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Communication is key to any company’s success. To capture the right kind of attention from the right people, a business has to understand how to get through to its intended audience. It has to use the customers’ language in a way that demonstrates an understanding of its subtleties, which is where specialized translation comes into play.

What is specialized translation?

Specialized translation can signify translation that observes an organization’s specific lexical and typographical preferences. Different companies may describe the same concepts using different words. These variations may stem from the image the company aims to project, the message it wants to convey or its unique corporate philosophy. For example, although companies now commonly use gender‑neutral language in communications, or even the hotly debated singular they, some prefer the more explicit he or she. Some companies have customers while others have clients, and some financial institutions may be partial to the term quick ratio rather than its synonym, acid‑test ratio.

Specialized translation also refers to translation in specialized fields. Disciplines such as medicine, pharmacology, finance, law and IT all use specialized languages, otherwise known as industry jargon, and many even have subspecialties (think common law versus civil law, or economics versus banking). Translators specializing in a given field will understand its particular expressions and technical terms, which are not usually found in your standard dictionary or understood by the average Joe.

If your company needs technical documents translated, it’s in your best interest to work with specialized translators for that field or, at the very least, professionally trained general translators, who are qualified to know which sources to consult and how to avoid common translation errors. In addition to their advanced research skills, generalists often have basic knowledge of several specialized languages.

The importance of choosing a single translation provider

There is no doubt about it, specialized translation should be left to the pros. The safest bet is to work with a single translation firm for all communications. Among other things, this makes it much easier to consistently use the company’s preferred style and terminology and effectively convey its brand image. Over time, your chosen language professionals thus become experts in your organization’s communication preferences.

If, on the other hand, a company works with multiple service providers, it may very well find itself contending with huge variations in translation quality. The inconsistencies from one text to another can ultimately dilute the company’s overall message and image.

For a business to get noticed and remain top of mind, its corporate communications need to be consistent and drive home a central message in each language. Your original texts are the work of specialists—don’t your translations deserve the same?