Content translation localization

Content translation localization service

Why does internationalization need localization? What is it, and what is it used for?

Signewords content translation localization

In the run-up to Christmas in 2003, a Toyota advertising campaign aimed at launching two new models on the Chinese market came close to causing an international conflict:

  • There was a reason: they didn’t use a proper content translation localization service.
  • The advertisement they printed in newspapers and magazines showed traditional Chinese lions saluting the Prado X SUV as it passed.
  • The image incited a wave of protests against what they interpreted as a terrible lack of respect towards a country that Japanese troops invaded in 1937.
  • The top management of Toyota had to apologize for the “humiliating” advertisement publicity and remove it from the 30 media outlets that it was going to be published, to finish this incident.

Caution with content translation localization

Marketing lectures usually refer to other infamous cases of slip-ups with a lack of content translation localization, such as:

  • That of Braniff Airlines, which invited its passengers to “Fly in leather,” and their literal Spanish translationVolar en cuero,” meaning “Fly naked.”
  • Or the Chevrolet model Chevy Nova, which they had to rename on the Hispanic market as Chevy Caribe.
  • And even more complicated was the case of Vicks, when launching its VapoRub product in Germany, as it failed to consider the fact that Germans pronounce the V as an F ➤ which turned the brand name into an insult that could be represented graphically with the middle finger

Multilingual websites translation and localization

In our post about the translation of multilingual sites, we talk about the importance of rigorous and flexible translations of your websites’ international versions.

The adaptation of texts forms part of localization work, which consists of an exhaustive analysis of the product, and all that it entails from different perspectives:

  • linguistic
  • sociocultural
  • legal-political

The linguist or team that carries out this type of work:

  • not only needs to have a good command of the language of the destination country,
  • but they must also have extensive knowledge about its:
    • history
    • culture
    • politics

➤ And know its:

  • street slang
  • folklore

Signewords website localization

The association with:

  • a word
  • a name
  • a surname
  • a joke
  • an unpleasant case


  • determine the image of your campaign
  • prevent it from attaining its objectives

On the other hand, good advice about the choice of:

  • words
  • images
  • ideas

can help you win over the hearts of potential consumers.

Advertising campaigns using content translation localization

Signewords marketing localization

A professional localization service encompasses the analysis of:

  • The advertising campaign.
  • All the texts intended to circulate on the foreign market:
    • interface
    • catalogs
    • instructions
  • Search engine optimization and the selection of keywords.
  • In-depth checking of:
    • forms,
    • warning messages,
    • etc.

The specialists in charge of carrying out these tasks:

Signewords internacionalize companies

  • not only consider the particularities of each language or country
  • they also find the regional difference.

This analysis can be of great importance in areas as diverse as:

  • South America
  • China
  • India
  • Canada

Internationalization processes

In an internationalization process, you can never be careful enough, and any carelessness could result in losses or even lead to failure:

  • As the producers of the best Parker pen noted: “Won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you.”
  • Unfortunately, their content translation localization service for the Mexican market let them down.
  • A pen that was never meant to leave them in embarrassing situations caused severe problems with the poorly translated slogan in Spanish: “No goteará en tu bolsillo ni te embarazará.”
  • The translation reads, “Won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant.”

If you want to avoid awkward situations like the previous, make sure you hire a skilled translation service that gives localization the importance it certainly has. As we do at SIGNEWORDS!