Translation is a key component of any multilingual public relations strategy, and the ROI of accurately translating a press release is well worth considering.

When promoting a new product or service, announcing a company milestone, or celebrating an award, there is great value in translating your release. You are creating the opportunity to reach new audiences, both domestically and internationally.

Translation enables you to communicate with important stakeholders, such as customers and investors who speak other languages, and gives your company greater brand recognition in countries where English is not widely spoken.

Handling translations with care gives you a greater chance of resonating with multilingual reporters and your target audience. Think of translation as a complex art that is not as simple as taking the source language and turning out an identical document in the target language. Certain practices will yield a better translation.

1. Choose Who to Target

Translation starts with deciding on your intended target audience. Choosing who you target comes down to your public relations goals. For example, if you are announcing the opening of an ESL immersive language school and want to attract Taiwanese students, then you will want to translate your release into Traditional Chinese and target Taiwanese publications that cover education and international travel.

However, if your goal is to sell a product in the United States, you can easily expand your market reach by translating your release into Spanish. Pair your release with the perfect distribution that reaches your target market. In this instance, LatinoWire distributes your release in English and Spanish through print, broadcast and online media, newswires and news services in the nation’s top Hispanic markets.  

2. Use Multilingual Industry Experts

Press releases contain industry-specific information. By using a translator who is an expert in a specific area — whether it is tech, biosciences, or tourism — you’ll better connect with your audience. Although some companies employ in-house translators, if you are in need of translation services, Business Wire is committed to working with expert translators. Our affiliates have diverse technical translation backgrounds to ensure quality translation services and meet localization needs. Peruse ourDistribution Lists to learn more about non-U.S. circuits including translations that are available.

If translators have any questions while working on your release, they will often reach out to clarify. Although no one likes back and forth, take this as a sign that you are in good hands and that your translator is working to ensure the most accurate and high-quality translation possible.

3. Don’t Just Translate Your Press Release, Localize it! 

Translation differs from localization in that translation transforms text from A to B language, whereas localization encompasses both linguistic and cultural adaptions. When targeting international publications, it's critical to go through a localization process by working with your translation team to adhere to local regulations and standards in order to be impactful.

When working to translate and localize your news, especially for worldwide press releases, be sure your translator:

  • Adapts the press release to use a unique cultural angle (such as local holidays or customs). 
  • Addresses local regulations and legal requirements. 
  • Uses local standards of measurement, such as units of currency. 
  • Adapts graphics for the local market. 
  • Ensures that photo captions are translated. 

Make it Clear in the Source Language 

When writing a release that you intend to translate, it is imperative that the source language is written as clearly and concisely as possible. If the meaning is unclear in the source language, it is nearly impossible to render a translation that is accurate. Think of it this way, if you are writing something that could be ambiguous, unclear, and/or read as clunky in English, it is twice as hard for a translator to render an equivalent in the target language. Writing an unclear source text can result in major meaning shifts. Be sure to keep it clear and concise. 

You read each sentence and ask yourself, is the point clear and easy to understand, is standard syntax used, and is correct diction applied? If the answer to any of these questions is no, think about reworking your release. 

Specify Proper Nouns to be Translated 

Sometimes translators will be confused by proper nouns and will go ahead and translate them when they shouldn't. This causes a problem for target language readers and your press release. For example, a reader may not understand that your press release is referencing a company name and instead read the name as a concept. It’s always best to highlight which proper nouns are to be left as-is.  

In cases where proper nouns are not to be translated, provide a list to be clear. This will help translators identify what words should stay in English. If you do want a proper noun translated, note if the proper noun already has a standardized translation and provide a glossary.  

Not only will this ensure your proper nouns stay consistent, but it will also help avoid revisions, saving you time and cost, and keeping you on track to reach your target time of disclosure. Remember, translators are working under tight turnaround times, so any help you can provide will help yield better results. 

Localize Brand Names with Care 

In most cases, companies will not need to adapt their company name. This is especially important for languages that do not use the Roman alphabet, like Mandarin, Arabic, and Japanese. The Mandarin language, for example, is character based, and each character has its own meaning. 

Every brand name is interpreted by the meaning of the characters as well as the phonetic sound resembling the English company name. Some characters can have the same pronunciation but a drastically different meaning and characters that have a positive meaning can become negative when combined.  

This means an elegant name can become impossible to pronounce and even offensive when pronounced in the native language. Therefore, it is important for companies that decide to translate their company name to take extra care when deciding on a name. Poor translations can be harmful to your brand; it is best to leave your company name in English until you have a suitable translation. 

4. Time Your Distribution Strategically

Now that you’ve done everything possible to ensure your translation will go off without a hitch, remember timing is everything! Be sure to launch your translated release in local time. Requesting your news be distributed in local market times ensures the highest possible views. Think of it this way: what impact will your news have if it’s sent when reporters, customers, and important stockholders are sleeping? Instead, opt to have your release distributed during reporters’ workdays.  

Be mindful of holidays. Check-in with the Newsroom to make sure our translators are available to meet your deadlines. Holidays vary from country to country. For example, during Chinese New Year our vendors will typically have a weeklong holiday, and thus your translation may be delayed. Plan accordingly by asking the Newsroom to check time zones and regional holidays to ensure your release crosses the wire at the right time. 

5. Always Look to Improve

As you distribute your next presione soltar, communique de presse, or press release, you should always use any feedback to improve future translations. Remember clear communication is key to building a relationship with your target readers. If the translation is clunky, use specific feedback to iron out any quirks. Often, translators will keep this feedback on file for the next release they translate for your company. 

Taking the time and effort to make your news available to local markets in their target languages shows your commitment to connecting with your audience and making sure your news is understood. Business Wire is dedicated to helping you connect. 

Read more

8 Tips for Maximizing Your International Press Release

From Chinese to English: 7 Interlingual Communication Tips for Writing a Press Release

Hola and Hello: When Translation Isn’t Enough to Reach the U.S. Hispanic Market

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