Businesses who want to rush their international releases sometimes ask us to skip translations. Translations take time, and if English is indeed “the universal language of business,” why not leave out that middle step?
When clients ask this of the International Desk, we suggest they consider the following:
- Partners in China, Japan, France, Russia, Latin America and Eastern Europe (among others) don’t accept English-only copy at all. In other words, English-only releases won’t be received by several of the largest markets in the world.
- Agence France-Presse, the French version of the Associated Press, will not send in English to certain areas of the world. AFP is one of the world’s three largest news agencies, and when it doesn’t distribute your news, the lost exposure is significant.
- If a release isn’t translated, it won’t show up in that language on the Business Wire website. Nor will it be aggregated into newsfeeds by the Chinese, Japanese and other non-English services that scrape our news pages. That’s another huge missed opportunity.
So who does receive releases sent only in English?
A few large markets will accept these, notably, Germany, the Netherlands, Korea, India, Spain, Italy, and Scandinavia. Also, certain international journalists that have specifically asked for English copy will receive the feed from from Business Wire though our Press Pass program.
But how many people in those countries will actually read the release?
While some viewers will be fluent in English, many will not, and pick-up is bound to be limited by not having the release in the native tongue.
Bottom line: use translations. They’re part of the price, and if you want to look them over beforehand, we’re glad to oblige. But don’t hobble your coverage by refusing to use them at all.