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Translating into niche languages: rely on the professionals

Many companies underestimate how important translations into niche languages can be for them. At SwissGlobal, we use the term “niche languages” to refer to languages that are not requested on a regular basis. Even if languages such as Amharic, Urdu or Swahili are foreign to you, you can rely on SwissGlobal to translate them according to ISO 17100-certified quality standards. This means you can count on excellent translations even for unusual language combinations.

When we talk about world languages in Switzerland, we usually mean European languages and the world’s number one language, Chinese. Other languages, especially African and Asian ones, are considered to be niche languages in Western Europe, mainly because there is usually less demand for them.

Niche languages: farther-reaching and more important than you thought

From a Western European perspective, it can be hard to recognise the potential of niche languages at first glance. However, many of these “foreign-to-us” languages represent emerging countries and economies that could be of great interest to companies, whether because a large middle class of potential consumers is forming there, or because these countries are important production sites within our globalised world.

The term “niche languages” is, in fact, not exactly appropriate because many of these languages – although unknown or unfamiliar to us – actually have a wider distribution than most European languages.

Would you like some examples? In India, Hindi is used by 600 million people as one of the country’s official languages. Worldwide, 84 million people speak Vietnamese. Swahili (also called Kiswahili) is the most widely spoken language in East Africa and is used by 80 million people.

Translating into niche languages

You may well need to translate content into a niche language at some point in the near future. How to go about it? Contact a professional language services provider because a qualified translation company is an invaluable help – especially if you have no way of checking the quality of a translation into Swahili or Vietnamese yourself.

What it takes to ensure top quality

Nevertheless, you may wonder how you can measure the quality of a translation if you don’t understand the target language yourself. It’s simple. Only order your translations from providers who are ISO 17100 certified. At SwissGlobal, all of our translators have qualified credentials, whether it is a recognised degree in translation, a course of study with two years of full-time internship, or at least five years of full-time professional experience as a translator. Every translation is reviewed by a second trained linguist to ensure the accuracy of its grammar and content.

Read more about this topic in our blog post “Why ISO? Because separating the wheat from the chaff is key to your success”.

The reason we differentiate between more common language combinations and niche languages is related more to availability than the actual scope of the language. Very few language services providers offer extensive capacities for niche languages because they are ordered so infrequently.

That means it can take a while to form a team capable of translating into a niche language while also possessing the right expertise in the specific field you require. If you really want to establish your business in a new language area, you will need a bit of patience. Make sure you choose a language services provider who is not solely focused on a short-term transaction but instead wants to build a long-term partnership.

SwissGlobal combines enhanced Swiss quality with an extensive global reach. We ensure that your communication is a success in all the world’s languages and cultures. Our experienced team collaborates with a network of more than 400 professional language experts around the globe. Contact us to receive an offer with absolutely no obligation.

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