Should UK Businesses Utilize Professional Translation Services?

should uk businesses utilize professional translation services after brexit

The current business climate in the United Kingdom isn’t overly enthusiastic. With a very volatile pound, highly sensitive to both political and socio-economic aspects, and a final Brexit deal still to be agreed upon between the UK and European Union, companies, organizations as well as business owners remain somewhat cautious when it comes to their international expansion plans. As, in many cases, ‘going abroad’ had been put on hold until a clear agreement is fully settled, it’s important to ask the question of whether professional translation services, which have in the recent years became somewhat a standard across different corporate sectors for businesses trading internationally, or those that target international customers, are today still something that businesses should incorporate into their annual budgets? 

The Rise Of Translation Services 

Translations are a still fairly new concept within the corporate world, that grew in popularity over the last decade or so. Today, when approaching a foreign market, organizations better understand the true importance and value behind using the market’s native language. In fact, a number of studies have shown that majority of customers around the world strongly prefers to purchase products or services if they are able to read information about it in their mother tongue. Interestingly, the research has also indicated, that 1 in 5, so around 20% of customers in the European Union, never buys items if they are not able to find key information in their language. 

Indeed, consumers today have a much better sense of their individualism and actual value they bring to the global marketplace. In today’s environment, companies must appreciate those in order not only to acquire a customer, but also to build a strong and long-lasting relationship. Although, due to globalization, many trends are similar across the globe, each market prefers to be approach in a way which meets its expectations and particular customs. It’s clear to see, that nowadays consumers choose brands, which they believe are a good representation of their individual values and customs. 

As a result, heavily tailored marketing campaigns created specifically for audiences within the chosen market have become the norm. Nowadays, in order to successfully reach out to a customer, a campaign must take into the consideration a number of different aspects, such as socio-demographic, political or even religious factors, which can vary greatly not only from country to country, but to make it even more problematic for companies, often also between the country’s different regions. 

Additionally, a campaign which is intended for the international audience, quite simply, must approach them in their native language – and this is where professional translation services come into play. 

More Than Just Translations 

Although the role of a professional translation agency is often limited to converting content or documents from one language into another, a rapidly growing number of such agencies today begin to offer further services, which go far beyond the remits of a translation provider in its traditional sense. In order to better understand the various language services offered and the different ways in which language interpretations can help businesses grow in the new global economy, we have spoken to a representative of one of the UK’s leading and fastest growing translation agencies, Translation Services London, who shed some light on how translation services changed over time and how language companies had to adjust their offer in order to meet their customers’ ever-changing expectations. 

“The translation industry has changed immensely over the last decade.” They said, and added: “With recent developments in Artificial Intelligence from companies such as Google, technology and the general manner international business is now conducted, translation agencies had to fully adjust their services in order to meet the market’s expectations and thrive in this extremely competitive sector. Today, our main focus no longer lies solely on providing translation or interpreting services, as it had just 10 years ago – in addition, we now offer a wide range of other expert language services – from transcreation and multilingual content creation to international business consultancy, all of which allow our clients to successfully approach their target markets and audiences.” As you can see, translation agencies, and the industry in general, underwent some very radical chances over the last decade, as highlighted above. 

Has Perception Changed With Brexit? 

Before ‘Brexit’, the UK business owners felt optimistic about approaching foreign markets and growing their revenue by targeting international audiences – and professional translations were an essential element of this process. Today however, the political uncertainty strongly affects markets and the general attitude around internationalization, and so a number of organizations had already put their plans on hold until the final outcome of the negotiations between UK & EU is revealed, as a result, affecting their spend for translations. 

Nonetheless, companies which decided to approach international markets now despite the political ambiguity, as well as those which had done so successfully in the past, continue to work closely with language services providers, both agencies and freelance linguists. With changes in consumer behavior and globalization, successful businesses fully understand the importance of positive brand image and reputation, and as the correct use of language is at the forefront of branding, LSPs remain key business partners across majority of corporate sectors. 

Additionally, companies which approach foreign audiences and manage to build a strong brand abroad, despite the political turbulence, have a great chance of being one step ahead of their competitors in the coming years. As markets will yet again saturate with competitors when the situation ‘settles down’, organizations which already established their strong presence abroad earlier, will be able to hold the largest market share. 

In The End, Is It Really Worth It? 

As you can see, socio-economic changes have directly affected the translation industry. General attitude towards internationalization is still somewhat negative due to Brexit and the political uncertainty. Nonetheless, UK based businesses which decide to approach international markets and audiences despite this, might benefit greatly in the long term. 

In the end, the decision whether a company should allocate some of their budget for professional translations should depend solely on whether it intends to build a strong brand abroad in the long- term. If so, there is no doubt that approaching a chosen market and the consumers within it directly in their native language is an essential element of a successful internationalization. 

The role of translation providers has also changed drastically in the recent years. Over the last decade or so, expert language agencies transformed from simply converting content and documents from one language into another and are today important ‘go-to’ business partners, covering a number of different services from the said translations or interpreting to international business consulting. With developments in technology and changes to the way companies now approach foreign markets, the translation industry itself had changed, too. From once a static and not very creative field, it has now become a diverse sector, which plays a key part in business internationalization and allows businesses to not only approach their audiences in the market’s native language, but also to better understand the stimuli behind the potential customer’s behaviors and habits.

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