The Importance of Subject Experts in Packaging and Product Collateral Translation

Why Your Products and Packaging Need Expert Translation

You’ve worked hard to perfect your product. You’ve found a gap in the market, researched your target customer, created a unique design, and invested in a product bound for success. It’s time to ensure every reader of your brand name, marketing materials, slogan, product packaging, and collateral has the opportunity to understand your message.

Without expert translation services, many important qualities of your product are likely to go unnoticed or be misunderstood due to cultural differences. Legal issues and professionalism are additional, important considerations that are not to be overlooked.

Here, we look at just a few key reasons why native-speaking subject expert translators are essential to product packaging design and marketing.

Meet Labelling Legislation Requirements

Working with subject experts through a translation company enables you to meet varying labeling legislation requirements. Laws relating to what should and should not appear on packaging are vastly different in individual countries and regions. The European Union even sets standards that determine the minimum font size that can be used.

Working with a reputable translation company will enable you to benefit from the expert insight of their professional team. We use in-country, native-speaking, subject expert linguists experienced in local manufacturing and retail regulations to ensure your product is not delayed going to market and doesn’t face fines.

Adhere to Language Legislation Requirements

Legal requirements go beyond messaging, and often mandate which languages must be presented on product packaging and collateral. Certain countries may require the use of multiple languages, depending on the product market and local audience. Canada, for example, requires both English and French to be used in most markets.

A good translations company will tell you which languages are required in the region you wish to launch your product.

Excel with Cultural Understanding

Cultural understanding is essential to successful marketing; there are numerous examples of cultural misunderstandings that have resulted in loss of revenue.

Having a native-speaking subject expert check your brand name is essential to identify if your brand or product names are:

  • Too similar to others in the local market.
  • Difficult to understand.
  • Offensive to the audience you’re hoping to resonate with.

Brand name checks also identify potential problems with marketing slogans, and cultural understanding is necessary to design suitable graphics. Even big brands sometimes make cultural mistakes that damage their image and confuse customers.

  • The KFC slogan “finger-licking good” caused controversy in China, where the translation read “eat your fingers off”.
  • The iconic brand imagery of the stork delivering Pampers is endearing and whimsical in many Western cultures, but in Japan, this concept is irrelevant.
  • Colors that may represent death include white in China, purple in Brazil, and red in South Africa.

Working with linguist teams who live in-country, immersed in the local culture, helps prevent this kind of mishap.

Cultural understanding can help you maintain a high-quality brand image and resonate with readers through careful assessment of the following:

  • Naming
  • Marketing slogans
  • Images
  • Icons and symbols (all are not universal)
  • Diagrams
  • Instruction formatting
  • Expiration (best before) date formatting

Benefit from Desktop Publishing Expertise

Your product design and packaging must also take formatting differences into consideration, including the fact that some languages, including Arabic, may be read from right to left. Artwork and formatting adjustments may be necessary to adapt to text direction, images, and placement of your labels.

The space allocated for text may also need to be adjusted according to the language used. For example, wording that will be translated from English into German typically requires 30% extra space for text expansion, as German wording tends to have more characters than English. If your product requires robust descriptions or instructions, rephrasing may be necessary.

Connect with Our Subject Experts

The native-speaking linguist teams at Transatlantic Translations Group (TTG) will ensure your product goes to market with culturally appropriate, readable and inspiring text and imagery. Get in touch with subject experts in your industry with exceptional linguistic capabilities, today.

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