Translating campaigns into 24 languages with ICF Next
Global communications company ICF Next uses content to drive engagement and participation on behalf of the organisations it works with.
One of ICF Next’s clients is the European Commission. The Commission works closely with ICF Next to ensure that the content it shares is engaging and easy to understand.
With 24 official EU languages spoken in 27 member states, the content ICF Next produces must be carefully translated and localised to successfully engage its target audience. That’s where working with a translation agency like Entre Les Lignes comes in handy.
A dedicated team
“By working with Entre Les Lignes, the content creators at ICF Next can focus on what they do best: coming up with creative and compelling ways to communicate with their client’s audience.”
Having worked in translation herself, ICF Next content writer Mirta Contino understands the difficulty of translating large batches of content into multiple languages.
“Even a single word can sometimes be a challenge, because of the nuances of different languages,” explains Mirta. “When it comes to complex topics like legislation and policies found in specific countries, it can be hard to come up with translations that clearly communicate what needs to be said.”
Although ICF Next has linguists within its team, Mirta and her colleagues choose to entrust a dedicated translation agency with localising content for the European Commission’s public information campaigns.
By working with Entre Les Lignes, the content creators at ICF Next can focus on what they do best: coming up with creative and compelling ways to communicate with their client’s audience. Then, when it’s time for the work to be translated, they can move on to the next content creation task while the skilled linguists at Entre Les Lignes handle the localisation process.
To give the ICF Next team flexibility in the way they manage their client’s campaigns, Entre Les Lignes offers a creative transcreation service, providing two or more options for each piece of translated content. “This makes it easier for us, since we can choose the option that best fits the tone and context needed for each piece of content,” says Mirta.
“Even when timings are tight and we need something back straight away, they’ve been able to get it done quickly.”
When a large quantity of content needs to be translated and accessed by multiple people, it’s important to follow a collaborative process that’s simple and efficient.
Most collaborations between ICF Next and Entre Les Lignes follow a similar process. First a piece of content will be drafted in English and approved by ICF Next’s client. Entre Les Lignes then provide a quote for this piece of content to be translated.
Once approved, Entre Les Lignes proceed with translating the content into the required languages, typically using a spreadsheet with separate sheets for each translated language. “This is a really clear and easy way to work and keep everything organised,” says Mirta.
The process also allows for instant feedback and speedy amendments that can be accessed as soon as they’re made. When deadlines are tight, this can be a lifesaver for Mirta and her colleagues.
“Whenever we have a question or something that needs to be changed, the team are always ready to help,” she adds. “Even when timings are tight and we need something back straight away, whether it’s a quote for a piece of work or a translated document, they’ve been able to get it done quickly.
“There are occasions when things need to be done incredibly fast – for yesterday, even! We always try to let Entre Les Lignes know when that’s the case, and we’re very satisfied with what they turn around in such a short time.”
The human touch
“That human touch is something that’s important to us. Combined with the professionalism, the great quality of the translations and the fast turnarounds, it’s a really good service.”
There are many factors that can alter how a piece of content is understood, from the context it’s seen in to the cultural background of its audience. So when a continent-wide campaign requires a message to be understood in over 20 languages, translation and transcreation become creative art forms.
“Translation isn’t an exact science,” agrees Mirta. “You’ll hardly ever be able to find three people who all agree on the way something has been translated. That’s also part of the beauty of language and translations – it’s a creative process that can be slightly different for everyone.
“When it comes to an important piece of marketing collateral like a brand slogan, it becomes really important to ensure that the translation is carefully considered and agreed on by as many people as possible.
“The translators at Entre Les Lignes always do their best to come up with the best translations possible – a perfect balance between creativity and practicality that takes into account how we want to convey a specific message.”
As well as being satisfied with the quality of Entre Les Lignes translations, Mirta has enjoyed the human interactions that come with collaborating with an external team.
“They’re great workers, but even better people,” she says. “That human touch is something that’s important to us. Combined with the professionalism, the great quality of the translations and the fast turnarounds, it’s a really good service.”