STC has a section under Designing and Developing Content that gives some information and tips on how to translate, localize, and eventual globalize your content. Here are some important this to know and consider when it comes to translation.
Did you know that translation does not only refer to converting a message from one language to another? It also incorporates the interpretation of the message and how it is understood from one language to another language. This is similar to advertising and marketing, because the message that they want to get a cross to their consumers all relies on the sending, decoding, and the noise through the message process.
Translation can be difficult due to these following factors:
- The rules of grammar of the two languages
- Their writing conventions
- Their idioms
STC mentions that many writers, publishers, and people in general believe that there is corresponding word in another language for the word you are using. A very known example of this is Coca-Cola. When Coca-Cola products went overseas to China the phrase “Coca-Cola” actually translates into “Bite the wax tadpole”, and clearly if they kept this translation it was expected their product would not sell well in China, and would be a huge marketing flop. So to solve this predicament Coca-Cola Company decided to choose two Chinese symbols that have a broad, yet positive meaning to them. The two symbols they ended up choosing generally mean “tasty” and “happy” so in China Coca-Cola is a tasty and happy soft drink… I’d say that is much better than having the perception of a tadpole wax soft drink, wouldn’t you think?
So how do you make the transition from one language to another smoother? It’s much easier if it is taken into consideration while writing the content, that it will be translated because the writer(s) can choose words that are not only used in the country they are writing in.
Lastly here are some things you should know regarding translation & special topics…
- Controlled Languages: translation is much easier if you work within constraints in the first place
- Metrics for Translation: how to measure what you are translating
- Translation Technologies: although good-quality translation will always rely on people, there are technologies that can help.
- Computer-aided Translation Basics: A rough census of the Internet shows that the demand for multilingual content increases.