Why the World still needs translators

As I said in my last blog, life of a US-marketer can be in many an aspect much easier than the one's struggling over our old continent. I mean, over here we can only dream of handling a 320-million market using only our mother tongue. For us, stuck somewhere between Brittany and the Adria, plethora of languages becomes reality as soon as our marketing ambitions outgrow the national and/or linguistic borders.

Question is, why, even in the 21st century, the translation software only does the job half way?

Because even a prefect translation, which even the best of the available software rarely provide, usually misses the point when talking marketing.

People of one culture tend to formulate things other way than somewhere else. What seems important for the Italian market might be utterly irrelevant in Sweden.

For some reason, the way the language is used in some Southern European countries can be less pragmatic than somewhere else. You'd better know that, when, for example, translating from English into one of those languages. Or, a typically Teutonic accent on technical details usually comes short in a Latin culture. Family values are set high in France, but not necessarily so when you go north.

Most of the time, it's not the translation the problem; it is how the content is formulated and its emphases.

Now, if these aspects are all too often neglected even by human translators, what can we possibly expect from software?

Some help and not much more, if you ask me.

So you'd best avoid using the software to translate your marketing messages at all and leave to a translator to do the job properly.

A good translator only lets the software serve as loose support to translate into languages he knows by himself.

ersonally, I strictly avoid using it for unknown languages. I never buy what the machine is suggesting me without using my own capacities.

How you ever might turn it, your day always turns better when you hire a translator, one who knows how things turn right there where you want to hit your target.

They are few and far between, but still worth of trying to find one.

Founder’s Word

Surprisingly many of my consulting business’ clients have at one moment addressed to me with one question - how to improve their cross-border communication. And yes, having checked their sites and promotional documents, perfectly translated by professionals, room for improvement really became obvious to me.

How comes?

Well, it's pretty simple. People of one culture tend to formulate things other way than people of another culture do. What seems important for someone over here might be utterly irrelevant for the reading audience somewhere else. Same goes for the experts of one field vs. experts of another one.

Traditional translators do their best to keep translations correct and strictly following the original, but that sometimes misses the point. Most of the time, it's not the translation the problem; it is how the content is formulated and its emphasis.

For an international expansion of your business, you might need an expert, a translator, and a marketer In one person... Ever tried?

Now, this is exactly where the CrossEuropean comes into action. A translation service with consulting background.

This is my personal project and I have deliberately limited the scope of my service to

  • languages belonging to environments where I have been active for years, such as Dutch and Flemish, French, German and Croat.
  • fields of activities to those where I have got some mileage behind – such as marketing, management, business development (planning, reporting), project management.
  • industrial sectors to those I've lived with for many years – car business, the automotive industry, hotel business, leisure, travel and energy.

Added value? I adapt your message to the way how the French think, to what the Dutch are sensible about and to what is relevant to talk about in your marketing brochure launched in Germany, Austria or Switzerland.

My mission is simple. I just bring you one big step closer to your target audience.

Your chance to redeem money spent in marketing will grow significantly when your message hits the point. CrossEuropean is here not just for mere translation, but to pay attention to what you are telling and how you are telling it.

The CrossEuropean Localisations

The CrossEuropean Translations is created as a spin-off from the CrossEuropean Project Management.

It is my personal project, so it is deeply connected to my own experience in marketing, management and administration, in the automotive and hotel industry.

Having produced some multilingual business plans for my customers in green energy business and done the consulting to companies expanding on the Benelux markets during the last two years, I have noticed  one particular added value of my service: vast improvement of my clients’ cross-border communication.

But the way to that point was long, starting in 1989.

Working for Hilton in the first half of the 90’s, I gradually came to understand how very important it was to give the customer a feeling of proximity.  I was so much more successful when my client in Toulouse, The Hague or Munich had a feeling to talk to somebody round the corner, though I was sitting in my Brussels office. I then developed an efficient way not only to translate but to formulate business letters differently for each of my customer groups in six European language areas.


Why am I in localisation business?

When I decided to start the localisation business hand in hand with consulting, vast majority of people around told me I'd gone bonkers.

I am grateful to all of them, to those still supportive 5% and, especially, to those two or three individuals who had in fact initiated this idea - which certainly wasn’t mine at the beginning.

I’m none of your traditional universal translators, even less a linguist. Indeed, those 20 exciting years at more than one great multinational and most of my time lived in multicultural cities like Brussels, Paris, Cologne or LJ, still make me no translator. Really, why should someone like me become a translator?