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Marketing Materials Can Be Tricky To Translate

December 3, 2015

The Internet exposes businesses to new markets instantly. And the market can be anywhere in the world. Marketing staffers may look for translators who can read and speak Chinese to reach the billions of people new to Internet commerce; however, this would be a mistake. You won’t simply need someone who can speak “Chinese,” you’ll need experts in Mandarin Chinese, and within that group, you’ll need several experts. You’ll need someone familiar with the northern people on the mainland, and those familiar with the Mandarin speakers living in Taiwan, to name two.

The complexity of Chinese culture with many regions, languages, dialects and customs underscores the need to make a more complete inquiry when looking for someone to translate marketing copy. Ideally, you will want to have several native speakers of the language you want to translate documents into, those familiar with region specific cultures and the slang and style from each.

Having a roster of translators could get very expensive, and you may not need them. You may be able to find what you need with a small team or duo for each language you want to translate, but you have to ask certain questions.


  • If the translator has spent any time living in the nation where the language you want to translate originates.
  • If the translator can explain the difference in humor between one region and another.
  • If the translator is familiar with the history of the various regions in the country.
  • If the translator is familiar with the political climate in various regions of the country.

You aren’t likely to know the answers to these questions. You simply want to know if the person can answer the questions with enough details to show expertise.

Targeted marketing is one tool in a successful campaign. In a CMO survey, nearly half of respondents said they preferred to see ads directed towards their interests. This should hold true for any culture you’re trying to reach with marketing. Prolingo can help you reach clients worldwide in a wide variety of disciplines from legal to healthcare.

Client Spotlight

Thank you very much for making our World Congress an outstanding success. I have a special thank you for you and your team of interpreters. I know it was a huge undertaking, but you made it seem so effortless. The simultaneous interpretation was excellent. Your staff was extremely professional and patient with the attendees. I am looking forward to working with you and your group in the near future.
- T. Washington, Convention Logistics Manager

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