Nowadays more businesses are targeting the international market and localizing their products and messages to attract people in different areas across the globe. Although translation plays an important role in the process of localization, contents that are appropriate and attractive to the local communities are the key to successfully marketing your products to people with different cultural backgrounds. Following are some tips for you to prepare your contents for localization.
Be aware of the cultural characteristics
We all know that there are lots of differences exist among different cultures, but many people fail to identify the differences that matter to their businesses when composing contents targeting a different community. For example, even though the languages spoken by American and British are very similar, many cultural differences do exist. British people are brand savvy; when referring to a kitchen mixer, they prefer to call it “Sunbeam” rather than a “kitchen mixer”. Identifying cultural characteristics like this is crucial to make the local people aware of your brand and make them feel that they are valued and respected by your business.
Select the right words for SEO
At many times the translators cannot help you with the SEO of your contents, as usually it’s only set up when you are ready to post the contents on your website. In order to have your website viewed by more people from the target area, it’s important to select the right keywords for search engine optimization.
For instance, if an American apparel company wants to market its pants to British people, the company should select the word “trousers” instead of “pants” as the keyword for SEO, as the word “trousers” is the one British people are using when doing online searching.
If you are not sure what keywords you should use for SEO, try to discuss with the translators and they might have a better idea as they know the language and culture better (but make sure they have a good understanding of your business before making any suggestion).
Embed fewer words on your graphics if not necessary
It can be challenging and time-consuming for translators to change the text on graphics. If not necessary, avoid embedding text on graphics would be a cost-effective and time-saving choice for you.
However, if you really must embed text on your graphics, make sure your graphic designer (or anyone who made those graphics) is well connected to the translator; the translator may provide the translation and your graphic designer can change the text with the guidance of the translator.
Keep your contents succinct
No matter who your audiences are, it’s always important to keep your contents clear and succinct when composing any contents on behalf of your business. A complicated expression is not preferred if you are going to have it translated, as different languages often have different lingual structures. A complicated expression in the source language might turn into an even much more complicated one in the target language; in addition, some of the meanings may be lost in translation. Therefore, using simple expressions and keeping the works concise is important to avoid ambiguity when you need to have your documents translated for localization.
Avoid using terms and concepts people from another culture may not know
Nowadays people are used to using internet slang, chat acronyms, and other idioms when communicating with their colleagues and friends. But if you are writing contents targeting a different group of people, you should be more careful; you may need to avoid using those slangs and acronyms which people with a different background may not understand. Even though the translators may find similar expression in the target language, it may sound awkward and important elements may be lost in translation.
If it’s necessary for you to bring up concepts people from another culture may not be familiar with, try to provide adequate context so that not only the translators but also your prospective customers would have no problem understanding those concepts.