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Translating tourism: Knowing how to translate cultural emotions to tourists

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Professionals of the tourism industry, you know that it isn’t easy to translate our cultural emotions and way of life to visitors in their native language. Faulty translations are still widespread in the tourism industry. You yourself have, without a doubt, been disappointed by translations that are too unprecise, or conversely by translations that are too strict, which don't compare to the charm of the original text. Do you know what the markings of a good translation for tourism are?

A good translation requires knowing how to speak the other's language

Cultural references being different between the two languages in a translation, writing can tend towards adaptation when trying to express anecdotal elements that can occur during a visit.

Translating your tourism brochures, therefore, consists of cultural mediation. It requires transferring values from one culture to another while promoting the specific identity of a region or community.

Whatever the type of tourism aid that needs translating, it is, above all, the tourist who is being addressed, their cultural understanding and sensibilities. Even in a world of globalisation, tourism documents are still very much reliant on the particularities of the target audiences’ culture. In other words, certain translations will not be the same depending on if they are addressed to an Australian or a Korean tourist.

The profile of the perfect translator for the tourism industry

The tourism translator offers his services to travel agencies, visitor centres, tourist attraction management, and other professionals in the tourism industry.

The perfect translator must have thoroughly integrated the culture and customs of the target language. He must also acquire an excellent knowledge of the place or region he is promoting, including its history and cultural particularities.

A tourism translator assumes responsibility of the final form of the text. To this end, he does not only provide a translation, but also offers marketing services. More than just a simple translation, their work consists of respecting cultural differences, to take into account the economic realities of the target country, to master semiotics, iconography, and to work around the syntactic limits of the source text to preserve its authenticity.

Particularity and diversity should not impair precision

Among the different documents related to the tourism industry, there are a large variety of genres: travel guides, travel brochures, holiday pamphlets, web sites, emails, audio guides, etc.

All of these documents mix a large variety of disciplines, like geography, gastronomy, linguistics, and history. On top of that is the marketing discourse which, more than being purely informative, places importance on certain elements of persuasion and site promotions. This is of the utmost importance in guaranteeing the quality of all tourism documents.

We must also take into account that a tourist is often an enthusiast. Because of this, the translation requires a level of precision and detail that can't be attained by a near approximation. Choose translators for your travel brochures carefully. Not all translators have the necessary competencies to produce documents that meet the needs and requirements of tourists.

There are certain translation agencies which have a team of translators specially dedicated to the tourism industry. Specifically, this is the case with Sotratech and the translation agency Tradutec. Learn more about the professionals you choose to guarantee the quality or your travel guide translations.


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