The Importance of Business Translation

by Drew Evans
4 Minute Read

Enterprises hoping to penetrate markets abroad have several hurdles to face. One of the most overlooked obstacles is communication.

Technology continues to become more sophisticated, increasing the need for language translation. Countries that previously had few international trade agreements now have access to a more global marketplace, meaning businesses need to communicate with all audiences in order to thrive.

As a result, companies are quickly turning to translation services for businesses to clearly communicate with foreign markets. Translation impacts every sector of business, and it's important to understand how and why that matters.


What is Business Translation and Why is it Important?

The primary function of business translation is to communicate both official and informal content produced by a company or organization. The most crucial content that requires translation is often marketing and brand awareness, but business translation has a broader scope. It can also encompass inter-office documents, such as emails, memos, and training material.

To showcase the importance of business translation, here are a few aspects of business operations and industries impacted by cross-cultural communication.

Corporate Communications

Corporate communication is a general term regarding all channels of communication issued and received by a company. When a company communicates with its potential clients and employees, it aims to convey messages with coherency and authority. If a memo can be misinterpreted, it will lead to confusion between departments or off-brand messaging to clients and consumers.

Any potential miscommunication between departments can be nullified by using business translation services. With proper translations, you’ll ensure corporate activities aren't sidelined due to a misinterpreted phrase.

Additionally, many companies have adopted branding or style guides to project a clear and consistent message across all marketing channels. If a company opens branches globally, the style guide (when translated by a professional service) will guarantee that the tone stays consistent across languages.


When it comes to marketing, translation goes far beyond a simple word-for-word swap. A translator must understand the culture and idioms of the target demographic to convey the correct message.

Many companies have forgone the use of business translation services with severe repercussions. For example, Mitsubishi released a new line of vehicles called the Pajero 4WD. However, in Spain, “pajero” is an offensive colloquial word. After much embarrassment, Mitsubishi changed the name of the SUV to Montero.

eLearning & Training

In our modern world, we are reliant on digital communication and remote learning, and the need for accurate translations in eLearning and training has never been more necessary.

As more companies utilize multimedia channels to disseminate training and educational programs, it becomes easier for information to get lost in translation. By securing business document translation services, you can ensure your training material is thoroughly vetted. A translator accurately conveys your message so a multilingual audience can reap the benefits of your educational resources.

Legal & Foreign Policy

Legal and foreign policy documents need to be clear and comprehensible, as they often hold ramifications regarding accountability and compliance. Contracts, patents, and government documents need accurate translation to avoid unforeseen repercussions.

Just as the courts require a qualified translator to interpret proceedings to foreign nationals, documents must carry the weight of authenticity given by a business translator.

Medical & Science

Companies and organizations that use scientific terminology require professional translators with knowledge of the field's jargon.

Similar to how the scientific method requires a theorem to provide consistent results, the same can be said for business translation. If the audience can interpret the document in multiple ways, then the message needs to be reduced to its core components. A misunderstanding can be the difference between tragedy and triumph.

Tips to Improve Business Translation

To ensure your business translation is top-notch, here are a few things to think about when translating content:

Attention to Details
A single mistranslated word or phrase can easily alter the entire message. If a project involves a multi-million dollar deal, then a decimal out of place or a word incorrectly translated drastically affects the outcome of the negotiation.

Fields and Speciality

When finding a translator or working with an LSP, find one that has experience with your sector. For successful translation, you want your translator to grasp complex concepts and industry jargon.

For example, a company that deals with the stock exchange will need a business translator familiar with terms such as Put, Call, Short, Long, Stop Loss, and Swaps. They will also need to know when to use them and how they affect trade.

Culture Awareness

Business translation affects many aspects of marketing that extend beyond conveying a message. When incorporating business translation services, you should consider how an operation relates to the target demographics’ culture.

The difference in how a culture expresses its opinions, accepts cross-cultural taboos, and even uses payment gateways can impact a company's success in a foreign market.

If you'd like to learn more about how business translation impacts your industry, get in touch!