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Does my content need to be translated or localized?

Why do businesses seek out translation services?

Doing business in a globalized world means reaching as many customers as possible, overcoming geographic, linguistic, and cultural barriers. How do you ensure that your content is widely accessible by audiences in different markets? Is it enough to simply transform your messaging from one language to another, or are there other options that can help your message truly resonate above the competition?

If you have ever pondered the options available for converting your content into another language, you might have already done a quick Google search, only to be confronted with options that seem similar, but are in fact quite different when thinking about reaching potential customers globally.

Although the terms translation, localization, and transcreation are commonly used interchangeably, there are distinct differences you must know before deciding what is best for your linguistic needs.

Which language service meets my organization’s needs?
Let’s start with the basics!

In simple terms, translation means converting text from one source language to a target language, substituting ideas while maintaining the grammatical standards of the target language. Translation  communicates content in its original tone and context. Organizations rely on translation for an array of communication products including reports, manuals, journals, product instructions, and the like.

Localization goes one step further by adapting your translated message to adhere to the cultural and language norms of a local market. What is strategic for one country does not mean it will be for another, even if both countries communicate in the same language. This is where localization is key!

Although French is spoken in various countries around the world, it is subject to localized versions that differ across France, Canada, and francophone countries in Africa. The same is true for the Spanish-speaking markets in Latin America and Spain. Localization enables organizations to customize their message to specific audiences, thus speaking to them in a way that builds trust between the brand and the customer.

What if translation or localization aren’t enough?

While localization takes into consideration cultural references of a specific market, transcreation ensures your target audience “connects” to your message. Transcreators are skilled multilingual copywriters who have the ability to go beyond translating text, conveying the emotions and creativity of your content as well. While transcreated content may retain overall branding, logos, colors, and so forth, the message is recreated to appeal to the nuances of the intended audience.

Connecting to market-specific needs can determine whether your communication efforts succeed or are deemed culturally inappropriate—and thus mis-interpreted by your target audience.

Intel, the multinational technology corporation, recently executed an effective transcreation marketing strategy for their “Sponsors of Tomorrow” campaign in Brazil.

“The original English slogan was “Sponsors of Tomorrow”.  But if translated directly into Portuguese, this would imply that the brand doesn’t yet deliver on its promises. The solution was to find something relevant to a country that is becoming more technological and is known for its passion. The chosen line in Brazil, “Apaixonados pelo futuro” (“In love with the future”) fitted the bill perfectly; it’s an emotional line that evokes desire (as Brazilians are falling more and more “in love” with the latest high-tech products) while keeping the values of the rational, original English line.”  — The Little Book of Transcreation by Louise Humphrey, James Bradley, Amy Somers, and Guy Gilpin.

As our world becomes more interconnected, so grows the need for organizations to offer their products and services across regions that do not share the same language. Moreover, depending on audience types, it is critical for companies to adapt content according to local needs and customs.

Whether you are in the market for translation, localization, or transcreation services, Trusted Translations language specialists deliver the highest quality services in the industry. If you would like to learn about your options, we’d love to hear from you.