including definitions as to what constitutes confidential information and the obligations that each party is subject to, as well as the timeframe the agreement covers. 

Keeping data-secure and complying with relevant regulations are increasingly important, and by following the tips above, you’ll be able to make an informed choice, and pick a reputable translation partner

Get in touch today for a no-obligation chat with our translation experts, who are on hand to answer questions about your translation needs.

What are the main translation methods and techniques?

The process of translation may seem like a mere exchange of words and phrases from one language to another but as any quality freelance translator will tell you, there is a lot more to it than that. A good translator will use a variety of translation techniques and methods depending on the language it’s being translated into and the target market it’s aiming to reach.

Translation’s beginnings

The Gilgamesh on a partially broken tablet

A section of ‘The Gilgamesh’ on a partially broken tablet – Wikimedia

In history, the translation of writing goes back as far as the Mesopotamian era and is believed to have started with the epic Sumerian poem, The Gilgamesh, which was translated into a variety of Asian languages around the second millennium BC. The need for translation began to increase with the development of religious texts and theories. The word translation is derived from a Latin term that means “to bring or carry across”. The word metaphrasis in Ancient Greek, which means “to speak across” created the word metaphrase which was the first term for a “word-to-word” translation. As translation and translation studies became more common, defined techniques and methods took form. 

Translation methods and techniques

Vinay and Darbelnet Translation Technique

Vinay and Darbelnet – Time Toast

J.P. Vinay and J.Darbelnet were pioneers of translation studies as they created and published formalised translation procedures in 1958 with their book titled, Comparative Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation. It was one of the first times translation methods had been categorised and since it has become the basis of technique for modern multilingual translation services

Vinay and Darbelnet’s methods and techniques

While a translation method can be applied to an entire translated text, translation techniques and types of translation vary based on what elements will be translated. Vinay and Darbelnet detailed seven different techniques within two methods of translation.

Direct or literal translation method

This method is used when similar concepts and structures of the source language can be used in the translated language. Languages need to be similar in a variety of ways for these techniques to work as these types of translation techniques are not able to capture a lot of nuances found in language.

Borrowing technique  is a technique that involves borrowing a word from one language and using it in another. So the translator will make the conscious choice to retain a word while translating the rest of the sentence. You’ll often see this with English as the English language tends to borrow many words from other languages. While not explicitly a translation technique it is common with globally familiar words. 

Borrowing examples: sombrero, café, kimono, hamburger, kimchi

Calque technique  Many words don’t translate well into other languages, the calque technique is used by translators in this instance. A translator will coin and come up with a new word or term in the translated language. 

Calque examples: gratte-ciel in French is a calque of ‘skyscraper’.  An ‘Adam’s apple’ is calque of the French phase pomme d’Adam. Beer garden is a calque of the German biergarten

Literal translation technique – This technique is the most straightforward in that each word is translated directly. This is generally ineffective for languages that are not closely related and is generally only used with select legal or corporate translation.

Indirect or Oblique translation method

This method is most often used when languages and cultures are substantially different, such as English to Chinese translation. This method will usually change the structural or conceptual elements of the text to preserve its meaning.

Transposition – This technique involves a shift from one grammatical structure to another, usually with languages that have different grammar structures. 

Transposition example: Rendering a French noun with an English verb, Je l’ai vu avant la rentrée can be directly translated to English as  “I saw her before school started”, this changes the noun la rentrée into a verb.

Modulation – The modulation technique is extremely common in marketing when localizing into a new market. Modulation changes and adjusts the original text completely but it preserves the same meaning and patterns so that it is recognisable in target translated language. 

Modulation examples: Lebensgefahr in German means danger to life, whereas in English we would say “danger of death”. A literal translation of this phrase from English to German would sound odd and confusing to a German person. Another example is how French speakers refer to the top floor of a building as dernier étage which translates as “last stage” in English. A literal translation of this phrase from French to English would baffle many prospective English apartment buyers and renters.

Equivalence/reformulation  – Similar to modulation and also an essential technique for any localization strategy, this technique preserves the meaning of an expression or proverb by using something equivalent in the translated language. 

Equivalence/reformulation examples: The English phrase “It’s pouring,” which refers to a downpour of rain doesn’t translate into German but the meaning can be altered to give the same effect, es regnet in Strömen (It rains in streams).

Adaptive – This technique is a sort of cultural substitution or equivalent in that one cultural element is replaced with one that will be better suited and understood in the language and region it’s being translated to. 

Adaptive examples: Baseball or NFL football in the US 🡪Football in England

Choosing the best translation technique 

Out of these basic and common techniques, how do you know what translation tools, translation techniques or methods are the best for your business or localization strategy? Every business, strategy and approach is different so the best way to get a return on your investment is to use certified translation services. Quality translators will assess your documents, software, website, eLearning platform or eCommerce software to ensure that your business successfully reaches your target market and audience. 

Into23 offers high quality translation services in any language your business needs. Contact us today for a free quote so we can help your business enter new global markets and enterprises.