Better Languages are specialist EU packaging translators, and work with leading retailers to ensure highly accurate EU pack copy translations into all official EU languages. Like many areas of translation, packaging translations require specialist attention, and can be problematic for the unwary.

EU packaging translators

Better Languages translates into all official EU languages, and many others. EU packaging translators normally have to think about two main elements in terms of translation:

  • Marketing copy

    Marketing copy needs to be as engaging when translated as the original text. Multilingual packaging often struggles for space, and the temptation can be to cut marketing wording from the translations, however marketing messages are designed to sell the product, and are as important in translation as they are in the original language!

  • legal wording

    Legal wording needs careful consideration by the translation team. We check translations against officially approved EU terminology. Legal wording needs to be clear and accurate in translation.

EU legal requirements for pack copy

The EU regulate most types of packaging, as do most international markets. Broadly speaking legislation in other EU countries is the same as the UK. For example food packaging is subject to EU wide regulation.

A compliance specialist will tell you what to include on pack. This is a compliance issue, not a translation issue. We will however translate consistently with EU requirements, and check translations against official EU approved terminology.

EU compliance and Brexit

Some companies thinking about export for the first time, or even seasoned exporters entering a new European market for the first time, may ask themselves how Brexit will impact packaging compliance. The simple answer is that it won’t directly – at least not as far as EU countries are concerned. Once the UK leaves the EU, EU regs for packaging will still apply within the remaining states. The only difference as that UK requirements may diverge from European standards over time.

Translation and legal compliance

Broadly there are a couple of possible approaches to legal compliance, if you have an in-house compliance team, we can work with you, to ensure that any compliance aspects are accurately reflected within the translations. Alternatively, we work with several specialist compliance companies who offer this service.

Limits to translation compliance

It is also important to remember that a translation is only as good as the original text. This means for example, that if you misdescribe your product in English, it will be consistently and accurately misdescribed in every EU language, if you then choose to translate it. This is because we follow the source text when translating. A good example of this is the horse meat scandal. If you describe a product as 100% beef, and it isn’t you have a major compliance issue. If you then ask us to translate “100% beef”, that of course is the declaration you will be making in the target languages, it is therefore really vital to ensure that your original text is accurate and compliant before thinking about packaging translations.

Would you like to discuss any aspect of EU packaging translation? If so, give Better Languages a call on +44 115 9788980 or contact us.