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Insights

Bridging the cultural gap with marketing translations for rail service providers

Read time 3 m

Translator

In an ever-more globalised world, people from near and far are coming together – in both a physical sense through travel, and digitally via social media. In today’s society, travel is becoming part of our day-to-day lives, for business and pleasure. And with climate change such a hot topic right now, many people are choosing the increasingly popular option of travelling through Europe by train. But as people from different countries and cultures intermingle, it’s extremely important for transport companies, for example, to cater for and appeal to their customers in a way they inherently understand.

 

Why is marketing such an important asset to businesses?

In a world increasingly dominated by social media, the importance of digital marketing has truly skyrocketed. A company’s translation needs can be quite extensive, distributing material such as press releases, social media posts and e-mail campaigns to their customers around the world. It may well be true that a single marketing campaign can make or break a business’s success, so it’s vital that they take advantage of the opportunities presented by the current climate. If a transport company decides to go global with a marketing campaign, they are targeting their promotional content to a vast array of people, and it’s vital that they appeal to their target audience in a way they understand. This doesn’t just involve bridging linguistic differences, it also means addressing cultural nuances. This is where professional translators can make a big impact.

 

Humans vs. machines – who comes out victorious?

When it comes to making marketing material appealing and understandable to people from a range of cultures, professional human translators are undoubtedly the best option. As people who have had a strong interest in language and culture from a young age, they are well-travelled and culturally well-versed individuals. Having spent time living abroad in countries where their source languages are spoken, and being natives of the countries of their mother tongues, translators can offer the best of both worlds when it comes to grappling with linguistic and cultural conventions – a strength that a machine simply cannot rival.

This is a key aspect that businesses really need to consider and invest in if they want their marketing campaigns to be a success across the globe. Although machine translation has certainly come a long way in recent years, it’s far from perfect and will never be able to compete with the human brain and natural insight. Transport companies rely on the custom and support of the passengers who use their services, and their number one goal is undoubtedly to keep their customers happy. If people feel like you have invested time and money into making their travel experiences with you more comfortable, they are bound to feel like a valued and important asset.

 

Is it worth the risk?

Companies that decide to take the plunge on their own and cut back on investing in professional, reputable translation run the risk of alienating their customers and potentially losing a great deal of money – something that major banking corporation HSBC now knows all too well. The company fell victim to mistranslation when its slogan “Assume nothing” was interpreted as “Do nothing” in various languages. Certainly not the effect they were going for and a costly error, setting the business back a whopping $10 million to rectify.

Being at the interchange of people and cultures from all over the world, and often the first port of call for passengers when they arrive in a new country, transport companies have a particular responsibility to translate and localise their marketing material. And if these companies want to safeguard their reputation, professional human translators are the perfect partners in ensuring that marketing campaigns have the desired effect and prove lucrative.

 

If you have a requirement for professional marketing translation services, please get in touch with our project management team or request a free quotation.

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