How to get super-fast translations in fashion retail

Fashion retail is a fast-paced vertical with new lines being added every minute that need to be available to purchase almost instantaneously. If you’re a retailer or brand that operates internationally, instantaneous means getting product details translated super-fast too.

But super-fast translations also need to be super-effective. Customers are not only buying an item of clothing or an accessory, they’re also buying into a brand. Fashion translations need to reflect the brand personality, and communicate this to customers in different target markets. It’s emotive, and often the message needs to be highly targeted to ensure that consumers in different global markets engage with the brand.

So how can you get a balance between super-fast and effective fashion translations? Here’s how to check whether your fashion translation process is fit for purpose.

Creative fashion translation experts

Fashion translations often require transcreation as well. This involves reviewing the source text to see whether it has the right impact in the target market and if not, re-writing it to ensure it does. For this reason your translation team needs to include translators with marketing, branding and design expertise: as well as fashion translation experience too.

Native speakers every time

Translation time can be reduced and quality and effectiveness increased by using native speakers for your translation projects. It may seem like a tall order to identify translators with the right creative fashion or technical expertise and a native speaker, but this is the best way to achieve quality.

Brand style guidelines

The first thing a fashion translator or transcreation expert needs are your brand guidelines. Just providing the text and artwork is not enough; they need to understand the brand and your customers, as well as how it’s perceived in the target market. Armed with this information they will be able to align the translation with the brand, reflecting the brand personality and ensure it has the right impact.

Source text

As with any translation project, if the source text is right to start with it makes the translation process much quicker. However, as fashion is emotive and the message conveyed may be more or less effective in different markets, transcreation may be required. This is when the expertise of a specialist fashion translator is so important, they can advise on whether the source text will work and suggest alternatives if necessary.


Finally, super-fast translations can only be achieved if you have the capacity and people to do them. Translation technology, such as Translation Memories, can help this process, but human translators are vital. Consider your translation requirements – the volume, timescales and number of different target languages you need translated – then go with a translation service provider who has the capacity and the expertise to deliver.

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