For many years now English has been used as the preferred language for international business. However, today’s trends indicate that this is no longer the preferred method of communication when it comes to marketing products to consumers.
According to a poll conducted by the European Commission of 23 E.U. countries almost 20 percent of internet users said they never go to websites written in languages that are different from their own and more than 40 percent said they never buy either products or services from websites except those written in their native tongue.
In the larger less developed world, English is not such an acceptable language to use when marketing and purchasing products. Non-English speaking consumers prefer to make a purchase if the information is offered in their native language. Additionally, 80+ percent said they are more likely to make further purchases if the post sales care takes place in their native language. More than 60 percent prefer badly translated web pages in their native language using simple translation tools like Google translate rather than English only websites!
Start Small And Grow Bigger Over Time
If you are thinking of localizing your product so you can open it up to more potential buyers choose the most important of your non-English languages first. Get your website’s key pages translated by a Professional Marketing Translator and then trial these pages for say 2 months and see how your potential buyers treat your attempts at localisation. Throughout this trial period you can use tracking tools to see how your buyers are reacting to your newly translated website. If you have got a social media link on your new website, this will help you to know how much sharing has been going on too.
Localize Your Best Content
If you normally keep a blog going that keeps your visitors current with any new developments occurring within your company, this could be a good place to start when translating a relevant part of your website. If you have links back to your key website page from your blog this is a good monitoring point as you can see whether visitors to your translated blog will go back into your website to do more exploration. If they do, this should be the next part of your website for a Marketing Translation.
Live Chat is Good For Customer Contact
Once you have started to attract some non-English speaking customers your next step is to offer online support. This could be done by email but these days customers prefer to chat instantly online. You should try to set up a live chat facility that involves chat operators who can switch between languages so that the chat is effective as a means of communication.
Online shopping has been a rapidly growing phenomenon, both internally and externally across borders over the last decade. In fact, e-Commerce, as online shopping is also called, is regarded as having a detrimental effect on traditional shopping done in physical stores. High street closures have been blamed, for instance, on the growth of e-Commerce giants like Amazon and Alibaba.
The international e-commerce market depends on its success on the abilities of professional translation agencies to effectively communicate a huge variety of products in a number of different languages. Alibaba, the Chinese based e-Commerce giant, has learned that despite the fact that the internal Chinese market is growing rapidly as the Chinese population becomes ever more affluent, there are huge profits to be made by selling online all over the world.
Alibaba has become a very successful online sales company but it has only been able to do so because it learned the hard way that badly translated marketing of products wasn’t going to work. The main disadvantage of online shopping is the uncertainty about what you are buying: the quality, the size, the colour and so on. All of these details have to be communicated through the e-Commerce company’s public website. If consumers don’t trust or understand what they see on that website because the language used cannot be understood, they will turn elsewhere, or not bother with online shopping at all.
Alibaba’s cross-border market is expected to increase fourfold between 2014 and 2020, a figure which parallels the growth of the Chinese internal e-commerce market.
It’s not just China that is selling successfully to the rest of the world. German online shoppers are buying a lot of their stuff from Britain. The U.K. and the U.S., both big e-commerce nations, are selling to consumers on both sides of the Atlantic. Over 70% of British companies that sell online also sell offshore. Of course, selling British goods to the U.S. or Australia is a lot easier than selling the same products to the Chinese as the language barrier is almost non-existent. For many e-Commerce sellers, it is the language barrier that is the most important stumbling block. This presents an enormous opportunity for professional translators and translation agencies that adapt to changes in marketing strategy and present themselves as experts in e-Commerce translation.
We have currently reached a period in history when spreading the word about just about anything is expected to appear in a variety of languages and not just in a single language like English. Sometimes translations of exact texts are hard to undertake if the source language is too complex. The text in some translations may take up more lines than in other languages. If you are planning to write an advertising brochure and you will want it translated into a variety of languages the easiest thing to do is keep the language simple. This not only makes it easier to translate but the variation in number of words used in different languages won’t be so great.
Brochures that may have a catch phrase on the front page may find that when these words are translated into several European languages the number of words used may be two to three more than English. Conversely, Korean and Chinese may take up less space because the number of words used is less.
How do professional translation services handle brochure translations?
As brochures are often arranged in an attractive way in order for one to appear similar in different languages sometimes there are too many words so the font needs to be condensed so that it fits in to the required space. Languages where less words are used it’s necessary to stretch the words so that they fill the space.
There are times where the brochure designer thinks that it is more effective to write some words in a different colour. However, not all translation services will be able to mimic the words in a chosen colour and get the meaning right too.
The suggestion is to concentrate on the use of 2 fonts which should be sans serif and a serif. It is possible to bold, italicize and underline but the effect is not necessarily the same in the translated material as the original.
The best way to ensure your brochure gets the best treatment when it’s translated is to consult the professional translator first to decide what fonts and features are best used for your type of translation.
The value of a professional translation service is spelled out every time there is a little mistake in the translation that can become a potential disaster, or at least an embarrassment. Very often, the problem is more likely to happen when one person is interpreting for someone else rather than translating. This is because someone working for a Professional Translation Service has more time to double check that they are providing an accurate translation of the text they are dealing with. The interpreter, on the other hand, often has to make sense of what someone is saying on the spur of the moment. This can lead to tragic consequences in some situations.
Continue reading “How Little Translation Mistakes can Turn into Big Headaches”