Translation? Oh dear, I forgot!
“We have a fantastic product, it is in the final phase of development”, the very enterprising entrepreneur tells me enthusiastically. “So much has happened, and I have had so much difficulty getting it exactly the way I want it,” he adds. His enthusiasm is contagious. He explains what has been developed to me and what they will have to do to find its place in the market . I ask him if the intention is to only bring the product out in the Netherlands, where the headquarters of his business is located. He says it is not. “No, I want to launch it in other European countries and who knows, perhaps even start selling in Asia. That, of course, still requires some preparation.” “Yes,” I interject, “of course, they are very different target markets, where culture will also play a role.” I hesitate, but decide to ask about the marketing plan and texts that come with it. “Yeah, we all write something and then we put it together.” “Oh?” I say. “Then, everybody writes in the same style and everyone has good Dutch?” I pause for a moment before continuing: “I don’t want to offend anyone of course…” Fortunately, it seems that I have not done so. My partner in this conversation suddenly looks very serious. “Ah, I’ve never thought about that!” “Don’t worry, you still have time, right? I can always get one of our experienced employees to look over your text”, I proffer. “Huh? You have a translation agency, right? “He said with a puzzled look. “Yeah, right, we translate, but we can also check texts, we do revisions. We are a language specialist. This means that we can also bring a nice coherency to all your text, even if it is written by different people. ” “That’s nice,” he says, “but to be honest with you, I had forgotten all about language and translation . Just com-plete-ly did not think about it. ” “Not even when you were looking at opportunities abroad and making plans for the export and marketing of the product in other countries?” I ask. But no, he had ‘just’ forgotten.
I come across this more often. Serious entrepreneurs who are very eager to get started with their products. People who put in the finishing touches, and for whom only the best is good enough. They think about contracts, licenses, and perhaps also a certain amount of marketing, but then they forget about the translation or even the writing of suitable text. What a pity! These texts and their translations are just as fundamental for a product. If you give so much attention to whatever you bring to the market, and it’s so special, shouldn’t the accompanying manual, the explanations or the marketing texts also be special?