We all know how important social media is in today’s society. Your social media platform and website is your online shop window – a way to attract customers to find out more. However, many businesses only write their content in their native language. Translating social media content does however have its challenges. After all, adapting and launching your product or service in another country is a huge task. In this blog, we’ve highlighted some of the challenges that you may face but also some suggestions that may help you overcome them too.
It’s important to ensure your content is suitable for the target audience. This is particularly important for brand names and slogans, but also for images. We have seen some translation mishaps when dealing with brand names. For example, Mercedes-Benz attempted to enter the Chinese market using the brand name ‘Bensi’. This was a shortened brand name to suit the Chinese market, but unfortunately it translates to ‘rush to die’. This is certainly not something that you want to associate with your brand and was damaging for their reputation. On the other hand, a good example of translating a brand name is Carrefour’s for the Chinese market (家乐福 ). This translation relates to the pronunciation of Carrefour, but it also means ‘a family being very happy when shopping in the supermarket’.
There are various platforms that are used globally, so it’s certainly worth looking into these before making this decision. The different platforms have their own rules and ways of communicating. Facebook is predominantly text, but Instagram is full of images and videos. This means that the images would need to be culturally appropriate and tailored to the country’s audience. In this survey, ‘72% of consumers now say they only engage with marketing messages tailored to their interests’.
It’s also a good idea to subtitle your videos if there is dialogue, so that they are accessible globally. It’s not just the format, that varies, it’s also the length of content. LinkedIn allows you to share long, in-depth content, but Twitter has a very short character limit. This character limit makes it difficult to translate into language that expand during translation. English into French translation for example expands by 25%.
Translating your content helps you to reach your international audience, but if it’s not Search Engine Optimised, few people will actually see it. There is a huge amount of content shared on the internet every minute of every day. To put this into perspective: 95 million photos and videos are shared on Instagram each day, translating to 65,972 each minute! This is why it’s important to optimise your content. You may already optimise the content in your native language, but the same also needs to be done to your multilingual content. This is where we come in. Translating keywords isn’t as simple as finding the equivalent meaning in the target language. For example, in English you may use ‘houses to buy’, but when translating into German for example, ‘apartments to rent’, as this would be a cultural difference.
It’s a daunting task adapting a brand for another target audience, but it’ll make your audience feel valued. This, in turn, will increase your sales conversions since consumers feel more comfortable purchasing in their own language. We are experts in translation, so we can help protect your global reputation. If you’re interested in localising your social media content but are unsure if on the best way forward, feel free to get in touch and we’d be more than happy to offer our advice!
We all know how important social media is in today’s society. After all, your social media platform and website is your online shop window – a way to attract customers to find out more. However, many businesses only write their content in their native language. But what about your international audience? They need to feel valued too. In fact, 57% of consumers will increase their spending with a company when they feel valued, and 76% actually choose to buy from them over a competitor. And this is where social media translation comes in!
Social media can be difficult to use at times with the various platforms and their immediacy. This makes translating your content into various languages more challenging. But we’re hoping that this blog will make it easier to navigate within the world of social media and reach out to your international audience.
Social media influences a lot of our purchasing decisions without us really realising – from paid ads to influencers. Your online presence allows customers to view your products and services 24/7 from the comfort of their own home, on the train and even during their coffee break. 57% of people say that social media influences their shopping decisions, so why not make the most of this as a business. Trading globally has never been easier!
It’s important to really consider who your audience are before translating your social media content. Below are some points to consider:
It may seem like a lot to consider when translating social media content, but it’ll make your audience feel valued. This, in turn, will increase your sales conversions since consumers feel more comfortable purchasing in their own language.
If you’re interested in social media translation but are unsure on the best way forward, feel free to get in touch and we’d be more than happy to offer our advice!
If you haven’t heard of the term desktop publishing before, you may have heard it referred to as typesetting or DTP. This process involves using design software, such as InDesign, to create files with customisable layouts for print or download.
Simply translating an IDML file export won’t mean that your translated file is ready for printing right away. A specialist designer needs to import the translated file into InDesign, and make any changes. These changes can include:
The aim of this process is to make the translated file look as good as the original, whilst avoiding the ‘this has been translated’ look.
Text could expand or contract by around 25% once it has been translated. This may cause some issues when trying to retain the original file’s formatting and layout. If you haven’t planned for this in advance, our designer may need to reduce a font size or increase the size of a text box, for example.
Non-Latin alphabets can also be difficult to work with for the uninitiated. One example of this is Arabic, which reads from right to left. This means that the entire page layout needs to be reversed. As most designers don’t have experience with translation and probably don’t speak the language of the target text, it can be difficult for them to rework the layout and format of the translation. In fact, some designers may even introduce errors to the translated content, as they are not translators themselves. At Web-Translations, however, we could save your designer’s both time and effort, as we have the skill to adjust the formatting and page layout of your translations ready for print.
Our experienced typesetters can tackle anything from business cards to technical manuals, and from packaging to posters, so it’s safe to say that your content is in good hands. But if you’re in the process of designing new marketing collateral for translation, check out our blog post on translating PDFs for some pointers.
As we mentioned earlier, texts can become considerably shorter or longer during the translation process, as each language has its own structure and set of characteristics. Below we’ve provided a few examples of how much some languages can expand or contract when translating from English:
|Average Expansion/ Contraction
We hope these figures give you a better idea of the differences between the languages, and that you’ll be able to bear this in mind when creating your carefully designed documents.
Chinese e-commerce grew by 66% in 2011, representing a turnover of 93 billion euros.
With more than 513 million Internet users and 356 million mobile Internet users, according to the 29th Statistical Report on Internet Development in China by the China Internet Network Information Center, China is the world’s largest online market, and this population is continuing to grow.
With rapid improvements in the technological infrastructure there, use of the Internet is continuously evolving and becoming more sophisticated. Combine this with China’s growing middle class who have more buying power than ever before, and you can see why online shopping has become so huge there so quickly. A 2011 study of online buyers worldwide conducted by PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 86% of China’s nearly 200 million online shoppers considered themselves experts at ecommerce, compared to 70% in the UK and 72% in the USA.
With an average of 8.4 online purchases per month by online buyers, China makes developed Western Internet economies look like ecommerce newcomers. For comparison, online buyers in the US made an average of 5.2 purchases and 4.3 in the UK, while in France and Netherlands just 2.6. In Germany, Europe’s largest and strongest economy, this figure was 2.9 purchases. Who are you considering selling online to at the moment? Germany? France? Or maybe China?
Only 42 million people in China (8.2% of Internet users) used travel booking services in the last year. However, the Chinese travel market is predictably seeing fast-paced growth in the coming years so online travel booking businesses are expected to experience higher growth there. South African Airways Simplified Chinese website for mainland China is an example of a full Chinese site translated by Web-Translations.
China’s scale, combined with its online population’s embrace of online shopping, present an important opportunity for businesses wanting to “go international”. However, setting up a business and subsequently succeeding in this country where almost everything is different can prove challenging. Consumer tastes, strict regulations, government involvement, Internet censorship, cultural differences and bureaucratic processes are some of the issues companies need to examine when entering China’s online market, yet the potential seems to outweigh the obstacles bearing in mind the current economic situation we find ourselves in in the West.
Recently we have completed International Blasts for China for some of our clients who aren’t afraid to begin facing this challenge: Brandy Classics and Click Meeting by Implix. This service is a great first step for companies interested in China by setting up a microsite and optimising it so you can begin to see the traffic to your site and interest in your product over there.
To find out how to launch a Chinese version of your website to start selling to China, please contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 815 0460.
As the liberalisation of global commerce continues, more and more companies are joining the international market every year. Exporting has traditionally been seen as one of the most risky, and expensive ways to grow a business. While there are many pitfalls and challenges when trading internationally, the Internet offers an excellent way for you to reach out and grow your market share, without investing millions.
Global trade has never been so easy with the First time Exporters Guide. By working with Web-Translations you will have a partner to help you at every stage in your journey. We combine years of experience, with top-quality language and web skills to offer a hand-held, strategic approach to boosting your global trade.
Taking a bite from the Turkish delight will reap sweet rewards for online retailers
Turkish e-commerce transactions reached an impressive $12.3 billion in 2011, representing an increase of 57% on the previous year according to the Interbank Card Center. Combine this upsurge with the 12% per year e-commerce growth Forrester Research Inc (FORR) predicts for European growth over the next 5 years, and it becomes obvious that it’s time to pay attention to Turkey.
Impressive statistics, but what’s going on?
Half the population of Turkey is under 30 years old. This young society has been quick to adopt technological innovations and they now spend more time online per week than the worldwide average. This tendency translates into a high responsiveness to social media – 89% of Turkish Internet users are on Facebook and they are the 11th most active country on Twitter.
95% of the Turkish population are expected to have a mobile phone in 2013, with global corporations such as Telecom Italia having already entered Turkey to take advantage of this.
Furthermore Turkey has a credit driven economy, with a 62% credit card penetration among consumers. All of this has led to a positive environment for the development of Turkish e-commerce.
E-commerce is booming in Brazil. Supported by a growing middle class, Brazil’s e-commerce total revenue for 2011 was over $11 billion; that’s an increase of 26% compared to 2010 ($8.4 bn). In total, 32 million consumers in Brazil bought at least once via the web in 2011, and the eCommerce market is estimated to be worth around $12.7 billion this year.
So what do Brazilians buy online? The most popular categories reflect the needs of Brazil’s new middle class:
Despite this steady growth, many Brazilians still avoid shopping on the internet out of concern about the security of online transactions. The same goes for Internet banking. 26% of Brazilians don’t use online banking, according to a recent survey, and 58% gave the reason that it felt unsafe. The next few years should see a shift in this perception, as banks and etailers work together to improve security and ease of use, and consumers become more familiar with ecommerce and online banking.
Meanwhile, Brazil has developed solutions to overcome these obstacles. One of them is the boleto bancario, a small slip like a proforma invoice that customers can print out and pay at a bank. This is a very common option, which helps to solve the problem that most Brazilians don’t have a credit card. In fact, 55% of the population still receive their salaries in cash, especially those in manual jobs such as housekeeping and construction workers.
All in all, this adds up to a market with huge potential for those companies willing to adapt and make the necessary concessions to make Brazilian consumers feel at ease.
To find out how to launch your website in Brazil and other overseas markets, contact Web-Translations: sales[at]web-translations.co.uk / +44 (0) 113 8150460.
Web-Translations will once again be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo (IRX) at the Birmingham NEC next week, on 21st & 22nd March.
Now in its second year, IRX brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help multichannel online retailers grow and succeed.
IRX is designed to show etailers the next steps in building their business now that the web has matured, and includes a jam-packed workshop and multiple-track conference programme. With around 5,000 visitors expected over the two-day event, it will no doubt be a great source of new opportunities for exhibitors and delegates alike.
We’re combining our 3 lead web services to help your website launch in international markets with a bang.
All good things come in threes – that’s certainly true when it comes to launching your website in a new language and country. Follow these 3 key steps to start seeing results from your website:
Selling online has enormous advantages over a traditional business model.The main one is the ability to be instantly global, in the sense that your website can be accessed by anyone, anywhere, anytime. However, very few e-businesses take a global approach from the outset or even seriously consider harnessing this potential once they have reached scale in their home market. (more…)
Yes, it’s a bit early to mention Christmas, I know, but savvy online retailers are already in the midst of preparing for the festive period.
Success stories such as Amazon and ASOS have shown that international sales can have a huge impact on an ecommerce business, so it’s hardly surprising that more retailers are jumping on this bandwagon and localising their websites to open up shop to international customers.
Before jumping in with both feet, however, there are a few things you can do to ensure your international online sales go smoothly ahead of the festive season: (more…)
Until last year, domain names could only be created using Latin characters a-z and numbers 1-9. This excluded accented characters and scripts such as Arabic, Chinese and Korean. In 2010, the use of non-Latin scripts in domain names was enabled, limited at first to the use of the country’s name in the official language.
Just how important is it to have domain names in various languages? We have previously discussed the importance of translating a website (obviously something we believe in!) in order to reach a wider audience, and surely domain names are an extension of that. Do Arabic speakers trust sites with domain names ending in .com or .co.uk? According to recent reports by the BBC, whilst some argue that domain names are becoming less important, given the ever-increasing popularity of social media networks such as Twitter and Facebook, others believe a good domain name is a sign of the importance and standing of a website. If potential visitors are discouraged from visiting a site that is only available in another language, surely the same applies to domain names? (more…)
In a recent poll, 90% of internet users in Europe would visit a site in their own language when given the choice. Meanwhile, 53% would still use a site if it was in English rather than their native language. However, despite this relatively high figure, these users would not necessarily be happy about the lack of information available in their own language, with 44% of respondents stating that they felt they did not necessarily receive all the facts when the website was only available in another language. (more…)
A few customers have recently asked me if they should host their multilingual sites locally for the market they are targeting, while others with locally hosted sites have asked me about the implications of moving to the cloud.
Reading between the lines, the premise of such questions tends to centre around SEO and so my post is somewhat more marketing-oriented than IT. All comments are welcome.
Web-Translations is pleased to announce its partnership with Istanbul-based e-marketing company euro.message.
euro.message is one of the 50 fastest-growing technology companies, and the largest e-marketing service provider in Turkey. (more…)
Register free online (a saving of £30) for Internet World (10-12 May, Earl’s Court – London) and come and hear about the success we’ve brought to South African Airways by localising their website.
Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting our case study of the South African Airways website localisation project at 15:00 on Wednesday 11th May in the Content Management Theatre.
We’ll also be on stand E3055, showcasing recent client success stories and demonstrating how localising your website can dramtically improve your bottom line.
We look forward to seeing you there!
Web-Translations will be exhibiting at this year’s Internet Retailing Expo at the Birmingham NEC from 23rd-24th March.
The expo brings together leading marketing, software and service providers to help all kinds of companies involved in online retail to grow and succeed.
Our Managing Director Daniel will be presenting as part of the Jumpstart programme:
Increasing export sales to foreign markets
While the UK leads the way in ecommerce, relatively few etailers profit from exploiting foreign markets. In his presentation, Daniel Rajkumar will explain how a multi-market, multi domestic approach to ecommerce helps increase visitor confidence to drive up conversion rates. In addition to best practice, Daniel will divulge secrets and practical tools for your multilingual eMarketing strategy, including the use of Social Media, SEO, PR and local affiliate networks to drive traffic and revenues.
Whether you’re a global company operating in many markets or a domestic business looking to export for the first time, Daniel’s presentation is pitched to cover the basics as well as some advanced practices, useful to strategic decision makers and practical implementers alike, you are sure to come away with ideas and inspiration that will open your eyes to the lucrative potential of non-English markets.
Register online free at http://www.internetretailingexpo.com/
We hope to see you there!
It’s always good when a prominent figure echoes what we’ve been saying for years – expanding into foreign markets using your website is a great way to grow your business, and is a low-risk option in these difficult financial times. (more…)
This post is an explanation of how our International Blast service works, as it’s something we are often asked about.
International Blast was developed as a first step localisation for companies who wanted to begin trading internationally online, but preferred a cautious approach rather than investing a larger amount of money, time and resources in localising their whole website.
Even localising just one or two key pages of a website yields results, and often generates sales in a new target market. By pricing the service at £295, it is also an affordable option if a company wish to test several new markets at once. (more…)
Yorkshire companies are “well-positioned to sell into Scandinavia”, according to Danish business expert and former diplomat, Benny Sørensen.
At a recent event to inform businesses in the region about opportunities in Scandinavia, the organisers (Import-Export consultants SØRENSEN, and Denmark’s inward investment organisation Copenhagen Capacity, teamed with the Leeds, York and North Yorkshire Chamber of Commerce International Department) experienced unprecedented demand from Yorkshire businesses wishing to attend, and have urged companies who are interested in trading with Scandinavian countries to act quickly to make the most of the opportunities available. (more…)