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The benefits of marketing translation vs. machine translation: Or, Unicorns vs. Robots!

What is marketing translation?

Marketing translation is a step beyond translation - it involves translating not just the content of your marketing copy, but also its meaning. Words with double meanings or the same sounds can be tricky, especially in another language.

Marketing translation takes the meaning behind the copy in the source language and effectively rewrites it for the target market, ensuring that the ideas and emotion are conveyed in a way the audience can understand and connect with.

Marketing translation services offer something amazing for businesses seeking to appeal to a multilingual global market. (And if you’re wondering, why you would want to invest in marketing translation services, head over to this article on the benefits of multilingual marketing.)

When you invest in a copywriter - or even write some amazing business marketing content yourself - you have spent time, money and effort to craft it to perfection.

So when it comes time to adapt your content to your global audience, you feel you have two main options:

  1. Give it to a professional translation service, or

  2. Save money and pop it into Google Translate or DeepL (AKA the robots).

Option 2 wins! So you translate your copy online, and just to double-check it makes sense, you ask a native speaker to read through the translated text, and they say they can understand it fine.

The pitfalls of machine translation

But what you don’t see, and what your native speaker didn’t spot (because they didn’t have the source text) is that the machine translation has translated the words just fine - but left out all the great nuances, idioms, and creativity.

This is more insidious than a translation error; it’s translation that strips away all the carefully crafted detail, focus and effort that went into writing your marketing copy.


Similar can happen even with top translation companies. Translators that are not necessarily skilled marketing copywriters can be confused by slang, nuance, and words with double meanings (which can often be a feature of sales-focused marketing content), leading to clumsy or clunky translations that don’t flow.

Why marketing translation works better than machine translation

Now we get to the unicorns: the rare and magical beings that can bridge the gap between the ethereal (perfect marketing copy) and the mundane (boring translation).

For business translation services in any area, whether it’s financial translation, medical translation, or general marketing sales translation, a human copywriter can be trusted to use creativity, imagination, and good judgement in a way machine translation cannot, putting themselves in the shoes of your potential clients and customers no matter where in the world.

And when you have a human copywriter with the understanding of multiple languages and cultures, and how that translates into both copywriting AND marketing … you get a marketing translation unicorn.

Marketing translation not only preserves your brand voice, personality, tone, keywords, and sales messages, it levels up your copy to effectively target your audience in a way that will continue to nurture that vital emotional connection that you’ve worked so hard to build in every other aspect of your business, from branding, sales, customer service, quality control and more.

Sorry, robots.

Here at LLS we have a whole team of marketing translation unicorns ready to keep the magic alive in your copywriting. Contact us today to find out how we can help with your marketing translation needs.



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