Why hire native translators?

Native translators are professionals who use their mother tongue and deep knowledge of their own culture, to adapt texts written in a foreign language to a local audience. Hiring native speakers not only increases the effectiveness of your international campaigns, but can also avoid you some embarrassments.

Bruno Portela
Feb 19, 2018 · 5 min read

A native speaker is someone who internalized a particular language as a child, instead of deliberately learn it. Native speakers are all those who had contact with a language from an early age and assimilated it naturally and effortlessly.

Linguistic researchers believe all children have the ability to learn any language in the world, regardless of its complexity, up to the age of six. Furthermore, children can learn two or more native languages and become bilingual or trilingual speakers if they maintain frequent contact with several languages in the early stages of their lives.

Contrary to someone who learns a foreign language later in life, native speakers know from experience what are the most suited terms, words and expressions to certain kinds of situations and they don’t need to make a conscious effort to do it.

The advatnages of a native translator

A native translator has an unique knowledge of the local language and culture, allowing him or her to adapt a marketing campaign creatively and more efficiently. In addition, a native professional can prevent cultural misunderstandings that can seriously affect the image of your brand or company. Some bad translations might seem funny at first sight, but can leave the most relaxed Marketing Executive on the brink of a nervous breakdown:

  • Pepsi brings back ancestors to life… at least in China. It isn’t easy to adapt foreign content to Chinese culture and various brands learned this the hard way. Pepsi translated the campaign “come alive with the Pepsi generation” to “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave”.
  • Its rival Coca-Cola also struggled in China when they translated their brand name for the first time to “bite the wax tadpole” or “female horse stuffed with wax” depending on the dialect. The company searched tirelessly through 40,000 characters to find its Chinese phonetic equivalent, “kekoukele” which means “happiness in the mouth”.
  • The Japanese brand Honda also learned from its own experience that cultural and language differences have to be carefully considered before introducing a new product or service into a foreign market. In 2001, this company introduced its new car Honda “Fitta”, a word that refers to the female sexual organs in Swedish, Danish and Norwegian. Shortly thereafter, the car name changed to “Honda Jazz”.

Identify and avoid hitches

A native translator recognizes clichés and cultural references that may not make sense for your foreign audience and that can avoid you major headaches. For example, if a French text mentions something about football (or soccer) and it is translated into American English, then it might be useful to modify this reference to American football, if the message doesn’t lose its original meaning.

For companies seeking to project a positive and coherent international image, the services of native translators are essential. These professionals can make or break your company’s efforts and give you an image of professionalism and expertise in your industry and even spare you from some embarrassing and ridiculous situations.

Exception to the rule

Native translators have an excellent knowledge of their languages but that doesn’t mean they have an in depth knowledge of a particular area of expertise. Not long ago, I attended a translators’ conference in Lisbon and heard the story of a Dutch professional translator residing in Portugal for many years, specialized in legal translations of Dutch into Portuguese. Given her deep knowledge of the Dutch legal system, no one would hesitate to ask her for a translation into Portuguese of a legal document from the Netherlands.

Another example, is the translation of specialized texts in language combinations where there are few native speakers. It is the case of the patent translation from Japanese into English, which is made by a few number of native-speaking English professionals. In this particular case, if one would only hire native translators then only a small portion of those translations would be made.

Why hire native professionals with Lingfy

Lingfy translators only convert content into their native language, so you can rest assured that all members of our team have the language expertise and knowledge of the local culture to deliver an outstanding job.

Our focus is on quality translations because we firmly believe that by having your messages and texts well written in the target languages will you be able to communicate with international customers in a clear, efficient and productive way.

If you’re looking to inspire new customers beyond borders, get them to become fans of your brand and values, so start investing in quality writing. Are you willing to risk your image and authority trying to save a few dollars?

Turn your customers into fans and lead them to purchase your products or services because they identify with your company and your ideas, and not merely because you are the fastest or the cheapest in that sector. Go for the long run. Business is done with people and humans like to know that we trust those with whom we keep relationships, whether personal or professional.

Take your time

Building relationships based on trust, like everything else in life, takes time. We shouldn’t hurry. Building trust is like a credit balance on your bank account. If you have a positive balance your mistakes can be easily overcome, but if you’re in debt even the most insignificant error can jeopardize a relationship and every effort to nurture it.

At Lingfy we put a lot of effort and dedication in establishing and maintaining relationships with our customers. We want our growth to be based on trust, even if that means investing more time in reaching our goals.

We are passionate about this business and we not only enjoy what we do, but we also believe are good at it in a sincere and open manner. So, we have enough time to be ourselves.

Curious how quality translations could help your organization reach new international customers? Get an instant quote at Lingfy.com or drop us a line at hi@lingfy.com


Exploring ideas about translation, entrepreneurship and…

Bruno Portela

Written by

Founder at @lingfycom. Translation afficionado, avid reader about entrepreneurship and personal development. Training for a marathon. https://lingfy.com/



Exploring ideas about translation, entrepreneurship and life!

Bruno Portela

Written by

Founder at @lingfycom. Translation afficionado, avid reader about entrepreneurship and personal development. Training for a marathon. https://lingfy.com/



Exploring ideas about translation, entrepreneurship and life!

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