Individuals often seek ways to reinvent themselves with a new job or business venture during times of financial constraints. These conditions also pressure companies to explore new markets to sell their products and services. This expansion does not necessarily require developing new products, but rather customizing existing products/services to target a new market. We have helped many of our clients expand their markets by translating and localizing their products.
To communicate with potential clients; you must speak their language in every sense of the word. One approach to target a new audience is by localizing your website. With the right plan and the right team, you’ll successfully enter new markets in no time.
What do you need to localize?
Images and colors: First impressions last forever. Select images and color schemes your target audience can identify with.
Language: Use common expressions and terminology and be aware of different locales of the same language.
The message: Adapting ideas and transcreating messages will ensure clear communication as if it was written originally for the reader.
While reading Multilingual Magazine (June and July 2012 issues), we found three articles covering brand/website localization.
Positive Example 1: Pantene’s localized campaign for the Latin American/Spanish market. On a portion of their website localized for Peru, they display a female who appears to be of Japanese heritage (due to historic Japanese immigration, Peru has the second largest Japanese population in Latin America).
Positive Example 2: Eva Mendez is the face of Pantene’s Spanish site in the United States, another cultural connection.
Positive Example 3: When referring to hair, Pantene uses “pelo” for Argentina and ”cabello” for Peru; the most commonly used variations of the term in each country.
Positive Examples 4 & 5: To adapt to the Chinese market, Coca-Cola changed the characters to say something along the lines of: to allow the mouth to rejoice (a very positive feeling/image) Google adapts to the Chinese market by changing their name to “GuGe,” eliminating pronunciation difficulties with the letter “L” in Mandarin.
These are great examples of cultural localization through the use of appealing and familiar images targeting a particular market. At the same time, if you are not mindful you can make a negative impact:
Negative Example 1: The term “voseo” (a form of the pronoun you) is used within the Argentina localized website. At first it appears to be used correctly but after further analysis, inconsistencies are revealed. This is a concern because your audience may feel that the brand is careless and does not relate to them.
Language localization is an extensive process requiring time and research. To ensure a positive and fruitful reception of your products, it is essential to:
- understand your market
- maintain a clear strategy
- be respectful and consistent in your delivery
- set realistic goals
These guidelines will ensure a positive reception and fruitful future for your products. Please feel free to contact us today for assistance with your website localization project.
It is not a secret that the U.S. Hispanic community is growing, as predicted in 2000. Being the only sector of the American population with growth of 2.5 (Replacement Value), according to the U.S.Census, Hispanics are the largest and fastest growing minority in the United States. As a consequence, the younger generations of Hispanics are an appealing target audience that will boost the consumer base of any product or industry.
We would like to share some statistics that will illustrate the allure of this segment for the American and global market:
- Internet Search: 33.3 million visits were made to top websites by U.S. Hispanics
- Social Media around the world:
- Facebook reached 13.5 million Hispanic users
- Twitter have 8.1 million Hispanics
- U.S. Politics: 5 party nominations for the U.S. Senate
- Advertising: 31.1 million dollars spent by top 50 advertisers reaching Hispanics in the U.S.
By the end of 2011, the Association of Hispanic Advertising Agencies’ report indicated “consistent investment on Hispanic marketing (15%) and high levels of overall top-line revenue growth.”
Evolution in technology and diversity of platforms, particularly in social media and Internet, are giving new challenges to Hispanic media users, prompting Spanish- Language TV networks, magazines and advertisers to hone new skills to connect and stay in the radar of the Hispanic population according to the decisions and patterns this users exhibit.
In this line, it was seems as “relations are extremely important for Latinos online and studies reveal that, especially in purchasing decisions, friends’ recommendations precede other factors in decision making due to the fact that Latinos revolve around tightly knit networks.” As a consequence, relationships built with Hispanics have more potential to subsequently drive more traffic and business to your website and company. It might be worth to capitalize on connecting with them through social media platforms.
According to HispanTelligence, the research division of Hispanic Business Inc.,(link no follow) the cities that receive more advertising budget for Hispanic marketing in TV, radio and print are (in order of importance):
Even though TV, radio, newspapers and, magazines are very important mediums to reach Latino buyers, significant growth of internet advertising investments in 2011 indicate that internet and social media are ready to be embraced as part of the Hispanic marketing plans and, that there is a good strategy in motion to transform it into an effective and efficient tool to target the Hispanic market.
Are you in tune with the changes? What are you doing or what would you do differently? We would like to read your comments.
A key element for an excellent translation is to know and understand the target audience, the people that will read and use the translation. The translator needs this information to communicate effectively. With that in mind, the translation service provider has to ask many questions to understand completely and accurately each client’s unique needs and expectations for a translation project. For the project to be successful in the translation process, the client must clearly identify the audience and context.
Translating ideas from one language to another is a very sensitive matter; each project has its own set of goals, and every person involved in the translation process has to be clear about those goals and expectations. With the best information at hand, the client and the translation team will be on the same page and will have the same information to work with. The main goal is for the client to give complete information, providing the translator with the social, cultural and linguistic knowledge to select the appropriate words.
Important elements that are taken into consideration when starting a translation:
- Age of the target audience
- Academic level
- Ethnic group
- Social group
- Country or geographical area
- Purpose of the translated document
Each element provides different ingredients and characteristics, and will aid the translator to convey the message in an appropriate and sensitive way. If your company has an in-country reviewer, with extensive knowledge of the product and its audience, the reviewer should be involved in the translation process from the beginning. This role is an important resource to support the project, especially during the initial phase of establishing the target audience.
Next time you have a translation in mind, you need to think that each project is as different as its recipients and that it is vital to describe the audience in detail. Give as much information as you can to your translation team and, if possible, provide previous translations. No matter how insignificant you think the information you have is, it will surely make a difference in the end result.
The internet has certainly changed the world in many ways. One is the way translation intertwines with other disciplines. Marketing is one of the most notorious examples. The development of international commerce, global economy and specially the desire to cover markets in the, so called, developing world (Korea, Brazil, etc.) makes translation the best friend of marketing agencies.
And just as there are many elements to take into consideration when developing a product, there are also many others involved in the translation process of marketing material. One of the most important elements is localization. In every translation the most important aspect is the ability of transmitting the correct message and, for that to happen it is critical to use the right words. Fortunately, marketing translators have a great deal of freedom when translating jingles, tag lines or songs.
But, freedom will achieve nothing without the proper knowledge of the target audience. Spanish is the perfect language to exemplify the importance of localization. The music, colors, food and words a country identifies with changes from country to country. Translators have to not only know the language spoken in a given country perfectly but also have an in-depth knowledge of the culture. They must know that, for example, the word chaqueta in Mexico is a forbidden word and that chamarra is the right one.
Also, it could seem logical that the vocabulary and the techniques used in a marketing translation should be different from those of a mere descriptive document but, sometimes people forget that. When trying to capture an audience and sell a product, it is very important the use of the imperative, for example words like: CALL, TRY, GO give a sense of urgency and need.
Every trade has its specializations and translation is not the exception. Hire a professional translator and you will sell your product anywhere.