Most people don’t recognise the value of translation until they can’t understand something. When over 80% of people say they are more likely to purchase a product that’s presented to them in their own language, there can be no shortcuts.
With 72% of internet users preferring a language other than English, how much content is translated and the quality standard to which it is completed, is critical to successfully growing brands and businesses.
Translation… an ‘activity’, or a strategy?
Consistently delivering content that works in all regions demands a strategy that articulates what success looks like, and what, in turn, that demands.
This will drive the standards you set (machine translation, human translation, transcreation), the resources you use (in-house vs. external specialists) and the processes and systems you employ to take the pain out of delivering brilliant content.
Are you thinking language, or territories?
A key decision is whether to localise your content based on territory or language: will the same content in French be targeted at customers in France, Benin, and Quebec?
It’s not just that cultural differences exist, there are also different market dynamics in play and individual countries consume media in different ways.
These considerations may determine what content is ‘universal’ and what will always be singled-out for specific localisation.
Understand best practice, then apply it
As with any content creation, translation and transcreation come with best practices that help today’s marketer to achieve operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness when delivering high-quality localised content.
There are many ways a message can go sideways when it’s localized, and a lot of those can be avoided by being vigilant when writing the initial source content.
Style guide: Establish a dedicated style guide for multilingual content which sets the standards for writing and designing documents, from spelling and tone of voice, to formatting issues. Social media and editorial guidelines should also be part of your style guide. Consider using Unicode fonts so accents can be reproduced.
Glossary: a well-considered glossary of terms specific to your business enables integration between your marketing and ecommerce sites. An SEO keyword list should be drawn up, along with taglines, trademarks and your company values.
Translation memory: This is a library of “content segments”, from parts of sentences or headings to whole paragraphs, which have already been translated, and can aid human translator
The goal is being global, but local makes it or breaks it
No business aiming to grow internationally can afford to treat localisation as an afterthought, as the final stage in a process.
To read the full guide, including SDL’s ‘Big 6 Rules for Localising Content’, click here.
Talking to people in their own language is central to success. Just make sure you are using the right language.
SDL Language Cloud – Managed Translation is the simpler, smarter way to manage your translation projects. SDL has a unique combination of expertise, experience, resources and technology that businesses of any size can leverage to accelerate their international success.