Role of Official Document Translation in International Activities
In today’s shrinking world, international business, medical services, sporting activities and legal services are rapidly increasing. All of these activities involve several documents – bills of lading, tax invoices, birth certificates, medical fitness certificates, contracts, agreements, and so on. They will of course be written in the language of the country of origin; but in the country these documents are being sent to, may have a different language – official document translation service is required in most cases. Let’s examine the different arenas where it becomes an important activity.
If your company does business internationally, you’ll have tons of documents that you need translated into the local languages of the countries where you sell your products and services, and there is where official document translation comes into play. Multinational companies like HSBC, Coca-Cola, Ford, McDonald’s – to name a few ensure that they have local expertise in marketing, as well as in the product mix. Including the local nuances becomes critical if you want to make an impact – and this is perhaps most visible in the marketing materials.
You need a reputed agency, and preferably a translator who has some experience, or familiarity in your specific field so that they can perform accurate interpretations. A good business translator should be able to provide a portfolio of work they have done previously – this will help you see how good they are at what they do.
Official document translation services are absolutely essential for marketing and corporate communications, operational documentation, record keeping and compliance. Let’s look at these in some more detail:
Marketing and Corporate Communications
Marketing materials are of utmost importance in international business, and a professional translator has to be able to translate these documents efficiently. Any company has certain standard marketing texts – taglines, slogans, vision-mission statements, values, and more. A proficient translator has to be able to translate these into the local language in such a way that the meaning conveyed is the same, but it also delivers a punch as it does in English. Often, a literal translation is not possible in such cases. The company has to rely completely on the skills of the translator there.
Though marketing materials are not official documents, it is very important that they need to be translated properly to retain customers and gain new ones. Marketing materials help businesses to communicate with their customers, giving information about their products, services, and the brand in general. If your marketing message does not resonate with your target market, you may not be able to penetrate the market successfully.
Your social media marketing also needs to be impeccable; which means perfect translation into all the target languages. Knowing the local nuances and culture is essential; only then will you be able to capture the attention of the local customers.
Corporate communication also necessitates impeccable translation; investors and shareholders need to see crystal clear reports, press releases, and more. It is vital that all these documents are accurately translated, to foster trust among all stakeholders and prospective investors.
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The translator should be able to translate official documents like: sales contracts, quotations, commercial and tax invoices, packing slips, inspection certificates, insurance certificates, health certificate, fumigation certificate, consular invoice, bill of lading, shipping order, waybill, shipping guarantee, bills of exchange, promissory notes, certificate of origin, import/export declaration, licensees, landing certificate, police reports, safety certificates, and so on.
All these documents either relate to the shipping, the sale, of transfer of goods overseas, as well as the conduct of international business. It is critical that the translator understands the intricacies and nuances of the language, because these are crucial documents that are absolutely necessary for conducting business internationally. Even the slightest mistake could cause misunderstandings, legal problems, or loss of business – the company may even have to face litigation.
Translation of official documents requires some knowledge of not only the language, and the business, but also the laws of the land pertaining to export, import, business, etc. they should be familiar with the technical jargon associated with the specific field of business. The translator needs to understand your brand, and the culture of the country in which your company originally exists, and the differences in the cultures with the destination country.
Another thing the translators need to keep in mind that even if the trade takes place between countries that speak the same language, they may speak different dialects; often the same words have entirely different meanings or connotations. This could happen with languages like Arabic and Spanish – or even English (different meanings or words are often used in the UK as compared to the US) So they need to take care to use the appropriate word for that country.
In such cases, it may be wise to use translators from each country to get the local nuance right, rather than rely on a single translator to translate the documents for all of those countries. For example – Argentina, Spain, and Mexico – are all Spanish speaking countries. But there are differences in the dialects, and in some instances, the words used to denote certain things are completely different; not to mention that the local cultures also differ greatly. Localization becomes crucial in such cases, if you want to create maximum impact with your marketing messages in the target market.
Proper translation of operational documents is vital for the purpose of keeping records. This way, any time an audit is conducted by the Customs, tax or corporate compliance authorities, documents that are easy to read and properly filed will serve to provide the authorities with a good impression about your business in general.
External audits are serious, and often a cause of tension for any business; regardless of whether it’s an HR, Customs, tax, or any other audit. To successfully manage an audit, you need accurately translated documents. For instance, US Customs officials need a vast amount of paperwork from importers and foreign vendors for a Customs audit: documents about how and where the goods were manufactured, the financial and service level agreements between the exporter and importer, documents that prove that the company meets compliance requirements with accounting and other applicable procedures, and so on. These documents are usually in the language of the country of origin, and here, the official document translation service is extremely crucial. If the translator does not do a good job, you may stand the risk of failing the audit – which could be a huge embarrassment to you.
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Legal documents translation becomes important in international business due to the many legal documents involved – contracts, agreements, certificates, shareholders’ meeting minutes, balance sheets, reports etc. Often there are international mergers, and takeovers, which involve a large number of legal documents.
Sometimes, it may also be due to actual litigation involving corporations or individuals residing in different countries where different languages are spoken. In such a case, the documents that require translation could be: depositions, witness testimonies, court records, and so on.
There are also global law firms with locations in a few countries. Here too, translators are necessary, to ensure that all the legal documentation is standardized and the same meaning is conveyed to all the members of the firm, regardless of location. The firm also needs to comply with the law of the land wherever they have an office; obviously they will receive documents in the native language of that country – here too, the services of a legal document translator are necessary.
The Federal Trade Commission necessitates that all documents in languages other than English are translated into English so that they can be understood properly; ergo, lay firms that work with international clients, or have offices in international locations need to have legal translators to help translate all legal documents.
The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act is an international law that aims to safeguard businesses from international bribery; legal representative have to comply with this law, and for this too, they need the services of legal document translation professionals.
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The healthcare and biomedical companies of today need to create documents in multiple languages; they also need to ensure that these documents and the labeling complies with the regulatory standards of that country, and that it meets the communication objectives of that company. This is especially important for products that have very short launch cycles.
You need a translation services agency that can manage and create a vast range of medical communications in multiple languages. The company’s process should include critical reviews by medical experts to ensure the accuracy of the translation, and constant updating of the glossary. The documents may include product labeling and technical medical documents. Here are some other documents that may require translation:
- Case Report Forms
- Clinical Protocols
- Clinical Trials
- Drug Registration Documentation
- Informed Consent Forms
- Instruction manuals
- Investigator Brochure
- Master Batch Records and Deviation Reports
- Manufacturing Process Descriptions
- Multimedia audio and visual
- Package Inserts and Labels
- Patient Information
- Patient Reported Outcomes
- Patient Questionnaires
- Pharmacological Studies
- Product Labels
- Production Manuals
- Regulatory Documents
- Scientific Journal Articles
- Toxicology Reports
In the field of healthcare, subject knowledge for the translator is an absolute must; review by actual healthcare professionals is vital. Mistakes could have serious repercussions including loss of lives.
TranslateDay provides Official Document Translation for all kinds documents. It has been able build an untarnishable trust with their prompt and accurate interpretation. It has become a fast rising player in the translation industry.