Localization Pro Tips

October 25, 2016 |

By Sarah-Claire Jordan

localization-pro-tips-artIf you are the owner of a business or company that would like to branch out and reach markets beyond those in your own country, then localization is your new best buddy. Localization is simply the process of taking translation further, and making it relevant and culturally-sensitive for those who will be consuming the content.

Being relevant and culturally-sensitive is more than just making sure not to accidentally offend anyone, however. It means doing real research to find out what social media platforms are the most popular, what kind of searches people do the most in the target market, and what sorts of policies they expect from a company website, among other things.

Localization experts who have been successful in Vietnam have been crucial to creating some very successful marketing campaigns that take into account the unique culture of Vietnam and the population’s history as consumers.

An excellent example would be the ride-sharing app, Grab, which is truly giving Uber a run for its money by offering motorbike rides as well as allowing people to pay in cash. Motorbikes are much more popular in Vietnam than cars, and people still have a general distrust of online payment systems, so these are perfect options given the market.

Once you have done some research, and found out, for instance, that Vietnamese consumers are far more likely to be riders and owners of motorbikes than cars, and prefer to pay in cash, then something you can do is test out your marketing campaign on a smaller group of people. Click testing, web testing, and using programs like Cint, which allows you to access the opinions of a variety of people all over the world, are great tools to use for figuring out whether your pitch is a hit or miss.

Something that tends to fall through the cracks, even for the most successful international and localized marketing campaigns, is to pass on certain information to the IT team working to build and maintain your company’s site in the target market’s language. They don’t need to know every little thing about your campaign, but they need to know things like which way to display certain languages, date formats, spacing, and other information and layout issues that are specific to certain languages.

Speaking of layout and language direction, it might amaze you, but not every website has the same layout as what we are used to seeing with English language websites. Generally, the format follows a sort of “F” shape, meaning the eye tends to go from left to right, and focus more on the left side than the right. This is the opposite for websites in languages such as Arabic, where the language is written and read from right-to-left. Spacing is also important, as something that might take up a certain amount of space on a page in one language might take up much more once translated into another. As long as you keep these things, and others, in mind, though, you should be on the right track towards successfully localizing your site.

For an overview of Alpha Omega Translations’ expertise, visit our website translation and localization page.

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Category: Business Translation

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