This is an excerpt of the full article by Wayne Borland, Director of Translation for Dell, published in the 2015 Brand Quarterly & Brand2Global ‘Global Marketing’ Special Edition.

At Dell we have built a world class e-commerce and marketing translation program; delivering best in class quality (and value) for our spend. We have a robust Ad Agency – Internal Marketing – Translation workflow, and yet, we (the translation process) still fail to deliver to expectations much more often than we would like. This scenario is repeated in nearly every major enterprise; begging the question:

Why are we translating marketing content?

Let’s start by dispelling some myths. We don’t translate to get good quality local copy.

There, I’ve said it.

If all we cared about was the best possible local copy, we would use either company employees in market or an ad agency with experience in that local market. We wouldn’t translate.

We will come back to the translation topic in a moment, but for now let’s step back and think about how we create the source English. Typically the source content is created over a few weeks’ time, involving several peer and executive reviews, and likely with some agency involvement. Quite often the bulk of this work is done by US based marketers, who don’t know anything about anything that happens outside of the US. We have all seen examples of this:


You can read the full interview online at as an individual website article or check out this and much more great global branding and marketing content in the Brand Quarterly & Brand2Global ‘Global Marketing’ Special Edition.