Tag Archives: translation services



The barriers that European SMEs face when exporting abroad are often related to the quality and effectiveness of their communication. Two studies conducted in Europe have found that success in international trade is linked to developing effective language management strategies(LMS).

The ELAN Survey (2006) concluded that higher performance in international trade is associated with four factors, one of which has to do with the company’s approach to language issues in new markets.

The PIMLICO Report (2011) found that 41% of European SMEs experienced a significant increase in their turnover (more than 25%) after implementing measures to ensure effective and proficient multi-language communication.
percentage increase

A significant amount of business is also being lost as a result of lacking language skills. Across a sample of nearly 2000 businesses, 11% of respondents had lost a contract due to lack of language skills.

Would you like to know more about Language Management Strategy?  Learn about it in our latest newsletter.  Click here to read!


An inquisitive mind is one of the most appreciable qualities of a translator.  Do not be afraid or annoyed by your translator’s curiosity.

The more questions asked, the more accurate the final translation will be. Questions mean that your translator not only cares about the work at hand but is also doing his or her best.

The most commonly encountered types of questions your translator may ask will have to do with:

  • context: background information and history relative to the subject matter.  Knowing as much as possible about the subject makes the translation process more reliable.
  • visuals: a lot of times a visual will be of great help in understanding the context.  Visuals are also necessary for any documents describing packaging, design, displays, ads, etc.
  • product names: providing the existing translations of product names is vital as there are several ways of translating a product name into every language.
  • terminology: every company has its own terminology and style.  The more your translator tries to find out how to adapt his or her translation to your specifications the better.

For all of the above reasons, it is essential to have direct contact with your translator and be receptive to his or her questions.

 Quick Tip!

When launching a project, make sure your translator has access to all the information he or she needs!


Many companies that regularly use translators wait for their work to come back before going to press.  They say that their translators’ critical eye helps identify weaknesses and ambiguities in the original copy.

Remember! No one will read your document more carefully than your translator!



April 2013 news from Beautyterm

April news from Beautyterm LLCwithborder.jpg


And we are back!  Writing the newsletter is a lot of fun.  You may find some of the information repetitive with the previous blog entry but bear with us!  There is a lot more.  We hope that you will like our example of a French company with a name impossible to use in English speaking countries!  Go to this link to find out all about it:

Beautyterm Ezine April 2013 archived version

Beautyterm unveils a new website and logo

Beautelogie_Logo_finalBy Agnes Meilhac

April 03, 2013

Fairfield, NY – Beautyterm LLC is pleased to announce the launch of its new website in French: beautélogie.fr.  A registered trademark in France, Beautélogie marks Beautyerm’s commitment to bring innovative translation and multilingual communication solutions to the French cosmetics and beauty market.

Adding a touch of flair to the company’s marketing strategy in Europe, Beautélogie will operate under the umbrella of Beautyterm in the United States, offering a full range of translation, linguistic and cultural consulting, copywriting, multilingual content adaptation, product name development and page layout services tailored specifically to the beauty industry.

Why the new name?  Why Beautélogie?  Because we wanted to flaunt all the beauty, passion and creativity that go into our work while, at the same time, stressing the fact that what we do is a science, a field, a branch of knowledge in its own right…

We pride ourselves in being different from all other service providers.  When you deal with Beautyterm, you deal directly with the linguists working on your projects – skilled, highly educated language professionals with comprehensive knowledge of the ins and outs of the beauty industry

About Beautyterm LLC

Beautyterm LLC is a full-service multilingual communications and translation consulting boutique specializing exclusively in the personal care and cosmetics industry.

With a solid activity base in Paris and New York, the world’s undisputed beauty capitals, Beautyterm LLC is the brainchild of two veteran linguists, Agnes Meilhac and Joann Phelps, who use a unique approach to international marketing communications founded on two decades of experience.

The company offers services in a wide range of world languages. For more information, please visit http://www.beautyterm.com/ or http://www.beautelogie.fr/ (in French).


To learn more about our new strategy in France, please contact

 Agnes Meilhac
Office: (203) 550-6548


Mondial Spa & Beauté 2013

This year once again we were doing the rounds of Mondial Spa & Beauté, saying hello to old friends, making new connections and admiring a myriad of products on display.

The event, which took place at La Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, from March 9th to 11th, attracted some of the best-known brands and cosmetic laboratories, spa and beauty equipment manufacturers, training centers and well-being and beauty specialists from France and abroad.

mondial spa beaute Collage 2

Showing off

So we want to show off a little…  One of our favorite French companies, Académie Scientifique de Beauté, has a wonderful Facebook page, which we immediately liked.  The page is well designed, interactive and regularly updated and maintained.  But we did find a curious little oddity.  The French-language updates are followed by Bing-translator generated English translations.  Sometimes, there are two or three different versions, some better than others, which made us think that maybe somebody was trying to “clean them up”…

Whatever the case, we thought this was a great way to show how automatic translation simply does not work…  Especially when the ultimate goal is to sell a product, in which case you need flair and imagination and a certain way with language to make it all sound GOOD.

Take a look:


Notre remède anti-peau sèche !

A tout âge, la peau peut afficher des signes de déshydratation, de sécheresse, s’irriter, s’abîmer… C’est pourquoi, il est toujours nécessaire de non seulement réhydrater la peau mais également de la nourrir pour qu’elle fonctionne à nouveau comme une barrière protectrice. Notre conseil d’expert : le “Soin Thermo-Actif” doublé de notre concentré d’actif “Gelée Royale” ! Un duo de choc qui va nourrir en profondeur votre peau et rétablir sa protection naturelle pour affronter les derniers jours de l’hiver.

Translation #1

Our anti-dry skin cure!

At any age, the skin may show signs of dehydration, dryness, irritation… This is why it is always necessary to not only moisturize the skin but also nourish it to restructure its protective barrier. Our expert advice: the “Thermo-Active Cabin Treatment” coupled with our “Royal Jelly” ampoule! A duo that will nourish your skin thoroughly and restore its natural protection to face the last days of winter.

Translation #2

Our anti-nuclear remedy dry!

At any age, the skin may show signs of dehydration, dryness, become irritated, damaged… For this reason, it is always necessary to not only rehydrate the skin but also the feed to make it work again as a protective barrier. Our expert advice: the “care Thermo-active” doubled our assets concentrate “Royal jelly”! A duo of shock which will feed in depth your skin and restore its natural protection to face the last days of the winter.

Translation #1

Our anti-dry skin cure!

At any age, the skin may show signs of dehydration, dryness, irritation… This is why it is always necessary to not only moisturize the skin but also nourish it to restructure its protective barrier. Our expert advice: the ‘Thermo-Active Cabin Treatment”coupled with our”Royal Jelly”bulb! A duo that will nourish your skin thoroughly and restore its natural protection to face the last days of winter. (Translated by Bing) http://on.fb.me/Y7mhr7


Our cure for dry skin!

The skin may show signs of dehydration, dryness, irritation and damage at any age.  To help restore its protective barrier functions, it is hence always necessary to provide it with not just moisture but also nutrition.  Our expert advice: combine our “Thermo Active Treatment” with our active “Royal Jelly” concentrate!  A powerful duo that will nourish your skin deep-down and rebuild its natural protection to brace it against the last days of winter.

Cosmetagora 2013

Cosmetagora2smallJoann attended Cosmetagora 2013 on January 15th.  A two-day Health & Beauty trade show and event,  Cosmetagora was held in Paris, Espace Champerret, and organized by Societe Francaise De Cosmetologie. In the past few years, it has become one of the most important trade fairs for cosmetic ingredients, providing a platform – particularly for small and medium-sized companies – to present latest trends and products.  We are pleased to say that we met a new client from Spain and have had many more inquiries about our services!

Marketing, storytelling and translation memories

Marketing cosmetic products has a lot to do with successful storytelling, which means that translation in this field requires equal measures of creativity and imagination.

I was once asked at a dinner party why I insist on “working from scratch,” foregoing the use of translation memory software and other technologies in my work as expert translator for the beauty industry.

Translation memories are hugely popular with run-of-the-mill translation agencies because they make the translation process so cost-effective. They can be easily used for legal agreements, user manuals and highly repetitive documents of technical nature, but have a limited application in cosmetic translation.  Why?

Good marketing is all about telling a compelling story that captures our imagination and holds our attention. Instead of trying to sell a product for its features or benefits, successful marketers have the ability to captivate their consumers by simply crafting a great story.

Cosmetics companies are exceptionally skillful at using storytelling for this purpose.  The most prevalent type of storytelling in the beauty and fragrance industry is the “product creation” storyline.  These stories are often told to answer the question “why buy this product from us?” They work well because they showcase the company’s values, knowledge of the market and how it identified an unmet customer need.

Sharing with customers a product’s story is one of the best ways to win them over.  Helena Rubinstein, a brilliant innovator and doyenne of cosmetics, learned this lesson early in her career.  After starting her business in Australia, the recently arrived Polish émigré named her very first product “Crème Valaze” in order to evoke the sophistication and luxury of Paris. At the same time, she advertised the formula as an invention of a certain Doctor Lykusky from Krakow, made with “rare herbs from the Carpathian Mountains”, deftly weaving her Central European origins into the tale.(*)

The importance of storytelling has become even more vital since the explosion of social media shifted focus to content marketing.  The goal is to retain reader attention by creating engaging, meaningful content, while at the same time building brand loyalty.

Translation memories are not well suited for use in translating marketing material that aims at telling a story.  Designed not to “replace” a translator by churning out translations out of a vacuum, but rather to capture repeated content for the translator’s future reuse, TM software is in fact of very little help when it comes to more creative, expressive writing.  Reusing past content is only relevant when specific requirements of consistency have to be met.

As for the actual retelling of a story in a different tongue, nothing can beat human command of language, its rhythm, structure and nuance, which affect style as well as substance.  Translating cosmetic copy is not possible without downright creative input, involving a comparable amount of time and effort to that spent on writing the original.

You can take a great marketing campaign and end up with a pale copy full of passive, tedious translation choices or you can get something equally inspiring and uplifting.  The difference lies in how much effort was put into “doing it from scratch”.


(*)Branded Beauty: How Marketing Changed The Way We Look by Mark Tungate

The advantages of hiring a small translation consulting firm vs. a large agency

Specialization, human touch and top-notch collaborators

Shopping around for the right translation service provider is not easy.  There is an abundance of translation agencies to choose from, all vying for potential clients’ attention with the same assurances of high quality, native language translators and project management skills.

Most agencies choose not to specialize too narrowly in one specific field.  They tend to serve a wide range of industries, from the airlines, IT sector, food and agriculture to hotels.  And most also have a financial and legal department as those areas are typically highly profitable.

All reputable establishments that follow a strict protocol farm out the translation work they accept from clients to adequately trained translators.  So a legal document will be given to a legal translator and a pharmaceutical translation will go to a translator with the required expertise in that field.

However, smaller companies that do make the conscious decision to work within the scope of only one industry can offer many benefits:

-> Specialization creates high quality

  • Focus: Adopting a focus in a given niche means that your translation will not be relegated, last-minute, to just any translator at the end of the phone line with time to spare, if the regular specialized translator is on vacation or sick leave.
  • Educate: Rushed, halfway solutions become unnecessary because small translation boutiques are willing to invest time in educating their prospects before they start selling their services.  For example, they take the time to explain how important it is to factor in enough time for the process of properly translating a document.

-> Close relationships and solutions tailored to your needs

  • Nurture: Smaller companies pamper their clients and employees/partners alike.  They may be able to address highly personalized client requests at a moment’s notice but they also have very tight-knit relationships with their translators and work hard at keeping both happy.
  • Reach: They are so close to their clients that they can deliver CEO-level experience to everyone they work with.  It’s all about involvement and hands-on management.  Translators who ask questions are good news.
  • Surprise: Truly valuable translation service providers understand and are able to demonstrate to their clients that translation is an art.  They know the value of surprising their clients with initiative, innovation and sometimes even risk taking.   Did you think translation was for drones?  Think again!
  • Meaning: A small translation outfit will work to build a meaningful relationship.  Instead of placing focus on selling (churning out volume-driven revenue), the resulting partnership will be about connecting and understanding.

-> We bring you the best of the translation world

  • Partner: Because small translation businesses are highly specialized and operate via networks of partners in order to be able to address their clients’ specific needs, they must ensure that their pool of partners represents the best and the brightest in the field.
  • Automate: With smart use of technology, small service providers are able to ensure the same level of follow-up and service without the overhead cost of their big agency competitors.


[Be warned: some may still be more expensive, even without comparable overhead, given the higher level of expertise and higher overall attention to their clients.  However, this usually means that translators are also much better paid and therefore much happier with what they do, in addition to being on the whole more satisfied with their working relationships and working conditions.  Invariably, such differences will translate into a big difference in the quality of the final product that the paying end customer will see upon delivery.]


SOURCE: John Jantsch, Duct Tape Marketing