Writing the right language

Beware the pitfalls of direct translation

I’m frequently in awe of international clients with whom I collaborate who shift between a handful of languages with enviable ease. But, no matter how well they’re able to converse in English, these clients approach me because they recognise the importance of getting things right when it comes to the written word.

In the days when it’s all too easy to conjure up an electronically produced approximation of what you want to say in another language, I value these clients who understand ‘almost right’ simply isn’t good enough. If someone takes the time to visit your website or read your brochure, it’s vital to ensure they get the best possible first impression and take away the messages you intended.

Writing is a craft

Creating effective marketing content takes time and skill. If writing in a language other than your own, hiring a native-speaker to cast a trained eye over your copy will remove the risk of unprofessional and potentially embarrassing errors. In an industry like yachting, this is more essential than ever with its plethora of specific and often obscure terms. Just try putting ‘bulwarks’ into a well-known search engine translation tool, and ask for a French equivalent, and you’ll come up with a number of options – none of which fits the bill.

No style fits all

During the years I’ve been involved in yachting, I’ve been fascinated to see the differences in the way marketing content is written from country to country. For example, a style and tone of voice popular for superyacht brochures in one part of Europe may strike entirely the wrong note, and actively put off clients, in the UK and US.

To ensure your marketing content hits the mark, why not get in contact. The Marine Copy Agency is happy to take on any size of project from proofreading press releases to comprehensive brochure-writing and web text commissions. For more information call: +44 (0) 7720 287145.   

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