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How to Translate a Purpose Statement into English


In this post, we will be going over a few important aspects of the process of creating an English version of your purpose statement. The process can involve finding a partner company to help you. I hope this post provides you additional information about the process as well as tips on what to look for in a partner.



It's not translation


At SMO, we believe the expression of the purpose statement in English is not merely a translation.


Developing the English version is an act of trans-creation. It is one step beyond translation and involves a level of creation.


At SMO, we refer to the process as localization. It means we are adapting the purpose statement in another language for a specific audience. We want to maintain the original meaning and intent while creating relevance and resonance for the target audience.


The first thing to look for in a partner is to see if their approach includes the idea of trans-creation and localization.


Method


The next thing when looking for a partner for purpose localization is asking them to explain their methodology.


At SMO, although we tailor our approach for each client, we have a methodical process we start with.


Our approach includes exploring ideas from two key angles. The first angle entails exploring expressions on the spectrum of simple to descriptive. The second angle entails exploring expressions from staying true to the original copy to natural English. After exploring the possibilities we converge and decide where our focus should be and use it to guide the finalization of our English version.


How will it be used?


Who is the localized version of the purpose statement for? If it is going to be used for overseas employees, are they native to the English language? These factors influence the word choice. When working with a partner for localization, to ensure a fitting transcreation of the the purpose statement, it is important to communicate not just how the localized purpose will be used, but also the context such as company culture. In the case of SMO, we help companies with purpose discovery, expression, and localization. As such, we work closely for several months, which provides SMO with the necessary context to localization the statement.


Tone and manner of the statement in English


The localization process involves expressing the statement that aligns with your brand. The tone, manner, and voice should fit with your brand. As a result, it is helpful if you have brand guidelines that detail the tone, manner, and voice of your brand. If you don't have such guidelines, it is useful to provide representative English materials or other examples that can help your partner understand the voice for the localization.

 

Wrap up


We have went over some key aspects of expressing purpose statements in English. We went over the stance and mindset, the method, and tone and manner involved with purpose localization. I hope it was insightful and will help you in creating English versions of purpose statement.


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