If business growth is a priority, don’t overlook the importance of manual translation services. Imagine that your company – perhaps it’s a biotech firm, a law office, a manufacturing company, or even a school district – is a garden. In order to produce an abundant crop, you first have to prepare the soil, plant seeds, and fertilize. While you’re waiting for the sun to work it’s magic, you’ll also fill the watering can and give everything a good dousing. Why? Because without water, nothing grows. And in today’s international marketplace, manual translation services are like that all important shower that your garden needs. By translating your business manuals, your company’s “seeds” germinate, allowing products and services to be sellable around the globe – or around the corner – to anyone who speaks a foreign language.
Take, for instance, TOMY, a Japanese company that sells toys, video games, and baby products. In order to expand their market, TOMY needed user manuals in a variety of languages, including Japanese, English, French, German, and Chinese. Thanks to Rapport International’s translation services, the company's manuals were translated into the appropriate languages and global sales exploded, making Pokemon and Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles household staples around the world. And what about human resource (HR) manuals, especially if companies build facilities overseas or if their workforce includes people for whom English is a second language? Such was the case in the Boston area, where companies like Network Health, Benemax, and even Marlborough High School improved employee communications and expectations by contracting Rapport International to translate numerous HR and benefits manuals. Finally, imagine the disastrous results if specialized medical equipment like lasers and artificial heart valves were not accompanied by safety manuals translated for the countries they are sold in?
Words matter. And just like rain, you need the right amount at the right time to make things flourish. Here’s how a professional language translation agency can help grow your company’s manuals with words that are accurate, timely, and presented in the best format.
- Classify the product needed
Manuals are like flowers that come in multiple colors and varieties. Types might include: construction manuals, employee manuals, engineering specifications, safety manuals, software manuals, and instruction manuals. Guides are similar in that they describe the correct usage of products or services and might include: assembly guides, electronic guides, maintenance guides, and even patent guides. Handbooks, too, are extremely useful and are also part of the services offered by translation agencies. A professional translation agency like Rapport International can work with your company to determine exactly the type of manual and specific languages needed for the best results.
- Help identify target audience
Is this a set of instructions intended for a parent to assemble a crib? Or, are the guidelines intended for someone with a background in computer technology? Basic speech and writing classes always stress knowing your audience and translation is no different. Allow a professional translation agency to match you with a specifically trained translator who can handle the job. You wouldn’t ask a bi-lingual secretary 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 linguist for the job.
- Culturally adapt materials
Communication is more than words. Understanding of the nuances of any language is important, too. Without it, your manual might be doomed for 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 there was that ill-fated Kentucky Fried Chicken slogan, “finger-lickin’ good,” that fell flat in China due to a literal translation proclaiming, “Eat your fingers off!” Culturally adapting material for manuals is no laughing matter. Even paying attention to colors and how diagrams are presented is important, and never ignore the small details like differences pertaining to currency, electrical outlet systems, and rules of measurement. Trust the experts to avoid cultural mistakes so your manuals blossom instead of withering at the roots.
- Make safety a priority
Knowing how to use a product correctly or understanding a company’s services requires accurate information. Without it, businesses open themselves to lawsuits and costly delays. Instruction booklets or manuals need to have clear and concise information about the dangers of poor setup or misuse, which could result in harm or injury. In most countries around the globe, everything from car seats to medical devices require booklets or manuals that meet Health and Safety Laws and Guidelines. Clearly written manuals can be accurately translated to meet these regulations so that you can focus on other business matters to keep your business and customers safe.
- Customize the process to meet your needs & deadlines
Perhaps your business wants graphics, charts, and diagrams added to its manuals or maybe there’s a need for turning company booklets into PDFs? Thinking about expanding into Europe, but don’t know what translation languages to consider? The details that are important to your company are also important to a certified language translation agency. Ask questions about any company’s quality assurance policies and never hesitate to inquire about free quotes. Remember, customer satisfaction should be a 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 a professional translation agency like Rapport International and start counting the days until harvest season!