Tag Archives: globalization

Seven Simple Steps to Consider when Going Global

Seven Simple Steps to Consider when Going Global

Seven Simple Steps to Consider when Going GlobalGoing global with your company’s message can seem overwhelming. However, it can be simply broken into seven essential steps when launching international markets.

Do not Use the Same Marketing Campaign across Global Platforms

Your advertising campaign might look and sound great in English-speaking countries. Is it the same somewhere else, though, like Spain or China? With printed material, remember it is not just a matter of translating the content; recognition of a country’s culture should also be considered. With other media, it is important to present material in the same spoken language used in the target market. Do not make the assumption that subtitles will be as effective as using a voiceover or an actor from that country.

Get to Know the Culture

It may seem obvious to state that spending time in the target country will give your company a significant advantage, but it should always be stressed. Through direct contact with your target audience’s people, culture and aspects of daily life, you will gain essential education as to the communication norms, customs and traditions in this market. Though having a team of professionals is important, your company’s direct interaction will ensure decision makers have a clear frame of reference and do not just rely on other’s opinions.

Use Translation Professionals

Just because someone speaks the language, it does not mean he or she can correctly or properly write in it. Communicating the same message clearly and fluently in two different languages truly is more of an art than a science. Though you may use Google translate as a quick and helpful way to understand an odd word, or ask the Spanish-speaker in the office to assist with an email, do not rely on these methods to produce professional results. Reputable translation agencies will use qualified, professional linguists that are native or have lived in the target country long enough to know the culture and the nuances of the language. The less expensive option at the onset can often end up being the most expensive in the long run, because you may have to try to correct mistakes in order to maintain your company’s reputation.

Understand Why Website Localization Is Important

Make it easy for your target audience to connect to your business by having a localized website and e-commerce presence. Having translated material and information readily available online will expedite your ability to globally communicate and sell your products and services.

Watch the Competition

In what countries have your competitors established a presence? Or are they exploring new marketplaces? If your competitors are establishing a presence in a country where you are not, investigate why. Keep abreast of where your competitors have found opportunities and ask how it could be relevant to your company’s global expansion. Observe their marketing efforts and how the target audience responds. Some investigative intelligence may be even more effective than your own market research.

Trust a Local Marketing Company

Your domestic marketing agency most likely will not understand the culture and thought processes of another country’s target audience. Establish a relationship with an in-country marketing agency before any media launches. They can assist with adapting your material in order for it to be culturally relevant. A native marketing agency will know what to say and how to say it, much better than you will.

Be Aware of Social Media Preferences

Social media is a great marketing tool. You can get to know your customers, read what they are saying about you (and your competitors) and engage with them. However, make sure you use the right platform for your market. For example, does your target audience prefer Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn? Find out what social media your target audience likes best and be committed to making it your main platform. It can differ from country to country, so do not assume that all audiences have the same preferences.

Considering these seven simple steps when going global will help ensure you have an effective and relevant marketing campaign in any part of the world.

To learn more about translation and localization, visit Terralíngua. Terralíngua is an ISO certified, professional translation company specialized in helping businesses communicate on a global platform.

Three Common Website Globalization Errors

Crossroad, rights and wrongsThe internet turned our world into a very small place. Business people have made full use of this situation and are offering their products and services on a global scale. However, one of the challenges they have to face on a regular basis is the language barrier. Even though every part of the world we live in is accessible via the internet, lack of knowledge of the local languages continues to be a problem. To overcome this barrier, business people have come up with a novel idea: offering the website in regional languages.
Although English is accepted as the global language, not everyone on the globe can read, write and converse in English. This is why there are a number of companies that offer professional translation services. You can get your website translated into a number of different languages. However, there are a few common mistakes made by these professional on a regular basis. This article will highlight those errors so that when you get your website translated, you will ensure that these mistakes are not repeated.

Purpose of Translation

Before going into the mistakes that translation professionals make, it is important to understand the purpose of translation. Your website is available in English by default. If a visitor who can’t read English visits your website, he/she should be able to access the website easily, in the language they are comfortable with. The word ‘easily’ here implies that they should be able to get their native language version of site with only a couple of clicks. With that in mind, let’s look at the common website globalization errors.

Using Country Flags for Language Navigation

You would have noticed the small icon of a nation’s flag, with the language printed next to it, on the home page of a website that is available in multiple languages. If you want the site in English, you have to click on the US or UK flag. If you want it in Chinese, you have to click on the Chinese flag. The same holds true for French, Japanese, Portuguese, Spanish and other languages.
But did you know for a fact that English is the native language of Canada, Australia, New Zealand and many other countries? Also, Chinese language is not exactly Chinese. There are many regional dialects and variations of the Chinese language. Mandarin is the most used dialect of Chinese as it is the official language of China and is spoken in other areas like Taiwan, and Singapore. Cantonese is spoken in the Canton province of China, Hong Kong and Macao.
As there are differences in spoken Chinese, so also are there differences in written Chinese. Currently Chinese characters are divided in two forms: one is the ‘traditional’ and the other is the ‘simplified’. This split was promoted by the government in 1949 in order to increase literacy rates among the population. The new and simplified version of characters came into use in Mainland China, while the original traditional script was kept in use by the Chinese population outside mainland China (Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macao). The fundamental difference between the two forms is that the traditional one uses more strokes and is based on earlier characters. The modern simplified Chinese is much simpler.

Apart from being factually inaccurate, using the flag of a single country to representa language spoken by many might be felt as inconsiderate and disrespectful. For example, with the tension between Taiwan and China, Taiwanese visitors might feel offended if to visit the website in Mandarin, they have to click on the Chinese national flag. This is one mistake you should try to avoid in your site.

Usage of Target Language Script to Indicate the Language Availability

Translated websites are available in many languages, but some of them indicate the available languages in English script. For example, the script used in Chinese language is totally different. As a result, if someone who doesn’t know the basics of English visits your site, they will look at the language choices and fail to recognize the word ‘Chinese’ in English script. That might be a potential client you just lost. It is important to make sure that all available language options in your site are written in their native scripts, so that visitors can easily recognize and access them.

Lack of Visibility of Language Navigation Option

If your website is available in multiple languages, and the navigation option is not clearly visible, there is no point in translating your site. Make sure that the language navigation option is clearly visible on the home page itself. Ideally, place it at the top right corner or the top left corner of your home page to ensure maximum visibility. This will also guarantee that the investment you made on the website translation is worth every penny.

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