Language Insight has launched a new translation service that has been tailor-made for the fashion industry. By outsourcing their translations to us, fashion industry insiders can free up their time to focus on the more pressing issue of deciding what the next big look will be.

The fashion industry is truly global. Just one collection might feature exotic design ideas from a different continent, fabrics sourced from all over the world and manufacturing skills from overseas. The marketing side of the industry is no less global, as some fashion houses have stores in all the major cities, in addition to numerous factories in multiple countries.

Of the major fashion houses, Burberry, Ralph Lauren and Calvin Klein are all founded by English speakers, Chanel, Louis Vuitton and Dior are French and Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Prada are Italian. It’s easy to see why fashion is one of the most diverse industries in the world.

The recent Costume Institute Gala in New York – more popularly known as the Met Ball – showed just how many cultures and languages are involved in one outfit. Madonna, for instance, wore a creation by Italian designer Riccardo Tisci, which consisted of a Scottish tartan jacket over torn fishnets, and was inspired by British punks Sid Vicious and Nancy Spungen. Talk about a mix of cultures.

Translation can make the whole process of designing, manufacturing and marketing clothing a lot easier. Just a handful of the translations Language Insight can offer include contracts, manufacturing guidelines, websites and advertising. We can also translate dictated notes, saving you the time of transcribing them first.

By sending translations to us, fashion houses and luxury goods brands can ensure they don’t make any embarrassing slip-ups. Mistakes like Clairol’s launch of its Mist Stick curling iron in Germany, where “mist” translates to “manure”.

A far worse fashion mistranslation was that of Mango’s marketing slogan for a gold chain. In March, it was discovered the Spanish fashion house was selling the necklace on its French website with the description: “Collier style esclave.” This translates to “slave collar style” and it wasn’t long before a petition had been set up, under the name: “Slavery is not fashion!” It got 5,000 signatures and Mango issued an apology, although it said that a translation error was the cause. Two bracelets being sold on the French site were also labelled as “slave style”, but the names of all of these products have now been changed.

Making a mistake like this cannot only cost a company a substantial amount of money, but it can also irrevocably damage its reputation. That’s why it’s so important that all the translations they use are produced by a professional who is qualified, who is based in the country where your target language is spoken and who has experience working in the fashion industry. It is equally important that the finished translation is subject to a thorough quality assurance process to ensure it makes sense and says what it is supposed to.

This is called localisation, and is the process of taking into account cultural differences as well as linguistic ones when producing a translation. It means that the result is a translation you can truly rely on. Because our network of linguists spreads across the globe, we are able to assign your translation to a linguist based in the country where your target language is spoken so they will be well versed in all the latest language updates, such as any new slang. Where possible, your project will also be handled by a linguist who has experience working in the fashion sector.

Finding the perfect translator to take on your fashion project can be challenging. If you plan to launch a product in multiple countries, you will need to assemble a team of translators specialising in every language you require – which will certainly take time. That’s why it makes sense to outsource the translation to us so we can get to work straight away selecting the perfect translator for you from our team.

Contact us here to discuss your translation requests.