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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Social Media: Getting Personal

There Social media platforms have revolutionized the hotel industry. Popular sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Snapchat, YouTube and Tumblr now account for 2.3 billion active users, and this phenomenon has forever transformed how businesses interact with consumers. Given that social media allows for two-way communication between businesses and consumers, the emphasis of any marketing strategy must be to positively and personally engage the customer, and there are innumerable ways to accomplish that goal. One popular strategy is to encourage hotel guests to create their own personal content - typically videos and photos -which can be shared via their personal social media networks, reaching a sizeable audience. In addition, geo-locational tags and brand hashtags can be embedded in such posts which allow them to be found via metadata searches, substantially enlarging their scope. Influencer marketing is another prevalent social media strategy. Some hotels are paying popular social media stars and bloggers to endorse their brand on social media platforms. These kinds of endorsements generally elicit a strong response because the influencers are perceived as being trustworthy by their followers, and because an influencer's followers are likely to share similar psychographic and demographic traits. Travel review sites have also become vitally important in reputation management. Travelers consistently use social media to express pleasure or frustration about their guest experiences, so it is essential that every review be attended to personally. Assuming the responsibility to address and correct customer service concerns quickly is a way to mitigate complaints and to build brand loyalty. Plus, whether reviews are favorable or unfavorable, they are a vital source of information to managers about a hotel's operational performance.  The February Hotel Business Review will document what some hotels are doing to effectively incorporate social media strategies into their businesses.