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Is translation a priority in a post-COVID-19 world?

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In some aspects, the world has changed more in recent months than it ever did in the last few decades. We didn’t see it coming, as is usually the case with the truly important things in life. With the current scenario, companies are meticulously reviewing their budgets to reorganize priorities and establish a new strategy to overcome this crisis. One of the usual points on the table is whether translation should be a priority or not.

Is it really a priority to translate or keep translating content now that globalization seems to be slowing down? Is it worth the money?


Business sense says yes. Let’s see why.


One of the biggest challenges companies have to face in this crisis is to move their activity online as much as possible. On the one hand, with the lockdown, the initial priority was to protect employees. Telecommuting and video conferences became a reality in most companies. On the other hand, with tradeshows and events going digital, a company’s online presence is now more important than ever to grow its brand and, ultimately, its business. This trend is here to stay.


Website: The key tool


Even though social media is very important, the key tool for a company’s successful online presence continues to be its website. Therefore, to have your website translated into the languages of your most important markets is a requirement these days. However, with greater visibility also comes higher responsibility regarding quality. Now, a poor translation may have a very direct impact on sales or on generating new leads.


SEO: The needle in the haystack


To have a good website is very important, obvious but… worthless if it cannot be easily found. The same happens with multilingual websites. If companies only develop SEO for their English website, their multilingual reach will certainly fall short. SEO needs to be translated and developed in all the languages of the website. In order to increase traffic to a website, SEO has to feel really local. For that, simple translation is not enough. Localization is the right answer in this case as cultural barriers and nuances need to be taken into account.


e-commerce: The new normal


The lockdown imposed by the pandemic caused many physical shops to close temporarily. The only alternative to keep operating was e-commerce. As a result, new online buying habits are being created and strengthened. Those habits will not switch back once this crisis is over, companies know that. More industries are creating and expanding their e-commerce presence. The rise of e-commerce implies an increased need for translation, as people simply spend more when buying in their own language.


“If you think it's expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.” - Red Adair


Greater online visibility means higher risk for the impact of poor-quality translations. The damage it can do to a company’s brand has never been higher. Online, the translated content is the only indicator that can be gauged by a potential buyer. And all buyers are liable to judge the quality of your product or service just by the quality of your translated content. This represents a challenge as some companies see professional translation as an expense to avoid, especially during a time of crisis. If the budget for translation is too small to have the whole process done by native professional translators, at the very least, the final review should be done by them to ensure the ultimate quality. To have impeccably translated online content is a great opportunity for a brand to stand out in local markets.


Sofia Alves Machado
Key Account Manager
iDISC Information Technologies

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