Finding resources to review translations in global regions is a challenge for companies of all shapes and sizes. Top-notch, in-country reviewers are hard to find. Most individuals tasked with translation reviews already have full-time jobs, may not be language or subject-matter experts, and often feel as though extra work has been dumped upon them for no benefit of their own. The result is often subpar or uninformed review feedback, as well as project delays due to schedule conflicts and disenchanted reviewers.
However, while finding engaged, effective, in-country reviewers presents a challenge, it’s not impossible. We’ve identified seven core characteristics that make up a quality global review resource. The ideal individual should be:
1. A native speaker
You may have contacts who live down the street and speak French as a second language. Why can’t they perform the French reviews of your content? Well, are they experts in your industry, niche, and/or vertical? Are they up to speed on current language use and cultural nuances in your space? Have they spent significant time in France consistently over the past several years? Likely the answer to all of these questions is “no.” To ensure your communications are disseminated using the current, accurate voice for your brand and industry in the target market, it’s important your reviewers not only live in the target region, but are also native speakers of the local language and have a deep understanding of the market and your brand.
What makes a good print campaign? It’s something that stands out, is visually pleasing and grabs your attention long enough to leave a lasting impression. But how easy is it to achieve this in a world where we are constantly bombarded with hundreds of marketing messages every day, the majority of them playing to our senses of sight, hearing, or both?
Something that has recently captured the imagination of designers and consumers alike is sensory print.
Kerning may not be something you’d usually associate with cool, but it’s something we (on the Wordbank print media team) feel pretty passionate about. If you’re not sure what it means, kerning is the typographic process of adjusting the space between characters. For example, moving the characters closer makes combinations such as VA, MW, TA, and WA, look better. And what’s not ‘kool’ about that?
Technology has significantly altered, but not eliminated, the art of typography. Many terms and conventions have fallen by the wayside but, on a multi-lingual typesetting team, typography is still a crucial part of what we do and you’ll frequently hear us talking about:
- Font and leading size
- Baseline shift
- Ragged line endings
- Horizontal and vertical scaling
- Kerning (of course)
Does terminology work have an image problem? Personally I find great enjoyment in creating glossaries for our clients – in the variety and inventiveness of language, small insights into a range of different industries and the feeling that I’m doing my bit for improved quality. It has however come to my attention that not everyone shares these views and that some people find terminology work complicated and, dare I say it, dull.
Learn the language and culture of Wimbledon, with our tennis Top Trumps
I am mad about tennis and with Wimbledon around the corner (June 29th), what better reasons to combine my love of the sport with my passion for culture, and write a blog post? Wimbledon is culturally very diverse, and whether you’re a native Brit or visiting from further afield, you’ll need an understanding of tennis terms to fully enjoy the experience.
Beating your friends at tennis
I’m pretty competitive myself (hence the creation of some unique Wordbank Top Trumps), so if you’re like me (keen to win), or you’d just like to learn some tennis lingo and ‘meet’ some of players, play on …
According to recent research by GoToMeeting, six out of ten UK SMBs anticipate doing business internationally by 2016 — a 20% increase on the number that is currently selling or sourcing products and services abroad. This means newly global firms will most likely want to translate their marketing assets, to approach new consumers with specific needs and requests.
But be warned: localizing your website for a new market won’t attract the same volume of visitors through search as your original website does, unless your new sites are optimised and visible to Google, Baidu, Yahoo or Yandex.
How should you go about optimising your new sites? Let me explain… at the start of a multilingual search engine optimisation (SEO) project, you should audit your ‘new’ website by checking it against the three pillars of SEO. Your goal is to make sure you acquire customers by positioning your webpages in the search results for queries related to your products and services. Below are the three key areas on which to focus, to achieve your business objectives:
When a website goes live, search engines scan the content and index it according to their guidelines. These guidelines include:
– having an XML sitemap
– writing unique, localized and optimised META data
– H1 and other specific coding features that, if not present, can strongly affect your ROI in a new market
Content and SEO
Firstly, research the keywords most relevant to your products. Then, create optimised content that not only includes these keywords but also provides a great user experience. Keyword research and user experience are key to attracting visitors, engaging with them and convert them into customers.
The ranking positions of a ‘new’ site are influenced by the volume and quality of links gained from other sites so, during an SEO campaign, aim to gain high authority links and raise brand awareness. Use tactics including content marketing, link building and digital PR.
If you follow these guidelines, you’ll have a great product, a well-localized site and be not only attracting visitors but also converting them to customers! And by implementing technical, content and off-site SEO from the start, you’ll have gained a competitive advantage. (And to build on this head start, don’t forget about social media, Pay Per Click (PPC), PR and offline activities.)
Have you integrated SEO with website localization? Share your experiences below, and tell us about any interesting resources you have come across.
Easter is one of the most celebrated holidays worldwide. However, unlike Christmas, Easter is celebrated quite differently across Europe and the USA due to religious or cultural differences. Planning an online or offline marketing campaign for this period could prove to be quite difficult, especially if you don’t have the insights that are necessary to understand the local markets and business opportunities. An obvious example would be the diverse traditions that separate the different strands of Christian celebrations. British and American Easter, for example, are more “contemporary” experience involving a lot of chocolate; whereas Orthodox Easter involves more religious rituals and traditions that are strictly observed. Therefore, for a good marketing or content strategy, you should think outside the box, do your research and be careful not to offend or disregard someone’s beliefs.
TRANSACTIONS START WITH WHAT
When making the decision to go global, most every organization begins with what. What needs translating? What file format is it? What’s the word count? What languages do we need? What turnaround can we expect, at what cost? These are all transactional questions, designed to enable companies to obtain an accurate quote and kick-off a localization project.
These what questions are certainly part of the reality of localizing content of any kind and they’re often driven by practical need – the need to meet the objectives of internal stakeholders and show that an international presence has been achieved. Companies in the earlier stages of their localization maturity model will almost certainly start with what and think about localization on the project level.
While the backbone of localization activity is undoubtedly focused on maximizing the growth opportunity in international markets, multilingual content targeted toward domestic audiences can be just as powerful in driving conversions while presenting far fewer practical and logistical challenges. Domestic multicultural marketing was once a largely ignored field but a growing number of companies are making it a priority, thanks in large part to the increasing size and purchasing power of the US Hispanic population.
The number of US Hispanics online is estimated at 33.5 million, representing $1.2 trillion of purchasing power, and yet spend on digital tactics aimed at this demographic increased by only 2.5% between 2011 and 2012. This translates into lower competition and CPCs on most digital platforms, which is particularly beneficial considering their engagement with social media, search engines and e-commerce is higher than the US average, allowing for numerous touch points in the conversion process.
Many companies looking to expand internationally may find the unique barriers to launching their brands, particularly in emerging markets like Brazil and China, potentially daunting. Localizing marketing communications often requires significant planning and investment, not to mention the management of practical, technical and logistical challenges, before even the first conversion is realized.
In this post, we’ll look at how English content can be used to make some international markets more accessible to companies looking for lower-risk avenues into global expansion. The analysis of on-site behavior, search data and sales trends gleaned from a soft-launch with English content can also prove the case for a marketing localization budget, as well as help identify product and advertising preferences in a region before making the in-language investment.