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Why having travel information translated is important for tourists

According to El País, 18.5 million British tourists visited Spain in 2018. France remained the most popular destination with 90 million foreign visitors. However, the British lack of ability when it comes to understanding foreign languages is well known. Indeed, it’s been suggested that only 25% of British people can hold a basic conversation in a foreign language. 15% being able to hold a basic conversation in French. A separate report claims that 23% of the UK population can speak or understand French… And 8% can speak or understand Spanish. This means foreign businesses must make information available in English to market their products and services to British customers.


The impact of poorly translated tourist information: facts and figures

A study conducted in 2013 revealed that 59% of Britons wouldn’t use a company with poor grammar on its website. This suggests, to attract British customers, you need to make sure your business’s content in English is flawless. If this isn’t the case, it might lead to confusion about how to book your products or services. It may also suggest that your staff don’t speak English. Therefore that British customers are going to have problems with the language barrier. This could make them reluctant to use your services.


Getting your company’s tourist information translated by a professional

It’s important to only use a native speaker of the target language for your translations. If you’re getting a text translated from French or Spanish into English you should use a native English translator. Automated translation tools such as Google Translate can provide word-for-word translations. But they can’t produce idiomatic language or help with descriptive texts. Therefore, they’ll do nothing to build your business’ reputation. Nor is it enough to ask your friend or colleague who speaks English. They may be able to hold a conversation. But they are unlikely to be able to reproduce the imagery and style of your original text in English. A professional translator will have in-depth knowledge of both your country’s culture and that of your potential customer. As a result, they’ll know if any terms need to be explained rather than transferred into the other language.

When you contact a translator it’s important to give them as much information as you can about the project. For example, what type of translation is it – website, brochure, travel guide? Who’s the intended reader – company employees, other companies, potential clients? This will help them decide the best way to translate your text. 

When it comes to translating marketing materials for your tourism business, hiring a professional may seem expensive. But it’ll prove a worthwhile investment in the long term.

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