Make Room for Expansion During the
Technical Document Translation Process

Why a Technical Text Translated from English into a Foreign Language Takes More Space

Looking for an expert technical translation service?  Planning to promote your product overseas? Watch out for your labeling—or you could be putting your buyers at risk.

Translating from English into practically any other language is tricky. Typically, multilingual document translations require more words than the original English document to communicate the exact same detail. This concept, called the “expansion factor,” means that your original 250-word brochure may be 400 words after it’s translated. And that can cause some issues if your design doesn’t accommodate the additional verbiage.

Marketing departments of pharmaceutical, consumer products and biomedical firms must be particularly sensitive to the language expansion factor. Product and packaging labels are typically created for American English demographics, without thought to any language translation issues. When an Americanized product label is too small for the translated text, compromises happen.

On packaging, where space is at a premium, one of two things happen when instructions are translated: the font gets smaller or the text gets edited, If your international customers can’t understand your multilingual product packaging—or fail to follow your easy-to-follow directions, you’ll frustrate them. And lose their loyalty to your brand.

Edited translations can be more than confusing—they can also be deadly. Biomedical and pharmaceutical packaging must be completely comprehensible, free from confusing translation discrepancies, tiny text or edited copy. When unclear labeling can cause product misuse, illness or death, why take a chance with white space? It’s best to design your labels for translated text, accommodating the extra words.

What’s your solution for a successful product label translation experience? Discuss any preliminary designs with your pharmaceutical translation company. Your translation company will review your layout and help you determine how much white space you’ll need. When you’ve planned a design to accommodate your global market, you’ll have the peace-of-mind knowing you have an accurate, easy-to-read label in any language- free from embarrassing (or potentially dangerous) language translation issues.

Does your pharmaceutical company require product label translation services?

Contact our technical document translation company with foreign language translation and interpretation requests.

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