Just like cars that roll off the production line are released to customers only after they’ve been thoroughly inspected and have passed quality-control checks, translations are subjected to a range of checks and other processes to ensure the quality translation is of the required standard.
Not all translations are created equal, though. Take online translation tools, for instance. The likes of Google Translate do a great job of quickly processing large volumes of text, but they are far from accurate. Tests, like those carried out by Douglas Hofstadter, a professor of cognitive science and comparative literature at Indiana University at Bloomington, show that online translators can’t understand context, which is crucial for accurate translations.
If accuracy is important for your translations, how do you ensure you get the best results from your translation partner? Read on to find out the ins and outs of translation accuracy and what to look for in high quality translation services.
Translation quality control (QC) is the foundation of ensuring that the output meets expectations. It involves the output being checked to analyse whether it meets specifications. The key objective of applying QC checks is to identify defects so they can be rectified before the finished product is sent to the client.
While QC is important to maintain high standards and ensure that work is consistently of the required quality—the QC process identifies where a translation falls short—it doesn’t improve the translation process before a work is complete. This is where quality assurance comes in.
This is the next level up of making sure the whole translation process produces the best possible output. Translation quality assurance involves planning the translation process, documenting the steps of the process and creating a set of guidelines and rules. The QA procedure results in a quality plan, the intention of which is to prevent mistakes occurring in the first place. Because a QA plan clearly lays out the steps for ensuring quality, it can increase the quality of work and save money and time.
This stage sees expert translators and editors agree on the scope of the project, the tech tools needed, glossaries to use, and style guides.
This is when the transaction takes place. The translator will follow the guidelines set in the planning stage. They will check their work, often using technology, ready for the next phase.
During this stage, the translation is reviewed, by an editor and/or a proofreader, who check for grammar and spelling, mistakes in terms of the terminology used, and syntax and punctuation errors.
ISO 17100 are the international standards for high quality translation services. They specify requirements for translation processes, translator qualifications and tech resources to ensure the work is high quality. These guidelines include four key clauses that demonstrate why ISO 17100 compliant technical translation services can be trusted to produce high-quality translations. The guidelines:
Weaving quality checks across the whole translation process maximises quality and reduces the chance of mistakes occurring in the first place. Here’s what that process looks like:
If all translation agencies online follow this process and conduct quality checks throughout the whole process, mistakes are more easily spotted and corrected. Following is a list of common errors:
You should find an expert translation and localization provider who works in a related field. This applies both to the subject area and the geographic location. For example, if you’re localizing a marketing campaign, the translator should have experience working with similar products and in the market you’re targeting.
Accepted industry practice is for the translator to be a native speaker in the language they are translating into. If you translate from Chinese to Japanese, a native Japanese speaker would be best-placed to produce the most accurate translation.
If accuracy is a key criteria of success, then don’t go with an online translation tool. These are good options for processing large volumes of text quickly when accuracy isn’t important. For accurate high quality translation services, stick with a human or at least have a human check it through after (machine translation post editing – MTPE).
Content that’s translated by an expert translator will be checked by an editor and/or proofreader. This verification process minimises mistakes and ensures the translated content is fit for purpose.
Though online translator tools don’t pass muster when it comes to ensuring accuracy, there is a range of tech tools that professional human translators use to check their work. As well as manually checking their work, translators use platforms like automatic quality checkers that recognise patterns and computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools. Using these can increase efficiency as well as accuracy, resulting in a superior result.
The goal of translation is fairly simple: conveying information given in one language into another language. But doing it expertly and accurately is a highly complex task.
Whether you’re looking for multimedia localisation services, dubbing and subtitling services, academic translation services or a legal document translation agency, the information above will help guide your translation efforts so you get the best results each and every time and avoid paying for a wrong translation.
Get in touch with Into23’s team of highly skilled experts today to learn more about accurate and quality translation solutions.
What is advertising transcreation and how can you use it effectively for your global business?
What is transcreation and how does it differ from translation? With your standard literal translation, it’s all too easy to make blunders as it doesn’t consider the cultural and societal complexities of a language, something that can wreck even the largest company’s marketing strategy. You could address this problem with cultural localization but sometimes a more flexible approach is needed to adapt the message. This is where advertising transcreation comes in.
Think of transcreation as elevating translation to another level. Transcreation changes and adapts a text so that it is in line with the language, tone, style, and culture of the market it is targeting. So it’s not a literal translation, as it won’t read or say the same thing, but rather it will carry the same meaning or context.
Transcreation is used when there are major culture adaptations required to make the content relevant to a culture or region where it is going to be marketed.
It requires a quality translation as well as copywriting and copy editing to ensure that the translated work is relevant to the marketing strategy for its target market. That is why it’s important to have linguistic testing & localization services for your global marketing strategy.
For example, legal documents might require a literal translation whereas advertising content, such as website localization or eLearning translation is often best suited for transcreation.
While there are many examples of how translation and transcreation can go wrong, what about the ways it’s been done right? If you’re looking for inspiration here are eight exceptional examples of successful transcreations.
“Put a Tiger in Your Tank.”
This is one of Esso’s original slogans and it’s still popular today despite it originally appearing in 1959. It was a massive campaign that was immensely successful. What made waves was the innovative ways this slogan was marketed internationally. For example, Esso used transcreation in a creative way for the Italian market. While they initially wanted to try and stay literal with the translation, which would have had the slogan appearing like this,
“Metti una tigre nel tuo carro armato” (Put a tiger in your tank)
However, this literal translation lost the alliteration from the English slogan so to give it more impact, Esso opted to change the slogan to,
“Metti una tigre nel motore” (Put a tiger in the engine)
This was a clever move from the interpreter translator as the word engine translates as motore and the “or” sound mimics the roar of an engine. It also managed to keep the catchy alliteration that was present in the English slogan too.
While iPod shuffles are no longer relevant to today’s fast-changing technology, they were very popular at the time of their release. The tiny MP3 player carried a simple but effective slogan, “Small Talk”. The slogan emphasised how small the device was but also its effectiveness. While it would be easy to assume that this simple slogan would be a basic one to translate, it created a lot of trouble for Apple as the phrase itself is an idiom in the English language. Idioms are generally specific to one culture or language and carry a figurative meaning, so they’re not easily literally translated, and, in this case, the slogan often lost all meaning when directly translated.
Wanting to ensure the same message reached the world, Apple decided to transcreate their slogan for each individual market. Here are some of the best examples of Apple’s transcreation process,
Each slogan sounds completely different but they all conveyed the iPod shuffle’s capabilities while maintaining the brief and simple tone of the original English slogan.
“When Swiffer’s the one, consider it done.”
The use of rhyming couplets in this slogan made Swiffer’s slogan catchy and memorable while also emphasizing its cleaning power. To maintain the rhyming scheme in this slogan, transcreation was needed for a variety of global markets. Here’s a great example from the Italian transcreation,
“La polvere non dura, perché Swiffer la cattura”
(The dust doesn’t last, because Swiffer catches it)
The rhyming portion was maintained and shifted to the second part of the slogan and it still emphasised the effectiveness of the product.
“Just do it.”
Arguably one of the most memorable and successful marketing slogans of all time is Nike’s “Just do it”. Another simple slogan that, sadly, does not translate very well. While Nike’s slogan is so well recognized now, its English translation will often be included in Nike’s advertising along with additional transcreated slogans that convey the brand’s meaning for that region.
In 2011, Nike used 用运动 in one of its advertisements which roughly translates to “make sport” or “have sport” and it was a much more culturally relevant way of conveying the same brand meaning to the Chinese market.
“Haribo makes children happy, and adults too.”
These delicious German gummy sweets can be found just about anywhere in the world thanks to their successful advertising transcreation. The original German slogan is,
“Haribo macht Kinder froh, und Erwachsene ebenso”
This translates to English as “Haribo makes children happy, and adults too”. While this literal translation worked for the English speaking market it needed to be transcreated for other languages and areas. For example, in Italian its slogan says,
“Haribo è la bontà che si gusta ad ogni età”
(Haribo is the goodness that can be tasted at any age)
This brilliant transcreation created a playful and nostalgic slogan that was easy to say and remember.
Selling an image…
Red Bull is another product that can be found just about anywhere. Yet how did this product become so successful? Red Bull isn’t exactly known for its taste and it doesn’t have as much caffeine as a cup of coffee, so what is it about this product that makes it irresistible for consumers?
It’s not the product that sells or even its catchy slogan, it’s the creative image that Red Bull has created for it. Red Bull exudes a larger-than-life image and has associated itself with promoting extreme sports, events, and athletes. The slogan, “Red Bull gives you wings” is meant to instill a sense of self-worth and the belief that you can do anything.
Red Bull is so effective at transcreation that it even altered its branding and product when launching in mainland China. If you buy a Red Bull on the mainland you will find it’s likely not carbonated and that it will be in red and gold packaging, auspicious colours within Chinese culture.
“I’m lovin’ it.”
The top contender for the most memorable advertising jingle would have to be McDonald’s’ “I’m lovin’ it.” I bet you’re singing it right now… However, this masterful slogan wasn’t the easiest to translate when McDonald’s took it globally. The biggest issue is the word ‘love’ as there are many other languages in which it does not translate the same way, isn’t used the same way, or just doesn’t even exist, like in China. To address this in China McDonald’s went with,
“我就喜歡” (I just like it)
This Chinese slogan is the same loving message about McDonald’s food while catering to the cultural nuances of the Chinese market.
“Sponsors of tomorrow”
Intel created this slogan to show their commitment to pushing the boundaries of new technology, however they encountered issues in translating it for the Brazilian market as it didn’t carry the same meaning. Intel transcreated their slogan to,
“Apaixonados pelo futuro” (In love with the future)
While not quite the same as the English version it still highlights Intel’s innovative aims for technology.
Want to transcreate your business as well as these ones have? Into23 has all your international translation solutions to help take your marketing strategy to the next level. Whether it’s localization and translation services, marketing translation services, eLearning translation services or more, Into23 has the translation professionals you need to help convey your brand’s message. Get a free quote today!
Spanish is the world’s second most spoken native language and the official language of 21 countries. If you’re looking to crack into the Spanish market, here are some factors to consider for your localized marketing strategy.
Spoken by 559 million people worldwide, Spanish ranks as one of the most important business languages. It’s a language that is becoming increasingly globalised as it is commonly regarded as the most understood language in the western hemisphere next to English.
With today’s global market, the use of Spanish online has risen by 800%. From eCommerce services to website localization, if you’re looking to enter the Spanish market, there are specific factors that need to be considered based on the Spanish region you’re looking to enter.
Like other languages that developed in Europe, the Spanish language emerged as a dialect of spoken Latin in the Iberian Peninsula which is where modern-day Spain and Portugal are now located. The language developed further when the Arab armies invaded the peninsula in 711.
The invasion brought with it Arabic art, culture, and architecture which had a strong influence on the area and language. Arabic began to mix with the old Spanish which resulted in the Spanish language that we know today. Spain expelled the Arabs in 1492 but the Spanish language managed to retain some 8,000 Arabic words. Words like la almendra (almond) or la almohada (pillow) have come from the Arabic language.
After the Arabs left in 1492, the Spaniards started colonizing which is how the language came to the Americas. The first European settlements in the US were established by Spain in what is now modern-day Florida which is why Spanish was the historical language of many of the southern States during that time. With the annexation of these states, the main language eventually changed to English but Spanish is still used and spoken widely even in these areas today.
The Spanish Empire also expanded its colonization to other places such as the Philippines in 1521. The Spanish controlled the island until 1898. Today while only 0.5% of people in the Philippines speak Spanish, it is still home to the most number of Spanish speakers in Asia.
Today, the Spanish language is maintained and safeguarded at The Royal Spanish Academy located in Madrid. The academy started in the 18th century and helped to create dictionaries and grammar books that have since been adopted and used by other Spanish-speaking countries. The academy invented the use of the inverted question and exclamation marks that are specific to the Spanish language as well as the letter ñ.
European Spanish is centred in Spain while Latin American Spanish speakers are located in the lower part of North America, Central, and South America. In Latin America, the Spanish language is just called español, since the language itself was brought over by colonisers.
In Spain, however, the language is called castellano, which refers to the Castile province in Spain where the language is believed to have originated. Another reason why Spanish is called castellano in Spain is that there are other Spanish dialects within Spain such as Catalan, Galician, and Basque.
If you’re creating a localization strategy in one or more of these Spanish speaking areas it’s important to note that there will be regional and cultural language distinctions. Here are just a few important aspects to consider.
The pronouns vosotros and vosotras (you) are only used in Spain, making this one of the key differences between Spain and Latin America. Vosotros is an informal means of address whereas ustedes would be used professionally or formally in Spain. Since vosotros doesn’t exist in Latin American Spanish, ustedes is used in both formal and informal means of address.
If you’re looking to create a formal business presence in Spain this is an important distinction as if you use the incorrect pronouns on, say, your website localization, your business platform may not be taken seriously.
Like vosotros in Spain, the pronoun vos (your) is used in Argentina, Paraguay and Uraguay instead of tú.
Likely due to the influences of surrounding European languages, Spaniards use past tense differently than Latin Americans. In Spain, you’re more likely to hear about a completed action using the present perfect tense, whereas in Latin America they are more likely to use the simple past, which is similar to English.
|pen||bolígrafo or boli||pluma or lapicera|
|car||coche||carro or auto|
The pronunciation of the Z and C (before I or E) is different between the two Spanish-speaking regions. In Spain, these letters are pronounced with a “th” sound while in Latin America, an “s” sound.
In parts of Argentina and Uruguay, the double LL and Y sounds are pronounced like an English “sh” sound while Spaniards would pronounce them with a “y” sound.
Further, there are also differences in the way that people speak depending on the region. Argentinians are said to have a sing-song type of accent while Colombians have a neutral sounding accent.
As this article details, there are a variety of differences within the Spanish language based on where it is spoken. A good localization strategy will understand its target audience and know what pronouns, tone, and vocabulary to use when marketing.
Since 21 different countries speak Spanish, if you’re a company that is looking to break into a few of them, you could take a different localization approach by using what’s called neutral Spanish. Every country that speaks Spanish will have its own cultural nuances and differences so to help ease the localization process, many companies use neutral Spanish in their strategies.
Neutral Spanish, or standard or international Spanish as its sometimes referred to, is the process of using terms and vocabulary that are universally understood by all Spanish speakers.
This process would include avoiding idioms that might be specific to one region and not another or words that aren’t specifically used in day-to-day speech but are appropriate enough for marketing purposes and general understanding.
Neutral Spanish might be appropriate for your business if you have a high amount of technical content that needs translation or if you’re just getting started and are looking for a cost-effective translation solution.
The use of localization and translation services is a key factor of success for any marketing strategy. A localization agency can help you determine what approach you should take when entering the Spanish market, if specific transcreation or localization is necessary, or if a neutral Spanish approach would better suit your business needs.
Into23 offers localization and translation services from websites to eLearning platforms and more. Our quality translation and advertising transcreation specialists can help you reach any Spanish market and localize your business to get the best return on your investments. Contact into23 today to find out more.
Chinese is one of the most important business languages. It is second only to English in terms of being the most spoken, so here are a few important things to know while creating your localization strategy.
With a large population and a growing number of middle-class consumers, the Chinese market has been a new hotspot for businesses. The Chinese market can be a successful market for your business if it’s done right. It’s easier than ever to crack this market with the growth of technology, online shopping, eCommerce translation services, and eLearning platforms. However, there are some major points to consider if you want to localize for a Chinese area or region, as there are many pitfalls when localizing to Chinese.
Chinese is an old and diverse language. In mainland China alone, around 70 million people belong to 55 different minority groups, each with their dialect and some that don’t even have a distinguishable written form. However, with the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, Mandarin was chosen as the official language of the country. Today, more than 70% of the Chinese population speaks Mandarin.
Written Traditional Chinese is around 6000 years old and is the oldest written language in the world. Cantonese speakers generally still use these characters, as do Mandarin speakers in Taiwan. Mandarin speakers in China use Simplified Chinese characters. Simplified characters have been around significantly less than their traditional counterpart as they were formalized at the beginning of the People’s Republic of China. The People’s Republic of China was formed in 1949, and at the time, the majority of Chinese could not read or write. To improve literacy, Mao Zedong initiated a new system of Simplified Chinese, simplifying around 2000 Chinese characters by reducing the number of strokes used for each character. Simplified Chinese was first used in 1956.
While there are various spoken dialects of Chinese, these are the two major forms of writing. This is handy as even if the spoken dialect is different, Chinese can generally communicate through writing.
Seven major dialects are used in China and its Special Administrative Regions (SARs). To reach the Chinese market with your business, you need to know where your target market is and what Chinese form is used there.
|Mandarin (Putonghua)||Most of mainland China, Taiwan, Macau|
|Cantonese/Yue||Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou (Canton), and Wuzhou.|
|Min||Fujian province and parts of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Hainan, and Taiwan|
|Wu||Zhejiang province, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, parts of Anhui and Jiangxi provinces.|
|Xiang||Most of the Hunan province, the counties of Quanzhou, Guanyang, Ziyuan, and Xing’an, northeastern Guangxi province.|
|Hakka||Northeastern Guangdong, adjoining regions of Fujian, Jiangxi, Southern Hunan, and the older generations of Hong Kongers in the New Territories. In Taiwan, Hakka is spoken by some in the Taoyuan, Hsinchu and Miaoli parts of the country.|
All of this variation within the Chinese language necessitates using the best Chinese translation services company to guarantee that sufficient research is done to develop a translation and localization plan that matches your strategy for entering this lucrative market.
Like any good localization strategy, you need to know your target audience, its culture, its language, and the things your target market values. You’ll need to consider how your brand voice and whether this will resonate with a Chinese audience. Can you directly translate your brand content, or will you need to consider a more creative translation, a transcreation, to convey your brand voice? As China is diverse, with differences across the regions, high-quality translation services can help you achieve your marketing strategy. An experienced translation agency can help you avoid cultural mishaps and translation errors.
Learn from the companies who have attempted and accessed the market already. Localizing in China is challenging, and even some of the biggest names have failed after not performing thorough market research. Learning from what has worked with brands that are similar to yours can help narrow your research and expedite your localization strategy.
Mainland China uses various social media and eCommerce platforms that are not used or are less popular in other countries. Baidu is the search engine used by most people, with platforms such as WeChat for social media and eCommerce payments. Other social media platforms include Qzone, Renren and P1. In Hong Kong, western social media platforms are popular, and a variety of eCommerce platforms, from the Octopus card to PayMe, are used to pay for products online.
It should be apparent by now the importance of localization and translation services when expanding your business globally, especially into Chinese markets. Navigating any new market is challenging, so take the guesswork out of your localization strategy and get the assistance of translation and localization experts.
Into23 is a translation agency in Hong Kong offering localization and translation services. We are experts in Asian languages. Reach out to Into23 today to discuss your business localization strategy to set yourself up for success in the Chinese markets.
When it comes to eLearning localization here’s what you need to know to get it right.
eLearning has become an important part of many people’s lives, especially since the pandemic. eLearning platforms have become increasingly popular as a means of acquiring new skills, knowledge, and certifications from anywhere in the world.
This global appeal means that if you want to make your eLearning platform international, certain factors need to be considered when translating and converting your courses successfully into other languages.
eLearning localization is more than just a direct translation of words, it’s about transforming your courses and platform so that everything about it suits your target audience in terms of their language, social constructs, and culture.
eLearning localization helps bridge cultural differences in your courses while helping students acquire and retain knowledge more efficiently and effectively.
Unlike document translation, there is a lot to consider when localizing your eLearning platform. Here are some major aspects that should be addressed,
Often an afterthought, the need for localization should be identified and planned right from the creation stages as pre-planning makes the localization process run a lot more smoothly.
When creating your eLearning courses, here are a few ways to make them more localization-friendly,
It is essential to know the audience you are seeking to reach in every area that you want to localize in. Researching is required to learn about a region’s language nuances, cultural preferences, tone and even spelling variations. This can affect everything from colour and image choices, your selection of eLearning voice-overs, and how you approach culturally sensitive topics. Hiring eLearning localization services is an easy way to ensure you nail this step.
As each language is unique, one of the major features you need to pay attention to when localizing is the expansion and contraction that occurs when transcribing certain languages. This is important because it can affect the general layout of your course and its graphical elements.
This is especially important when translating Chinese Mandarin to English as text may contract by up to 20-50%! The opposite happens when, say, you want to translate from German to English the text expands anywhere from 10-30%. If you have audio and video content these issues also apply. So be sure to consider this when putting together your courses.
While some symbols and images are universally understood some may need to be reworked for successful media localization. Items that often get missed include navigation buttons, speech bubbles, and progress bars, animations, and colour selections. Take a look at the colour white, for example, and how differently it is viewed depending on the culture. In the West, the colour white can signify purity and cleanliness but in many Asian countries, the colour white can be associated with death and bad omens. These seemingly small aspects can be the defining features that draw the line between a successfully localized eLearning platform and one that is not.
eLearning translation is sometimes the easiest part of a localization strategy but one of the defining features of localization is that it needs to be all-encompassing to reach the native audience of an area. Design features and choices need to be considered when building eLearning courses. For example, say your original course video was created for the UK market and you’ve translated all the text and audio content for the Latin American market, however, the video graphics remain unchanged. Say in the video a man snaps his fingers as he recollects something.
If you plan to deliver this content in Latin America you might end up with a few confused learners as the gesture of snapping one’s fingers in Latin America is a way of asking someone to hurry up.
Design features also include the user interface and the choice of colours and fonts as previously mentioned. Failure to consider these items will lead to ineffective and easily misinterpreted course content.
If you want things to move fast and smoothly in the translation process, be sure that all of your eLearning content is in appropriate editing formats and source files. This includes videos, images, audio, presentations etc. This helps avoid the need to start anything from scratch which saves not only time but also money.
If each of these steps feels overwhelming, it’s because you need the best translation services company for a partner that can walk you through this process. Don’t sell your elearning translation content short, get help from qualified localization companies, like Into23.