Translation for the hotel industry: a specialized skill

As a senior translator and hotelier I get to revise and edit many contents relating to the hospitality industry.

Unfortunately, not many are up to standards.

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This is because hotel translation is a speciality which requires a wide set of skills and it is often best done by those who have hands-on experience in the field.

Translating for the hotel industry involves mastering tone of voice, which can vary widely among contents addressed to guests, to employees, to partners or to suppliers; being able to write beautiful marketing contents, in line with the brand standards, which are unique and not obvious, as well as creative headlines and promotional materials; studying and specializing in contract and privacy law to address legal and HR requirements; acquiring the terminology, which can get quite technical (and which is always a sore spot in many translations I come across).

Not to speak of the different voice you need to adopt when speaking for a luxury hotel, a midscale business hotel, a resort, a boutique hotel or a convention hotel, just to make a few examples.

It also involves being able to match the needs of corporate and general managers timely and efficiently, also advising them on the best course of action to tackle complex content strategies or to improve guests’ and employees’ engagement (for instance, even by simply producing spotless multilingual menus, which is not as easy as it may sound, or by localizing the brand standards to further their adoption by local employees).

Too often hotel (and also travel) translation and writing are mistakenly deemed simple and straightforward. And that’s why you come across hotel texts which seem produced automatically – all the same, all uninspiring.

To really stand out, you need to up your game, starting with your written contents.

About the author
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I am an Italian specialist in translation and proofediting, working in the marketing, creative and legal fields. I put my many years of experience to the advantage of my clients by creating texts resonating with the Italian-speaking audience and making brands locally relevant. Connect with me on LinkedIn and Twitter or visit my website.