In this series on why cultural localization is important for business, we’ll open with French and why a localized marketing strategy is needed based on where a language is spoken.
As the world becomes more and more interconnected through technology and travel, it is becoming essential for business platforms to diversify within the global market to stay relevant and competitive. This has increased demand for translation and localization services as it has become increasingly essential for international business on websites, eLearning platforms, and various eCommerce services.
Cultural localization is catering a product or platform for a specific market or region, which factors in the local language and its cultural diversities, beliefs, values, experiences, and social constructs. Why is this important? When culture is considered for localization strategies, people show more interest in the content or product. Further, cultural considerations create relatable products, increasing positive perceptions of the product and its sales.
To show you how important cultural localization is, here’s a look at the French language and how a one-size fits all approach doesn’t work for every region it’s spoken in.
There are approximately 80 million native French speakers worldwide, and it is the official language of 29 countries. French is highly regarded as one of the most important business languages as it is one of the official languages of the United Nations, the European Union, the African Union, and more. It’s also a language renowned for its history and culture; in fact, the word ‘culture’ is derived from French.
French originated in Gaul, now part of France and Belgium, after the Romans took over. The Germanic invasions also had a large influence on the language, and by the 9th century, French was well established as its own distinct language.
While French variants in different countries are generally well understood by any French speaker, there are still many nuances depending on where it is spoken.
In 1534, Jacques Cartier left to find an expedition route to China and found himself in the new world, modern east coast Canada. As French settlers expanded in the area, the French language became the native language of its growing community.
Canadians continued to speak French after Canada was ceded to the British in 1763. As Canadian French developed in isolation from the rest of Europe, it created its distinct cultural variant.
Due to its isolation from Europe, Canadian French has managed to retain French verbs, expressions, and accents that date back to 17th and 18th century France.
After France ceded Canada to Britain in 1763, the French-speaking community became more isolated, allowing certain phonetic sounds from the elite French-speaking classes to remain.
As the French-speaking parts of Canada are near the English-speaking parts of Canada and the United States, they adopt more words from the English language. Further, some words are even adopted from the indigenous population of Canada, such as carcajou (wolverine) and atoca (cranberry).
Canadian French uses more informal means of address. The informal tu (you) is used more often than the formal vous.
Catholicism is the most practised religion in the French-speaking regions of Canada, whereas France is more secular.
French is now the lingua franca of around 7.4 million Canadians, making up nearly 22% of the country’s population, as well as being one of the two official languages in the country. In the province of Quebec, 95% of the population uses French as their first or second language. Differences in slang, idioms, and religious beliefs are some of the biggest differences between these French variants. They are essential considerations when creating a localized strategy for your business.
Canada isn’t the only country deeply influenced by the French. After the colonization of Africa and even after the French withdrew from many of the African nations, the language stayed and is often spoken alongside many of the indigenous languages. 44% of French spoken today comes from sub-Saharan Africa, with estimates that by 2050, 85% of the continent will speak the language.
French is no longer just the language of France, and this evolution of the language is something to pay attention to when forming a good localization strategy.
Blunders in cultural localization can ruin any localization strategy. For example, if you were promoting an eCommerce business that sells items for children, the word gosses in France is a playful word for child; however, in Canadian French, the word means testicles! This would be a serious, albeit hilarious, mistake in any marketing strategy. The same goes if you wanted to reach the market in France but used informal tones or Canadian idioms and slang in your approach; it would make your strategy appear tone-deaf and make your product less attractive to the local market in France. While these may appear as subtleties, it’s this type of attention to culture that can make or break a localization strategy.
Hire marketing, translation and localization specialists to create a localization strategy that ensures quality translation that involves the appropriate cultural research needed to create a successful marketing strategy.
Consider idioms, jokes, and sayings specific to the region’s language.
Consider the context of the culture when selecting images for products for an eCommerce platform or eLearning course.
Cultural localization and creating a good localization strategy may feel overwhelming if you’re looking to enter a new global market, but it doesn’t have to be!
Into23 specialises in translation and localization in all major global languages offering global language solutions for your business. All we need is a website or file to get you started with a free quote. Contact us today for all your global quality translation needs.
To get the best results from your website localization or eLearning translation in Portuguese, here are some of the most important aspects to consider.
Spoken by over 279 million people worldwide, Portuguese is the sixth most widely spoken global language. Portuguese is the official language of nine countries. It is an official language in the Special Administrative Region of Macau, as the region was a Portuguese colony from 1557 to 1999 before being handed back to China. If you’re looking to grow your business internationally, there are a lot of good reasons to consider offering your customers Portuguese language support and a website localized in Portuguese.
Portuguese is one of the fastest-growing global languages. The language has grown from 65,064,027 speakers in 1921 to 258,003,327 today, a 297% increase over the past century. While the language is associated with the country of Portugal, Portugal itself has only around 5% of the world’s Portuguese speakers. Most Portuguese speakers are in Brazil, with around 211 million speakers. What makes the Brazilian market attractive for businesses is that it is the second-largest economy in the Americas, ranking 8th in terms of global nominal GDP. Brazil is also the 10th largest eCommerce market in the world.
In terms of creating a localization strategy, it has become a lot easier since written Portuguese became fully standardized in 2015. What does this mean exactly? The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement was created to help establish one single common spelling for all Portuguese-speaking countries. While the discussions that led to the agreement started in the 90s, it required prolonged deliberation, edits, and a six-year transition before finalising it in 2015. This standard ensures that the spelling of the majority of Portuguese words is consistent throughout business and education globally.
Portuguese originated from Latin and developed in the Western Iberian Peninsula. Roman soldiers brought Latin to the area around 216 BCE. The oldest written records of Portuguese date back to the 9th century; at the time, they still contained many Latin phrases. After Portugal became independent in 1139, Portuguese began to become more and more prevalent. It quickly became the common tongue of the people. In 1290, the first Portuguese university opened in Lisbon, and from there, Portuguese was given its name and was made the official language of the country.
When the Portuguese empire began to colonise in the 15th century, it brought the Portuguese language to different parts of Asia, Africa, and the Americas, becoming the lingua franca in some of these new regions.
While the written language may be standardised, it doesn’t mean there aren’t other differences to consider when considering a marketing translation in Portuguese for your business. While each region can understand the other, there are substantial differences between the European and Brazilian dialects.
These pronunciation differences are especially important if you need an eLearning voiceover for your content and use foreign language voice-over talent on your website or platform.
There are noticeable differences in how the pronoun “you” is used in each region. Portugal uses tu informally, and você is used formally. In Brazil, however, both tu and você are used informally.
Translator tip: When using você, conjugate the following verb in the third person.
As mentioned previously, spelling has been standardized across the Portuguese language, but there are still some subtle differences that remain. Brazil is much more likely to take influence from English, whereas Portugal has remained closer to its Latin roots.
There are various grammatical differences between these two dialects, but here are the most notable.
Just like there are differences between Brazil and Portugal, your localization strategy will need to consider other Portuguese markets you intend to target.
Even within the few examples in this article, it should be apparent just how important it is to have a localization strategy. A considered strategy ensures you get a quality translation that is culturally relevant for your brand in its new market. When coming up with a localization strategy in Portuguese, here are a few other additional tips to help get you started.
Make Into23 your language and localization partner with our team of translation experts. Into23 has all the translation solutions to help your business reach the Portuguese markets or any global market that suits your business’s needs. Contact us today for a free quote and get started on your Portuguese localization expansion today.
If you have any international business, the resounding answer is yes.
It’s nearly impossible to get recognised as a business today without an online presence, so it would be neglectful not to have one as part of a marketing strategy. So when do you start to consider website translation? And more importantly, what about website localization?
Localization is the process of having your website be international but sound local. It means adapting your website so that your brand is approachable in a target language. That means not just translating the words from one language to another but also considering the cultural context of the target language you’re translating to and the currency. A plain translation will not be sufficient enough to win over your new audience, as what’s said in one language may not translate so well to another. That’s where localization steps in.
International translation companies specialise in website localization and translation management for businesses to ensure that a company and their brand are understood and received well in a new target language and area.
Website translation or any localization and translation is often seen as a burden, and its necessity is sometimes questioned. Why not just leave the website in English? If you have any international customers, you not only owe these customers the diligence of having the content properly translated into their native language, but you are missing out on revenue by not doing so.
It’s no longer acceptable to have a monolingual website when you have an international base of customers. English may still be dominant, but this landscape is quickly changing. Estimates find that English makes up for around 60% of the content on the internet, yet native English speakers only make up around 5% of the global population.
Still not sure if you’re ready? Ask yourself the following.
What about if you have customers that are bilingual or non-native speakers of other languages? Well, a study performed by the European Commission in 2014 surveyed internet users across the EU, of which English is generally well used and received, found that,
The takeaway? If you are getting traction internationally and you’ve not localized your website, it’s time to.
It’s currently estimated that 66% of users are using a machine translation when making a purchase online. Why is this acceptable when consumers could have a more efficient experience in their native language? Machine translation isn’t enough to guarantee purchase and can still confuse customers since machine translations without human editing often contain errors. If you truly want to be an international company or are thinking of becoming international, then you need a professional website translation service.
An updated 2020 study by the Common Sense Advisory produced some eye-opening statistics. The study took samples from 29 different countries and asked users about making a purchase online and found the following remarkable results,
What’s more, in the last study performed in 2014, the following results were also found.
As international demand increases, especially with the ongoing pandemic, this need will only continue to increase.
Localizing a website will only benefit your company and open new opportunities that wouldn’t have been present otherwise. Here is what localization and translation can do for you.
Conclusion? Website localization is the way forward for a global-minded website and business.
The only way to ensure a quality translation and localization of your website is to hire and partner with a marketing translation agency. It’s important to find a translation partner that knows your business and the areas that you’re aiming to localize. International translation companies have certified translators at their fingertips and know the ins and outs of translation management no matter what the project. Business translation and localization won’t have to feel overwhelming when you have professionals on your team to get it right.
At Into23, we specialise in high-quality translation services in all languages with an impeccable turnaround so that your business can get global as fast as possible. From website localization services, eCommerce website translation, translation project management and more, Into23 has all of your translation solutions.
Marketing translation and translation, in general, have a long and robust history. How did the modern translation industry become what it is today?
What is translation? In its simple form, it means to turn symbols from one set to another, such as words from a body of text in one language to that of another. Translation and its emergence have played a very important role throughout history in bridging cultural and linguistic divides that have evolved through trade as well as a means of spreading traditions and religious beliefs.
Where and how did translation evolve? How has translation changed today, and how will it be used in the future?
Sumerian bilingual text – Photo from Wikimedia – Caption – “This is the first known Sumerian-Akkadian bilingual tablet which dates back to around 2270 BC. The practice of translation is believed to have begun in Mesopotamia.”
Scholars believe that writing began to emerge in humans some 5,550 years ago. First, with early pictorial signs in early Mesopotamian and Egypt, we have evidence of fully-formed writing platforms as early as 1300 BC in China. With the development of written communication, translation became a necessary means of communication for the growth of populations and trade. While translation started within the trade as a business translation for financial means, translation eventually found its way into culture, art, and religion as it proved to be an effective means of spreading your beliefs, values, and traditions to other people.
The word “translation” and it’s meaning come from two different languages. The word itself comes from Latin and means “to bring or carry across”, but its meaning is also derived from the Ancient Greek word metaphrasis, which means “to speak across”, which then led to the word metaphrase, which means “word for word”. While the meaning of translation comes from these ancient languages, it is believed that those in the Mesopotamian region were the first to practice the art of translation.
One of the earliest known pieces to be translated is the Sumerian poem, the Epic of Gilgamesh, which was translated into Asian languages in 2100 BC. From there, one of the first known significant translations is that of the Old Testament in the 3rd century, as the bible was translated from Hebrew to Greek. Between A.D. 383 and 404, a man named Eusebius Hieronymus, or St. Jerome as he would become known, translated the bible from Greek to Latin. What made St. Jerome’s translation so innovative is that he first translated the text from Greek. Still, he then went back and checked his newly translated Latin text against the original Hebrew version (since he was fluent in all three languages) to increase the translation accuracy. St. Jerome also endorsed the transcreation method rather than the traditional word-for-word translation. In a letter St. Jerome wrote to his friend on the best methods of translation, he said,
“For I myself not only admit but freely proclaim that in translating from the Greek, I render sense for sense and not word for word, except in the case of the Holy Scriptures, where even the order of the words is a mystery.”
With his masterful translation of the bible and the concepts that he created, St. Jerome became one of the most prominent translators in history. St. Jerome died on September 30th, 420, and since then, St. Jerome has become the patron saint of translators. September 30th is also officially recognised as International Translation Day.
The earliest days of translation required the work of educated polyglots or at least bilinguals who would painstakingly translate passages of text by hand. This work would take translators months and sometimes even years to complete. The advent of the printing press made things somewhat easier as the translations became more consistent.
With the printing press, documents only needed to be translated once before being typeset and then run repeatedly. While this method was more efficient in producing copies, if there were any errors in the translation, they too were also reproduced, and there wasn’t a quick method to fix this. As a result, any translations with errors used as foundational pieces for translation into other languages meant that further errors followed and compounded into the next translation.
It wasn’t until the late 20th century, with the emergence of machine translation and machine translation post-editing, that made the translation process became more consistent.
With the emergence of machine translation and platforms like Google translate, anyone can get a quick and immediate translation of nearly any text. However, just like in the early days of translation, machine translation alone is prone to many translation errors, especially since machines can’t translate the cultural concepts, idioms, etc., that make human language so robust. Machine translations are decent at finding concordances at the sentence level but fall flat when making suggestions at a morphological level. This is why international translation companies now use machine and human translations in a process called machine translation post-editing.
Even with current technology, machine translation doesn’t compare to human translation, which is what makes machine translation post-editing the most effective means of translation. Translators use a machine to translate the text first, a process that helps expedite the translation process, and then once the content has gone through a machine, the translator will then go through it and edit and compare it to the original text. This results in an accurate, reliable, fast, and quality translation for the client or business.
Related: How to be a translator in 2022
Regarding translation management, translators today don’t need to be polyglots anymore. Still, most translation companies want translators who are experts in language pair translation, meaning a translator needs complete mastery of two languages, as well as subject-specific expertise (i.e. English-Chinese legal translation). Language pair translations ensure you get the most accurate and quality translation.
While machines have made things easier in the translation industry, and I’m sure even St. Jerome would be impressed with the progress that has been made, as of yet, machine translation cannot operate alone and still requires the handy work of a professional translator. Using a professional translator is especially important in business as businesses today are not afforded the same luxuries of making translation errors as the early pioneers were. Companies today now use business translation services to ensure that they’re getting the best quality translation possible to represent and expand their brand. These companies use machine translation post-editing with qualified translation professionals to produce consistent results.
That is not to say that machine-alone translation isn’t being worked on, however. The Semantic Web or Web 3.0 is an extension of our current internet that is being worked on that aims to create instant translations of any language online, which would include any semantic or cultural content, and make the searches and the retrieval of this information universal. Web 3.0 aims to analyze every piece of data that is available on the internet and have it make sense in every language. This would create interactive pages that are no longer just text translations but include audio/voice and all other forms of media. While the Semantic Web sounds impressive, the fact that there are over 6,800 languages worldwide and that we are still confined to our current means of machine translation means that this idea is a very long way from becoming reality.
In the meantime, quality translations are best left to the professionals at international translation companies like Into23. Into23 offers localization and translation services in any language with professional translators from all over the globe. Into23 can help your brand or business reach new markets in other languages and offer translation solutions for every industry. Check out our services today and get a free quote.
Calculating the success or failure of a marketing localisation campaign can be a complex undertaking, but to find out what works and what doesn’t, as well as what return on investment you’re achieving, deploying the right metrics is essential.
The best way to measure success in marketing localisation has been the subject of heated debate for years. What is without doubt, though, is that standardised criteria are needed when it comes to allocating budgets and tracking progress.
For localisation to be as successful as possible, and generate the all-important return on investment, key performance indicators (KPI) are crucial. They enable you to quantify the quality of content that’s been localised and rate efficiency.
These metrics help clients avoid wasting valuable resources – time and money – on localisation efforts that fall flat, but it helps channel resources to where they’ll have the greatest impact. Whether you are formulating global marketing communication strategies or a China marketing strategy, having the right metrics in place is vital.
Read on for Into23’s expert tips on how to measure localisation and ensure your marketing campaigns are on point.
Localisation is adapting content to look and feel right in another culture. The resulting content should align with local sensibilities and be sensitive to cultural idiosyncrasies. Localising content is important as Nimdzi data shows that 9 out of 10 global users will ignore a product or service if it’s not in their native language.
Getting marketing localisation right can reap huge rewards. For example, it provides access to and engagement with whole new markets of consumers.
Researching and implementing meaningful key performance indicators provides a benchmark and enables businesses to forecast expenditures and returns for future projects. Another key reason is that measuring localisation outcomes enables companies to spot areas that aren’t producing the required results. Once these weak aspects have been identified, they can be improved for better results.
Localisation KPIs can also be deployed to measure the effectiveness and skill of a localisation services vendor. Key questions to think about here are: What’s the error rate? Is localised content delivered on time? Does the vendor stick to the budget?
This measure is used to assess the profitability or efficiency of investment. For example, ROI would measure the success of a marketing campaign. If the campaign’s budget were US$1 million and the sales topped US$1.5 million, the ‘profit’ on the original investment would be US$500,000. This is an overarching metric that looks at the impact on business development. It’s also useful for comparing in-house and out-source localisation services. If outsourcing provides a better ROI, and usually does, then that’s the way to go.
In one widely reported case, HSBC spent around US$10 million in a rebranding exercise due to a localisation blunder. When localising one of its campaigns, the slogan ‘assume nothing’, was mistranslated into ‘do nothing’, which can be considered a call to inaction.
When operating in a market against competitors, it’s vital that consumers hear a business’ voice, and that it’s differentiated. Share of voice (SOV) measures brand visibility and enables businesses to benchmark themselves against their peers. The metrics can be mentioned on social media, coverage in media, and the frequency of search terms.
If the goal of a localised marketing campaign is to raise awareness, and following the campaign, SOV has increased, then all things being equal, it’ll have succeeded. One caveat is that the causal link between the campaign might not be the only reason SOV increases. Therefore, using a range of KPIs gives a more contextual and accurate picture.
Whereas SOV measures the presence of a brand in the public sphere, market share measures the portion of a market that a company commands. The formula is a particular company’s share of the market’s total revenue. If market share increases simultaneously as a localisation campaign is rolled out, then the presumption can be reasonably made that the campaign boosted it.
There’s a range of KPIs that measure client engagement. The most useful ones are:
1: You’ll need to settle on the KPIs that matter to you. This can be determined by examining your goals for measuring localisation. KPIs typically focus on time, cost, and results.
2: Determine how you’ll gather the data, using what technology, and across what time frame. These parameters must be consistent across campaigns to compare results meaningfully. High-quality data is the basis of high-quality insights, so it’s worth spending time on this step. Inconsistent data, missing information and erratic data collection will result in sub-par insights.
3: Insights are only useful if they are used to inform actions. Therefore, the next stage is planning how the resulting insights will be applied to future campaigns. This step usually encompasses the involvement of key stakeholders.
4: After formulating a comprehensive roadmap, it’s time for implementation. Start gathering and recording data to produce reports that give clear insights as to the success of a campaign.
5: Periodically reviewing the measurements and their criteria helps ensure they continue to be fit for purpose. If your business goals change, then check if your KPIs cover that.
As well as marketing campaigns, these tips and advice apply to application localisation, localisation testing, game localization services, multimedia localisation services, website localization services, and, indeed, any other language localisation service.
Lastly, a word of caution. Though there is a surfeit of KPIs to pick, it pays to be selective. The collection and processing of data can be time-consuming if you’re using myriad metrics. The most efficient approach is to hone in on the KPIs that closely align with your goals.
No other language has held sway the way English has globally. Can it maintain its dominance as the most important language for business?
It’s estimated that more than 1.75 billion people around the world speak English, that’s a quarter of the world’s population. Around 400 million people speak English as their first language, with more than a billion knowing it as their secondary tongue; it’s also the official language in at least 59 countries and the lingua franca of many more. While English is not the most spoken language around the world, English is the language of business, diplomacy, science and much more. If we were to rate English on a financial level, its GDP would massively overshadow other languages. Yet English is just one of 7000+ languages spoken globally, so how did it become the most important global language, and will it continue to hold its business and cultural dominance?
Belonging to the Indo-European family of languages, English is a West Germanic language that has its roots in the nomads that used to roam the southeastern European plains some 5000 years ago. As migrations happened in the 5th and 6th centuries, Old English began to take form. Words were taken from French during the Norman conquests of 1066, and in the 12th century, English transformed from Old to Middle English as Greek and Latin words began to enter and influence the language. In the 1500s, English began transforming the modern English we recognise and use today. Between trade, conquest, religion, and British colonialism, English spread worldwide.
The closest modern relative to the English language is Frisian. It is 80% lexically similar to English and is a language still spoken in parts of Denmark, Germany and the Netherlands, though by only around 450,000 people.
English’s success is a result of money, status, and politics, as well as the ease with which it borrows words from other languages and its flexibility in adapting to changes in the world and technology. Economic and technological development has played a major role in English dominance. The US still leads economically and has been one of the most dominating modern cultures, which was heavily influential to English dominance during the birth of the internet. The result of this history and influence has led other countries to place a high value on English speakers, in that those that can speak and use English have a higher chance of getting ahead or entering the global elite, thus furthering English’s influence and dominance in business and more. For example, China has the most speakers of English as a second language than any other country.
While English generally remains the international business language, global business is changing, and its dominance is starting to waver as more and more companies aim to enter other markets and expand using a localized marketing and advertising transcreation strategy for their business.
When the internet started in 1998, there were around 70 million internet users, with English speakers accounting for over 80% of them. However, since then, there has been a steady decline in the percentage of web pages in English. In 1998, 75% of the internet was in English, whereas now it’s only around 25.9%. Today Simplified Chinese alone accounts for 19.4% of web content, just shy of English, which shows the growing trend of companies expanding into different global markets with the use of technology and the necessary use of translation and localization for websites, eCommerce translation services, eLearning platforms, and more.
Further studies have also found that more than half of consumers would pay more for a product if it were presented to them on a platform in their native language. This shift away from English has even been noted by The British Council as far back as 2006, when it published a report that stated that even though English is becoming more widely spoken, its dominance as a language appears to be fading. This shift is happening for a variety of reasons.
Countries with large populations now have more access to technology than they did in the past, and many of these same countries also have a growing number of middle-class consumers that are eager to spend money. With 72.1% of consumers spending most of their time on web pages in their native language, the demand for localization and translation services and a shift away from English has increased. Other factors, such as continued globalization in general, changes in the economy, and other creative alternatives, such as emojis, may also influence the prevalence of the English language in business and online.
It’s estimated that 50-90% of the world’s languages will be extinct in the next century. This is because linguists believe that with more people moving around and native languages not being passed on to younger generations, there will be a drop in the overall number of global languages.
A Dutch sociologist named Abram de Swaan classifies languages into four categories. The peripheral language category includes 98% of the world’s languages but is spoken by less than 10% of humanity. The national or central category includes languages that have a territory to call their own and are written and taught in schools. Next, in the category of super-central languages are Arabic, Chinese, English, French, German, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish and Swahili, as each host around 100 million speakers or more and are the most commonly spoken second languages worldwide. At the top is the ‘hypocentral’ language. It is the language that holds the whole language system together, and that crown is held by none other than English. Japanese novelist Minae Mizumura, who has written on language, similarly described English as a “universal language” and that this status is held not by the number of native speakers of the language but rather by the greatest number of non-native speakers.
With that said, it seems likely that English will continue to hold its super-power status for the time being; however, it will also have to continue to make way for other super-central languages that are growing within political and economic spheres. For example, China’s presence outside of Asia continues to grow. As other countries and populations continue to gain traction in online consumer markets, businesses will need to adapt and recognise that business is no longer an English-only affair.
If you’re ready to start localizing your business or need high-quality translation services, Into23 can help you transform your business for any local market. Specializing in Asian languages, Into23 offers English to Chinese translation services and more, as well as website localization, translation and localization marketing strategies to suit your business needs. Contact us today for a free quote!
The process of translation may seem like a mere exchange of words and phrases from one language to another but as any quality freelance translator will tell you, there is a lot more to it than that. A good translator will use a variety of translation techniques and methods depending on the language it’s being translated into and the target market it’s aiming to reach.
In history, the translation of writing goes back as far as the Mesopotamian era and is believed to have started with the epic Sumerian poem, The Gilgamesh, which was translated into a variety of Asian languages around the second millennium BC. The need for translation began to increase with the development of religious texts and theories. The word translation is derived from a Latin term that means “to bring or carry across”. The word metaphrasis in Ancient Greek, which means “to speak across” created the word metaphrase which was the first term for a “word-to-word” translation. As translation and translation studies became more common, defined techniques and methods took form.
J.P. Vinay and J.Darbelnet were pioneers of translation studies as they created and published formalised translation procedures in 1958 with their book titled, Comparative Stylistics of French and English: A Methodology for Translation. It was one of the first times translation methods had been categorised and since it has become the basis of technique for modern multilingual translation services.
While a translation method can be applied to an entire translated text, translation techniques and types of translation vary based on what elements will be translated. Vinay and Darbelnet detailed seven different techniques within two methods of translation.
This method is used when similar concepts and structures of the source language can be used in the translated language. Languages need to be similar in a variety of ways for these techniques to work as these types of translation techniques are not able to capture a lot of nuances found in language.
Borrowing examples: sombrero, café, kimono, hamburger, kimchi
Calque examples: gratte-ciel in French is a calque of ‘skyscraper’. An ‘Adam’s apple’ is calque of the French phase pomme d’Adam. Beer garden is a calque of the German biergarten.
This method is most often used when languages and cultures are substantially different, such as English to Chinese translation. This method will usually change the structural or conceptual elements of the text to preserve its meaning.
Transposition example: Rendering a French noun with an English verb, Je l’ai vu avant la rentrée can be directly translated to English as “I saw her before school started”, this changes the noun la rentrée into a verb.
Modulation examples: Lebensgefahr in German means danger to life, whereas in English we would say “danger of death”. A literal translation of this phrase from English to German would sound odd and confusing to a German person. Another example is how French speakers refer to the top floor of a building as dernier étage which translates as “last stage” in English. A literal translation of this phrase from French to English would baffle many prospective English apartment buyers and renters.
Equivalence/reformulation examples: The English phrase “It’s pouring,” which refers to a downpour of rain doesn’t translate into German but the meaning can be altered to give the same effect, es regnet in Strömen (It rains in streams).
Adaptive examples: Baseball or NFL football in the US 🡪Football in England
Out of these basic and common techniques, how do you know what translation tools, translation techniques or methods are the best for your business or localization strategy? Every business, strategy and approach is different so the best way to get a return on your investment is to use certified translation services. Quality translators will assess your documents, software, website, eLearning platform or eCommerce software to ensure that your business successfully reaches your target market and audience.
Into23 offers high quality translation services in any language your business needs. Contact us today for a free quote so we can help your business enter new global markets and enterprises.
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!
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.
Got big news to share? As a business, if you want to get the word out one of the most consistent and reliable ways of making such an announcement is with a press release or a press statement. However, things can feel a bit more complicated if you need to translate your press release into one or more languages. Here’s how to garner the most attention and reach a wider audience with your translated press releases.
It is usually a short announcement, often only a few paragraphs, that is aimed at the media or target audience that is meant to inform and release essential information. Often Press Releases market new products or services or even celebrate a businesses success or new venture.
These are meant to be shared widely, encourage conversation, as well as entice and create excitement about whatever it is you’re announcing which calls for an engaging and concise writing style. This same feel and writing approach needs to carry across when you translate your press release too.
Press releases are one of the most effective ways to spread the word about your business in a manner that fits with your company. Holding the voice of your business with the information you deem important, Press Releases in the right hands can create a lot of buzz, especially with the use of social media and digital marketing.
This includes items such as a grand opening press release, event press release, a product launch press release, a new promoted CEO, or a company amalgamation or merger. Sending press releases to the right media streams can drum up a lot of positive attention which in turn will equal sales and revenue. However, a badly done or poorly translated press release can spell bad news for any product launch or formal business announcement.
If you’re an international company, you know the importance of localization and translation services. Localization is when you cater your businesses’ content to the native language in the area.
Localization goes beyond a literal translation as it takes into consideration the region where the language is spoken, cultural nuances, the beliefs and values of the target market, as well ensuring that your businesses content carries the same meaning and importance in translation.
Localization is an important part of any marketing strategy as consumers are more likely to purchase something if it is advertised in their native language.
Before you even get started writing a press release, you need to know your target audience. Start by asking what your public relations aims are, who exactly are you trying to reach, and what you expect to achieve.
If that goal is to reach an audience that uses a different language or region that is outside what your business normally practices in, not only will you need to localize your press release, but you’ll need to find appropriate press release distribution and or media outlet to spread the word.
Localization is needed if you want your international content to reach different local markets. That will mean that if you’re planning on releasing a press release in more than one language, you’re going to need each of those releases to be localized for that region and language for best results.
Localization ensures that your message is well received by your target audience as it will be sensitive to the cultural uniqueness and values of that area while ensuring your company’s message still carries the same meaning and impact and that you meet the area’s local regulations and requirements.
While acronyms help keep documents concise it’s best to avoid them when translating or localizing a press release as they may not translate well. An occasion where an acronym might work is if the company name has already been localised for that region, however, it’s always best to consult with a localization agency to make sure.
To make the most of this newly translated press release, ensure that it is released in a timely fashion and within the local time of the region you’re looking to gain traction in. Be mindful of time zone differences and local holidays that might differ from your own.
International translation companies are experts in different areas of business so find a translation partner that knows your business as well as your target audience. Localization and translation services that are more attuned to your industry will be able to offer quality translations that are quick and efficient while also ensuring a higher success and reach with your press release.
Into23 offer multilingual translation services and specialise in Asian languages to help companies break into the Asian market. Into23 offers a quick turnaround on marketing translation services such as press releases, website localization, ecommerce translation and more. Contact us today for a free quote and get in touch with one of our expert translators.