Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Translation isn't enough

Chanin Balance, President & CEO of viaLanguage, on international marketing:

- By the end of 2010 over 1 billion people will have access to the Web.

- Non-English speaking consumers drive nearly 70% of the world's economy.

- Companies are leveraging the power of the Web to present themselves and their products [to new consumers].

- Language tools are great but they can't account for cultural differences and language nuances.

- The use of social platforms, video clips, tweets and other tools, companies must adapt not only to the language differences but to cultural differences.

- In the short-term, campaigns should be created country-by-country, with both language and cultural differences taken into account.

- There are smart things businesses can do to be reusable such as internationalizing their copy. Once the labor-intensive translation and localization is done and proofed, one should take that content and design all their documents, campaigns and products to easily adapt to the various languages and regional markets without the need for major engineering on their Web sites.

- Communication challenges frequently occur when businesses begin to market across cultures. One key step that is often overlooked or short-cutted, is localization. No matter what vehicle you use, multicultural marketing is more than just translating an advertisement, website or even a blog or twitter posting. Businesses need to actually embrace the nuance of a culture and culturally adapt their messages and brand.

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