Translation Services in Hospitality

Defining Trans-Creation

By Jorge Alonso Co-Founder & CEO, Flix Translations Group | October 08, 2017

Hiring a translation company involves consideration and implementation of a long-term translation strategy. The strategy must be set with 3 key variables in mind: content, time and budget. According to the type of content and use, the most adequate workflows and services are defined. Based on the deadline, the number of professionals, the tools and quality assurance required are set.

Tools must be used to streamline management and optimize budget. With translation memories, previously translated content is detected, which can be applied to the new translation. Translation memories will eventually reduce up to 36% of translation costs. Glossaries and style guides provide a unified brand message, ensuring quality and consistency of the message.

What is Trans-Creation?

With markets being more connected than ever and international consumers more accessible via the internet, mobile platforms, and such, the need for communication written to ensure that all messages are conveyed as intended to a target market is a vital component in today's industries. The level of demand and competition in all markets should entice companies to take their translation process a step further with trans-creation - a term that encompasses taking a concept and message in one language and strategically recreating it in another in order to resonate with the intended audience.

While it is clear that branding, communications, and messaging are an essential marketing tool that enables hotel properties to transmit their vision, values and mission to their current and prospect consumers, it is also imperative that these key messages are not lost in translation before they arrive to their targeted market(s). A translation company isn't about simple translations; it offers services that speak specifically to each market with tone and wording that successfully conveys an idea. Though all industries require proper communication across a myriad of markets, the nature of hospitality and its organic need to reach consumers from various markets makes trans-creation a concept that must be applied when pursuing effectiveness. Recent studies in the subject show that 72% of the population prefers to obtain information in their language; with this in mind; it is essential for hospitality executives to improve the overall experience of the tourist through a personalized treatment in their language.

Quality translation involves knowing the context and cultural background from which the words in the original text came, and consequently choosing words or phrases in the new desired language that will best convey the substance and meaning of the original in a new context. Unless this process takes place, strategies that brands so arduously work to create may get misinterpreted or even lost along the way; here is where trans-creation must come into play to ensure the messages that reach key markets are not simply changed words in one language into their equivalents in another. It is very difficult to communicate with people who speak different languages and, within a given language, different regionalisms with one single message. Unifying the message may result in confusion, misconception and even offense; therefore it is important to understand colloquial distinctions and give messages a local flavor.

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Guest Service: A Culture of YES

In a recent global consumers report, 97% of the participants said that customer service is a major factor in their loyalty to a brand, and 76% said they view customer service as the true test of how much a company values them. And since there is no industry more reliant on customer satisfaction than the hotel industry, managers must be unrelenting in their determination to hire, train and empower the very best people, and to create a culture of exceptional customer service within their organization. Of course, this begins with hiring the right people. There are people who are naturally service-oriented; people who are warm, empathetic, enthusiastic, pleasant, thoughtful and optimistic; people who take pride in their ability to solve problems for the hotel guests they are serving. Then, those same employees must be empowered to solve problems using their own judgment, without having to track down a manager to do it. This is how seamless problem solving and conflict resolution are achieved in guest service. This willingness to empower employees is part of creating a Culture of Yes within an organization.  The goal is to create an environment in which everyone is striving to say “Yes”, rather than figuring out ways to say, “No”. It is essential that this attitude be instilled in all frontline, customer-facing, employees. Finally, in order to ensure that the hotel can generate a consistent level of performance across a wide variety of situations, management must also put in place well-defined systems and standards, and then educate their employees about them. Every employee must be aware of and responsible for every standard that applies in their department. The April issue of the Hotel Business Review will document what some leading hotels are doing to cultivate and manage guest satisfaction in their operations.