In Anglicity's previous blog, I commented on diametrically opposed viewpoints on Frederick Wiseman's National Gallery documentary.
How can we reach out to new clients?
Reaction to our craft
Many years as a translation project manager taught me that languages leave many clients completely cold. Translation is often incredibly dull to them. (Sacrilege, I know). When we try to explain our craft, our quality concerns, the finer points of grammar... well, their eyes glaze over in boredom. Just like opposing reactions to the National Gallery film.
Black and white v. colour
When translators explain their art, they generally use the written word. (Just like I am doing now. I plead guilty). Reams and reams of print-heavy text. Pictures make rare appearances. Lots of black and white. Marketing clients are immersed in a much more visually appealing world on a daily basis. That's their "language". If we really want to reach out to them, we have to speak their language.
Most translators are used to being invisible, hidden behind agencies from end-clients. Today, freelance translators need to argue their added value. Human translators need to be visible in full colour, in 3D and in full animation.
There was a ballet performance during the film. Two dancers created a 3D effect in front of two pictures. The audience's focus was on the ballet in the foreground. Gradually, I found my eyes drawn from the angles of the dancers' limbs to the quality of the painted limbs behind. This is the attention that is required by the translation world. By using other media in a coordinated marketing campaign, we bring appreciation back to the quality of the translated word in print.
Check back for tomorrow's post.
Karen Andrews runs
Anglicity Ltd. She is
French to English
content writer and
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on Anglicity's services.