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Best Practices and Guidelines for Subtitles

Have a video or an eLearning video course that needs subtitling? Make the most of your subtitles with subtitling services and these best practices.

Subtitling may seem like a straightforward video editing element but there is an art to subtitling, which means there are many good reason to have it done by a professional, especially if you require language translation services. Subtitling services are especially important if you have content that needs to be translated into another language as a subtitling translator can apply the best subtitling practices but can also ensure translation accuracy. 

Two girls in front of a subtitled screen

Subtitles can be found in a variety of video platforms such as business or academic content as well as in entertainment. – Photo by Maria Teneva on Unsplash

What is Subtitling and When Do You Need It?

Subtitling is the accompanying written text or dialogue from a piece of video. The text is synchronized with a video segment and is concise enough to be read and understood in a short time. Subtitling can be used to add additional support to a video so that it can be viewed without sound or it can be used to provide content in a language that differs from the audio dialogue and content.  While subtitling is used in the entertainment industry with movies and TV shows, it is also used commercially, especially as businesses make use of visuals in their marketing and localization strategies. For example, eLearning localization has become more prominent on eLearning platforms as they expand to reach a wider global market. The use of video translation services is also being used more often within business websites as part of their global marketing strategies. 

Whether you need subtitles for a video on your website or for your eLearning platform, here are some of the best subtitling practices.

Subtitle Timing and Placement

As the images are just as relevant to the subtitles, the timing and position of the subtitles are very important. 

  • Subtitles need to appear and disappear as the words themselves are spoken but are also on-screen long enough to be read. Around 15-18 characters per second is a good standard.
  • If necessary, simplify the text to make it easier to read but always ensure to caption all important and relevant information. This is especially important within eLearning platform content.
  • Each subtitle should be one complete sentence, with no more than two on the screen at a time. With two sentences on the screen, the shortest one should generally be on top to minimize eye movement, prevent image overlay, and make it easier to read.
  • Synchronization and pauses in the sentences should occur naturally with the speech or when there is a natural change or pause in the course, content, or scene.
  • Font size is important. The font needs to be large enough to read with ease and the colour and contrast of the font also needs to align with the image background.
  • Subtitles are generally placed at the bottom centre of a video. This is to avoid it clashing with images and other word content on screen. The most important thing to consider is the subtitles clashing with the image or video content so positioning can be adjusted if necessary. 

Subtitle Meaning

Ensuring your subtitles capture the meaning from the original audio is even more important when translating into another language. 

  • Using a subtitle translator can ensure that you’re getting the best translation possible and that your subtitles capture the meaning of the content and not just the words. 

Subtitle Sounds

Video editing

Sounds and sometimes even silence are both important aspects of subtitling. – Photo by Matthew Kwong on Unsplash

The backgrounds sounds and noise in a video, while not part of a dialogue or speech, can be just as important to capture the meaning of the content. 

  • If dialogue or speech is inaudible a label should detail the cause.
  • Ie. The noisy crowd muffles speech
  • Sound effects, such as a car horn or a dog barking, should be enclosed in brackets and italicised.
  • Ie. (dog barking)

Subtitle Punctuation

The addition of punction and formating can help add clarity. 

  • If multiple people are speaking at the same time, add the names or descriptions of the person or character to identify the speakers
    • Ie. (Claire) You have got to be kidding me?
            (Steve) I told you so!
  • When subtitling a song or singing, it’s helpful to indicate that it is music with a music icon () at the beginning and end of the song.
    • Ie. Take a sad song, and make it better…

The Importance of Subtitling Services or a Subtitle Translator 

Video translation services are essential if you are localizing your video content or in the process of website localization to ensure consistency and quality in your content no matter what language it’s being presented in. Into23 offers quality video translation serviceseLearning translation, software localization services in any language your business requires. Our translators offer the highest quality translation with fast turnaround and delivery. Inquire about our subtitling services and get a free quote.

From PUBG to Apple: How Localisation helped these Brands Dominate Global Markets!

Brands Beyond Borders

Some companies have grown exponentially by accommodating consumers with diverse dialects, languages, and cultures. Many brands have made localisation a force to help them conquer this kind of growth, allowing them to tap into the new markets. However, the trend of transforming content to a specific region or culture is not new. Many American software giants like Microsoft deployed their solutions worldwide back in the 80s. Today, with the help of digital communication, some famous brands are rendering content to countries outside their geographical location. It has allowed them to stay locally and globally relevant.

PUBG

Companies like Coca-Cola and Visa have made their brand almost invincible by recognising the power of “local relevance.” These brands dare to translate their content to regional contexts and are confident in curating content specific to a region’s preferences and tastes. Gaming brands like Nintendo and PUBG have gone global while managing to keep their local relevance alive.

How does maintaining “Local Relevance” help these brands grow? 

Localisation recognises the role of values, cultures, and dialects during brand messaging. It allows businesses to adapt to local language, style, and design. These elements take shape due to geographical barriers; however, localisation helps brands go beyond texts and phrases. Localisation does not mean mere “translation.” It is more than that. Although translators play a massive role in localisation projects, localisation has numerous key factors that come into play.

Competition in the international market is fierce; therefore, no two brands can afford to offer similar brand experiences. Such continuous differentiation has forced brands to pay great focus on a customer’s personal experiences. In addition, a brand with the ambition of going global cannot target diverse consumers using the same marketing campaign! Hence, we see companies optimising their ads for specific target markets. Consumers also want brands to communicate in their native dialects. It gives them a more personal feel. 

marketing campaign

According to a report by Common Sense Advisory, 72% of shoppers prefer purchasing from sites that use their native language. Almost 55% of them exclusively choose these sites over others. Let’s evaluate some brands communicating with global customers and understand how they connect with their audiences at a deeper level to drive engagement. 

Apple

There is no doubt about how much of a marketing genius Steve Jobs was. He helped Apple establish itself as a desirable, unique, and fashionable electronics brand. Their simplistic yet stylish products differentiated them from the herd in the USA. Apple is one of the biggest companies globally that launches culturally-relevant marketing campaigns all over the globe. Their previous localised campaigns are noteworthy! For instance, let’s look at their campaign in Japan. The Japanese culture disapproves of criticising others; therefore, Apple’s Mac vs. PC marketing campaign couldn’t work in Japan. Apple couldn’t take a direct shot at Microsoft! Rather than translating their American ad, they collaborated with local comedians to show Mac is for fun-loving individuals. Their marketing team didn’t just translate their content but also aligned it to match the cultural expectations of the native audiences.

Apple

Coca-Cola

This brand sells more than 2 billion bottles every day! Coca-Cola was one of the few global brands that focussed on capturing international audiences. Their campaigns, such as “Share a Coke,” used common English names like Jack, Tom, Mike, Alisa, etc., on the label. It helped them build familiarity and gave customers a reason to share their drinks. In countries like Russia, Coca-Cola localised the names using native names to synergise with the locals. However, in China, people don’t use initial names to address others. They prefer to address individuals by their last name. Therefore, Coca-Cola used taglines like “Share a Coke with your close friend or classmate.” The campaign brought impressive results for the brand, allowing them to bypass cultural constraints in China.

Nintendo

If we talk about app localisation, we must address the brilliant work done by Nintendo. Nintendo invests aggressively in in-app localisation, allowing them to customise their content for a specific demographic. They tailor the gaming experience by inducing local elements that appeal to the local audiences. Their strategies have helped them double their growth! They have also localised business steps like segment testing, product development, and content translation. Today Nintendo works with numerous localisation experts to develop marketing content. They also customise their official releases as per different markets. All this makes the brand deliver native gaming experiences while consistently maintaining the same level of satisfaction.

Gamming Language Translation

PUBG

PUBG, developed by Brendan Greene, is a popular action game with more than 400 million users worldwide! The game is widely popular in countries like China, the USA, the UK, Germany, India, etc. Acquiring such a huge base was impossible without translating or localising the content. You see, gaming is all about “emotional experiences.” That is why the game features twelve languages, including English, allowing them to engage local audiences and develop stronger connections. PUBG enables users to experience the same thrill regardless of their language.

Poor Translation & Localisation can Result in Branding Disasters!

As discussed, localisation is more than translation! It allows you to capture, grow, and retain new markets in the global economy. By now, you must have understood how localisation provides a competitive advantage to brands. 

But branding your business in an unfamiliar market is a challenge in itself. It would be best if you had insights and data that could highlight the preferences of your target audiences. Your business should partner with a professional translation and localisation company that can provide the right intellect and strategy to localise your content. Or else, poor translation and localisation can have severe business implications. Let’s evaluate them.

It can hinder communication.

If your brand wants to establish itself in multicultural settings, you must launch global marketing campaigns in many languages. To achieve that, you need to curate and deploy your final content within a fast turnaround. Failing to do so will hinder global communication and growth.

Low-quality translations

Imagine you have set up a website to expedite your products and services. What if your newly launched website is unable to deliver the right translation? What if the terms, measurements, and product descriptions are inconsistent? If your website translates your content into inappropriate language, it will severely harm your brand’s reputation and may lead to financial loss. 

Extensive pressure on customer support

Low-quality translation and localisation can pressure your customer executives. What if customers come to your website and raise support requests because they cannot understand the content? Therefore, your brand must ensure that support materials are localised for native markets.

Slow translation process

A slow translation process can hinder your international success. Imagine during an international launch; you cannot push out your content. Local players can benefit from that situation by launching the same services or content before you. Therefore, you may lose business to local players if the translation takes too long.

Language Translation Services

No centralised control 

No centralised control over the content will lead to inconsistent translations. Your brand messaging may become unreliable if your business partners or stakeholders use different translation suppliers.

No translation management portal

Falling for ineffective translation solutions can add severely to your business cost. Without a translation management portal, you won’t be able to keep track of your actual spending on translation and localisation. Exporting requirements, importing, billing, etc., requires you to keep a central solution for costing visibility and control.

Simply Localising Your Content is Not Enough to reach New Customers!

Today, 60 percent of the websites are in the English Language. According to a report by Statista, 26 percent of online users search using English keywords. It means that a massive online audience is underserved! Hence, localising your content is not enough to drive new clients. That is why brands need multilingual SEO and eCommerce Localisation

Let’s break these two factors into separate segments.

E-commerce Localisation

E-Commerce localisation can help you achieve excellence in the international marketplace. It allows you to transform your online business’ content (an app or website) in a way that it resonates with the native audiences you are targeting. It can help your eCommerce website or app adhere to local regulations, preferences, format, or currencies. 

E-Commerce Translation Services

Multilingual SEO

Since there are numerous users on the internet from different linguistic backgrounds, your brand needs to adopt multilingual SEO optimization. It can support your business in addressing and engaging the rest of the world! For instance, if your eCommerce business is based in the USA, you might consider attracting non-American clients or visitors from non-English speaking countries. Your brand must optimise its SEO strategy to attract and engage them. You can get visibility across different languages and locations. You’ll get to attract more traffic and more growth compared to your competitors. It will also help you evaluate the demands of your international clients.

Want to go Global? Consider these Checkpoints Before You Take Action!

Financial & operational stability of your business

International expansion of your business demands huge investment and a lot of resources. Your brand needs to have financial & operational stability before you sign up for this change.

Presence of potential international customers

If you have figured out an existing customer base for your product in an international market, it’s good to expand. Ensure you invest in the right metrics and surveys to evaluate the market potential and size. 

Knowledge of Markets suitable for your brand

As a gradually progressing brand, never focus on entering all spaces simultaneously. First, you must determine which market you want to tap. You can choose a market closer to your location so that your new customers share the same dialect, behaviour, or culture. It would keep your brand’s initial cost of translation and localisation low. Similar market space shares the same business climate, size, innovations, etc.

Are you “Ready” to tap into the new Markets?

Before opening up to the concept of “going global,” your business must prepare for the new markets. Brand messaging, marketing assets, logos, content, images, taglines, etc., must be localised to make your brand sound native. For this checkpoint, eCommerce localisation and multilingual SEO can be very effective tools.

How can Into23’s Localisation & Translation services help?

Into23 has a deep supply chain of professional freelance translators in key markets who use the latest technology during the translation project. We have years of experience as a language translation agency in Hong Kong. Check out our Portal for central billing, reporting, and ordering solutions.

We also provide automated translation management, which allows us to distribute content at lightning speed. Apart from automated content management, our team also offers Automated Translation Quality Assurance to meet the highest compliance standards. We help you adapt your brand’s message to your target audience’s cultural norms. Businesses like yours can develop custom translation workflow and achieve impactful marketing translation. 

Clients can leverage our neural machine translation engines for localising support documentation and FAQS. For your legal documents, you can utilise our native language translators. However, the post-editing process involves the manual presence of editors who correct the output. Allow us to take away your pain of managing translations! We respond to all incoming inquiries within 1 hour during our operational hours. Contact us now

Important things to consider if you’re localizing your business in Chinese

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.

localize my business in chinese - hong kong

Hong Kong signs – Photo by Katie Manning on Unsplash

History of the Chinese language and its different types

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 Chinese

localize my business in chinese - calligraphy

Calligraphy – Photo by chuanyu2017 on Pixabay

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. 

Different dialects

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.

DialectRegion Spoken
Mandarin (Putonghua)Most of mainland China, Taiwan, Macau
Cantonese/YueHong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou (Canton), and Wuzhou.
MinFujian province and parts of Guangdong, Zhejiang, Hainan, and Taiwan
WuZhejiang province, Shanghai, southern Jiangsu province, parts of Anhui and Jiangxi provinces.
XiangMost of the Hunan province, the counties of Quanzhou, Guanyang, Ziyuan, and Xing’an, northeastern Guangxi province.
GanJiangxi province
HakkaNortheastern 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.

Related: What’s the Difference Between Mandarin and Cantonese?

Important considerations regarding the different dialect types

  • Cantonese is the main dialect spoken in Hong Kong. Traditional Chinese characters are used for writing. While many Hong Kongers can speak Mandarin and use Simplified Chinese characters, if you are localizing for this region, you should consider using Cantonese and Traditional Chinese characters.
  • In Taiwan, they speak Mandarin and write with Traditional Chinese characters. Both Taiwan and mainland China use Mandarin, but they have developed different terminology and writing styles.  

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.

Things to consider when creating a localization strategy for Chinese 

localize my business in chinese - tiananmen square

Tiananmen Square – Photo by wu yi on Unsplash

Know the culture, know your audience, and identify your primary dialect and region

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 past successes and failures 

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.

Related: The Top 10 Translation Blunders in Advertising 

Use local social media and eCommerce platforms

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. 

Use expert multilingual translation services

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.

The 6 keys to effective eLearning translation in Asia

The eLearning industry is projected to be worth 181 million USD by the end of 2025, with an annual growth rate of 12.26% per year. Driven by the widespread adoption of eLearning platforms by educational institutions and employers around the world, as well as the increased popularity of online course providers, eLearning made the jump from supplementary service to primary platform in 2020.

The industry has continued to grow in 2021, as workplaces expand their online skills training platforms and commercial eLearning providers more effectively engage their users with gamified app experiences, data driven personalized services, advanced modules, microlearning (short bursts of platform access) and content optimization, including the use of audio and video.

The expansion of the eLearning market drives service providers to offer their programs in multiple markets to reach new audiences, which requires the use of eLearning translation services and website localization. The pace of development in the industry has resulted in increasingly complex platforms with more content, which makes effective translation and software localization challenging, considering the scale and scope of material to adapt.

Machine translation services are ineffective in this context, considering the nature of the application. eLearning translation not only requires attention to detail, but also an extensive level of quality assessment in order to ensure that course materials effectively engage users. Linguistic QA specialists can identify and evaluate the lexical and grammatical options which make the difference between efficient progress through course modules and ambiguity that can challenge users’ patience.

eLearning platform design in any language carries inherent cultural connotations. Everything from curriculum planning to content and the layout and user interface has a culturally specific context in the original language and culture that the module is developed for. This comprises the source language and content. There are six elements which make all the difference between successfully adapting to different cultures and lessons ending up lost in translation.

  • Text
  • Images
  • Video
  • Audio
  • Layouts
  • Graphics

Text: The basis for eLearning platforms and modules

Text is the simplest but most important aspect of eLearning translation and software localization. Opting for simple machine translation  is unlikely to provide accuracy, and while machine translation with post-editing ensures a level of quality and consistency, it does not  provide a framework for cultural context and therefore has limited scope for localization.

Cultural context often accounts for variations within same language. For example, people from Hong Kong use an English transliteration for the word strawberry,  (士多啤梨)  while in other regions it is translated as 草莓.

While Cantonese is spoken in Malaysia, local lexical variations arise from from Hokkien, Hakka and Malay influences, which contribute loanwords like (play) which in Hong Kong is written . There are also considerable variations in pronunciation.

For eLearning platforms,  the most efficient translation and localization solution when faced with cultural variations within a single language is to identify the most important market and develop the eLearning translation accordingly.

It is important to consider which language to use for localization in Asia: most content localized for the Malaysia market is in English. However, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese and Mandarin are widely used in Asia.

While there is considerable regional variation in Chinese language usage, the cost effective approach is to develop eLearning translation and localization for the most important market.  Articulate Rise is a widely used course authoring tool for eLearning platform developers. Rise 360 is well suited to text-heavy courses, which can be challenging to translate into multiple languages. We can quickly and efficiently process translation and localization for all courses designed with Articulate Rise.

Audio and Video: professional eLearning voiceover services

Multimedia localization in particular requires a solid understanding of regional and cultural context in the target market, in order for audio and video content to effectively supplement the text. Articulate Storyline is a streamlined multimedia content solution for eLearning platforms, and we can effectively process and translate all assets from Storyline 360 projects.

elearning voiceover services and multimedia localization

Localizing the text provides a basis for the eLearning voice over, which should also be developed for the most important market.

Planning, developing and organizing a workflow for high quality translation of text, video and audio between completely different languages requires expertise and experience with  providing localization and translation services.

Images: Visual learning and culture

Visual content in images and video should also be assessed for cultural relevance. While American Football imagery effectively conveys concepts to North American audiences and translates reasonably well in Europe, it may distract Asian learners who are less familiar with the sport and might not intuitively grasp concepts illustrated with quarterbacks and goalposts. Sports like soccer and tennis are more culturally neutral and help make content more easily localized across markets.

Layouts and Graphics: The culture of colour, and how it affects UX

Image and text elements should also be maintained separately, in order to avoid difficulties with translating and localizing images with text. Videos should ideally have captions set up as distinct elements in order to streamline translated versions. The design language for video caption and user interfaces should ideally provide a degree of flexibility, because colours have different associations in different regions and cultures.

For example, the colour red indicates passion in Western cultures, while it is associated with prosperity and luck in Asian cultures. In South Asia, the colour the colour orange is associated with the Hindu religion, while in the Middle East, green is associated with Islam. Streamlining colour configuration settings makes for an efficient eLearning localization strategy. Designing elements with flexibility and configurability in mind is an important step for eLearning platforms to take so that they can effectively translate their content for different markets with software localization services and expert translation services. Another efficient approach is to opt for culturally neutral design elements in order to effectively serve a wider eLearning audience.

eLearning translation and eLearning localization go hand in hand. Unlike legal language translation services, culture cannot be separated from language in an educational context. While marketing transcreation is an essential aspect of adapting an advertising strategy which would certainly enhance eLearning platforms, the scale of eLearning projects are generally best served by cost-effective localization and multilingual translation services with specialized eLearning voice over carried out by experienced professional translators who can optimize your platform and efficiently scale the reach of your services while ensuring they are effective for every user.

Into23 provides comprehensive eLearning and localization services with unmatched quality, speed and value in Asia. Our translation system supports Articulate Storyline and Articulate Rise content, which streamlines the setup of translated and localized courses. We can deliver a complete portfolio of course translations in any number of languages you require, including all audio and video content, in one go. Our clients never have to worry about keeping track of 25 different translations and coordinating launch dates. In Hong Kong’s English to Chinese translation services market, attention to detail and appreciation of cultural context is key to effectively serving markets.

Our experience in the region, global partnership networks and passion for language and culture enable us to develop effective solutions tailored to the scale of your project.

The Top 10 Translation Blunders in Advertising

Use Professional Advertising Translations to avoid these pitfalls

With the ubiquity of the internet and social media, the world really is your brand’s oyster. You can reach billions more consumers than was possible just 20 years ago, but while it’s much easier to access foreign markets, it’s far harder to make a connection with consumers that speak a different language. This is where localisation comes to the rescue.

Localisation is not just about translation, though. It’s also about brand designing in a way that makes it easy for a new reader or listener to understand what you are saying. There are many pitfalls in this localisation translation process, as many a prominent brand has discovered.

Here are 10 translation blunders in advertising

… and how they demonstrate the need for professional human translation and localisation, followed by tips on how to get your marketing customisation / localisation right first time.

  1. Coors was left red-faced when it translated its Turn it Loose slogan into “suffer from diarrhoea” in Spanish. This blunder highlights the difficulty of translating slang between languages.
  2. Though chicken feet are a staple in China, citizens of the PRC were probably surprised to be encouraged to “eat their fingers off” by KFC when it tried to localise its “finger lickin’ good” slogan into mandarin.
    Source
  3. When Mercedes-Benz entered China, it chose to do so under the moniker Bensi, or rush to die.
  4. After the last two ad mishaps, Chinese consumers could probably have done with a Pepsi, given the brand promised the drink “brings you back from the grave” when it launched in China. The original brand promise was that it “brings you back to life.”
    Source
  5. Staying with the death theme, Ford advertised in Belgium by translating the slogan “every car has a high-quality body” into “every car has a high-quality corpse”. (They just need a Pepsi.)
  6. Over in the UK, Ikea introduced the Fartfull workbench into the UK, which raised much mirth.
  7. And while Paxam’s Barf washing powder also raised a few chuckles as the word means to vomit in English slang, other errors have been more insensitive.
    Source
  8. For example, Gazprom named its Nigerian company Nigaz.
  9. Every brand hopes its marketing campaigns drum up more business, but HSBC Bank didn’t even get off the starting block when it translated its “Assume Nothing” slogan into “Do Nothing” in many countries under a 2009 global campaign.
  10. But when it comes to bizarre slogan translations, The American Dairy Association excelled by asking consumers whether they were lactating, instead of the catchy “got milk.”

What is localisation? Translation, Localisation and Transcreation

If your business specialises in a particular industry, you may have developed a comprehensive dictionary of frequently used language words for your customers. You also may be translating print materials, such as brochures or web content for mobile phones and tablets. But what exact service do you need? Translation is the process of reworking a text from a source language into another language, maintaining the original meaning. Meanwhile, localisation is the process of adapting content or a product or service for a specific culture or market, and transcreation, a portmanteau of translate and creation, is a form of translation that preserves the original context, emotion, tone and intent. Transcreation often begins with a creative brief, rather than the source text, and includes the translation of images into a different context. Its uses include software localisation services.

Why it’s important to localise

Creating a product or service that caters to a global audience is a competitive advantage in today’s economy. Being able to reach the widest range of customers possible means your products or services are easier to sell in other markets. The best way to do this is to localise your product or service. A common misconception about localisation is that it’s an up-front cost and comprises a one-off period of manual translation. These are actually quite different things involved in localisation and the process is often a continuous one.

Tips on how to get localisation right first time

Use a professional multilingual team for localisation and translation. That way, localisation can be better planned and executed and you’ll be less likely to experience a faux pas. Test your translation and localisation as you go along in order to spot the right choices for the correct audience. The professionals don’t rush into creating a potentially misleading translation in order to quickly launch a campaign, service or product.

Localise your ads on a trial basis, not on the basis of any preconceptions you may have about the language. Consider all the options, have multiple mock-ups prepared for each language and test which is the best way to communicate your message in the market.

Find the right translator

Finding a translator who speaks the language you need and who can translate professionally is one thing. Finding a translator who speaks your target market’s native language and understands the cultural nuances can be quite another. If you don’t speak the language or you don’t have a translator who speaks it, a popular alternative is to contact a professional translator agency, which can ensure that the translation is done professionally and accurately, and that there will be no surprise embarrassments.

Take care of your target audience

Making sure you understand your market is imperative if you want to get localisation right. If you’re thinking about applying for a European franchise licence or entry into the Japanese market, you need to find out what your target audience is comfortable with. Look at the language the country uses for its official communication. You may find that they use only one language, like Spanish or Portuguese, or that the majority of citizens use several languages, like English, Chinese, and Korean.

Identify your consumers’ cultural needs

Understanding the needs of the people you’re targeting is just as important as understanding your market. In many cases, your target audience will be multi-ethnic, having interacted with a multitude of cultures. This is especially true in a diverse region like Asia. Moreover, localising from two closely related languages and cultures, for example with an English to French translation service, is less challenging than localising between two unrelated languages, such as with English to Chinese translation services.

Whether you need the best legal translation Hong Kong has to offer, scientific and technical translation, or game localisation services, getting localisation right means finding the right localisation translation service. To find out more, get in touch with Into23 today.