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How The Economist’s Research Crosses Language Barriers

How the Economist’s research crosses language barriers

For 170 years, the Economist Group has provided authoritative insight on international business and current affairs. But how could the world-renowned publication ensure accuracy and a consistent tone of voice across multiple languages?

Lingo24 was excited about the challenge of bringing the Economist Group’s independent journalism and research to readers and business leaders around the globe. Our specialist teams now work with the group across the UK, USA, mainland Europe and the Middle East.

As well as the newspaper, the Economist’s sister company, the Economist Intelligence Unit, helps financial firms and governments understand how the world is changing and identifies opportunities and risks. It produces influential reports on current issues, it carries out bespoke research for its clients.

Most of our work involves localising the Economist Intelligence Unit’s specialist research. Our client has a heady reputation, and the research that they produce reflects their core values, vision, and integrity. This means that the tone has to be appropriate to the publication and research, reflecting this independent, authentic voice. As well as matching the style in each language, it was obviously critical to ensure the research was accurately portrayed in every project. In addition, the design of many of the language versions, including the Arabic and Chinese translations, needs to be reformatted to mirror the original style.

We created dedicated translation teams for the Economist Group to support the main languages they require, including German, Portuguese, Korean, Japanese and Russian. These teams learn our client’s preferred style and are modified depending on the client’s feedback.

They’re supported by our dedicated Account and Project Management teams. A great deal of planning is required before the start of each project, and each one tends to have different challenges.

Once the translation process is complete, we incorporate a review stage by either the Economist Group or their end client to ensure we’ve fully met their requirements. Due to the complex design of the documents we work on, we try to smooth out the review process by allowing the reviewers to work in the same translation software as the translation team.

This means we can implement any changes quickly, and makes sure that the translation memories we keep for the Economist Group are always up to date. And we use this growing language resource of all our previous translations for them, to get better, faster results every time.

We really enjoy our partnership with the Economist Group, and despite the challenges, it’s been a very rewarding experience.

Our commitment to getting the best result each time is reflected in the consistent positive feedback from our client, who are happy with our approach, relationship and the results. We’ve also steadily increased the number of people we work with at the Economist Group, both within Europe and beyond.

*Picture credits: iQoncept /

Hazel Mollison

Hazel Mollison edits and writes for the Lingo24 blog. After studying Italian and German at Cambridge University, she worked as a journalist for five years with regional and national newspapers. She enjoys writing about languages, translation, online marketing, and helping small businesses explore new opportunities.

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