Translation localization service
Why does internationalization need localization? What is it, and what is it used for?
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 when localizing translations
Marketing lectures usually refer to other infamous cases of slip-ups with a lack of translation localization, such as:
- That of Braniff Airlines, inviting its passengers to “Fly in leather,” when they decided to translate Spanish with a literal “Volar 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 that they had to translate German and consequently pronounce the V as an F,
⤷ which turned the brand name into an insult that could be represented graphically with the middle finger ㋡
In our post about the translation of multilingual sites, we talk about the importance of rigorous and flexible translations of your website’s 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:
◦◦ 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:
➤ And know its:
- street slang
◦◦ 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:
⤷ can help you win over the hearts of potential consumers.
A professional localization service encompasses the analysis of:
- The advertising campaign.
- All the texts intended to circulate on the foreign market:
- Search engine optimization and the selection of keywords.
- In-depth checking of:
- warning messages,
The specialists in charge of carrying out these tasks:
- 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
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 the company 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.” ㋡
Be that as it may, culture today is global, and it’s a snap to adopt wrong clichés when localizing a translation.
Therefore, rather than figuring out how the target audience is according to the country where they settle, let’s dig up more details, such as:
- educational level,
- if they have traveled,
- or if they have lived in foreign countries,
- among many other considerations.
→ Here’s a possible situation:
- An Australian English native writer aims at a native Urdu audience that responds to their same traits in terms of age and cultural interests.
- We see that this way, they might share interests, listening to the same music, reading the same books, watching the same movies, and tv shows. In definitive, they might have the same cultural references.
- Consequently, if this English native writer adapts the content to the Urdu audience, striving to identify supposed separate cultural references,