We specialise in food label translation. Our dedicated team can translate your food packaging into almost any major language. We human author all our translations. This ensures they are technically accurate. We work with both leading international food brands and major retailers. Clients include Costa, Kettle Foods, Iceland Foods, and Thorntons.

Great work, very happy, we’ll be doing a lot more business with you.

Jonathan Davies, Cambrian Pet Foods Ltd.

Hello Bea. Thank you very much for the extreme swift and professional turn around. This is greatly appreciated and I will look to contact you in the future for further translations.

Victor Kalbskopf, t-licious GmbH

Translating a food label can be quite different to other types of translation. There may be both marketing aspects and legal compliance wording. Because we specialise in food label translation, we take all this into account to deliver high quality, accurate translations.

A few Better Languages food label translation facts:

  • Most translated language this year: French. We have a number of food label clients who are selling into France. They either have country specific packaging, or are targeting French amongst other languages. We often supply French on multi-lingual food labelling.
  • Most languages on a single food label translation order: to date this is 40 languages. And yes, they all appeared on a single product!
  • Smallest food label translation order: a single ingredient change (yes a single word), for translations we had already supplied. It is quite common to have ingredient changes to existing products. For example there may be a change in legislation. Or there could be changes to the recipe. Maybe a new supplier uses slightly different ingredients.
  • Our most unusual language on food labelling so far is Kazakh. We thought this was unusual at the time, but these days we do lots of Kazakh.
  • Highest volume on a single food labelling project so far: An entire product range of several hundred SKUs into Hungarian.
  • Language variants: we can localise for any specific world market. For example we do a lot of Canadian French. With food labelling many aspects are the same as French for France. However, the Canadian legal framework is quite different. There are also significant linguistic differences.
  • We translate a lot of Arabic food labelling. Here the issue is how to localise Arabic effectively. Most clients want to localise for more than one Arabic market. This gives compliance issues with different states having different requirements. The written language is the same, MSA (Modern Standard Arabic). However there is is different wording needed for different territories.

Food Label Translation and Legal Compliance

If you require a compliance report from food compliance technical specialists, we can assist with this. We normally recommend that you commission a compliance report, or carry out your own compliance checks, before thinking about translation.

This is especially important if your original food packaging is from a different jurisdiction. For example, FDA food packaging requirements have significant differences from EU regulations. This means you need to adapt a US product you wish to sell within the EU, and vice versa. Step 1 is to ensure you meet European requirements. Do this before you commission translation. Otherwise you risk having to start the translation all over again.

Our translators produce a faithful translation of your original text. This means that if your source text is none compliant, then the translations will be too. Within the European Union, food labelling requirements are broadly similar country to county. However, there can still be country-specific requirements. Different countries may also apply regulations differently.

Please remember that we translate the original text which you supply. This means that if you miss an ingredient in the original text, it will also be missing in the translation.

There is a key to avoiding this kind of problem. Make sure you are happy with the source text before we start work. We can arrange specialist compliance advice if required.

Food labelling and Brexit

People often ask about the translation impact of Brexit. Quite simply, if we are translating for an EU market, there won’t be any change. The only difference is that over time, the UK may diverge from EU rules. This would mean that you need to adapt UK packaging before we translate. This is a bit like the US example we give above.

Marketing Aspects of Food Label Translation

Be careful with country-specific references or plays on words. They probably won’t translate. If you we us to translate a marketing message, we need license in how we work. A literal translation is likely to be dull to your foreign customer.

Sometimes the border between compliance and marketing can be quite thin. For example imagine a product containing the word “slim” in the title in English. It is necessary to establish the slimming properties of the product. You are likely to have to substantiate any claims in each target market. Different countries may have different requirements.

Our food translators specialise in marketing. This ensures that we convey your message clearly to your target audience.

Localisation of Food Label Translations

Localisation is the process of adapting to a local market. With food there can be important localisation issues which aren’t necessarily about translation. For example, supplying food products containing alcoholic ingredients or meat which is not Halal. This is inappropriate for an Islamic country. We can translate your alcohol ingredients perfectly, but your product will be stopped at port.

The key to success is to use a specialist translation company. We are familiar with up to date terminology. This ensures your product is correct in your target market. Context is also very helpful. Pictures of the product help our work.

Foods and Medicines

You also need to consider that different countries may classify products differently. One country may consider your product as a dietary supplement, whilst another may class it as a medicine. Each will have different regulatory requirements.

Thanks for this Nicole. All very efficient. We will come back to you when we next need anything.

Kate Willis, Sharpham Park

Proofing and Checking Artwork

We can check print proofs and sign off artwork for any translation we supply. We charge separately for this based on the amount of time needed by the translators, but it is extremely important. It is easy to underestimate the risk of layout problems in other languages. Especially if your artwork team don’t speak the language they are working with.

There can be important style issues. Things like different punctuation and layout requirements for different languages. This works best with teamwork between the translation provider, and the artwork team.

We do not check artwork we haven’t translated, as this can often prove problematic.

You need to provide a low res pdf of the finished artwork, to use this service. Clearly the text will need to be readable!

Typesetting Food Labels

We can provide typesetting in most languages and formats. Just ask for a quote.

There are particular issues in most design programmes when working with right to left languages. The standard versions of major products such as Illustrator and InDesign corrupt right to left languages. They render the text unreadable. This occurs in Middle Eastern languages including Arabic, Hebrew, and Farsi, as well as many Indian languages.

The solution is to use the Middle Eastern version of your chosen design programme. We offer this as a specialist service. We supply the correctly set text in an outlined EPS format, or as a print ready PDF. You can re-import the text as live text in the latest versions of the CS suite.

Great work, very happy, we’ll be doing a lot more business with you.

Jonathan Davies, Cambrian Pet Foods Ltd.

Contact us today to discuss your Food translation requirements.

For a quote or to discuss your requirements in more detail, contact us on +44 (0)115 9788980.