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Product packaging and label translation services

Are you launching a product to the international market? Do you require your packaging or product labels to be translated for an audience that speaks a language other than English?

Australian Multilingual translators are experts in conveying your message in a powerful and culturally acceptable way, wherever and however it appears in the world. We offer a total project management service for label and packaging translation, involving multiple target languages and platforms, from inception through to final print stage.

We regularly provide multilingual product label and packaging translation and design to a variety of industry sectors, including medical and pharmaceutical, meat and livestock, cosmetics, food and beverage and clothing. We provide a complete service from localisation of copy, translation and translation review, to design, typesetting and delivery of print-ready PDFs and artwork files.

Our packaging translation clients include Nestle, Sun Rice and Bayer Pharmaceuticals.

Why choose Australian Multilingual to translate your product packaging?

Over the past 14 years, we have established a panel of tried and tested, highly competent human translators and proof-readers, many with parallel field-specific expertise. This allows us to deliver highly accurate results, even for the most specialised translation service.

We review both our client’s packaging copy and artwork prior to commencing translation. If we identify any potential issues in relation to the artwork layout, choice of wording for translation or issues with cultural sensitivities, we work with clients to find a solution. Please see our tips for preparing packaging copy, below (tips for preparing packaging copy for translation).

We always engage a second translator to check and verify packaging translations for each language we are working into. This is an essential process in ensuring that your packaging translation is not only accurate, but also, refined to engage your target market.

Once translation copy is finalised, it is typeset into your packaging artwork. The typeset translations undergo a rigorous review process prior to delivery of the completed project.

Japanese translatorSample food product packaging translation (Japanese)

Typesetting artwork for translation of labels and packaging

Languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean and Arabic have different formatting rules compared to languages which utilise the Roman alphabet. In the case of Arabic, copy flows from right to left. Typesetting of Arabic, Asian and Cyrillic characters requires an in-depth knowledge and attention to detail.

Our service includes a rigorous review process to ensure that the final document is error-free. We work with leading design and DTP (desk top publishing) applications, including Adobe InDesign, Illustrator, Quark and Photoshop, on both Macintosh and PC platforms, in dedicated language versions.

product packaging translated
Product packaging translation

Tips for preparing packaging copy for translation

1. Ensure that you have thoroughly researched the packaging and labelling compliancy regulations of the destination country(s) prior to the translation process. Failure to meet compliancy regulations can result in heavy fines, litigation and products being refused at port.

2. Have you provided adequate space within the artwork design of the packaging to allow for the display of multiple languages? The regulations of your specific industry and the countries you’re exporting to will determine how much translated copy you’re required to display on your packaging labels. Many languages require more characters to express the same message as the English version. It may be necessary to minimise the volume of English copy displayed on your packaging.

3. Is your copy suitable for translation? Avoid idiomatic expressions and word-plays as these can be lost in translation.

4. We cannot advise strongly enough against machine translation! For an accurately crafted translation, always engage professional human translators. We are often called on to review translations for clients. Frequently, we find that the translation has been created by a machine. A machine translation is instantly recognisable for its poor grammar, poor sentence structure and misinterpretations. It requires more work to fix a machine translation than to create a fresh, professional translation from the original source text.

Here is an example of a recent product packaging translation assignment that illustrates the dangers of relying on machine translation:

We were engaged to review translated and typeset packaging artwork for an Australian dairy product. During the review process we found that one of the ingredients listed on the packaging had been mistranslated. The word ”preservative” had been translated into French as “préservatif“ meaning condom or prophylactic. If this machine translation error had gone undetected, the ramifications for the brand would have been severe.

5. Always ensure that the translated copy has been proof-read and reviewed by an additional translator. This process not only picks up on errors but also allows for a more refined translation.

6. Think about font compatibility. We provide most translations in Unicode sans-serif font because it has good compatibility across languages.