Challenges of Tourism Content Translation
Tourism is one of the most attractive industries to gain popularity for beautiful locations, mesmerizing beaches, and much more. Just like for many other industries, professional translation is of utmost importance for the travel industry.
The most common misconception about tourism translation is to think that it is easy. Just because tourism content is not technical compared to other industries, this became the ground of blunders and mistakes. However, the truth is far from it. The tourism industry is the actual face of the country, people, and culture. One misinterpretation can lead to the banning of several sites at once. Such is the power of translation for tourism content.
What makes tourism content translation so challenging?
The translation is a genuine concern for several companies. Usually, a company hires a translation service, sets a preliminary meeting, and lays the guidelines for the translators. They prepare a specific budget for it to attract the target audience.
Translation of tourism content can help promote the destinations, increase the growth rate, and facilitate global expansion for travel companies. Hotel websites, brochures, magazines, etc., are just a few examples of the required documents that need a translation.
Although translation adds the benefit of going the extra mile to attract the customer and increase the tourism rate, there are challenging factors involved in tourism translation too.
1. The translation is not easy
Translators underestimate how powerful a language is in non-technical content. The travel industry may be fun but it is not easy in terms of translation. When it’s about translating the websites, you have to ensure that the translation depicts the right slogans and taglines for banners. Each seasonal package carries a different content and requirement will vary with each holiday package and destination. This means the same content and accent cannot be used for different regions.
You will tackle the target audience in Spain differently than the target audience in Africa. Travel companies want distinct unique ways to engage more customers, that’s why they opt for tourism translation services. A much-needed professional help of translators is required.
2. Use of culturally specific terms
For every location, the audience is unique in the tourism industry. It means you need to create engaging content for the local audience as well as to cater to the attention of the international audience. An attempt to translate the cultural reference will lose its value for another region. That’s why translation strategy along with the marketing strategy varies from one country to another.
For instance, Spain is famous for its Costas (beaches) you will target beach lovers who want to visit Europe and experience the golden white sand and enjoy the sun; you will highlight major beach getaways. The offers and holiday packages will revolve around the theme of the beach, the best aqua activates, food and drinks, and so on. You can’t sell the image of Spanish beaches in Morocco. But to attract the audience (mostly nerds and wild explorers) you will highlight the historical extravaganza of Moroccan culture especially the souks.
So you see? The cultural specifications make things a little bit more complicated than intended.
3. Audience appeals vary
Tourism translation varies a lot which is why machine translation is not the perfect fit for tourism documents. Usually, native experts are hired who are familiar with the local culture and have experience in tourism translation.
Safari adventures are the most common example. The wildlife safari experience in the savannahs of Africa and the desert safari experience in UAE, both depict extreme outdoor adventures but still, the cultural phrases will be far different from each other.
The hotels interested to convey attractive sights for the audience use tone and language that best involve the majority of travelers. The appeal of accommodation that comes cheap is not lost on the travelers on the budget or for those looking for a luxurious traveling experience. Therefore, it is the company’s responsibility to adapt the tone in the best interest of the target audience.
Another example is, “Malaysia Truly Asia”, one of the most popular slogans for international Malaysian airlines representing the image of comfort traveling in a true Malaysian style. Kingfisher airlines, India, replicated the idea and portrayed Goa as the most traveled destination for foreigners.
4. Lost in description
Sometimes the content might be so thrilling that a translator can get lost in translation, move away from the core theme. You will be surprised to know, describing a place is hard. Sometimes the same terms cannot be used to describe the specifics of the building. A translated text may direct you to the wrong location. For instance, if you want to head towards the cathedral, you may end up going to a local outdoor spot just because the names are similar. So yes, directions can be at fault too in translation.
A text can be ambiguous even, which means a deeply rooted translation is required for the context. You need to do extra research in source and target languages to ensure the travel guides convey the right information.
So if your client wants translation for specific locations, websites, brochures about a hotel promotion, or some other type of content, ask them to give you the details and the correct specifics. This will be extremely helpful for translation.
Tourism translation needs research and an extra set of instructions to make it work. Tourism translation services keep updates about the international travel policies and keep the translated version in trending languages (or as per requirement) to deliver it timely. Being the translator, you need to clarify the details so never be afraid to question.
Even if it’s non-technical content you still need to make it sound as professional as possible. Once you overcome the challenges your travel website will soar like a kite.