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4 min read

Document Translation Services for Manuals, Guides, and Other Business Materials

Manual Translation Services
Manual translation services

Call it a “manual,” a “handbook,” printed “directions,” a “user guide” – whatever your chosen terminology, prioritizing and translating product and service information is as essential to business growth as sales and marketing.

Imagine your company – a biotech firm, a law office, a manufacturing company, a school district – as a garden. Producing an abundant crop means preparing the soil, planting, fertilizing, and regular maintenance. While you’re waiting for the sun to work its magic, you’ll fill the watering can and give everything a good dousing. Why? Because without water, nothing grows.

In today’s international marketplace, translation services are like that all-important shower your garden needs. Translating the information essential to your business allows your “seeds” to germinate; your products and services are now saleable around the globe – or around the corner – to anyone who speaks a foreign language.

Our client TOMY is a well-known Japanese purveyor of collectibles, toys, video games, baby products, and more. In 2014, in an effort to expand their market reach, we translated a variety of TOMY’s user manuals into Japanese, English, French, German, and Chinese. Global sales exploded, and Pokémon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles popped up in households around the world.

Prioritize and Translate Content for Regulatory Compliance – Quality Matters

Unfortunately, it can’t be all fun and games. Legal, HR, healthcare, biotech, and other highly regulated industries demand precise, culturally appropriate translation. Think of regulatory translation as the sunflower in your garden – left untended, a sunflower will emit toxins that kill or impede the growth of its neighbors. When planted with deliberation and care, however, sunflowers attract birds and bees, provide sustenance, and absorb heavy metals and chemicals from the soil, keeping your garden in fine form. We’ve helped our clients reach such far-ranging goals as:

Communicate clearly with ALL your employees,  no matter what language they speak. Read  The Language of Global Business – Managing a Multilingual Workforce.

  • Adhering to state requirements. Translation and spoken interpretation services for school districts ensures compliance with state- and federal requirements.

  • Meeting regulations and avoiding liability. Healthcare research and clinical trials. From informal bulletin boards to in-depth patient diaries and scientific research data, translation involving healthcare and medical devices must adhere to strict regulations, while eliciting the nuances of patient feedback.

vegetable basket

What to Look for in a High-Quality Translation Agency

Words matter. And just like any garden, you need the right amount of rain, at the right time, for everything to flourish. A high-quality, professional language translation agency works as a partner – co-op gardening, anyone? – delivering essential company information with translations that are accurate, timely, and useable.

In fact, our translation process is itself a bit like gardening – we prepare, plant, fertilize, and maintain your content and documents, archiving for efficient updating, revisions, and re-use:

1. We classify and prioritize content (Prepare)

From the simplest user manual to the most detailed safety guide, the first step always involves content prioritization: What information is required by law? What information is most important? Where does the information belong, on the product itself, online, in printed form, or all the above? A professional translation agency works with you to determine exactly what to translate, in order of importance.

2. We identify languages for your target audience (Plant)

Is this set of instructions intended for a parent to assemble a crib? Are they guidelines intended for someone proficient in computer technology? Knowing your audience is key. A professional translation agency will guide you toward the languages that will make the biggest impact on both compliance and sales growth, based on your customer base and corporate strategy. The best agencies also match you with industry-specific, trained translators who can handle the job. You wouldn’t ask a bilingual assistant to translate a manual intended for a surgeon implanting a pacemaker, and you wouldn’t want a medical engineer dictating instructions for putting a crib together. Let a language translation company find the best translator for the job.

3. We translate with cultural sensitivity (Fertilize)

Understanding and accommodating the nuances of language translation is as important as using proper terminology – glossing over the particulars dooms your safety manual or user guide to the compost pile! Imagine the horror at Green Giant® when it was discovered that Arabic translations declared “The Jolly Green Giant” the “Intimidating Green Ogre”! And the fate of the Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan – “Finger Lickin’ Good” – that fell flat in China due to a literal translation proclaiming, “Eat Your Fingers Off!” Even paying attention to colors and how diagrams are presented is important, as is keeping small differences like currency, electrical outlet systems, and rules and units of measurement always top-of-mind, especially as they pertain to safety.

4. We customize the process to meet your needs and deadlines with cost efficiency (Maintain)

Perhaps your business wants graphics, charts, and diagrams added to its printed manuals or website content, or maybe there’s a need for turning company booklets into subtitled, animated videos? Thinking about expanding into Europe, but don’t know what languages to consider? The details that are important to your company are also important to a language translation agency. A high-quality outfit will also retain translated copy for cost-efficiencies around future projects and maintain and nurture the translator/company relationship over time.

Always ask questions around an agency’s quality assurance policies and never hesitate to inquire about free quotes. Remember, customer satisfaction is the priority. No one plants peas and expects to grow carrots, so don’t settle for a company with a reputation for surprising its clients with additional fees, costly delays, or shoddy work.

If it’s growing season at your business, contact us today and start counting the days until harvest!

Have questions? Contact Us 

Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

Rapport International specializes in multilingual communications, providing language translation and interpretation services that are accurate and culturally appropriate. We use the right voice and the correct terminology to avoid liability, customize services to your needs, and deliver on time and within your budget. With our 100% satisfaction guarantee, you can trust that it’s done right. Contact us today if you would like more information or to get a free quote.

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