Alpha Omega Blog

Finding a Great Translator Can Take Time. Here’s What to Look For.

Making the decision to hire a translator in the financial translation services area is a big step. With all of the available options, it is easy to feel overwhelmed. But if you do your homework and know what to look for in a language service provider, you will find someone to give you the results you expect.

First, it’s important to understand what type of translator you are looking for. There are several to choose from:

  • Localization translators: Specializing in the cultural and linguistic nuances of the language, localization translators make sure the language is not only accurate, but also that the tone has the desired affect on your target market. This type of translator is best for marketing copy and documents or videos making use of subtle humor, for instance.
  • Language translators: These providers focus on translating the written word from one language to another. Language translators typically work in language pairs (e.g., English to French or English to Spanish). Many also specialize in a style suchas literary, financial translation services, or medical language services.
  • Interpreters: When a professional translates at the same time as someone is speaking this is called simultaneous interpreting. This can be done over the phone during a conference call, for example. Another popular need for interpreters arises with video voice-over.

Once you know what type of translator will best suit your needs, it’s time to consider the qualities you are looking for in a translator. We encourage our clients to consider their individual goals and business objectives, but there are some standard characteristics everyone should look for.

1. Language Qualifications

This is the first and most obvious characteristic to look for. When choosing a language service provider, one question to ask is how many of the available translators have experience in the source and target languages in which you have needs. A team of translators assisting with your project is likely to yield a better result than one or two.

Look for translators who are native speakers in your target language or who are accredited with the American Translators Association or a similar reputable agency. In addition, certain legal documents and court filings require specific certifications for translators and interpreters. If you are unsure about your translator’s credentials, ask for a sample of their work and have it checked by an outside source you trust.

2. Industry Experience

A good translator has impeccable language qualifications. But what takes a translator from good to great is her industry experience. Translators should be familiar with the subject matter and vocabulary of your industry. In financial translation services, for instance, look for translators who specialize in financial reports, SEC filings, and business correspondence.

From technical backgrounds to medical knowledge, you want a translator who spends the majority of his time working in documents in your specific area of expertise for the best results. Your audience will be able to tell the difference!

3. Writing Skills

Beyond having strong language skills and industry experience, it is important for your translator to understand how to present information well. The translated text should be as clear and concise as the original. To engage with your target audience, a good translator must grasp not only the meaning, but also the “voice” behind the words.

Keep in mind that translators wear many hats. They aren’t simply taking a string of English words and replacing each one with the Spanish equivalent. Even a very simple computer algorithm could do that. But if you want your translation to actually make sense to a native Spanish speaker, who may be interested in investing in your company, it’s important to find a translator who understands the original document in a deep way and can convey all the meaning included in the text.

At Alpha Omega, all of our translators, editors, interpreters, and localizers are native speakers of their target language(s) and have one or more university degrees in their specialties (law, medicine, finance, commerce, engineering, journalism, etc.). Our linguists take the time to understand your financial translation services document inside and out. We’re raising the bar when it comes to professional translation services.

4. Personalized Customer Service

Of course, the best, most efficient translators are not of much value to you if your language service provider has poor customer service. You want to know that you will be able to talk directly to your translator if you have questions. You want to know that someone is keeping track of your documents and is working to meet even the tightest deadlines. After all, you are counting on your language services. It is an integral part of your business.

Personalized customer service is so important when it comes to translation and localization. With the right translators, project managers, and a process that is seamless, you have the capacity to tap into a whole new market of potential clients. In today’s increasing global trade economy, financial translation services are more important than ever.

Having a strong project manager to see your project through from start to finish is a great benefit. Look for a language service provider offering a flexible and yet, efficient project management system with a continuous live connection to the experts. This way, even if you have a specific question about a certain language combination, your expert will be able to answer you question immediately.

5. Professionalism

Professionalism is the characteristic that really sets the best translators apart from the rest. It goes without saying that you will get an accurate and well-written product. But professionals are especially sensitive to the time and budget needs of their clients. If you need a rush job or quick turnaround, you need a service provider who is responsive and can deliver every time.

The process of finding a translator who you trust can be difficult. But if you look for the above qualities, you are more likely to see the results you need. Share your financial translation services goals with your service provider and don’t be afraid to speak honestly if someone is not meeting all of your needs.

We strive to not only fully satisfy each of out clients, but also to ensure that your end-users are satisfied. At Alpha Omega, we have raised the bar in the industry. You should not settle for less from your language service provider! Contact us today to request your free custom quote.


Ready to Grow Your International Business? Encourage Employees to Learn a Language.

While it’s true that English remains the dominant language of international business, it is a mistake to think that Americans don’t need to invest time and effort learning another language. Multilingual technical translation along with other translation and localization services can help. But there is no doubt that investing in a culture of respect for other languages opens doors in business.

Yet, only 18% of Americans speak more than one language. Contrast this with the 56% of Europeans who speak another language besides their native language.

This dismissive attitude seriously limits the economic potential of American business, experts say. The U.S. Committee on Economic Development (CED) suggests that American businesses lose more than $2 billion a year to language or cultural misunderstandings.

With the rise of the global economy, the need for high quality multilingual technical translation to communicate effectively with foreign partners, as well as to adapt to foreign clients is becoming more urgent every day. Let’s discuss the business benefits, as well as which languages are most useful in our dynamic global economy.

The Business Benefits of Learning a Second Language

Although finding a translation service to provide you with multilingual technical translation is a must, the benefits of being able to communicate with overseas clients, suppliers, and customers in their native languages are clear—as are the costs of lacking this skill. Even learning enough of another language to offer a few words can establish trust.

Whether you want to take the lead by learning a second language yourself or you want to encourage a workplace culture that respects diversity, consider some of the reasons you have for making this a top business priority:

1. In-House Language Skills Win Clients

There’s nothing like traveling abroad to make you appreciate the comfort of being able to communicate in your native language. You know the relief you experience when you discover someone with whom you can communicate in a foreign land. Now imagine how your clients feel when they communicate in business most of the time using their second language.

When your clients have access to employees who speak more than one language, you gain a huge advantage over your competition. Besides the obvious ease of communication, knowing a language means having a deeper understanding of a culture. Knowing another language, even imperfectly, shows a willingness to reach across boundaries and welcome open conversations. This means that having in-house language skills will make it easier to establish rapport and camaraderie.

In international businesses, business growth is also directly related to the multilingual technical translation skills of your team. Communicating with a native speaker in their language means business can be done faster and more efficiently across complex markets.

2. Learning a Language Sharpens Your Cognitive Skills

Beyond the direct business benefits, learning a foreign language sharpens many cognitive skills. Even spending 15 minutes per day working on a second language strengthens your brain in the following ways:

  • Improved mental agility: A University of Edinburgh study found that learning a language boosts cognitive capacity, which includes mental benefits like improved attention spans. Surprisingly, the benefits were significant enough to measure after just one week of study.
  • Decreased risk of developing Alzheimer’s and dementia: Seniors who practice foreign languages have a lower risk of developing memory problems. Bilingual seniors were shown to be better at an attention-switching task, which is an indicator of brain health, than their monolingual peers.
  • More rational decision-making: When you think in a foreign language, you make more rational, less biased decisions. Foreign language permits more distance between the emotional and cognitive parts of the brain when evaluating risks. So, learning a second language can also make you more decisive.

3. Learning a Language Broadens Your Perspective

If you are interested in being more open-minded and discovering the beauty of other cultures, then learning another language may be right for you. As you learn, you will naturally have questions about the population, culture, and belief system of those who are native speakers. Being open to these new perspectives and experiences will inevitably translate into new entrepreneurial pursuits.

What are the best languages to learn for international business?

At one time, French was the preferred language of global exchange. As China gains economic power, the Chinese government will continue to push for Mandarin. And Spanish is the second most widely spoken language in the world. So, where should you start if you’re ready to learn a new language?

Of course, the best language to learn will depend on what industry you’re in and which countries you deal with most often. If you travel to Turkey a lot for business, then it wouldn’t hurt for you to learn Turkish. On the other hand, if you’re more likely to send account managers to meet with clients in Romania, then it makes sense to find employees who are able to keep up with the news coming out of Bucharest that might affect clients and to understand their unique challenges. Having team members who can translate these cultural differences into English can prove invaluable to the growth of your business.

Finally, it’s important to keep in mind that language fluency doesn’t just come from taking language courses. Learning a language sounds like a daunting task to most people. It requires the motivation and desire to do the work. So, if your goal is to encourage your employees to expand their horizons in this way, you will want to make it as easy as possible. One recommendation is to offer funding and incentives, such as time off of work, to attend class or study for exams.

There are obvious benefits for businesses that take their international status seriously. In addition to working with a multilingual technical translation service on any translation and localization projects, having employees with in-house language skills makes doing business in other parts of the world much easier.

At Alpha Omega Translations, we love working with our amazing clients to make their businesses truly stand out. Let us help you grow your global company beyond what you previously thought possible. Describe your project and we’ll be in touch with a custom quote.



Expert Tips to Save You Time and Money by Keeping Your Translation Project Moving Forward

One of the most challenging aspects of any technical translation project is keeping the project on track. Technical manuals translation services typically involve translation, editing for style and consistency, and proofreading. With so many moving parts, coordination is key to getting high quality results within a reasonable timeframe.

technical manuals translation services

This means that beyond making sure that your language service provider (LSP) offers the best translators in the business, you will want to fully understand their approach to project management. Also, make sure the details are clearly specified in your contract so you know what to expect. You don’t want to run into unexpected roadblocks in the middle of your project.

Consider these expert recommendations and tips for working with a team of professional translators before you commission your next complex project:

1. Insist your LSP uses a dedicated project manager.

For any large translation and localization project, such as technical manual translation or audio video translation, several individuals will be involved throughout the process. Even the most efficient workflow systems can fall apart without a dedicated project manager. If your LSP doesn’t provide someone in-house, it’s crucial that you assign this task to someone in your organization. Otherwise, you risk inaccuracies and confusion.

At Alpha Omega, we make a point of assigning two dedicated project managers, a lead project manager and a junior project manager, to each client project. Project managers decide how best to organize workflow, assign tasks, and set up project milestones for updating clients. Our team works well together due to strong project managers and you’d be surprised how valuable having two can be. If at any point, you want a status update or have a question about some aspect of your project, one of our project managers will get back to you quickly.

2. Review the quality assurance process for technical manuals translation services.

It is always disappointing to find technical manuals translation services with unreliable quality assurance processes. If your LSP assigns your project to a single translator, without any indication of quality assurance monitoring, this should be a huge red flag. The best translation services provide a team of translators who act as a safeguard against individual errors and who can work through any linguistic challenges together.

Best practices for quality assurance involves a front translation team consisting of at least two subject matter specialists, an independent linguistic translation reviewer, a back translator, and an independent industry reviewer. Project managers are responsible for making sure quality assurance protocols are followed.

The goal of any strong QA process is to deliver excellent localization and translation services, while continuously improving the overall quality of translations. This approach requires transparency, continuous feedback, and issue tracking. In addition to providing excellent translations, if your LSP checks for factual inconsistencies, ambiguous passages, and suggests solutions (in track changes or comments), that is an added value.

Although many clients hesitate to get involved with their LSP’s translation process, we always encourage those seeking technical manuals translation services to gather as much information as possible. Does your LSP keep a translation checklist from the start of the project, so any discrepancies can easily be traced back and resolved? Do the translation reviewers use a detailed evaluation system to rate the quality of each translation?

When it comes to editing, do editors complete forms with recommended corrections, which then go back to translators for review and comments? Answers to these questions will give you a good sense of your LSP’s translation process, so you will know you’re getting high quality work. The most effective quality assurance policies require translators, reviewers, and editors all to agree on edits before finalizing the translation.

3. Understand the translation management system.

Once again, which translation management system your LSP uses may seem like a technical detail with which customers need not concern themselves. However, the level of flexibility and automation available to your LSP can make a significant difference in your costs. So it is worth educating yourself, especially if you expect to use external translators for several projects.

Different technical manuals translation services use different digital platform to help manage client projects. The best platforms are highly customizable so that various functions and extensions can be adapted to fit individual client needs. Powerful management tools are needed to ensure accurate translations, lower costs, and direct communication between translators, reviewers, editors, and clients.

In addition to managing workflow efficiently, the right TMS will automatically save translations to a database that can be leveraged for future translations to cut costs, speed up work, and create terminology consistency across all projects. Another advantage for clients here is that you can view histories for all translations and retrieve archived translations delivered months ago.

Our list of recommended translation technology includes MemoQ, SDLTrados, and WordFast. These systems easily integrate into your service provider’s TMS and can be connected to the workflow system. These advanced software programs also allow translators to crowd-source the translation request and complete time-sensitive projects more quickly.

At Alpha Omega, we love the ability to use state-of-the-art technology and our Translation Memory Engine to place literally hundreds of people on a client project to work on it simultaneously. Of course, crowd-sourcing has its drawbacks. But when combined with a dedicated project manager and a tested quality assurance process, clients gain incredible value from crow-sourced translations.


Perhaps nothing harms the reputation of the translation industry more than low-quality technical manuals translation services. Unfortunately, the lack of serious regulation in our industry means that consumers need to educate themselves to guarantee they receive high quality translation work.

If you follow the above recommendations, you will do a lot to protect yourself and help us maintain the integrity of our industry. At Alpha Omega Translations, we practice what we preach. For each project, we custom build a team with professional translators, editors, reviewers, and linguists to meet your unique needs. Contact us and request your free quote!


Looking for a Foreign Investor? Find an Approach that Really Speaks Their Language.

Businesses at all different stages find themselves in need of investors, but many struggle to find them. This is especially true of businesses that limit their search to US funding sources. However, if your company is ready to expand overseas, financial translation services can help you tap into the foreign capital, talent, and technology that could secure your success.

financial translation services

In addition, this relatively untapped market for funding is on the rise. According to the US Commerce Department, foreign direct investment in US companies reached a record $348 billion in 2015. The rapid expansion of emerging economies around the globe suggests that this upward trend is likely to continue.

So what is a solid strategy for reaching foreign investors who speak different languages, have different cultural backgrounds, and who may even have different business philosophies?

As every business leader who has tried to raise funds knows well, reaching investors is difficult. When it comes to approaching foreign investors, there are several strategies that fund managers have used successfully to tap into this unique market. Let’s discuss 3 of the most promising business strategies.

1. Start by approaching local banks in your target market.

Local banks in all countries have tight connections with major asset holders in the region. Any business searching for international investors must establish relationships with bank account managers and persuade them that the bank will also benefit from the investment deal.

Because many foreign markets have underdeveloped financial services and these services tend to be supplied by local banks, foreign investors are often actively in touch with bankers. Thus, the local banks gain access to investors with the highest net worth. These financial ties make bankers the perfect liaison for selling your business as a wise investment or making key introductions.

Of course, in the banker’s mind, dollars invested in your product or service means dollars not being deposited at the bank. This is why it’s important for you to convince the banks that dollars invested in your company will return to them.

One suggestion here: focus on countries with low or even negative interest rates, like Japan, Switzerland, Sweden, Denmark, and Israel because they are often easier to sell on foreign investment deals.

2. Create an investor pitch or seminar in their language. 

Once you begin building trust with local banks and businesses in your target market, it’s time to turn your attention to the pitch itself. Investment deals most often fall apart at this stage. So remember that all the best local connections with banks and investors cannot make up for a poor, insensitive, or confused investment pitch.

How do you create a winning investor pitch for foreign investors? First, prepare your pitch presentation both in English and in your target investors’ local language. Here is where your financial translation services provider will truly earn their keep. Make certain that you scrutinize the local translation more than the polished English one. It’s important to hire separate editors and translators to recheck each other’s work.

Next, consider cultural nuances and what gaps in understanding might arise as a result of these differences. Make sure your financial translation services can fill these gaps. For example, a business model for a restaurant that depends on compensating wait staff using gratuities makes good sense in the US, but in Budapest, where tipping is not standard, this may need additional explanation.

Finally, ask your financial translation services provider to check examples and analogies carefully. Use analogies that local investors will understand to describe your business and the investment opportunity. Rather than thinking about your products, think in terms of the underlying principles involved.

3. Form alliances with partners in foreign economies.

Another successful approach to finding foreign investors is to make sure to form the right alliances and strategic partnerships. You will need partners both in your home country and in each of your target markets.

Non-governmental organizations (NGOs), business associations, and industry groups often provide access to international investors through their networks. Since investors in foreign nations tend to be business leaders, they will be more likely to work with other business leaders. Working through these types of organizations as allies will lend credibility to your cause and help you build trust.

If you are targeting investors in emerging economies, NGOs are the partners you need. A national NGO advocating to improve infrastructure in Nigeria, for instance, may turn to investors in Great Britain or France who may be open to investing in your business.

As you’re investigating which investors to pitch, look for long-standing NGOs with a history in that country. They will be able to point you in the direction of the big players in each industry.

Where to find investors

After determining which business strategy is best for approaching potential investors, you’re ready to make a plan for identifying them as efficiently as possible. Research here can eat up a lot of time if you’re not careful. However, there are a few ways to narrow your search quickly.

  • Explore multinational companies: One way to tap into the foreign investor pool is to approach existing foreign or multinational companies to form joint ventures, subsidiaries, or other strategic alliances. Research will involve finding the right contact person. Also, make certain the business plan you present to foreign stakeholders discusses budgeting decisions adjusted for political and economic risk; cross-border cash flow; and transactional cost reduction.
  • Participate strategically in relevant trade shows and conferences: Investors on the lookout for the next big moneymaker will be making the rounds at major international trade shows and industry-specific conferences. Instead of throwing ideas against the wall to see what sticks, why not consolidate and go where the prospects are? Look for centralized gatherings of your target investors.
  • Comb investor databases related to your industry: Keep in mind that foreign investors come in all different forms from private equity to venture capitalists to angel investors. Fortunately there are several investor databases (e.g., VCGate,, and that will help you narrow down and keep track of which investors are appropriate for your company.

As you embark on this next important phase in your business’s growth, remember that you aren’t just looking for deep pockets. You’re looking for a lasting partner who can help you find strong connections that will allow you to grow your business.

Forming these lasting partnerships requires having the right financial translation services support. Let Alpha Omega Translations guide you through the process with language translation services that will represent your company accurately, clearly, and persuasively. Contact us to request your free quote today!

Special Challenges Require Special Expertise—The Keys to Accurate Technical Translation.

Multilingual technical translation is a special challenge for translation experts and often their clients. Unlike other types of translation projects, the goals for technical translation require that translators understand more both about the target language, culture, and market and about the subject matter itself.

This special challenge for multilingual technical translation means that highly skilled technical translators contribute value that goes beyond merely a one-to-one translation of words from one language into another. In one sense, high quality technical translators blur the lines between content editing and content creating.

When today’s global consumer looks for information, they want to easily find answers to their questions in their own languages. But many technical and support documentation teams struggle with inefficient translation and localization systems that lead to inaccurate or confusing translations. To satisfy consumers around the world, it’s crucial to find a translation expert with the necessary expertise.

What are the best ways to ensure that your multilingual technical translation is high quality across the board?

What Counts as Multilingual Technical Translation?

The first step in this process is figuring out what type of translation project you have on your hands. If you are looking for help with marketing translation or product descriptions on an ecommerce website, you many not need a translator with a technical background. In this case, look for translators who specialize in marketing products to consumers for best results.

You will know that you need a technical translator if your documents contain specialized terminology. A technical document is anything that contains text related to technological and scientific information and technological subject matters. Technical translators translate documents such as user guides, owner’s manuals, instructions for use, and other documents written by technical writers for products and services.

This means in addition to being able to translate key terminology accurately, technical translators must understand and stick to writing conventions, while using their subject matter expertise to inform the language choices they make. Elements such as the usage and application of the document in the target language, the specific locale and market, and how to present the content in a way that sounds natural, while avoiding literal translations of the subject matter are all part of the technical translator’s toolbox.


Now that we’re clear on how to classify documents as in need of multilingual technical translation, let’s consider some of the challenges and ways professionals deal with these challenges.

1. Explosion of new terminology.

The rapid increase in tech companies around the globe paired with new scientific discoveries is leading to an explosion of the introduction of new terminology in many industries. Of course, this level of innovation is uniform in all parts of the world. So, accuracy is not simply a matter of keeping up with tech and biotech start-ups. It also requires understanding the recorded names being used in other parts of the world.

2. Subject matter expertise.

There’s no way around it. Technical translators must have subject matter knowledge in order to provide translations that meet companies’ content goals. Without subject matter expertise, translators are unable to do the appropriate research into understanding a term’s deeper meaning. Often the best technical translations have no direct relationship to the original language, so a translator who is merely skilled in speaking both languages will struggle with technical documents.

3. Stylistic considerations.

Differences in style from one language to another can also be a challenge for multilingual technical translation. While it may seem that every person who unboxes a laser printer will benefit from a manual written in the same style, consider that the class and background of a typical laser printer user in one country may differ from the class and background of a typical laser printer user in another country.

4. Technical translation requires precision.

Unlike translating prose, technical translation requires extreme focus on accuracy and precision. What’s important is preserving the document’s technical content. If someone is using an assembly manual, the user of the translated document must be able to follow the specific directions exactly in the same way her equivalent speaking the original language would do it.

Considering just how difficult it can be to follow the instructions for putting together IKEA furniture translated from Swedish to English, this is not at all an easy translation task. Removing words and using as many pictures as possible is not always the best strategy. Multilingual technical translation requires choosing precise, appropriate, and plain vocabulary in the target language.

Technical Translation in the Global Business Context

Not every translator is trained in the fine art and science of technical translation. It takes unparalleled linguistic knowledge and a very particular set of skills to do this work well. It is important to ask your language service provider to provide you with information on your translator’s technical background. If you are unsatisfied with what you find out, suggest a sample translation piece and have a colleague in one of your foreign offices check it out before agreeing to the completion of the full project. In addition, as with all translation projects, make sure your translator is aware of your official vocabulary and style guides.

Text length can also be an issue when it come to the business context. The same concept or idea expressed in different languages will likely require at least slight variations in the number of words or characters. For example, English phrasing will generally be longer when translated into German, Italian, or French. This could definitely affect the number of pages in a manual, its layout, and printing costs.

What about Machine Translation?

Many companies with technical translation needs assume that they can get away with using machine translation. Because accuracy is crucial for technical translations, using an experienced professional is a must. However, while software can never replace a human translator, technology can make it easier for technical translators to do their jobs.

For example, translation memory (TM) databases containing whole sentences translated from one language to another can assist translators by speeding up repetitive work. And of course, project-management software helps to keep clients and their service providers all on the same page.

There’s no substitute or shortcut for hiring the right translator for your multilingual technical translation project. At Alpha Omega Translations, we carefully match our translators with our clients’ projects considering experience, expertise, and training. We ensure that your projects are handled with the highest level of accuracy and customer care. Contact us today for your free quote.

The Importance of Proper Translation and Localization for Clinical Trials

While the bulk of clinical research trials during the past decade have been conducted in predominantly English-speaking nations, like the US, recent years have shown a shift toward globalization. With the rise in clinical trials being conducted outside of the US, the demand for a pharmaceuticals translation agency that can accurately represent the outcome of these trials is also on the rise.pharmaceuticals translation agency

Surprisingly, though the consequences of inaccurate pharmaceutical translations are serious, translation and localization services are often an afterthought. Finding a reputable pharmaceuticals translation agency is frequently the last step in the planning process for an international clinical trial.

However, one need simply imagine spending years and millions in grant funding researching a new Parkinson’s medication, only to have the FDA reject the data collected, to see how crucial translation services are to this process.

This article addresses frequently asked questions and recommendations for best practices designed to help researchers avoid this devastating result.

An Often Overlooked Aspect of Clinical Trials

Every new drug submitted for FDA approval must go through clinical trials. To be successful, researchers must follow clinical trial protocols (CTPs), offer up Patient Reported Outcomes (PROs) for evaluation, and make a compelling case that the drug is safe for humans to consume and doctors to prescribe. So it is crucial to design and implement clinical trials according to the strictest standards.

One often overlooked aspect of a well-designed, successful pharmaceutical study, is translation and localization services. Often clinical trial protocols (CTPs) are created in one country and applied in several locations with different languages, cultures, and values. But with differing clinical trial regulations, some trials are conducted without proper translations, often to save time or reduce costs.

Unfortunately, faulty translations may result in the failure of a participant to behave as required by the study. Other issues include disparities in prescription and administration of drug preparation, the reduced likelihood of follow up appointments, and failure to treat side effects. All of these challenges and more can affect a study’s success. The role of poor translations affecting the likelihood of lawsuits or rejection by regulators also should not be underrated.

Since proper translation should be involved throughout the process, improving the quality of translations can actually reduce the time needed and even save costs. So finding clinical translators is key to implementing trials and to helping researchers and the FDA interpret PROs.

The Importance of Understanding Clinical Trial Protocols (CTPs)

Every clinical trial requires a protocol describing the objectives, design, methods, and structure of the trial. Clinical trial protocols are formal, written documents. They are highly specialized and include a high level of technical complexity. Ambiguity of language must be avoided here.

The language used in CTPs is becoming more and more specialized as researchers aim to blend medical, administrative, and technical jargon (i.e., statistical terminology). Unlike other medical documents, terminology from different subfields of medicine must mix with laboratory protocols and terms taken from regulatory medical manuals. The language of CTPs is nearly unique to every individual trial.

On the other hand, not all documents related to clinical trials involve highly technical content, so it is important to take into account the audiences for each document. Translators must be aware that each participant has a different level of scientific understanding and different procedures to follow in relation to his or her role in the study.

For example, in order to standardize the conduct of the trial and facilitate communication between all individuals, those running the trial need access to several types of instructions, which could be placed in an appendix or on the data collection forms themselves.

Additionally, informed consent forms, which indicate a study participant’s agreement and understanding of the risks associated with the trial, must be easy to understand. A properly trained associate working for a pharmaceuticals translation agency will be able to navigate these different requirements.


The Localization Process for CTPs

Best practices for CTP translation requires multiple steps. The following steps outlined below are recommended for researchers looking to achieve the best outcome when working with translation experts:

  • Create an institutional translation memory: Keep mind that clinical trials are rarely isolated events. You will likely want to return to a well-designed study for further information or to further explore avenues of research. It helps to have source materials, existing translations, glossaries, and public databases at your disposal. These make up your institutional translation memory.
  • Create a terminology base from the institutional translation memory: It helps future translators if your pharmaceuticals translation agency keeps a running list of terms and consistent, acceptable translations for each term.
  • Translate, edit, and proof the first round of translation: Ask to have a different translator go over the first round making edits and proofing the draft. Two heads are always better than one in these cases.
  • Clinical review: Have a scientist fluent in the local language and familiar with the study, follow the CTP and take notes about where the translation could use improvement.
  • Harmonization conference: Sit down with all the major participants to discuss the proposed changes to the original draft. Again, with the goal of eliminating ambiguity in order to prevent the rejection of the study due to inadequate translation, this step will solidify the unique language in your CTP.
  • Final proof: Have the initial translator do a final proof for any tiny tweaks that need to made.

Today, many pharmaceutical companies increasingly need services that go beyond simple one-to-one translation and fall into the realm of localization. Involving not only linguistic transfer, by also content, cultural, and technical assistance. This is particularly true when it comes to studies conducted in emerging and culturally distinct nations in Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe, or Latin America.

Regardless of the aims of your study, when translation and localization are taken into consideration from the beginning, it is more likely that all resources can be efficiently assigned, delays can be avoided, and the documents provided will be understood within the cultural context.


Quality Assurance and Culture

Finally, it is important for researchers running clinical trials to take the proper steps to ensure quality assurance. With the influx of demand for pharmaceutical translation, the sheer volume of documents in need of translation in a short time frame can result in compromised quality.

However, if you find the right translator with the rare combination of professional translation skills and biomedical knowhow, you can be assured that your translation will be high-quality. The most important thing is to be realistic about your timeframe. A valid review process, once the initial translation is complete, can take as long as 15 weeks. Providing reviewers with online tools and outsourcing the review to an independent pharmaceuticals translation agency can speed things up slightly, but it’s always smart to build the time into your study schedule.

Cultural values and customary behavior can present benefits or obstacles for multinational clinical trials. Some cultures are naturally more compliant where participants tend to follow doctors’ instructions to the letter. However, with compliance may also come an unwillingness to report all adverse symptoms or events. What is undeniable is accurate translation of study documents plays an important role in the success of trials in any particular region.

With so many complexities and different steps to be completed by different team members, verification of CTPs and PROs can take months. The worst possible outcome of poor translation is serious injury or loss of life. More common is the expense of delays. As pharmaceutical companies and researchers look for efficiency wherever they can find it, clinical trial language management offers a key competitive advantage. Finding the right pharmaceuticals translation agency is a huge help here!

Translation and localization best practices are critical to delivering good data and maintaining a market advantage for clinical researchers. At Alpha Omega Translations, we have friendly experts who will provide guidance on not only translation, but also best practices for getting your clinical trial through the necessary regulatory channels. Contact us today for a free quote!

Learn to Go Beyond Marketing Translation Services with These Bilingual Marketing Strategies.

Effectively engaging bilingual audiences is a challenge for many businesses. Reaching those who will benefit from your product or service without being perceived as pandering is always a delicate line to walk. Fortunmarketing translation servicesately, there are marketing translation services that can make your job easier.

If you aren’t considering creating bilingual marketing content, you are simply leaving money on the table. In the US alone, the number of people who speak a language besides English has more than doubled since 1980. Next to English, Spanish is the most common non-English language spoken in the US. In fact, according to the most recent census, 37.5 million Spanish-speakers live in the US, representing an increase of 210% since 1980.

But developing a marketing strategy to build a bilingual audience is complicated and requires serious planning. Gather your marketing team; find a strategy that will help you meet your marketing goals; and then find the marketing translation services that will support your strategy. Continue reading for some recommendations and ideas to help get the process started.

How to Engage Bilingual Audiences

Before you develop your specific marketing strategy, it’s important to reassess your company’s marketing goals. Creating bilingual marketing is not as easy as dubbing your videos or even adding subtitles. Bilingualism generally comes with biculturalism, which means you will need a separate marketing strategy to grow your audience.

Whether you want to increase awareness about a product offering, increase social media engagement, or educate your audience about new technology, each goal requires a clear strategy. It’s important to analyze data that are relevant to your industry, market, and services you offer.

Consider the following as you build an effective bilingual marketing strategy. Keep in mind that while many of the following recommendations and examples are based on Spanish speaking bilingual audiences, they can easily be adapted for other non-English speaking communities: 

1. Identify Your Audience

 It should be obvious, but not all non-English speaking populations in the United States are homogenous. For instance, US Hispanic and Latino audiences represent many different countries of origin, include both US natives and immigrant residents, and include communities with different degrees of assimilation, socio-economic status, and educational backgrounds.

To engage the bilingual audience you have your eye on, you’ll need to know more than simply what languages they speak.

  • Develop an understanding of the composition of the non-native speaking populations within your bilingual audience.
  • Create personas or customer profiles around these demographics.
  • Be very focused and specific about who you are hoping to engage.
  • Use A/B testing and prototypes to figure out what works (get feedback from real clients!).

2. Do Your Homework

 Rather than insisting on reinventing the wheel, take a look at what other companies and institutions are doing to communicate with their bilingual audiences. What marketing translation services do your competitors use? Could you be a leader in your industry if you went beyond translations and added localization to your marketing toolbox?

If it makes sense for your company, establish an institutional culture around reaching out to local community members to create programming or events around your target demographic.

  • Start by building relationships, establishing trust, and seeking out community partnerships.
  • Encourage word-of-mouth marketing. Potential customers are more likely to be engaged when individuals from their own communities endorse your brand.
  • Make all advertising and promotional materials available both in Spanish and in English.
  • Utilize marketing translation services not only to translate the text, but also to offer suggestions for visual, cultural, and other localization changes that will engage your target market.
  • Partner with Spanish-language radio, TV, and other traditional media outlets.

Now that you know your audience well and have done some homework, let’s talk strategy:

Bilingual Strategies for Digital Advertising

According to Google, over 30% of digital marketing and advertising in the US is consumed by users who are bilingual. In addition, bilingual users tend to be technology leaders. They are more likely than monolingual users to be early adopters of new devices and more likely to upgrade their mobile phones. So if your company relies on digital advertising and does any amount of online sales, especially if you’re in the tech industry, it probably makes sense to develop a bilingual strategy.

However, if your website content doesn’t translate seamlessly or your products or services aren’t yet offered in the target language, you may not want to risk resources creating entire marketing campaigns around your bilingual audience. You will want to address these issues before finding reliable experts to help with marketing translation services.

On the other hand, if you’re ready to build that audience and you use Google AdWords, one easy change you can make (within the next 10 minutes!) is to adjust your language targeting to include Spanish for any of your English-only campaigns. Yes, this sounds like taking the easy route and it is certainly not a replacement for creating a marketing strategy around engaging a bilingual audience. But in some cases, the easy route is the best route.

Bilingual Strategies for Social Media Marketing

 If your company is considering developing bilingual social media marketing campaigns, the good news is that you’re ahead of the curve. The challenge is social media trends move much more quickly than more traditional marketing channels. So it makes sense to have a team dedicated to researching and building your bilingual social media presence.

Your marketing campaigns should mimic the mood of your target demographic without losing the brand’s voice altogether and that balance takes an expert in both market research and in the culture you want to engage. Remember that we all engage in social media in order to feel connected with individuals and brands.

Although many things will have to change about your social media strategy, hashtags are a mixed bag. It’s okay to mix and match languages with a bilingual audience. Keep a close eye on Twitter and you’ll see Spanish Tweets with English hashtags and vice versa. Because social media is such a dynamic and fast-paced environment, there is often not enough time for trendy hashtags to transmute into Spanish and still remain trendy.

The bottomline?

 Keeping up with the rapidly changing marketing world is a huge challenge for any company. If you’re feeling overwhelmed just thinking about adding in a whole new marketing strategy around growing your bilingual audience, it may be comforting to know that even making a few tweaks to your current marketing strategy can make a big difference.

Whatever strategy you choose, there’s one big point to bear in mind: translating marketing materials is different from translating any other type of technical, legal, medical, or scientific documents. When choosing marketing translation services, make sure that your experts have the right skills.

Alpha Omega Translations understands that quality marketing translation services require a very particular set of skills. Our translators are experienced in expressing thoughts, emotions, and values that fit your target bilingual audience.

Do you have further questions about creating a bilingual marketing strategy? Are you looking for other translations services? Take a look at AOT’s services page for more information.

How to Expand Your Business Internationally: It All Starts with the Right Partners.

Thanks to the Internet, digital technology, and resources like reliable business translation services, the world is becoming smaller. And many businesses, especially in digital fields, are wisely seizing the opportunity to expand overseas. If your business is one of them, you will want to do your research before diving in.

business translation services

But even with proper planning, running an international business can be challenging. The failure to plan sufficiently, expanding too quickly, and assuming that all business around the world is conducted in English are all mistakes that can easily kill your dream of taking your brand international.

Keep in mind that it takes far more time to fix problems that you create for yourself than to take the time to plan and do it right the first time. To avoid these pitfalls, it’s a good idea to start developing key contacts in countries where you want to do business as soon as possible.

Here are some recommendations for where to start:

1. Financial partnerships. 

First, prepare for expansion by creating an international business plan to assess your funding needs and set reasonable goals. This is a crucial step to take before youdo anything else. Be sure to evaluate your readiness and commitment to grow globally before you embark on this new endeavor.

As with any business growth plan, expanding internationally requires sufficient funds. One popular source of financing for US businesses expanding overseas is the Export-Import Bank of the United States. The Ex-Im Bank guarantees working capital loans for US exporters and repayment of loans to foreign purchasers of US goods and services.

Beyond our own shores, look for government and private sources of funding in your target markets and figure out ways to ensure that you get paid in full. This can be a real issue depending on which markets you decide to target. But foreign governments with an interest in boosting international commerce can do a lot to make sure you get paid on time and easily. If business is conducted in a language other than English, find credible business translation services to translate your business plan and financial documents.

Regardless of which financial partnerships you choose to cultivate, whenever you go into meetings with potential foreign business partners, it’s smart to have your own business translation services. If the other party provides the interpreter, for instance, that person will have their interests in mind not yours. Whether you hire an interpreter for face-to-face meetings or use a phone translation service, make sure you have business translation services with a special focus on financial translation on your side during any negotiation.

2. Marketing partnerships.

Another key partnership will be building relationships with marketers in foreign lands. To identify the key markets and distribution methods in the regions where you want to do business, you will want to develop strong partnerships with marketing research firms abroad.

If you are ready to start selling your products around the world, you will first want to answer a couple of key questions:

  • Will the product sell well in the targeted culture? Figuring out the answer to this question will take market research. You’ll want to partner with a marketing firm in your target market that knows how to conduct that research.
  • Does your target market know about your product? If you have to invest a lot in education, this is something to consider early in the expansion process. On the other hand, if you’re the first to introduce your product to this market, it could be great for business.

Again, as you create marketing partnerships abroad, especially in markets where English is not the primary language for doing business, it makes sense to use business translation services provided by experts you can trust.

To ensure that your questions are asked and answered to your satisfaction, you will want an interpreter who is well versed in the target language, as well as marketing products similar to yours. There is nothing worse than paying for strong market research that is not useable because of a language barrier.

3. Foreign Distribution partnerships.

 The same warnings about finding financial and marketing partners also apply to finding a distribution partner. In fact, this can be the most challenging. But if you can find reliable foreign distributors, they can make doing business overseas a lot easier because they will buy your products and take care of reselling them in their domestic markets. If they buy enough of your product to build up their inventories, you have less to worry about on your end.

The first few times you evaluate foreign distributors it makes sense to find an international business expert or consultant. These experts can offer valuable insights. Trade groups and organizations in the US, like the Virginia Economic Development Partnership, are a good place to start your search for help with finding the right foreign distributor.

To do the work yourself, look for a distributor that can provide salespeople knowledgeable about the technical aspects of your products and one with a proven track record in your market. But, again, the distribution game is a complex one, so make sure you have the guidance of an experienced expert.

Other tips for smoother international operations:

Whether you are hiring internationally, working with clients abroad, or partnering with other companies around the world, there are some general tips to consider for keeping operations running smoothly.

1. Be patient.

In the fast-paced world of digital business, we are used to everything happening at near lightning speed. But in the international realm it is important to appreciate cultural differences and adjust your expectations accordingly. It can take time to earn the trust of people from different cultures and to learn their customs. A patient approach will be especially well received by senior executives, those operating large organizations, and government officials in your target markets.

2. Respect customs.

When it comes to earning people’s trust, there’s no substitute for learning about their culture and being open to trying new things. Sharing a common experience with your colleagues will help them begin to recognize you as part of their team. This can be as simple as enjoying a delicious cup of tea at the customary time.

Food and the cultural customs surrounding dining is another good example. If you walk into a fine French restaurant in Paris hoping to order a hamburger, your associates will see you as, at best, unadventurous and at worst, downright discourteous. So try the goulash or the fugu and have an authentic local experience.

3. Enjoy the experience.

If you are traveling overseas representing your organization, don’t pass on the opportunity to socialize and enjoy the cultural experience. One of the best ways to learn about a culture and gain the trust of your international colleagues is to take time to go to events with your foreign colleagues and associates.

Not unlike doing business in the US, socializing gives you a chance to meet other people that could open new doors and build your reputation in the community. Seek out business networking functions such as wine tastings, government balls, river cruises, and visits to the countryside. Enjoy some personal development time while you work on your business!

Why go global?

Expanding your company internationally may not be the best way to grow your business. But entering the international arena can protect you against declines in domestic markets and increase growth potential for the right products and services. With the right planning and due diligence, the international market can be very lucrative.

Our experts at Alpha Omega are dedicated to making the process of taking your business global easier. That’s why we are proud to partner with the VEDP to offer business translation services to Virginia businesses through the VALET program. To find out more about how AOT can help you grow, contact us for a custom quote.