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Translation Style Guide

Do your global sites consistently reflect your company’s brand voice and messaging?

For your message to be heard in the noisy world of international commerce, it’s important to clearly define, consistently communicate, and continually champion your company’s brand messaging and positioning—especially across your global web properties. One way to help ensure consistent messaging is by creating a translation style guide to inform your multilingual website translation projects.

A translation style guide is a high-value tool that goes beyond helping your team create great web content.

It’s also a critical reference document that helps our translators understand your company rules for dictating brand elements like voice and tone, writing style, sentence structure, look and feel, graphic conventions, formatting, text treatments, media use, and more.

Collaborating to create your company’s translation style guide

When prepared correctly, a style guide provides the critical information our localization team needs to produce on-message, high-quality, relevant content across all of your target languages, markets, and locales.

As your language services provider, our localization experts will work with you to create your company’s style guide—as together we begin your website translation project.

>> Read our comprehensive article to learn how to create translation style guides and terminology glossaries.

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A more comprehensive document provides more brand and business value

It’s important to note that the more comprehensive your style guide, the more it will help our translators deliver on-brand, localized web content with global consistency and locale-specific relevance. So to create a thorough—and more valuable—document, we recommend that you initially include:

  • Reference materials: Can you provide samples of previously translated web content? How much creative latitude is permissible when paraphrasing? Have you established brand guidelines?
  • Buyer persona information: Who are your primary audiences? What are their key objectives, fears, and concerns?
  • Brand voice and language tone: How would you describe your brand voice? Should your copy sound formal? Conversational? Academic? How do you want to be perceived?
  • Graphic conventions: Can you provide examples of brand elements that are most prevalent on your sites?
  • Formatting: What are your corporate fonts? How do you treat headings and subheads?
  • Punctuation and grammar: What are your standards for capitalization? How do you handle citations, slang, and time conventions, etc.?

Once your translation style guide is complete and our respective teams progress further along the website localization process, the value of this reference document will become increasingly evident. Not only will it ensure on-brand translations, it will also increase translator productivity, minimize review cycles, speed time-to-market, and reduce project costs—just to mention a few of the ways you’ll benefit from a relatively minor investment of time and resources.


>> To learn more about website translation and localization best practices, download the new ebook, The Definitive Guide to Website Translation