Helping your communication cross borders

International copywriting FAQs

What is an international copywriter?

An international copywriter enables copy to cross language borders. This can manifest in various ways

  • Adjusting copy that was written by a non-native speaker, so it’s more suitable for (a) a native-speaking audience or (b) an international audience.
  • Writing in a way that people from different countries can understand. For example, if copy is written in English, people who speak English as a second language can read it without too much difficulty. Copy written in this way also produces better results when fed into translation tools.
  • Transcreating* copy from other languages into a more widely-used language, such as English, so it can be used for international communication, or as a base for translation to other languages.

*Transcreation is effectively supercharged translation, whereby copy is recreated in a different language, so it feels completely natural. Going beyond simple translation, transcreation also involves adjusting word choices, structure, style and references as necessary.

Why is English important for international communications?

With 380 million native speakers, plus a billion more who speak it as a second language, English is the world’s most commonly used language. It is therefore the most efficient way of communicating with the largest number of people. English is also the most commonly used base language for translation when there’s a need to produce copy in multiple languages.

How is copywriting for an international audience different?

When writing for an international audience, it’s good to avoid very complex sentences, localised slang, or culture-specific references.

When should international English be used?

  • When you are a native-English speaker, but English is a second language to some or all of your audience.
  • When English is not your native language, and you need to communicate with native-English speakers.
  • In a “third-language” situation, where neither you nor (some of) your audience have English as their first language, and English is being used to bridge the gap.

Is international English also OK for communicating with native or fluent English speakers?

Yes. Although the wording and style may be less nuanced than localised language, international English should still be OK for communicating with native or fluent English speakers. In many cases, such as when issuing instructions or guidance, the more straightforward nature of international English can actually be very beneficial.

Can I use Miriam Young for copywriting and translation if I am based outside the UK?

Yes, of course! Miriam Young is used to working with clients from many different countries, especially the Netherlands, Belgium, Germany, Japan, USA and Canada.

Native Engelse copywriter voor Nederland en België – Miriam Young

Englische Copywriter für Deutschland – Miriam Young

If I use Miriam Young for my international copywriting, what currency will I be charged in?

Miriam Young can bill in GBP, EUR, USD, JPY and other currencies by agreement.