Is this your company’s approach to its design, development or marketing projects?
‘Of course not!’
‘Wouldn’t dream of it!’
Hmmm … I’d beg to differ. I’ve been providing rope ladders to all sorts of organisations – small and large – for almost twenty years now.
The project’s almost finished – or it’s actually already been ‘signed off’ – when someone says, ‘Hang on! We need an English-language version of this app as well’ or ‘… the French office also wants to use this artwork’ or ‘… we should use this campaign in Germany’ or ‘… the press release goes out this afternoon and Marketing needs it in Spanish too!’
I’ve lost count of the number of times I’ve been called on to create English-language copy (from scratch or translated) with a deadline of ‘yesterday’ – after weeks or even months of planning, development, implementation and oodles of budget being pumped into pretty-looking visuals and design work. Budget which has now been used up.
And don’t get me started on the projects I’ve had to rescue where the designers and developers themselves have been creating and/or translating the textual elements and text strings used in their visuals, apps and websites. Argghhh!
Assumption is the mother of all …
So many assumptions and decisions – design decisions, UI decisions, cultural decisions – have been made along the way, without a linguist on board, that you’re now faced with the realisation that your amazing design/layout/UI ‘breaks’ in French. Or your carefully crafted campaign’s ‘culturally inappropriate’ in Germany. Or your rushed, low-quality Spanish press release has done ‘more damage than good’ in your Spanish-speaking markets.
No more rope ladders!
Having a linguist on your team shouldn’t be an afterthought. And having a linguist on board doesn’t mean he or she needs to be a permanent hire.
It’s 2020 and team/collaborative tools such as Trello, Slack, Asana, GitHub, Buffer, Hootsuite, Zendesk – whatever it is you use – are all you need to get a freelance linguist involved in your project as a ‘virtual’ team member in its early stages, so that you don’t end up painting yourself into a corner.
Call me to find out more – rope ladders currently out of stock!