How to not get lost in translation

Maria Debrincat 1 year ago
How to not get lost in translation

In this article, Maria Debrincat, SiGMA Group’s Content Manager, shares her thoughts on the importance of translation and localisation in the context of content and marketing alike

For many firms, expanding globally is a tried-and-tested true growth strategy but the production of high-quality content that is specifically tailored to local audiences in numerous markets entails a lot of time, skill, and effort. As Anthony Burgess succinctly put it, “translation is not a matter of words only: it’s a matter of making intelligible a whole culture.” Indeed, if an AI tool to convey a message in another language is enough, translators would not be needed, which is not the case. 

SiGMA LanguagesRelying solely on machine translation may stem the loss of potential international clients. However, utilising machine translation can occasionally result in confusion, as a single phrase can take on a whole new meaning in a different language. If the wrong terms are used, brands may end up with unappealing product descriptions. We may get lost in translation when trying to grasp seminal works translated from the original language since some of the original meaning, intention, or play on words can be understood only in the context of the original language it was written in. This is where the concept of localisation comes in.

Translation is just a small part of the localisation process and people tend to mix the two notions, erroneously believing that localisation is simply a translation process. However, localisation is more than that. Indeed, the most crucial aspect of localisation is the targeted cultural environment. Unlike translation, which simply changes content from one language to another, localization goes a step further in making content culturally meaningful, thus giving your company’s website or products a competitive edge.

This proves to your audience that your business understands and genuinley relates to clients’ desires and demands. Georges Simenon describes the concept of localisation as the most personal form of the customer relationship. Regardless of the type of business you run, customer satisfaction is a critical component of success. Ignoring cultural context could seriously harm your business as it can stand in the way of breaking into those areas you have targeted. 

Netflix - Translated ContentIn this respect, Netflix, the American subscription streaming service and production company, is a good example of the successful adoption of a well-thought-out localisation strategy. Indeed, it has made international expansion a priority in maintaining its current level of success. Its exceptional achievement worldwide can be attributed to its successful localisation strategy.

On the one hand, Netflix concentrates on creating authentic local language content by generating it expressly for those specific markets, and on the other, they assist films and television series in bypassing traditional gatekeepers, such as Hollywood, in order to reach global audiences through translation into local languages. 

Localisation helps you build trust with your audience. Back in 2010, the app was only available in the US, today Netflix’s international streaming revenues exceed its domestic revenues.

Viewers around the world are becoming more open to searching out the best entertainment experiences. The staggering international success achieved by Money Heist (a Spanish production), Squid Games (a Korean production), and Lupin’s (a French production) bear witness to the crucial role played by localisation strategies in promoting international success.

google search - translationWhen you learn that just 20% of your potential worldwide audience speak English, and according to a global consumers survey across 10 countries 60% rarely or never buy from English-only websites, you realise you have a lot of ground to cover and you may well realise you can do worse than reconsider your global expansion strategy. 50% of all Google searches are in languages other than English; locally tailored content receives six times more engagement than articles intended for a global audience. 

Crucial data provided by NewsCred concludes that 72.1% of the time consumers view websites in their native language and 56.2% of respondents polled stated they would be willing to pay more for translated product or service information. When you take into consideration iPhone apps in China supporting these stats, you may well note that 92% of the most popular and highest-grossing iPhone apps in China are written in Chinese and bear Chinese names.

Having translated text on your site offers a significant SEO benefit. When you target a specific market overseas, having local language keywords will help you rank higher in that region’s search results. In addition, the more foreign keywords you include on your site, the higher your domain authority and ROI will be.

Traffic analysis is key to ensuring an appeased target audience. To that end, language is of the essence, and different markets engage with the internet differently. Be aware of how you want your brand identity to look like and feel internationally for a powerful outcome and a driven guaranteed result.

Join us in Belgrade, Serbia from the 22-25th August:

Renowned for its beautiful scenery, delicious cuisine, rich culture, and penchant for parties, the Balkans have been sought after by both tasteful tourists and entrepreneurs with an eye on the growing iGaming ecosystem calling the region home. As the home to the global Gambling community, the SiGMA Conference is known far and wide for its enlightening panels, inspiring speeches, ample opportunities to invest and network, and the ability to do it all while having the time of your life. Join us in Belgrade for the best the industry has to offer and for a window into the future of worldwide gambling. To learn more about sponsorship and speaking opportunities or to inquire about attending the event, please contact Sophie at [email protected].

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