Why translate?

Why translate?

It has often been shown that multilingualism is an important factor when it comes to economic competitiveness. Multilingualism doesn’t simply mean providing texts in the local language plus English, it’s more a case of providing texts in the intended reader’s native language.

Published 7/27/2015

Did you know that consumers are 25 percent more inclined to buy when reading a message in their own language?

It is also easier to assimilate information written in the reader’s native language – there is less risk of the message being misinterpreted or misunderstood, or of the reader simply deciding not to read the message because it is written in a foreign language.(1)

Language errors reduce confidence

Of course, merely translating the text into the right language isn’t enough – readers may be deterred by a text in a foreign language, but a translation in one’s own language containing grammatical errors, strange word choices or incorrect sentence construction is just as off-putting. Did you know that confidence in a company or an authority can fall by a full 34 percent if the language used contains mistakes?(2) It is therefore not a good idea to rely solely on machine translation – not only will the text contain grammatical errors, there’s also a risk that your message will be completely misrepresented. The reader will also focus on the mistakes rather than the content.


(1) Localization Matters, USA. Donald A. DePalma, Nicole Kustnovitz, Benjamin B. Sargent and Nataly Kelly.

(2) Maskineriet strjkar. Minskar förtroendet för en text innehållande stavfel? Catrin Persson, Stockholm University, 2005

A good translator is invisible

A translator aims to make his or her work as invisible as possible. The aim is that the readers should not know they are reading a translation. A good translation is therefore a translation that you do not notice. The language flows well, the choice of words doesn’t stand out, and the terminology corresponds with the subject. Sometimes the translator will need to stick as closely as possible to the original text (for example when translating manuals and technical descriptions), while at other times translation is more a case of adapting the text for the new reader and the context in which the text will be presented (such as advertising text or articles). Whatever the aim of your text, we can almost guarantee that it will benefit from being translated.

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