The Culturalization of Global Content: Translation and SEO

When Two Worlds Collide

by Huw Aveston and Andrea Barp, Adapt Worldwide

Worlds CollideIn today’s global and digital economy, visibility is crucial for success, on a local, national and global scale. This process of localization consists of three parts: translation, culturalization and visibility optimization. Content must be readable, targeted, accessible and searchable.

This is where nuanced multilingual digital marketing comes in. A key component of digital marketing is SEM (Search Engine Marketing), which can be split into two primary areas: SEO (organic search) and PPC (paid search). While the organic links are “free,” meaning at least no direct costs, the sponsored PPC links are much like any other marketing campaign. Every time a sponsored link is followed by a user, a fee is paid to the host search engine: pay-per-click.

For years, even some of the world’s largest companies have straight-translated PPC campaigns. Although only three short lines of content are visible within the search results, there is a major discrepancy in click-through rate (CTR) when comparing these straight-translations with a digital marketer’s culturally optimized content. Clicks equal visits, visits equal conversions and conversions equal positive ROIs.

SEO is all about visibility and getting your site on that all-important first page of search results for your key phrases. There are innumerable factors that affect organic search and rankings. On-page SEO on the other hand is, and will always be, the cornerstone of the practice. As many companies are learning, this cannot be provided by translation of pre-existing sites alone. The culturalization element is a necessity. People might be searching for cheap hotels in Dublin, but do not assume they are searching for lētas viesnīcas in Riga (that’s “cheap hotels” in Latvian).

It is also important to note that the whole world does not revolve around Google search engine. Translation agencies are now working hand-in-hand with expert SEM teams to target market-specific search engines, such as Chinese web search engine, Baidu and South Korean search portal, Naver, to provide Western brands with a fast-road into the East. This revolves around the perfect storm of translation, culturalization and search market expertise.

In today’s world, traditional marketing techniques are becoming increasingly less effective, and content marketing is becoming more and more popular. In essence, content marketing is about attracting customers with valuable and interesting content to provide knowledge and create brand empathy. The notion of brand as thought leader and sector confidant has proven incredibly successful within the new digital world. It’s an ongoing process very different from traditional one-off sale pitches.

In the modern search landscape, content marketing is one of the most important tools for search engine marketers. Content marketing is a democratic discipline and if you have good visible content, people will vote for you. As a result of this, culturalization has also become an increasingly important tool for those serious about profitably entering into foreign markets. Creating content that appeals to the widest audience while simultaneously providing a personal voice, through tone and excellent culturalization, provides an excellent opportunity for incredibly positive ROIs. Making content accessible across markets through this process is no longer take-it-or-leave-it but a clear necessity.

The newest form of SEM is App Store Optimization – SEO for mobile apps. Brands and developers have for years been creating one global version of their app, usually in English in-app and in the app store listings. We’re constantly surprised when we see major brands making such elementary errors, even though the costs are low and the benefits are gargantuan. This is poor practice, both from a user (conversion optimization) and search (visibility) perspective. All of the major app stores, from Google Play and iOS to Windows Phone and Amazon, allow developers to highly optimize and target their app’s listing (inclusive of keywords) within markets. It’s a two-part process:

  1. The user has to be able to discover the app in the first place (ideally through branded and non-branded search).
  2. The SEO must then engage the user enough to get them to download, through culturally and personally relevant content.

Apps, like any other content, should always be culturally optimized for every target market: the only way to strengthen brand engagement and recognition.

The days of SEM and translation existing in two separate worlds is coming to a natural end. Companies looking to venture into new markets or operate more effectively in markets they’re already in, are realizing that culturalization is no longer a luxury – it’s fast becoming a quick win. Global brands need to include SEM and SEO as an integral part of their localization strategy. The culturalization of content via experts represents the future of multilingual digital marketing.

Huw & Andrea

Huw AvestonAndrea Barp
Adapt Worldwide is a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency and experts in the cultural adaptation of content across multiple digital channels. Huw Aveston is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Adapt Worldwide. Andrea Barp is Translation Director at Adapt Worldwide.

 

Inspirations from Women in Localization Event New York 2017

Welocalize and Park IP Translations, a Welocalize company, recently hosted the Women in Localization (WIL) event at our company offices in New York. The event attracted over 100 attendees and provided a great discussion and networking forum for participants all at different stages of their globalization and localization careers. The event was organized by the US-based North-East Chapter of WIL. Rachel Lord, Senior Director PMO (Project Management Office) at Welocalize and Park IP Translations, is a member of the five-person WIL North-East Chapter management team and was one of the driving forces behind making this event a success. In this blog, she shares her event highlights and gives insights into some future WIL activities.

Oh, what a night!

Founded in 2008, Women in Localization (WIL) is the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry. As a member of the North-East Chapter management team, one of our objectives for 2017 is to increase awareness and membership in the New York and Boston areas. Taking inspiration from a recent WIL event held in Dublin and keeping the theme ““What Would I Tell My 22-Year Old Self,” we were able to use the space at Welocalize and Park IP’s offices in downtown New York to host the event.

One of the strongest components of the evening was our experienced panel of exceptional women. Participating panelists included Erin Wynn, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize, Mary Anne Henselmann, Senior Director of Translation Management Services, ADP, Ora Soloman, Director of Global Product Management, Starwood, Tracey Feick, General Manager, Americas, Lionbridge and Sara Vlahovic, Senior Project Manager, Siemens Healthcare. The team made a big impact and the conversation flowed easily, with great energy and interaction.

Erin Wynn kicked off the event by introducing all the panelists, asking each one to give their career background and share stories about the women who have inspired them. The discussions covered well-known role models such as Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook COO and author of Lean In: Women, Work and the Will to Lead, as well as family members who have inspired them, especially their mothers.

Over 100 people took part from all areas of the industry, from senior C-suite executives and established business leaders through to students at the start of their career. One WIL member, the Director at the Center of Translation and Interpretation at Montclair State University, promoted the event to faculty and students. We also reached out to other language programs in the New York area and attracted a number of language students and freelancers. The event was a great networking opportunity for all attendees.

There was much discussion about some of the best career advice the panelists had been offered and here are some of my favorites:

Be yourself”

“Build a network, get out there! Any interaction can lead to something.”

“It’s easy to sit at the side of the table in a support role but be confident, get in front of the exec team. Sit at the table.”

“Don’t apologize all the time when you don’t have to.”

The discussions also covered the topic of family and whether having children impacted their careers. The general consensus was that, of course, it impacts career paths, for both men and women, but you find a solution.

The participation of the panel was fantastic – all were eager and willing to share career advice and provide guidance to the participants. Encouraged by the open and supportive environment, attendees stepped out of their comfort zones and friendship groups to make new connections with people they had never met. There was a lot of interest in mentoring and we discussed the possibility of holding a WIL mentoring event.

My thanks to the Women in Localization team and the team at Welocalize and Park IP Translations who worked so hard to make this event such a great success!

Rachel

Rachel.lord@welocalize.com

Based in New York, Rachel Lord is Senior Director PMO (Project Management Office) at Welocalize and Park IP Translations.

For more information about Women in Localization and future events please click here.

Grow your Localization Program without Losing the Local Touch

LocLeaders Forum 2017 London – Scaling to Meet Global Needs

Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG. Celia is taking part as a guest panellist at the upcoming Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017 on Thursday, May 18. The theme of the event is “Scaling to Meet Global Needs” and expert discussions will be led by a team of Welocalize executives and guest panellists. In this blog, Celia looks at the challenges and opportunities of driving localization programs to meet global brand business objectives and the needs of local consumer expectations.

Localization can hold a magnifying glass up to the tensions between the globalization of big brands and local consumer demands and expectations. Organizations deliver increasingly personalized products and services and localization teams are often tasked with balancing these demands and supporting expansion strategies, while remaining cost-effective.

Satisfying the need for economies of scale, while producing relevant local content can present a number of challenges:

  • Budget: Managing translation and marketing budgets effectively to enable emerging markets and new languages to receive sufficient investment. New locales and markets typically take longer to produce returns.
  • Resource: Imbalanced resources across regions, languages or technical teams can make the simultaneous global release of products and campaigns difficult.
  • Stakeholder Buy-In: Lack of awareness or recognition of the importance of localization teams working closely with product owners, marketing and content teams can detrimentally affect quality and time to market.
  • Lack of Integration: Using multiple request systems, content management systems (CMS) and translation tools across different departments and with external vendors, can significantly increase project management effort and time spent handling files.
  • SMEs and Regulatory Sign-off: Finding skilled subject matter experts (SMEs), quality assurance (QA) and compliance teams is very important in highly regulated industries. Disengaged or overwhelmed SMEs and QAs can create blockers in review feedback loops that can slow time to market. Insufficient rounds of quality control and sign off, on the other hand, can jeopardise a brand’s message and its relationship with consumers.

Although there can be challenges with any translation and localization program, there are ways to overcome these challenges and create opportunities:

  • RAISE AWARENESS

Engage other departments internally to align processes and to raise awareness and build recognition for localization teams. This helps teams across all functions to better understand the various stages involved in bringing products and services to multiple markets. 

  • COMBINE BUSINESS AND LOCALIZATION OBJECTIVES

Connect localization programs to the wider business strategy and use consumer insight and research teams to find areas of competitive advantage in different target markets and languages. Using data to back strategic decisions makes it easier to prioritise product releases, and to identify the most successful content and channels to converts prospects to clients in different markets. 

  • COMMUNICATE BRAND AND PROCESS GUIDELINES

Create standardized brand and localization guidelines for various product lines and content types. Agree workflows that are as straight forward as possible, while accommodating local cultural and regulatory differences. This ensures consistency in processes and language quality when growing the range of languages offered or entering new markets. 

  • LEVERAGE EXPERTISE FROM LANGUAGE PROVIDER

Draw from the depth of expertise and resource of your language service provider to help you adapt to change at a pace that is not always possible internally. We experienced this in October 2016 when IG acquired DailyFX. DailyFX is a news website targeting financially savvy consumers and traders. By working with our translation partner and a localization consultant, IG was able to tackle an aggressive timeframe to:

  • Find a scalable pool of language resource to deliver a new content type, across multiple languages and to manage fluctuating volumes of daily news articles.
  • Integrate a custom CMS and Translation Management System (TMS) to reduce manual workload and aid faster time to market, which is crucial for timely news content.
  • Reduce manual file handling at SME review stage and automate article publication.
  • Maximise the use of CAT tools to improve Translation Memory (TM) leverage and drive cost savings.

Do Not Be Afraid to Share Ideas!

Looking externally can also be hugely beneficial to developing your localization program. Sharing information with fellow localization leaders provides insights into the challenges and solutions others have faced and put into action. Getting inspiration from peers and companies at different stages of localization maturity can bring a fresh viewpoint on how to scale up your globalization and localization program, in order to achieve the sweet spot of a strong global brand with a truly local offering in every market and language.

LocLeaders Forums are great events for localization professionals and global business leaders, facilitating free flowing discussion. I attended Welocalize LocLeaders Forum Dublin 2016 and obtained great insight and inspiration and I look forward to driving some of the discussions as a panelist at LocLeaders London on May 18.

Celia

Based in the UK, Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG.

For more information on LocLeaders Forum 2017 London click here

10 Reasons Why Welocalize LocLeaders Forums are so Popular

As we gear up for a busy events season in the globalization and localization industry, many global business leaders will be assessing the right conferences to attend, juggling work commitments and managing travel budgets. Each year, Welocalize holds a number of exclusive LocLeaders Forums, which take place all over the world and welcome global brand localization professionals who are faced with the constant challenge of reaching new audiences and emerging markets.

The objective for all Welocalize LocLeaders Forums is to facilitate open discussion in a trusted environment with credible resources to share experiences about their global journeys.

Some of our clients and industry colleagues choose LocLeaders Forums over other events, preferring the more intimate and less formal structure that is designed for open discussion and interaction. Many attendees even say attending a LocLeaders Forum have a therapeutic quality, often coming away from an event feeling better connected and energized with fresh, innovative ideas.

We think our LocLeaders events are awesome but it’s best if we share what 10 of our clients, past attendees and panelists have to say:

 “Welocalize LocLeaders is a great forum to share localization experiences in a focused environment. While the panels are great to get started on specific topics, what was the most interesting to me were the open conversations with the participants.” Stéphanie Schuh, Program Manager, Microsoft

 “The discussion at LocLeaders Berlin that focused on “creating a sphere of influence” is a topic that has never been addressed before at a localization event. TripAdvisor, the worl
d’s largest travel company has huge volumes of global content and we have to continually sell ourselves internally and promote the localization function to a variety of key stakeholders. I found the discussions extremely helpful and as a panellist, I was pleased to be able to share my own experiences.”
Lorna Whelan, Director of Localization, TripAdvisor

 “[At LocLeaders] I was delighted to see Welocalize put emphasis on Talent Management as an important pillar of their offerings. I believe that access to a persistent large and specialized pool of translators who are motivated and engaged with the buyer’s brand and the guarantee to always be able to assign the right job to the right individuals at large scale, match.com style, can be one of the most competitive assets.” Sergio Pelino, Localization Operations Manager, Google

 “The LocLeaders Montreal 2016 event hosted by Welocalize was an amazing opportunity to network with other clients and localization professionals, sharing experiences and troubleshooting common challenges with the industry.” Paula Hunter, Localization + Documentation Manager, Avigilon

 “The content and dialogue within LocLeaders raised lots of questions for me, many of which I don’t know the answers to yet. What I do know is that I am in a much better position to understand the full range of tools available to tackle the challenges localization throws at us on a daily basis and how my industry peers manage similar challenges.” Daniel Williams, Global Marketing Project Manager, Videojet Technologies

 “I was delighted to be invited back to the Welocalize LocLeaders Forum in Dublin as a panellist to take part in the day themed, “Expanding Your Global Reach.” It was a great day full of thoughtful discussion and great opportunities to network with my localization peers.” Karen Loughrey, Managing Editor, Spil Games

 “Welocalize LocLeaders is a great forum for localization professionals to share best practices and experiences. At LocLeaders in Vancouver, I enjoyed learning more from my fellow industry colleagues about their current organizations, key roles within those teams and future areas of focus for growth. I’m looking forward to next year’s event!” Nancy Anderson, Senior Director of Globalization, EMC Corporation

“The LocLeaders event gave me the opportunity to meet with globalization and localization leaders from a variety of industries and company sizes and provided me valuable insight into how to scale our globalization program at National Instruments.” Johan Eriksson, Localization Manager, National Instruments

“The LocLeaders Forum is a good place to contribute to future improvements of the localization industry.” Jenny Gu, Senior Localization Manager, Visier

 “During our discussions at LocLeaders, the panellists and attendees discussed where they were on their globalization journey.” Robin Granados, Localization + Translation Manager, John Deere

LocLeaders Forums often take place in the same city and during the same week as other major industry events including Localization World, TAUS events and tekom. This leverages and capitalizes on networking opportunities, keeps the conversation flowing between localization peers and colleagues and helps maximize travel and event budgets.

 NEW! LocLeaders Forums – Local

Welocalize has introduced a new LocLeaders Forum Local event series which are regionally focused. LocLeaders Local events take place after the working day, offering the same quality discussion within a condensed timeframe along with a relaxing Welocalize hosted dinner. You will see more LocLeaders Local events added to our events calendar – watch this space!

Upcoming LocLeaders Forums 2017:

LocLeaders Forum London – Local: Welocalize is hosting our first ever LocLeaders Local event in London, held at the BAFTA 195 venue in the heart of the West End on May 18, 17:00-21:00. For more information and to register click here

LocLeaders Forum Barcelona: A full-day of discussion and networking will take place in Barcelona, Wednesday, June 14, 09:00-15:00. Venue to be confirmed. To register click here

LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley: SAVE THE DATE Wednesday, November 1, 2017

LocLeaders Forum Germany – Local: SAVE THE DATE Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Welocalize is proud to create a forum and environment where global brand localization leaders can discuss a wide range of topics from globalization scalability, predictive analytics, localization models, effective multilingual digital marketing, global brand management, translation automation, quality, in-country reviews, translator recruitment, measuring return on global content and much more. If it impacts global business, LocLeaders Forums covers it.

CLICK HERE to read LocLeaders Magazine Montreal 2016

CLICK HERE to read LocLeaders Magazine Dublin 2016

CLICK HERE to read LocLeaders Magazine Silicon Valley 2015

CLICK HERE to read LocLeaders Magazine Berlin 2015

Welocalize Localization + Translation Events Calendar

 To find out more about Welocalize LocLeaders Forums, email:  marketing@welocalize.com

Welocalize Checklist for Successful Website + E-Commerce Localization

Website and e-commerce content is one of the most valuable marketing and brand assets for global organizations. Developing multiple language versions is challenging as every website contains a range of content and branded materials that must all be accurately targeted for local audiences. Website localization is not simply a case of translating text. Every element of the website, not just copy, must be transformed to create an exceptional journey for your global audience. From ensuring that translated words don’t ‘break’ your user interface to maintaining the integrity of your core brand message, the task is critical and requires the help of experts to succeed.

Welocalize works with Fortune 500 global brands to localize digital strategies and web content, developing culturally relevant digital experiences for international audiences. We have developed a comprehensive checklist of important considerations that any organization involved in publishing digital multilingual web content should consider.

  • LEVERAGE EXISTING ANALYTICS 
  • OWN + LOCALIZE WEB DOMAIN NAMES 
  • TRADEMARK IDENTITY IN ALL MARKETS 
  • PROTECT EACH SITE FROM VIOLATIONS + HACKERS 
  • USE CONSISTENT LOGOS + BRAND NAMES 
  • MAKE STYLE GUIDELINES LOCALLY AVAILABLE 
  • IMPLEMENT MULTLINGUAL SEO + LANGUAGE-SPECIFIC META DATA 
  • UTILIZE MULTILINGUAL XML SITEMAPS 
  • IDENTIFY LOCAL KEYWORDS 
  • UNDERSTAND LOCAL COUNTRY LEGAL, COMPLIANCE + WEB REGULATIONS 
  • USE HREFLANG TAGS 
  • CONSIDER VISUALS + NAVIGATION 
  • AWARENESS OF NON-LATIN CHARACTERS 
  • LOCALIZE ALL DIGITAL MARKETING ACTIVITIES 
  • USE INTERNATIONALIZATION STANDARDS

Click here to register + download Welocalize Checklist for Successful Website Localization

Context Information is Vital in Software Localization

Software development is all about agility. There are no longer any lengthy production cycles that allow time for error, redevelopment and redelivery. Software updates and releases are now smaller, more frequent, driven at a rate that meets the expectations of today’s global users. Lower brand loyalty and attention spans mean technology organizations have to work harder in crowded markets to win new customers and retain existing ones. Localization of software for local markets is an integral part of enterprise software development. In addition to important internationalization components such as date format and currency, there are important linguistic and cultural considerations as part of the localization process.

We work closely with many enterprise technology organizations. Software localization and QA testing form an important role in many Welocalize programs. One of the most critical factors in the localization process is to ensure translators have context. This is so crucial to success. Translating strings out of context can be extremely difficult and you have to rely wholly on linguistic translation. Without access to at least some context commentary, source output visualization or WYSIWG (what you see is what you get), it is impossible to truly see what role the translation plays in the overall user experience.

Certain words have different meaning depending on whether they appear in a button or drop-down menu. Limitations of string length and text expansion also benefit from translators having access to source materials. Words may be abbreviated if space is limited and translators must be aware of the true meaning to determine how to best culturally adapt. If you’re working with mobile apps, space is restricted so there is not much room for flexibility. By providing upfront context information to translators, the localization workflow is more agile and smooth because there are less queries and reworks.

How we provide context information varies depending on the client and the software involved. There isn’t one single “one size fits all” solution to make context information available. The approach is to review a client’s systems, platforms and software localization needs to determine the best solution, including query management. For some clients and the translators, low level “string commenting” that is exposed in the translation environment and that describes text placement, dynamic variable or placeholder meaning can suffice – every little bit helps.

Many complex software localization programs have full integration between the source control or content management systems and the translation environment. This facilitates the passing of source screenshots or links to translators via the connection – they can see how and where translation will appear on screen. Some systems have the ability to intake source strings from a translation environment, map them to screenshots in an online repository and again present to translators. Taking this a step further, certain systems will pass a preview package to the translation environment that will allow translators to view source context as they work. In some cases, there is also provision for preview of the translated content while some translation environments themselves allow for external “capture” of source context for translator use. Other translation environments, depending on the actual translatable file formats, can natively render both source and/or target (“What You See Is What You Get” WYSIWYG), or have the ability to communicate with other external systems to facilitate this.

There are many solutions available to ensure translation and review teams have access to context information. The levels of integration will vary, but the key is to recognize how vital the sharing of relevant information is to ensure software is successfully translated and culturally adapted.

Context information must also be an integral part of the functional and linguistic testing stage of localization. Testers must be completely in the mindset of the users to test localized software. This includes cultural and linguistic considerations.

For more information on Welocalize software localization solutions click here.

Andrew

Andrew.searle@welocalize.com

Based in Dublin, Andrew Searle is Globalization Technology Strategist at Welocalize.

How Banks Stay On-Brand in Multiple Languages

financial industry

Welocalize and Slator.com, the leading newswire focusing on news and analysis on the global language service and technology market recently published an article, How Banks Stay On-Brand in Multiple Languages. The piece discusses localization and translation in the global banking and financial services industry (FSI) and drawing on real-life case studies, considers the complexities faced by global marketers in these industries. The article was co-authored by Slator and John Harris, Welocalize business development manager and specialist in localization solutions for companies working in FSI.

Global marketing equals “complexity, speed, and scale.” Those three words sum up the challenges global marketers face today. The digital age is the source of these challenges. In the past, marketers dealt mainly with TV, radio, print media, and billboard advertising. The production formats were fairly fixed and the distribution channels limited.

Today, the number of channels has increased to mobile and web. Text and images need to be more concise and eye-catching to cater to a generation suffering from information overload. They have to flex to different layouts, hardware, and software since access could be via desktop, tablet, or mobile. They could be displayed on proprietary websites, third party sites or social platforms; all with different specifications.

Producing videos has also become more complex. TV ads have fixed timings, resolutions, and lengths. Most videos produced today are displayed on-demand over the Internet, on display screens in branches, third party outdoor displays, embedded in digital publications, etc.—all with different technical and design requirements.

Marketers cannot afford to ignore these challenges. For instance, many industry surveys found that videos are increasingly important for marketing as a new generation grows up on short video clips on social networks rather than reading. More are also accessing the Internet from mobile devices and the trend is set to grow.

 Localization Facilitates Global Business

As the complexity of marketing grows, the tools required for managing them have also become increasingly diverse and complex. Add multilingual into the equation and the complexity in global marketing campaigns multiplies. Why?

  • Different languages vary widely in text length when translated. This makes adapting the layout to suit different devices even more challenging. Sometimes the translation of a word requires a phrase in another language in order to convey the same meaning. At other times, “transcreation” instead of a more direct translation works better.
  • Even as global marketing teams demand a consistent branding and message when content is localized, cultural norms and sensitivity must be taken into account. Images used should be appropriate and sensitive to local religion and social norms.
  • Banks face regulatory issues more than most other industries. Financial regulations also differ significantly from country to country. Marketing materials must be approved by the local legal and compliance entity of each country in which they are used.

To help global marketers navigate modern digital marketing, there are many technological solutions available to help the process of content creation and translation, for example, content management systems (CMS), digital asset management system (DAMS), and translation management systems (TMS). These systems are the bedrock of multilingual programs and help optimize efficiency and streamline the workflow and are also increasingly being integrated and packaged together as a suite by big service providers catering to their big global marketing customers.

How does a global marketer make sense of all these? What are the latest tools and techniques available to banks and financial institutions to manage marketing at this level of complexity and scale?

How to Market Global and Manage Local

One.      Choose an appropriate CMS.

A good CMS is the starting point for any global digital marketer. There are many choices out there today, all with very attractive pitches. Discussing the features of a good CMS and how to choose one will go beyond this article’s scope and length.

Building a good and professional looking website that can display effectively on desktop, tablet, and mobile requires a certain amount of knowledge and experience. Apply that to a financial institution that requires multilingual and multi-user support and the complexity and expertise needed increases exponentially.

This means that marketing managers should make the decision based on the advice of an experienced and unbiased digital marketer who can choose the best CMS based on the needs and budget of the organization. Start with the wrong one, however, and your problems in digital marketing will grow and compound.

Two.      Involve local stakeholders from the start.

With the right tool in place, the right team comes next. While brand and message strategy should come from the top via a global team to ensure consistency, localization input and execution must involve local stakeholders right from the start to avoid costly errors. This is especially important in the finance industry where each product is closely regulated with different rules in different countries.

Three.      Stick with one localization vendor.

With the right IT solution and team in place, the next most important thing is to work with the right external language services partner. Even the biggest banks with in-house localization teams will require outsourcing to stay nimble and flexible in production capacity and costs. However, a lot of time and money can be saved by maintaining a centralized translation memory and terminology database. The best strategy is to choose one long-term localization vendor with the right experience and skills rather than pick and choose from the best quote for every single project. Selection should also take into account the vendor’s experience and technical capabilities in handling large, global localization projects.

New tactics for better global marketing

Digital Decoupling

Digital decoupling refers to separating the occasional and one-off creative work from the routine content production work. The former is more suited for advertising agencies strong in brand strategies or design work whereas the latter is given to specialized content marketing vendors to produce regularly.

Digital decoupling can also entail outsourcing or offshoring the maintenance and operational work associated with digital marketing, such where talent is expensive or lacking in home countries. For example, IT infrastructure support or data mining and analytics. This helps lower costs and improve efficiency by segregating related marketing functions into different parts and having it done where it makes the most sense in terms of cost and efficiency.

Cloud Hosting

Modern cloud hosting services such as those provided by Amazon or Microsoft Azure are reliable and secure and cater to the needs of global financial institutions for marketing purposes. More importantly, they are low cost and easy to scale up or down. There is really no need to maintain proprietary hardware and software unless regulations or proprietary secrecy really requires it. Some case studies of banks that have successfully used the cloud include: ME Bank, Capital One, Commonwealth Bank, National Australia Bank.

Secure Translation Automation in Banking

Some banks are already finding success in adding machine translation (MT) to the localization of websites, marketing materials and other MT-ready content. Professional MT can significantly improve translator productivity and manage costs and service providers like Welocalize offer sophisticated and secure MT solutions that are tailored to banking clients’ global business needs. MT engines are trained to understand client brands and accurately use key terms used in the banking and financial service sectors. Combined with post-editing, MT can offer an ideal solution to managing large content volumes whilst retaining high-quality outputs.

Case Study

Welocalize works with a financial institution that connects people and businesses globally, providing fast, reliable, and convenient transactions methods in more than 200 countries. This dynamic operation drives the need to publish regulated content in over 60 languages across multiple websites, social media channels, and mobile apps for over a billion bank accounts.

When the financial institution first approached Welocalize, their requirement was to be able to publish content consistently in a rapidly changing market and be able to serve that content dynamically and personalize it. They also wanted to be able to scale up or down easily and reuse their content and marketing assets across all their markets.

Welocalize established a centralized approach with a dedicated team and identified specialist translators with the right subject matter expertise to service this client. Welocalize also integrated the translation workflow into the client’s CMS so that efficiency would be optimized for the client’s high-volume, business-critical content publishing needs.

The result of these improvements was a threefold increase in production volume for localized content. They were also able to achieve brand consistency across all their locations while reducing costs. Their web analytics performed better and they were able to serve personalized content and digital marketing campaigns for both their company intranet and the external web. Last but not least, all content was able to meet industry and regional regulatory requirements as part of the workflow.

You can click here to read the article in full on Slator.com

For more information on Welocalize solutions for the banking and financial services industry, contact John.Harris@welocalize.com

Click here to read the article on Slator.com

8 Reasons Why Your Language Service Provider Should Be Cloud-Enabled

In every industry from the largest enterprises through to new startups, organizations are relying on cloud technology to transform the way they work through improved delivery of internal and external services and increased efficiencies. According to Forrester Research, in 2017, the global public cloud market will exceed $146 billion, up from $87 billion in 2015.

The way companies use the cloud has evolved over the years but one thing is certain; there are many benefits to utilizing the cloud to meet ever evolving and demanding client requirements. Looking to the cloud to deliver IT and services is no longer about deployment but rather about re-engineering infrastructure and strategy to improve performance and deliver efficiencies to clients and their customers. Many millennials and tech savvy leaders only know the cloud, therefore to maintain a competitive edge and attract the next generation workforce, connecting through the cloud is the only option.

In a survey conducted by the Common Sense Advisory in 2013, results showed there was a reluctance for language service providers (LSPs) to move to the cloud. Many respondents stated that cloud-based solutions did not match the functionality of on-site or installed products. There was also resistance to change due to traditional IT concerns such as security, performance and interoperability.

Four years later, Welocalize has witnessed and led a significant change in the IT-approach and delivery of cloud-based services in the localization industry. Cloud technology enables true innovation. Organizations and providers are migrating from local, on-site services to best-in-breed cloud services to gain efficiencies and support innovation. To lead the way in global content transformation, the cloud is the only option to support global brands and clients on the global journey.

As organizations publish more and more global digital content, the most successful infrastructure that supports and underpins the localization and translation of content will be cloud-based.

So why is a cloud-based infrastructure so beneficial to the globalization and localization industry? By its very nature, localization is a global operation that never sleeps. It operates 24/7 therefore requires a global, not local, IT infrastructure to provide the scalability that today’s international organizations demand. Here are eight reasons why cloud-based localization services are the future in the globalization industry:

RESILENCY: Clients benefit from global resiliency of services, protection from local office or regional outages.

EFFICIENCY: The cloud is web-based. There is no ongoing installation, maintenance or monitoring required.

SECURITY: Additional security layers, granular permissions across vendors and secure file-sharing ensures all client data is protected to the highest industry standards.

24/7 OPERATION: Cloud-based systems reduce dependency on the IT team. For an office move or the opening of a new office, IT operations continue un-interrupted.

REMOTE ACCESS: Localization project managers can easily access and monitor projects remotely when not in the office.

VENDOR COLLABORATION: All vendors can have secure access to all project materials. Localization projects can be complex and involve many parties. A cloud-based infrastructure ensures efficient file-sharing and communication. If LSPs have to recruit additional resources, a cloud-based platform enables the pool of talent to be expanded, without concern for location.

ADAPTABILITY: Many language tools are now compatible with the cloud. If LSPs offer a cloud-based services, this enables buyers and suppliers to conduct translations and transactions online.

INNOVATION: Efficiencies and innovation derived from today’s technology products rely on the cloud. The cloud enables the delivery and continuous improvement of the latest services. A cloud-based infrastructure drives innovation.

Moving away from legacy, manual, error-prone processes and server-based software onto modern, secure, resilient cloud services has many advantages for clients in the localization industry. Through innovation and leveraging a cloud-based platform, LSPS can focus on providing exceptional solutions to facilitate the latest localization demands.

For more information about Welocalize Innovation and cloud-enabled localization services, email innovation@welocalize.com

Successful Website Localization – Interview with Andrea Barp

Website localization can make the difference between global success and failure. Get it right and new revenue streams will rapidly open up in new markets. Get it wrong and you risk harming your brand and losing customers. Andrea Barp is Translation Director at  Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency and is actively involved in some of Welocalize’s leading web localization projects. In this special Welocalize interview, Andrea shares expert insights and experience into what makes a web localization project successful.

How are you involved in website localization projects?

We have many clients and leading global brands who engage customers online, to sell products and services online and have websites that need to be in multiple languages to reach audiences in countries all over the world. They want a localization solution for their web and e-commerce content that effectively markets their products and is also efficient and cost-effective. We help them achieve that.

How do you achieve efficiency when working with so many languages and different content types?

There are many factors to take into account, from project management to team selection and quality program, but also technology and integration of systems plays a major role. It is important to connect the content management systems (CMS) with the translation management system (TMS) to efficiently manage the translation flow of content. If content is automatically pushed from the CMS to the TMS (and back to the CMS when translated), this lends itself to reduced turnaround times (TATs), the freeing up of internal capacity and the elimination of manual, repetitive, error-prone copy and paste tasks. For many clients we have developed or supported integrations to streamline the end-to-end translation lifecycle.

There a many different types of content on websites. Do you have a different approach for each type of content?

Our approach depends on each website and what the client is marketing and selling. Where there is call-to-action or marketing and promotional copy, this type of content is more suited to transcreation work, which culturally adapts the source content rather than directly translating it. For more informative content, such as terms and conditions and user instructions on how to fill your shopping cart, where accuracy of information is priority, translation is suitable. Most websites require a combination of translation and transcreation, depending on the subject area and where the content is displayed on the website.

What is fundamental to a successful website localization project?

It’s important both on the client and vendor side to get the right teams involved that understand how the website works. For example, starting from the initial engagement, often localization providers are being asked to provide a quick “ballpark” website localization quote by simply analyzing all the HTML pages of the entire site. Depending on the size of the site, this tends to yield very high word counts and can be quite misleading for customers. A lot of website content is often repeated and some content may not even be visible to customers. Some sections, such as blogs, may not be applicable to all markets. Such content doesn’t need to be included in the scope of the website localization. The best approach is to get the key stakeholders involved, who understand the scope of the project, including the CMS expert. This way, it’s possible to have a more accurate idea of the content in scope, improve the accuracy of the quote, streamline production and ultimately serve the customer better.

A lot of websites and e-commerce sites are image-heavy. How does this affect localization?

Many of our clients’ sites have low word counts and a high number of images. If you’re localizing a retail operation into 50 languages, some images will not be suitable for all cultural markets. For many projects, heavy image localization has to take place which can involve engaging more DTP expertise than translators.

What is your best piece of advice for anyone embarking on a website localization project?

To get the best results, combine SEO best practices and website localization best practices. For example, when localizing a site into 50 languages if you take into account SEO best practices, the website will be more visible, and your ROI more optimized.

Based in London, Andrea Barp is Translation Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency. For more information on Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize’s digital marketing services, click here.

Interview conducted by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

My Internship at Welocalize in Portland, USA

Christopher Hu recently completed an internship at Welocalize. Christopher was based at the Welocalize office in Portland, Oregon, supporting project managers in their day-to-day activities as part of the Intern Program. After a successful nine months, Christopher will now be joining the Welocalize team permanently as a full-time project manager. In this blog, Christopher shares some of his experiences from the placement.

What was your role at Welocalize?

My role at Welocalize primarily involved providing support to the project management team based at the Portland office. I focused on vendor communication as well as ensuring on-time deliveries of translation tasks and helping with quarterly business reports. During my time at Welocalize, I also had the opportunity to work on projects within different departments of the company such as engineering and testing. Portland is home to one of Welocalize’s largest quality assurance and testing laboratories and they deliver thousands of testing hours every week. It was a great opportunity to see some of the large testing projects in action.

Why did you want an internship with Welocalize?

Welocalize was a really attractive company for me to intern at and I was delighted when my application was successful. I felt that it would be personally rewarding to work in a field that dealt with two passions of mine – communication and technology. As the 7th largest language service provider in the world, Welocalize provided many opportunities for me to gain the right experience at this stage of my career. Whilst at Welocalize, I wanted to fully utilize my international experience and in turn develop my knowledge and understanding of management techniques in practice.

What was your main goal from your internship?

My main goal was to develop my understanding of the localization industry. I was totally unaware this industry existed until I was introduced to it at a career fair! Global business relies on localization and translation. I also wanted to gain overall experience at working for a global organization with clients all over the world in every sector.

What did you learn during your internship?

I learnt effective business communication styles and I also gained good time management skills. I improved my project management skills by focusing on each task separately, instead of trying to juggle. The internship gave me great insight into the various operations, processes and technologies involved in localization project management.

Did anything surprise you?

What continues to surprise me is how substantial Welocalize’s ongoing footprint is! Our work is everywhere.  Every day, I communicate with hundreds of translators, whose work is in turn seen by millions of people around the world. The pleasure I got from collaborating with so many people from different countries was also great surprise.

What did you learn about Welocalize’s culture?

Everyone I met at Welocalize understands that projects and workloads are challenging, especially working across every time zone, but there is a really good life-work balance. We want every project to deliver excellence. There is ongoing evidence of Welocalize’s 4-pillars – customer service, quality, global teamwork and innovation – in everything that the Welocalize teams do. Working together and helping each other to succeed makes work so rewarding.

What would you say about your experience overall?

I had a great experience interning for Welocalize because of the people I work with and the clients we serve. I look forward to beginning my Welocalize journey as a permanent member of the team! I would highly recommend the Welocalize Intern Program.

Interview by Jack Rainey, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support Team.

Eight Steps to Successful Localization in Technical Communication

Welocalize’s Louise Law recently contributed a feature article to tcworld print and e-magazine, March 2017 issue. The article, titled “Eight Steps to Successful Localization” looks at some best practices and techniques for the successful localization of technical communications. tcworld GmbH is a global services company, which organizes business conferences including tekom, Europe’s largest professional association for technical communication.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Many global brands and organizations embark on a global journey, with the intention of creating value, equity and, ultimately, revenue. Content is developed at many stages along this journey. It may start with protecting intellectual property by registering an innovative patent in multiple locales and continue through to creating user manuals and marketing material.

In a global organization everyone is affected by content and localization. Whether your job is in legal services, finance, engineering, technical writing, marketing, sales, customer support, human resources or product development, you are dealing with content that needs to be written, engineered and translated to reach multiple audiences.

Translation of technical communication

Specific priorities apply when it comes to translating and localizing technical content. Translated technical documents, or any complex or regulated content, must be as accurate, relevant and as concise as its source. Technical documents are high impact content requiring both linguistically and culturally accurate translations. Other information, like user generated content (UGC), has a lower impact.  UGC translation can reflect the message or concept, but does not necessarily need to stay linguistically faithful to the source.

The full article featured in tcworld magazine outlines eight best practices and techniques to ensure the successful localization of technical documents in today’s content-rich world. These include:

One: Use consistent style and tone

Localized technical documents not only need to achieve a high level of quality and accuracy, but also maintain a consistent style and tone of voice across multiple languages, content types, file formats and platforms.

Two: Garbage in, garbage out

Poor, nonsensical input will produce undesired output, regardless of the target language or the quality of the translation. If, on the other hand, the source meets required levels of quality and business objectives, then any translations or transcreations will meet set standards.

Three: Help localization teams to get to know the product

Many global organizations send teams of translators to product trainings so they can truly experience the product or service. As global business evolves, providing in-context information to localization teams is crucial to gain commitment to a brand.

Four: Be open to transcreation

Translation of technical documents requires high quality and accuracy. However, developing content that is linguistically and culturally appropriate may require some transcreation work. This means tweaking the translation whilst retaining key concepts, messages and facts. Transcreated content and illustrations may not linguistically represent the source 100 percent, but it is better received by the end-user, which is the ultimate goal.

Five: Prepare graphics well

Technical manuals and documents contain many complex graphics which may require the insertion of [translated] text. Including original graphics in translated documents is important, but not always possible. Providing access to text layers in the original graphic files will increase cost savings and reduce turnaround times.

Six: Consider text expansion

When you translate from English into another language, the translated text will take up more space. Most languages are longer than English by about 15 percent. Languages, such as Russian, can be up to 40 percent longer than the English version. Once the text in the graphic is translated, text expansion can cause problems with the original layout of the graphic.

Seven: Consider the use of CAT tools

Graphics are usually localized with the use of computer assisted translation (CAT) tools. There is software available that allows translators and DTP engineers to automate the extraction and insertion of text from graphics created in software such as Illustrator or CorelDraw into rtf files.

Eight: Consider multimedia content

As content volumes grow, content types will continue to evolve. Multimedia, video especially, will continue to drive communication. According to YouTube statistics, 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube each month. Consumers all over the world are spending increased amounts of time viewing multimedia, using a wide variety of devices. Technical information is no exception.

Technical communication requires high levels of quality and accuracy, both at the source and in translation. With increasing digitalization, evolving content types and consumer habits, there are a number of emerging best practices and techniques that can be applied to the preparation and successful translation of technical content. A strategic approach to localization enables global business growth and ensures products and services are safely distributed around the world, driving revenue and creating value on the globalization journey.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL PUBLISHED ARTICLE HERE: Eight Steps to Successful Localization, By Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager, louise.law@welocalize.com

For more information on managing the translation of technical communications, email marketing@welocalize.com

Five Reasons Why Website Localization Creates Global Reach

Creating the best online experience lies at the heart of many global marketing strategies. According to Fortune.com, consumers are buying more online than in stores, which is driving brands to target and serve emerging global markets. Developing a targeted local web experience that accurately reflects a global brand can be a challenge but is crucial for the success of any digital marketing strategy.

Here are five reasons why developing culturally adapted web content creates global reach:

ONE: Around 30 percent of website users come from search engines. Searches will be conducted in the native language of the searcher. If your site is only in one language, it won’t get ranked in search results in other languages.

TIP: Localize SEO and digital marketing activities as well as website content.

TWO: Even if you think your target country speaks one unified language, check. In Germany, 15 million people don’t speak German as their mother tongue. According to the United States Census Bureau, 230 million people in the U.S. speak English as their first language and 38 million speak Spanish. Nearly three million people in the U.S. speak a Chinese dialect such as Mandarin or Cantonese. Only 27% of Internet users speak English as their first language.

TIP: Know the demographics of all online communities you wish to reach and localize digital content accordingly.

THREE: Although many people speak a second or third language, most people stick with their native language to surf and shop online. According to Common Sense Advisory, 55% of consumers prefer to only buy in their native language, 72% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language and 90% choose a native language website when available. If you’re selling your product or service online, then language and cultural adaptation is a crucial part of the overall digital strategy and website design process.

TIP: If you want consumers to buy your product online, sell to them in their local language.

FOUR: In addition to language, cultural differences impact website usage. Choice and preference of color, image, navigation and site structure can vary from region to region. The design of the user interface can affect a user’s experience and greatly affects the ability to keep users engaged and the site bounce rate. Websites and landing pages for well-known global brands can significantly differ across geography. For example, if you visit the McDonald’s website in each country, it maintains the global brand look and feel but each local site has subtle differences to cater to each market.

TIP: It’s not just about language and words, but every aspect of the online journey including visuals and navigation.

FIVE: To protect you and your customers in every region, translating the Terms and Conditions page will set the rules of your website and also help limit liability. If you’re collecting customer information, you must have a privacy policy and this must be understood by all potential customers. For every website and e-commerce operation, there may be content that will fall under the scrutiny of local government and agencies. This content must be expertly translated to high levels of linguistic accuracy and also to meet local and national legal requirements.

TIP: Remember any website content that may be subject to local regulations. Engage a language provider who has experience in translating compliance and regulatory content.

Contact us at marketing@welocalize.com for expert web localization solutions. For expert guidance and tips to localize your website and expand your global reach, read Welocalize White Paper: A Guide to Web Localization

Importance of English as a Global Business Language

English is considered the most widely spoken language worldwide. With approximately 330 to 360 million native English speakers and 1.5 billion total speakers, English is often referred to as a global language.

In the report by Miniwatt Marketing Group, June 2016, “Internet World Users by Language,” English is ranked as the number one language of Internet users with 948,608,782 (26.3%) English speakers online, followed by Chinese at 20.8%. While there is an increasing need for localization and translation services to ensure the accessibility of English digital content in non-English speaking countries, the opposite is also true. It is important for firms in non-Anglophone markets to offer English in order to appeal to the dominant web population.

Although English is spoken by millions of people, it varies greatly. From dialect and cultural references through colloquialisms. As such, English content may need to be culturally adapted for other English-speaking audiences depending on the locale of the intended audience. This adaptation of content is known as transcreation. Welocalize provides more insights into transcreation in the blog post The Phenomenon of Transcreation in Localization.

As global marketers and localization professionals set out to market products and services to English speakers all over the world, here are three factors that impact your global brand’s communication outreach strategy:

One: American and British English

Although American English and British English are mostly mutually intelligible, there are some main differences between the two in terms of grammar, vocabulary and spelling.

Grammar: British English speakers use present perfect tense more than Americans do. (i.e. I’ve already eaten vs. I already ate)

Vocabulary: There are many examples of different words being used for the same thing (i.e. lift vs. elevator, trousers vs. pants). There are also some words that exist in both American and British English, but they may have very different meanings.

Spelling: Some words in British English end with ‘-our’ instead of American English ‘-or’, and ‘-tre’ instead of ‘-ter’. For example, ‘favour’ and ‘favour’, ‘color’ and ‘colour’ and ‘center’ and ‘centre’. Some words in American English are also shorter (i.e. catalogue vs. catalog, programme vs. program). American spellings often use ‘z’ and not ‘s’ in certain words, for example, localization and localisation.

Two: Regional Accents

English accents differ greatly within different countries and within different regions. Attention to accents is very important for audio and video work. Certain accents have positive and negative associations, depending on the product or service. For example, in England, many customer support centers are based in North East, as the region’s predominant Geordie accent is perceived as trusting and gentle.

The most general classifications in America includes General American, Eastern New England English, New York City English, Mid-Atlantic English, Coastal/Lowland Southern English, Inland/Mountain Southern English, Great Lakes English and Upper Midwestern English.

The few main accents from Britain includes the Received Pronunciation, Cockney, Estuary English, West Country, Midlands English, Northern England English, Geordie, Welsh English and Scottish English.

Despite speaking the same language, heavier accents in some regions may become a minor language barrier between English speakers who are used to different accents.

Three: Website Lingua Franca is still English

According to research conducted by Common Sense Advisory, most people prefer to buy in their own language. However, there has been an increasing percentage of consumers, especially millennials, being more tolerant of and visiting English websites, even if English is not their native language. Many modern words and phrases have been developed in English and remain in English, even when used in non-English speaking countries. Certain technology terms (and social media acronyms) remain in English and do not translate. Many young people and students are familiar and accepting of this and therefore do not expect certain words to be translated.

Despite the increase in amount of content and users on the non-English web, a large majority of firms make content on their websites available in English. To ensure the engagement of digital content by a worldwide audience, it is important for organizations to be aware of the demographics of the target audience to determine whether they expect content to be translated or whether they are happy with it remaining in English. For many global organizations, deciding what to translate and what not to translate are two important considerations. You can read more about this topic in the Welocalize blog post: What Not to Translate: Is it ok to Leave Content in the Source Language?

Language enables global businesses to connect with audiences worldwide. With the right localization, translation, transcription, transcreation and interpretation, people are able to communicate across cultural and geographical boundaries. For more information on transcreation of digital marketing, email marketing@welocalize.com

Cecilia

Cecilia.tang@welocalize.com

Cecilia Tang is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support team.

Supporting Ciena on the Global Journey with Translation, Transcription and Interpretation

A Welocalize Case Study

Ciena® Corporation is a network strategy and technology company, supporting more than 1,300 of the world’s largest, most reliable networks. Since 2011, Welocalize has delivered a wide range of language services to Ciena, including the localization of marketing datasheets, e-learning, legal and compliance content.

READ MORE: Ciena and Welocalize Case Study

Ciena publishes a wide and diverse range of content to support the global distribution of their products. Continuous innovation and product development to deliver next-generation networks results in high volumes of multiple content types, from digital marketing and datasheets through to compliance and in-depth e-learning materials. Ciena has an internal global localization team to manage translation, but when demand increases, it relies on Welocalize as the go-to localization partner to quickly scale up to support the program.

Welocalize provides excellent support for Ciena’s globalization and localization strategy. Whatever the content type or requirement, the Welocalize team has the skill, scale, agility, experience and talent to meet our requirements and help us deliver localized materials across the whole business.” said Julio Leal, Head of Localization at Ciena

Due to the long-term nature of the partnership, Welocalize teams fully understand the Ciena brand, tone of voice and product range, which enables full cultural adaptation as well as linguistic translation, including:

  • Translation of legal and compliance content including “for information purposes only” documentation for internal stakeholders and employees
  • Transcription and translation of product marketing datasheets + digital marketing assets
  • Multimedia localization including voiceover work
  • Simultaneous interpretation services

Clients Benefits

  • Balance of in-house & outsourced localization model
  • Global teamwork
  • Cultural adaptation of Ciena brand
  • Consistency of talent
  • Full range of localization services across all content types
  • Trusted, collaborative relationship
  • Flexible, scalable approach

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD FULL PDF OF WELOCALIZE + CIENA CASE STUDY

Your global journey is our purpose. Welocalize seamlessly supports all globalization and localization initiatives. From protecting intellectual property and registering innovative patents in multiple geographies, right through to supporting go-to-market digital marketing strategies containing SEO, high impact brand materials and user generated content. For more information on how we can help you on your global journey, email marketing@welocalize.com

Translation at the Oscars 2017

A round of applause to the transcribers, translators and voice actors

The world of entertainment recently turned their attention to the Academy Awards or “Oscars” which are awarded to recognize cinematic achievement in the United States. The iconic gold statuette is coveted by anyone involved in the production and distribution of film. Whatever your favorite film, be it the 2017 best picture winner, Moonlight or other nominees La La Land, Lion, Fences, Hell or High Water, Arrival, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, or Hacksaw Ridge, film remains one of the most popular entertainment form that reaches and impacts international audiences. Among the hairspray, the couture dresses, sharp tuxedos, champagne and tears, give a round of applause to the armies of language and localization experts who help the film and entertainment industry bring content to international, multilingual audiences.

Film can bring countries, communities and cultures together and language plays an important role. Successful translation significantly impacts the global reach and distribution of film, whether through great subtitling and dubbing or powerful international marketing campaigns. The Star Wars films have been translated into over 50 different languages. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope film was the first major motion picture to be dubbed into a Native American Language. Five translators worked for 36 hours to translate the 90-page script to Navajo. Outside of mainstream blockbusters, there are also many important documentaries that raise awareness of certain world issues.

It is not just film that continues to draw growing audiences but the steady growth in movie streaming services and continued use of DVD and Blue Ray. Constant fresh content and 24/7 availability of existing content delivered by services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, now means entertainment and all the associated advertising and sponsorship opportunities can cast their net wider and target emerging markets. Most content streaming services are available in multiple languages including website content, OS and user navigation. Content delivered by these subscription services can be browsed and viewed (whether dubbed or subtitled) in many languages. In fact, Netflix is available in more than 190 countries and in over 20 languages.

Behind the scenes, the media and entertainment industry engages the expertise of an army of language and localization specialists to help reach audiences all over the world. Source content must go through a number of processes before the final multilingual product can be distributed to a new audience. Language services often involved in the localization of entertainment content include transcription, translation, transcreation, dubbing subtitling, multimedia engineering and much more. Outside of the actual creative content, there are also masses of legal and compliance content that must be understood by multilingual stakeholders, such as local film distributors and certification boards. Many blockbusters include significant licensing and sponsorship deals for brands, such as agreements facilitating product placement. All parties must consider where the film will be viewed to ascertain the effectiveness and legality of any sponsoring or advertising activity.

With a creative medium like film, getting entertainment to resonate across diverse cultures is a big challenge. How audiences react to comedy, tragedy or sexual references varies across regions. Even the way we behave in cinemas varies. For example, when a film finishes in Germany at a cinema, the audience will stay seated as the credits roll and then clap. Whereas in other countries, the credits have barely started while people fight their way down the stairs to exit the theater. It takes extensive expertise and local knowledge to ensure content is localized in a way that delights the audience, without diluting the overall global brand and concept of the film.
Localization and translation affects everything we do. When you settle down to enjoy your next film or television series, as well as when admiring the Oscar-winning performance, admire the work of the linguists and language specialists all over the world who brought you an evening’s entertainment in your language.

Contact Welocalize about our multimedia, subtitling and transcreation services. Email marketing@welocalize.com for more information.

Maintaining Tone of Voice in Multilingual Technical Documentation

Everyone within a growing, international organization is on a global journey. At each stage of this journey, there are volumes of content produced, from patent applications to user generated content on social media, that communicate to a variety of audiences and stakeholders, many with different requirements. Although many content types have different levels of impact, regardless of language, they must consistently represent the company and its brand portfolio.

In the 2016 Welocalize Client Survey, we asked our clients what their anticipated localization needs were for 2017 and approximately 47% of respondents included localization of technical documentation. Technical documentation is #2 in Welocalize’s list of Top 10 Needs for Localization and Translation Being Outsourced to LSP’s in 2017.

While the main objective in the translation and localization of technical documentation is a high level of accuracy and quality, consistency of style and tone of voice are also important and a deciding factor in selecting a strategic localization partner. At the Welocalize LocLeaders Local Germany 2016 event in Stuttgart, many attendees who are heavily involved in the production and translation of technical documentation were keen to discuss how to strike a balance between content accuracy and keeping a consistent, culturally appropriate brand voice. The traditional approach of pure translation for technical documentation is relevant, but there is a growing emphasis on content transformation to ensure consistency of brand and a cultural relevancy in each local market.

To accomplish this, many global brands are embracing techniques like transcreation. Transcreation is where facts are directly translated, but concepts and brand messages are culturally adapted to meet local market requirements. This results in a consistent style and tone of voice across all content produced by a global organization.

The e-book by Acrolinx, Watch Your Tone! outlines the importance of tone of voice and the different types and elements of tone. The ebook states “…even purely informative content, such as technical documentation, may suffer if translated literally, because motivations and attitudes differ so much across cultures. For example, while US training tends to be interactive and hands-on, French people tend to prefer more information, less participation…”

How is style and tone of voice integrated?

For any language team working on technical documentation, they must be fluent, native linguists and hold a good level of subject matter expertise. To be able to hit the right tone of voice, it is important for teams to be familiar with the company, brand portfolio, and, also, know more about the product or service experience to ensure proper context in any translation work. Putting translators, linguists, and reviewers into the shoes of the customer creates a deeper understanding of overall objectives which is delivered into all locales. This approach is applied across products within one brand portfolio, but also for the different content types throughout the globalization journey.

Welocalize runs product and brand immersion workshops, where translators and reviewers receive training, with the client, to ensure they understand the product and the context of the content with which they’re working. This reduces review cycles and forges good working relationships with open lines of communication. As a result, there is more retention and less churn on productive working groups.

Sharing tools like translation memory (TM), terminology management, style guides, glossaries, and product training documents across the organization creates good interaction between internal teams, as well as between the client and the language services provider. Seeing localization and translation strategically as a whole, rather than in silos of individual translation tasks, is a big step towards delivering consistent brand value in multiple markets.

In a report conducted by Acrolinx, Terminology Management, How Companies Use Their Words & Phrases That Matter Most to Their Business, maintaining the integrity of the source content and translation are the main reasons why companies manage their words and phrases. Almost half of content professionals surveyed said that the top reason they maintain a list of words and phrases is to either ensure correct usage or enforce the company’s style and tone of voice.

It holds great value and benefit to any global business to forge a long-term partnership with a strategic language services provider who can localize across all content and achieve a consistent tone of voice, for both source and translated content. Having content teams that are invested in the brand long-term ensures style, terminology, technical facts, jargon, and engineering detail are 100% accurate in every target locale.

Garry

Garry.levitt@welocalize.com

Garry Levitt is Welocalize Vice President, Europe.

In November 2016, localization and content professionals gathered in Stuttgart to attend the first Welocalize LocLeaders Local event held in Germany. Style and tone of voice in the localization of technical documentation was one of many topics we discussed. At any Welocalize LocLeaders event, there is always a boundless enthusiasm for industry peer-to-peer networking and collaboration. People love hearing from other people who share the same challenges and opportunities. It’s a great form of therapy. By sharing real, concrete experiences and scenarios, the discussion flows naturally. LocLeaders is about open engagement and participation.  In 2017, we’re hoping to run more LocLeaders Local events across Europe and North America so if content transformation is your business, then please join us or email marketing@welocalize.com for more information.

Eight Ways to Optimize Efficiency and Cost in Technical Translations

As global organizations publish and manage higher volumes of content, optimizing efficiency is a key element to any successful localization program. Companies are continuously looking to manage translation budgets, including the area of technical documentation. There is little compromise when it comes to quality and accuracy for technical content, but there are still many ways to streamline translation activities to optimize cost and efficiency.

Welocalize works with many leading global organizations that publish technical documentation and, as a result, has identified a number of areas where organizations can get more out of their budget without impacting overall quality.

ONE: Check Language Selection. For every target locale, check the relevancy. If products don’t sell in certain markets and English is acceptable, then stop translating into languages that aren’t working. Certain languages that in the past have always been included on the list may no longer be relevant. Challenge the comment “But we’ve always done it that way.”

TWO: Is Content Being Used? Identify certain technical and marketing documentation that may not be currently in use. Bringing together technical authoring and marketing teams helps to identify content that adds and does not add value to the overall strategy. If a piece of documentation is not adding value, don’t waste translation resources on it.

THREE: Don’t Re-Write Source Technical Documents Unless You Have To. Style is often subjective. Therefore, try to limit any changes in the source content to hard facts and data. Reuse existing content if possible and only make necessary changes. The fewer changes made in the source, the fewer subsequent changes are required in translated versions. This reduces time, costs and resources.

FOUR: Use Simplified English. For more factual content like technical documentation, if the source content has been developed using simplified English, then translations will be quicker and will require fewer revisions. If the source content is simple and to the point, this will reduce translation efforts without impacting the final quality.

FIVE: Translate After Sale. Certain products that require a large amount of technical documentation, such as heavy equipment and specialist engineering supplies, are often low in volume sales. In certain markets, translation can take place after the sale. Initial brand and product marketing may be acceptable in English and once the sale is complete, technical manuals can then be produced in the target language while the product is being manufactured.

SIX: Use MT. More and more organizations in traditional sectors typically associated with technical documentation rely on machine translation (MT) to translate higher volumes within the translation budget. MT and post-edited MT are rapidly becoming part of many localization programs.

SEVEN: Give Freelancers In-Context Information. If freelance translators receive the text, without any sense of layout or context, then there is a strong chance the review process will be lengthy and costly. If translators have access to InDesign files, they are able to gauge the amount of white space and potential for text expansion, which will save time and money at the DTP and review stages.

EIGHT: Leverage TM + Glossaries. Share your authoring and translation assets. Many technical authoring and marketing teams work separately and this means translation activities are often conducted separately, too. Chances are, each team will build their own translation memory (TM), glossary, style guide and terminology database. Sharing these assets not only helps streamline translation activities, but also achieves a greater consistency and accuracy across all company communications.

Rachel

Rachel.barakat@welocalize.com

Rachel Barakat is an Enterprise Program Manager at Welocalize. She is a localization veteran and has spent over 11 years working with multilingual technical documentation.

For more information on managing the translation of technical documentation, email marketing@welocalize.com

Further reading: Technology Tools in the Localization of Technical Documentation

Three Reasons Why Technical Documentation is a Perfect Match for MT

Welocalize manages a variety of localization and translation programs for global brands that produce large volumes of technical documentation, including online help, user guides, admin guides, operating manuals and data sheets.

The Technology Solutions team at Welocalize is heavily involved in the evaluation and onboarding of machine translation (MT) for new localization programs.  Technical documentation is one of our favorite content types to work with when we are customizing MT engines for our clients. Here is why:

#1: Source Authoring

Technical documentation is frequently authored by technical writers, who are trained to write with clarity, simplicity and consistency. Additionally, they often use authoring tools that help avoid difficult constructions; long sentences, passive voice, ambiguous words or phrases and gerunds (-ing forms). As a result, the source text is simple and easy to read and is processed well by the MT system.

#2: Terminology Management

Terminology management is an important part of the localization process for technical documentation to ensure consistent and correct translation of key terms and hardware, and software references to the product. Any glossaries established as part of the terminology process are an extra bonus during MT engine training, since they can be used to customize the engines further and directly enforce the translations of specific terms and phrases.

#3: Style Expectations

Technical documentation is not usually designed for cover-to-cover consumption and rarely requires a stylistically polished translation. Consistency, correct terminology and technical accuracy are the top priorities.  In comparison, higher stylistic standards are expected for a marketing brochure, which is designed to sell a product or for an e-learning course that is required to be read word-for-word, cover-to-cover. The result is technical documentation requires lower post-editing efforts, compared with content types such as marketing brochures that require a high level of stylistic polishing.

These three characteristics make technical documentation a perfect match for MT and post-edited MT. The carefully authored source content and the availability of extensive glossaries increase the quality of the MT output while the simple style requirements allow the post-editors to reuse more of the MT output.

The end result is that the translators post-edit less, which means a reduction in client costs and an increase in productivity—and a higher return on investment for MT.

Click here for more information on Welocalize MT-driven solutions.

Elaine

Elaine.ocurran@welocalize.com

Based in Boston, Elaine O’Curran is an MT Program Manager on Welocalize Technology Solutions team.

Technology Tools in the Localization of Technical Documentation

In this interview, Nicole McColgan, Senior Project Manager and Team Leader at Welocalize, shares her knowledge and experience from over 10 years of working with clients who produce high volumes of technical documentation. She talks about the growing importance of technology in the translation of technical and engineering content to help manage efficiency and costs.

What role does technology play in the translation of technical documentation?

For the translation of technical documentation, ensuring consistency, correct terminology, and technical accuracy of translated content are top priorities. Technology and translation automation can be overlooked in the translation of highly complex content and diagrams.

Technology plays a significant role in all localization and translation activities, including technical documentation. Due to the complex nature of technical communications and diagrams, there is an assumption that only human translation is allowed. However, there are several tools that can automate translation and still deliver high quality content while managing deadlines and budgets. Many global brands in sectors that produce a lot of technical content, such as manufacturing and heavy equipment, are using more technology in the translation process, especially with so much more content being published and updated digitally.

Are organizations more open to using machine translation (MT) in their localization programs for more complex content?

There is definitely growing openness towards the use of MT for technical documentation. Clients are more aware that MT can increase productivity and reduce costs. MT, with post-editing, can produce the same level of accuracy and quality as a human translator and enable organizations to translate more. While MT is not a standalone tool, it works well together with post-editing to speed up the translation cycle.

How does cultural adaptation affect translation quality?

For technical detail, such as measurements or numbers, it is important to keep the translated content aligned with the source content. There is no room for error. However, it remains important to adapt the content to resonate with local audiences, both culturally and linguistically.

Cultural and linguistic accuracy in translated technical documentation is no longer limited to 100% human translators. MT engines learn and build up knowledge as more content is translated. The more content put through MT engines, the more accurate and consistent the output will be. Teaming MT activities with post-editing can check the facts and details, while ensuring that tone of voice is also culturally appropriate. It is beneficial if consistent language teams are used as they become familiar with the product range and brand style.

What are the most important tools when localizing technical documentation?

Any technologies that automate the process, making the translation cycle quicker and more cost-effective, are important. Given the increasing volume of digital content being published at a quicker pace, technology supports quick turnarounds. Updates and changes are happening all the time, even in technical documentation, and the translation process must reflect this.

In addition, content management systems (CMS), translation management systems (TMS), glossaries, and terminology databases—all tools that help efficiency and accuracy in the production and translation of technical communications—remain important.

Welocalize manages a variety of localization and translation programs for global brands who produce volumes of highly technical communications and documentation, including user manuals, operating manuals, data sheets, and supporting marketing materials. Innovation is one of Welocalize’s 4-Pillars so we’re continually looking for ways to automate and introduce technology to make the process even more efficient and cost-effective.

Based in the UK, Nicole McColgan is Senior Project Manager and Team Leader at Welocalize.

Interview by Cecilia Tang, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support Team.

Celebrating Love and Affection Around the World

In many countries, February 14 is Valentine’s Day, the Feast of Saint Valentine and a significant cultural and commercial celebration. Although Valentine’s Day originated from the Western countries, this romantic day is widely celebrated around the world. It is a much commercialized event, with an average annual spending of $13 billion for Valentine’s Day and about 180 million Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged annually!

Love is a global language and although it is celebrated and expressed in many different ways around the world, the message is the same. Commercial events such as Valentine’s Day see a variety of cultural traditions. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are examples of the similarities and differences of the celebration from country to country:

Philippines

On Valentine’s Day in 2007, Philippines broke Hungary’s world record of having a total of 6,124 couples kissing simultaneously for at least 10 seconds. This popular day of affection prompts the local governments to organize mass weddings in the Philippines under the Civil Registrar Offices. It is mostly for couples who wish to formalize their relationships, but do not have the financial means to do so. In 2016, about 350 Filipino couples took their wedding vows in the joyous occasion held in Manila.

Japan

Valentine’s Day celebrations in Japan originate from Western culture and was introduced for commercial purposes. It became widely popular among the Japanese after a successful campaign by Isetan department stores.

It is customary for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day. Giri-choco, obligatory chocolate, are given without any romantic interest. Honmei-choco, which are usually home-made, are given to the woman’s romantic interest. Men in Japan are to return the favor by giving back a gift, at least two or three times more valuable than what they received, one month later on White Day, March 14.

South Korea

South Koreans follow similar Valentine’s Day traditions as the Japanese, but with their own twist. In addition to the celebrations on February 14 and March 14, single people in South Korea also observe Black Day on April 14. On Black Day, single people who did not receive presents on Valentine’s Day or White Day get together to eat noodles covered in black bean paste, a dish known as jjajang myeon. Although not as widely celebrated, South Korea has roughly 11 other holidays devoted to love!

Denmark

Traditionally, men write poems or rhymes and decorate the letter by cutting beautiful patterns into the paper. The anonymous letter, Gaekkebrev, is signed with dots, with each dot representing a letter of the man’s name. The lady receives an egg at Easter if she was able to guess who the sender was. Otherwise, she has to gift the sender an Easter egg instead.

South Africa

Like in many other countries, couples in South African celebrate the special day by spending time with their loved ones and exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts. Young women in South Africa have the tradition of pinning their lover’s’ name on their sleeves. In some regions, men follow the same custom.

Wales

Instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day on January 25. Couples exchange intricately carved wooden spoons, also known as lovespoons, on this special occasion. It is a tradition that dates from the 16th century, which is still observed today.

China

China’s version of Valentine’s Day is the Qixi Festival, which falls on the 7th day of the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Whenever this day falls, it is a popular wedding date for Chinese couples.

Commercial celebrations such as Valentine’s Day demonstrate the diversity of our world and how people express emotions like love and affection. For anyone interacting with customers at a global level, communication has to be culturally adapted to accommodate the similarities and differences. Globalization and localization helps you to get your message to new markets in a way they understand.

Regardless of where and how you are celebrating this day of love and affection, Welocalize wishes you a Happy St Valentine’s Day!

For more information about how Welocalize can you on your global journey, email marketing@welocalize.com

Read Welocalize Blog: How to Say Love in 30 Different Languages

2017 Global Manufacturing Trends and Localization Tips

As global populations and economies grow and evolve, manufacturers are constantly faced with challenges and opportunities to progress product development and expand operations into new markets. Manufacturers in all sectors, including heavy equipment, industrial, machinery, automation, components and electronics, innovate processes, systems and technology to stay ahead of world demand for the many products that affect our everyday lives. Innovation impacts the way in which manufacturing organizations develop and localize content to support their products and brands. Manufacturers produce volumes of content, often highly technical and destined for a multilingual audience, to ensure their products can be safely operated and implemented by users all over the world.

In this blog, we examine some of the forecasted trends that will impact the manufacturing sector and what role content and translation will play in the future.

‘Green’ or Sustainable Manufacturing

As manufacturing has remained a driving force in many economies, the environmental effects have caused many companies to consider alternative methods of production, whilst remaining competitive and keeping up with demand. Green manufacturing is not new in the industry, but will continue to grow as consumers demand products that have been sustainably sourced and created. With factors including waste pollution, cost reduction, and renewable energy, manufacturers must find new ways to sustainably expand; and with the advancement of new technologies within the industry, lean manufacturing cuts down on material costs and are more marketable and well-received. It is important for manufacturers and consumers to consider that new products will not always be necessary when introducing this new process – updates or additions to existing goods can reduce the carbon footprint.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Localization and translation providers must work to expertly publish more regulated content that is updated according to health and safety codes, and culturally adapted in native language markets to ensure comprehension by companies and their employees. Many local governments and government agencies have their own regulations and laws for increasing “green” awareness. Any technical or marketing documentation that has been produced to support these activities must be understood by all stakeholders, including employees and customers.

Robotics

Robotics have been part of the automotive industry for years. According to the World Robotics Report 2016, the number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019 – that’s about one million units more than in the record-breaking year of 2015. As we progress into 2017, the use of machines to streamline processes will continue to increase. While some might view the use of robotic machines to takeover human jobs, advances in ‘cobotics’ prove to be a complementary addition to the workforce via monitoring systems and production techniques. The United States is at the forefront of this movement right now with a majority of big factories implementing new technology to safeguard and insure a solid product from start to finish – with alerts in machinery being addressed before a breakdown can even happen.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Any user interface, display panel or robotic operating instructions will require some element of globalization. Many large manufacturers produce and distribute products all over the world therefore workers and employees in all target markets must be able to safely operate products, including robotics and cobotics.

In 2017, watch for the aerospace and automotive industries to pioneer the relationship between human and robot.

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

Additive manufacturing includes a number of individual processes which vary in their method of layer manufacturing. Often referred to as 3D printing, additive manufacturing impacts many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in high-end markets like aerospace, automotive and medical systems tooling. 3D printing is another trend that has grown over the past years. Gartner analysts said worldwide 3D printer shipments are set to double, year-over-year with 455,772 3D printing units shipped in 2016, more than doubling shipments in 2015. Using 3D printing for prototypes enables manufacturers to go to market faster with significantly lower costs. The technology allows innovated design and advanced research to create new products. No longer a niche market, 3D printing is experiencing a widespread acceptance beyond its application in specialist industries.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Advances in additive manufacturing technology indicate a growth in small, local production units, providing on-demand 3D printing which means increased demand for localization of technical user manuals and training materials. 3D printing is experiencing many new discoveries all the time and is being adopted by more and more countries and manufacturing populations. It is important to consider the endless possibilities that this trend can create and where it can take the industry in the future.

In 2017, be on the lookout for what materials global manufacturers may print with ideally, low cost, easily recyclable and easy to source. Researchers have dubbed graphene as the new super material because of its strength and flexibility.

With new and emerging trends in the manufacturing industries, technical and marketing content creators must be adept at localizing several diverse categories of documents, from technical data-sheets to catalogs and operator manuals to global marketing materials.

While the global manufacturing industry is continuously faced with challenges, Welocalize is excited to see the progress and innovation in manufacturing and supports many global brands in a manufacturing.

What do you think will impact global manufacturing and localization in 2017? We’d love to hear your thoughts!

Jordan

Jordan Ockleberry is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support team at Welocalize.

The Role of Language, Translation and Interpretation in Global Sport

Sport is an area that unites many countries and cultures and is quite simply a universal language that everyone understands, whether your team wins or not. International sporting events bring millions of people together from all over the world to enjoy matches and tournaments. We also spend countless hours watching sports coverage, broadcast on various global media platforms. Behind the scenes at many events and training sessions, there are translators and interpreters helping players, athletes and spectators to get the most out of their sporting experience.

The World Cup, Soccer and Football

Soccer and Association Football is listed as number one of the Internet’s most popular sports, with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. In 2026, the FIFA World Cup football tournament will be the biggest to date. From 2026 onwards, the global sporting competition will grow from 32 teams to 48 teams. Most likely to be hosted in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Columbia, we will see a celebration of football over in the Americas which last happened in the states in 1994. Not only will the teams increase, but also the number of languages spoken by the players and their management.

Many teams and sporting councils will use interpreters and translators to ensure all participants are aware of the various rules and regulations, not to mention making sure teams know the logistics of the event. For many officials and referees, the ability to be able to speak multiple languages fluently will be important if they want to take part and officiate matches where there is more than one language spoken.

At the 2014 World Cup hosted in Brazil, the 32 countries that attended spoke 15 languages between them including Bosnian and Farsi. This could be set to increase to even more languages when the competition grows to 48 teams in 2026. This increase in teams makes the tournament more accessible for countries to qualify who haven’t had chance to play before, such as central African nations and East Asian teams.

Global Broadcasting

The UK Premier League is broadcasted all over the world and commentated on in a whole multitude of different languages. The majority of La Liga’s Spanish football is shown on Sky Sports and commentated on in English with English pundits. The demand is set to increase to translate football content and commentary from global media and entertainment organization foreign football translated in huge at the moment. We could even see a huge rise in demand for Chinese football broadcast around the world, as the new ‘Chinese Super League’ is signing more and more big stars in the football world.

Many sports fans take to social media to express their opinion and to share experiences. As sports coverage reaches more nations, these user generated posts need to be translated so they can be read and understood by multilingual audiences. Major sporting brands have to stay fresh and in touch with their audiences through all channels.

Multilingual Athletes

As the world of sport becomes even more international, there is not only a demand for the fans to have translation and interpretation services but it is also needed for the athletes. In most footballer’s contracts that come to the Premier League from abroad, they have to take English lessons if their English isn’t proficient. Someone who managed to pick up another language almost fluently and quickly was Johnny Wilkinson, former British rugby union player and acknowledged as one of the world’s best Rugby Union players. In 2009, when Johnny signed for the French club Toulon, he committed to speaking French. This meant he could speak with his teammates and coaches and could converse with French journalists and media.

Many international sports stars speak more than one language. Swiss tennis player Roger Federer holds 17 Grand Slam titles and also speaks French, English and German. He is known to switch effortlessly between languages in interviews and press conferences. Fellow tennis star Novak Djokovic speaks five languages – Serbian, English, German, Italian and French.

World Olympics

The Olympics is a shining light in terms of interpretation and translation services for spectators and athletes. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, 207 nations attended the games with 500,000 spectators attending the events. Teams are provided with interpreters to help with logistics and timing. For any host country, building the stadiums and camps for the athletes is a huge task and one where language and communication plays an important role. To host teams and spectators from all over the world requires good global communications to ensure everyone understands.

Whatever your language or culture, enjoy sport.

Rob

Robert.davies@welocalize.com

Rob Davies is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support Team at Welocalize.

Importance of Chatbots in Global Marketing

Chatbots are gaining popularity and are becoming a useful tool for global marketers. They deliver an interactive messaging service, driven by computer programs or sometimes artificial intelligence (AI) and can conduct online conversations by messaging or “speaking” to users. Instead of browsing a website or having to go through a frustrating “phone tree”, users simply engage in a conversation with a chatbot. For the first time ever, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks. As the usage of messenger apps increases, chatbots provide a huge business opportunity to deliver more value and give competitive advantage for many products and services.

“Chatbots are the new apps,” said Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

There are primarily two ways a chatbot can function: based on a set of rules, or through using machine learning, which is a more advanced version. A chatbot that operates based on a set of rules has very limited functions, it can only respond to specific, pre-set commands. On the other hand, one that functions using machine learning has AI. AI versions are not limited to commands, as they continuously get more intelligent with the more interactions they have with people.

Here are some reasons as to why chatbots may be the next big thing in global marketing:

Chatbots can be more accessible to a wider range of people.
Chatbots are able to reach people who may not be tech-savvy. For the audiences who are unable to handle complex user experiences and want to feel that they are receiving a personal service, chatbots provide a good solution. They are straight forward and easy to use as they resemble normal text messaging which most people are familiar with.

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever.
As cited in The Guardian, a study suggests that about 90% of messages from customers to companies on social networks are not responded to, and it takes an average of 10 hours for them to reply to the other 10%. Today’s customers have become accustomed to instant gratification and expect a reply within a couple of hours. Chatbots increase consumer interaction, and are able to assist straightaway. Backed by machine learning technology, chatbots will be able to learn from past conversations and with new ones. They build up data over time, which enables them to respond to a wider variety of queries. Machine-learning technology will gradually improve the chatbots’ ability to interact better, enhancing the customers’ experiences.

They are excellent tools for data collection and analysis.
They can gather important data about consumer behaviors, habits, and purchasing patterns. Therefore, Chatbots play an important role in global digital marketing campaigns, especially when global marketers are planning to cater their campaigns to different segments of a market.

As chatbots become more significant, it is time for businesses to look into utilizing this tool to reach global markets and gain competitive advantage.

Chatbots and Localization
Global businesses need to ensure that chatbots are able to interact as naturally as possible, like that of a real person. This is where language and localization will play an increasing key role in their development. Chatbots who serve multiple language markets must be able to understand the language and any relevant cultural references and colloquialisms. For chatbots that use a synthetic voice, accent will also play a key role. Localization of their software and design will become an important aspect to ensure a truly local experience for any global brand.

Cecilia

Cecilia.tang@welocalize.com

Cecilia Tang is a member of the Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support team.

2017 Year of the Rooster

The Chinese New Year of 2017, which is the Year of the Rooster, begins on the January 28. The date of the Chinese New Year differs year over year, as it is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in the year, where family members gather for the celebration.

Here are some interesting Chinese New Year traditions:

#1 Fish is an essential dish during the Chinese New Year celebration.

The Chinese word for fish (魚/鱼), pronounced as yú, has the same pronunciation as the Chinese word 餘/余, which means having extra or a surplus. The phrase loosely defined as “there are more than one year” (年年有餘/年年有余) is commonly used during the Chinese New Year to wish for surplus and remainders year after year, so that one would never experience shortage in different aspects of one’s life such as financial matters, health, and relationships. It became a tradition for Chinese families to serve fish dishes, making sure that there is leftover (餘/余) for the next day.

#2 Do not lend or borrow anything.

Owing someone something from the past Chinese New Year, especially money, is an unlucky omen. It is believed that people would be in debt throughout the year if they are to borrow anything from others on the last and first day of the Chinese New Year. People typically return everything they owe before the New Year comes around.

#3 Red is the color for the Chinese New Year. Black and white are to be avoided this year.

It is a tradition to wear new red clothes during the Chinese New Year celebration. According to the Chinese folklore, a mythical beast named Nian (年) would come out each spring to attack the villagers. The only known way to defeat Nian was to create noises, hence the traditions of firecrackers, and using the color red, which explains the preference for red clothes and decorations. The colors black and white are avoided at all costs, as they symbolize death, which would be considered bad luck especially during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

#4 It is a tradition to paste Spring Festival Couplets, Chunlian (春聯 / ) at the entrance and indoors as decoration.

It is an important aspect of the Chinese New Year culture. They are Chinese poems, which generally consist of Shanglian (上聯 / 上联), Xialian (下聯 / 下联), and Hengpi (横批). It is also common for families to paste the paper calligraphy of an inverted Chinese character 福, pronounced as Fu, on doors or walls. It is a play on words as Fu (福) means good fortune, and dao (倒) means inverted. When put together, fu dao (福倒), it implies that “good fortune is pouring out,” or that “good fortune has arrived,” as 倒 has the same pronunciation as 到, which means arrive.

#5 It is a tradition to spring clean before the start of Chinese New Year.

Spring cleaning before Chinese New Year is believed to drive bad luck and old things away from the house to welcome a new start. It is also common for people to go shopping for new clothes for the festival as it symbolizes welcoming new things and starting anew with positivity.

Many of the traditions, not limited to the list above, are derived from word plays. It is truly interesting how the Chinese language itself plays a role in forming some of the Chinese New Year traditions that people follow, even today. Wherever you are celebrating the festival, Welocalize wishes you a healthy and prosperous New Year..

Cecilia

Cecilia.tang@welocalize.com

Based in the UK, Cecilia is a member of the global marketing and sales support team.