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Questions

June 16

It is always good to get enquiries from potential clients. This means that you are one step closer to getting that deal (money in and a better portfolio, heeeyyyy!) but as copywriters we must ensure that we do not rush ourselves just anything that comes in our way. We have to be professional and also responsible. What this means is that you have to ask questions to the interested party so that both parties are clear of what to expect and better understanding of the project.

 

Here are some questions that you can ask to the interested party:

  1. Can you please define your project?
  2. When will you be ready to get started?
  3. When do you need this project completed?
  4. Is there a hard deadline by which materials must be delivered?
  5. What is your budget for this project?
  6. If multiple executives or teams are involved, who has the final approval?
  7. Will I be interviewing people outside the company?
  8. May I see your existing marketing materials?
  9. Who specifically is the target audience for what I will write?
  10. Can you tell me more about this target audience?

 

Here are some of the basic questions we have listed. Do you have your own?

What does a copywriter do?

May 25

Let’s go back to basics. Many clients whom we have worked with are still unsure of what copywriting is and what exactly a copywriter does.

Copywriting in a nutshell consists of a lot of different things. Mainly, they are often referred to as creative writing and they come in various platforms such as web content, news releases, brochures, training manuals etc. Copywriters basically package powerful messages by stringing the right words and images into the right form and length to capture attention and motive minds.

In addition, copywriters are also responsible for creative ideas or concepts and give it substance, direction and content.

What do you guys think, do you agree with our take on copywriting and copywriters above?

Is translation optional? Not if you’re determined to succeed.

April 24

If you want your business to grow, you need to speak the client’s language. Hmm… sounds pretty obvious isn’t it? Most of us are aware that translation is critical for any company that does business across borders or within its own domestic multicultural community.

But apparently this alone doesn’t seem to constitute a sufficient motive for companies to truly invest in professional translation services. Why is that so? According to our experience, the following could be some of the underlying reasons.

First, budget reduction. Companies tend to assign the translation work to a staff member, who is already being paid anyway, so that they can save costs by not engaging external service providers. Second, confidentiality. By translating the content in-house, it is assumed that there will be no risk of information leakage.

Are these reasons as valid as they sound?

One recent study sheds light on this topic. Researcher Jukka-Pekka Peltonen concluded that a large bulk of translation work was done by in-house employees, and translation was not part of their job scope. Thus, the employees felt upset and taken for granted when they were tasked to carry out extra work. Also, since the employees did not receive any professional training, the quality of the translation may not be up to standard, and additional workload in the form of repeated revisions may even impede their performance in other tasks assigned to them.

What’s more, when the employees were unsure of the translation for certain terms and terminologies, they resorted to various means to find out the appropriate expressions from their colleagues or friends who were familiar with the area in question, leading to a breach of the confidentiality that was supposed to be protected.

So, it is really up to the companies to devise their best strategies after weighing the relevant costs and benefits.

As a side note, if you are still having doubts about how a professional translation agency can bring benefits to your business, just bear this in mind: professional translation done by translation companies allows you to protect and enhance your global reputation. Only when you are able to convey your messages clearly and effectively to different groups of target customers, then can your business prosper in the global market.

After all, accuracy makes all the difference, as translation with quality is definitely not something everyone can do on the spur of the moment. What about machines? Will they replace human translation someday? No, not even close. Even with today’s technology, machine translation is still miles away from producing an acceptable quality of translation, as the intricacies of language are still beyond the ability of talented programmers to imitate.

Basics of Copywriting – What’s in it?

April 11

copywriting

 

Ever wanted to have a copy that’s nicely written and is able to capture the attention of many? You’re in luck because that’s when copywriters come in handy!

In present day, copywriters are able to handle emails, online ad scripts, press releases and brochures among many others.

Copywriting involves creativity to take place and most importantly, stressing on the ‘call-to-action’ portion of your copy. Ultimately, it is important to market enough and ensure that your readers do not divert away from it too quickly!

Some pointers when it comes to copywriting:

  1. Catchy headline
  2. ‘Out of the box’ concept
  3. Precise and catchy ‘call-to-action’

Copywriting is certainly no easy feat and it is certainly not meant for everyone. Your choice of words and attention to what goes into the copy is important. For that reason, if you are in need of a helping hand in copywriting, we are more than happy to assist you!

We are after all the most amazing copywriters in Singapore ;)

The need for copywriting!

March 8

Sometimes, copywriting is needed to enhance your copy for many reasons. It can be for advertising, marketing and selling purposes.

The copywriter is responsible for telling the story, crafting it in such a way that it resonates with the viewer/reader ideally producing an emotional response. A little copywriting work can do the trick to get more attention for your copy that could potentially increase sales or clients for your company.

For individuals who are working on a copy for school work or projects, engaging in copywriting can also help produce a more interesting work that could potentially earn you an ‘A’ grade.

However, it is important to select the right kind of copywriting agencies to help you out with the copywriting task. This is crucial as it helps ensure credibility and quality in the assignment. Prior research on the company and the services they offer is very helpful. The company’s portfolio is also another factor that you can take a look at when deciding on which company to go for.

Do you have your own experience when picking a copywriting agency? Share with us!

Translation/Copywriting Issues

February 27

There are two things that tick me off and they are:

  1. When the pantry runs out of coffee
  2. When I see translated articles that don’t make sense, filled with spelling errors and the like

Translations aren’t as easy as it seem and even though that’s the case, people are still taking it lightly. This is especially the case when you are trying to retain the meaning of a sentence but it just turns out weird or completely different when it is being translated into another language (ultimate facepalm worthy). Wanna know why? Let me break it down for you.

  1. No proofreading was done
  2. Lack of understanding in content
  3. Lack of communication between client, vendor and translator

If you are finding countless numbers of errors in your translated copy or finding yourself not satisfied with the translations presented to you, this simply means you are not engaging in the right translation agency.

It is extremely important to work with a Professional Translation Agency; one who has the resources and experience, backed up by a solid portfolio. Why?
Resource – With sufficient resources, the translation agency will be able to handle the workload with quality and efficiency which I believe what most clients are looking for

Experience -  The longer you have been in the industry, it gives a positive outlook to potential clients. As always with experience, there bound to be the feeling of trust involved that makes you want to engage in the services provided by that particular company

Solid portfolio – Nothing beats having an array of clients you’ve worked with especially when they have nothing but praises about your services. With positive testimonials and a throng of client lists to show off, this will definitely lure potential clients to work with your company

Therefore, it is important to choose the right professional translation agency in ensuring that nothing but the best is delivered for your projects. The same can be applied for copywriting projects as well where a proper copy is needed to bring out the best message intended for the said piece.

Here at Copywriting Services Singapore, we are confident in delivering quality work. With a team of dedicated and reliable staff copywriters, we ensure that your satisfaction is our top priority.

 

Translation Device iLi

February 13

Upcoming translation device ili is taking the world by storm as its advertising video has made its rounds on the internet and going viral! Boasting the capability for instant translation, ili promises intuitive user interface that allows you to use the device as if you’re directly communicating with the other person! Impressive ain’t it?

Targeting mostly travelers, ili is loaded with a library of phrases that are commonly used by travellers, minimising translation errors. The library also includes words associated with places and latest trends for a seamless communication experience. The best part is that, no internet connection is needed to use this device, making it all a whole lot easier when travelling.
There have been many debates regarding ili on whether it will work as well as it claims or if it is just another overhyped device or if it turns out to be a pleasant surprise for us all! What do you think? Share with us your thoughts on it!

 

Transcreation: More than just marketing translation

October 4

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If you’re a marketing professional, you understand the importance of translating your company’s global message.

As you globalise, words may take on new meaning, images may have different implications and colors may suggest other emotions. During translation, you’re faced with the possibility of losing your marketing message by having it translated into a completely new language. Accuracy and clarity are probably just a couple of concerns that come to mind.

Yet you also need to remain consistent to your company’s message. Take, for example, the vocabulary you use to describe your services or the colors of your company brand. When you imagine two of the world’s largest global brands, Facebook and Coca-Cola, you probably think of the words “share,” “like” and “post” or envision a red and white cursive logo. This is the kind of brand awareness that all companies strive for because, much like familiar faces, we as humans gravitate towards recognisable images. The more consistent you are, the more likely your message is going to stick with your audience.

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Language expertise does not necessarily mean marketing expertise

To complement these marketing translation needs, it is essential that a skilled copywriter or an experienced marketing linguist who is familiar with the creativity of marketing, advertising and media copy is assigned to translate your project. This will help ensure your linguistic style of brand positioning is still apparent in your message when translated into a new language.

Just like you wouldn’t have your financial group or engineering team create your marketing briefs or corporate content, you wouldn’t want an inexperienced linguist working on your marketing translations. Having a linguist who understands marketing factors, such as tone of voice and corporate branding, will make your marketing translations more impactful in your target language.

Taking marketing creativity one step further

But what if you are looking to foster a completely new creative concept within a different language? While marketing translations can help you express your marketing content in a different language, they might not hold the same creative style needed to “wow” your audience in another country. As you can imagine, this requires something more than just translation – it’s known as transcreation.

During transcreation, experienced copywriters or marketing linguists are assigned to your project and work very closely with you to develop your localised marketing campaign. It is their job to further understand how your message works within the source language and redefine this message with similar appeal in your target language. Similar to translation, they render these new ideas while considering the effects of in-country sensitivities, such as customs, regulations and cultural differences.

Since transcreation is a more in-depth procedure, it does expand translation timelines and may initially cost more than a basic translate-edit-proof service, yet companies may choose to adopt this process if they want to transform their creative message for a new target audience. Transcreation is also beneficial for companies that wish to test out their marketing within a new country without having to hire an entire marketing team to develop their marketing strategy.

Power of words & copywriting

September 5

Every day without fail, a blind man would seek for donations from passers-by. Together with his donation cup, he would sit on the pavement and hope for it to be full. Armed with a standard board that says “I’m blind, please help”, every other day, he would return home with an empty cup except for a few coins.

One day, a generous man took the blind man’s board and changed the texts to “It’s spring, and I’m blind”. Soon after, he received an overflowing amount of donations in his cup and was overwhelmed by the sudden generosity.

This simple example shows just how powerful words can be and how a slight change of direction and usage can make a big difference.

 

Google Translate Bugs

July 11

Hearing how much of a help machine translations are, is no longer a foreign thing to many of us now. Living in a world where we are often seeking things to be done quickly and easily, it is not a surprise that many of us are relying on the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo translators. Online and machine translations do have their own benefits and they work at times but of course, there will be times where you cannot trust the translations produced by these applications online.

As an example, I have typed “I fell from the tree and it hurts” onto Google translate and the Malay translated texts produced were “I jatuh dari pokok itu dan ia menyakitkan”. In this simple and short sentence, not only were there grammatical errors but the system has failed to translate the word ‘I’ into Malay! In instances like these, the end user has to be alert of such errors and make the sound decision to not put his full trust and faith onto online translation applications.

This is the reason why many professional translators push for human translation instead of machine. With the presence of human beings working on the copies, these professional and trained translators are able to fully understand the content better than a machine would. In addition, they are also able to sift out other aspects such as nuances and emotions portrayed and would translate accordingly, something a machine translator is unable to perform.

Personally, we wouldn’t recommend machine translations but in cases you need to use them, be sure to double, if not triple check before using the translated texts for submission!