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EDMF-Translation-Interpreting-Language-Services-Lokalisation and SEO-2

Localisation and SEO translation Why do you need a bilingual website? Part 2

As promised in our earlier article, we now continue our analysis of the importance and benefits of localisation and SEO translation.

A company that is growing around the world has an increasing number of international requirements to satisfy. How can it create a global website for this? Should it keep an existing one, or create localised versions?

Localisation and SEO translation: how to improve your global web presence

The success of every company’s website is determined by its SEO. Namely, where it appears in the list of search results. Regardless whether we are talking about a local or an international website. The higher you appear in the search engine listing, the better chance you stand of people reaching your website. The main challenge with international SEO is selecting the SEO strategies that suit the given regions, cultural norms and and languages.

Many surprisingly believe that localisation and SEO translation are one and the same thing. While they complement each other, the difference between localisation and SEO is not as nuanced as you may think.

Both are types of translation, but they have completely different objectives.

A good translator should of course be capable of blending both approaches, but most just focus on localisation

Localisation and SEO translation: what’s the difference?

Localisation translates web pages for a different culture, aligning them to the linguistic and cultural norms of the target audience in the other society.

The mistranslation of a slogan can even be quite damaging…

Many of you will certainly have heard of HSBC, the global financial institution. In 2009, HSBC had to launch a rebranding campaign worth an estimated USD 10 million to repair the damage from a previous campaign. This was due to its catchphrase “Assume Nothing” being mistakenly translated as “Do Nothing” in some countries where the bank operated.

 

And of course there are cases when a brand is a huge success in one language, but a catastrophe in the other…

One awkward example was when Colgate launched one of its popular brands in France under the name Cue. Regrettably, they disregarded a small but important detail. In France, Cue was the name of a widely known and extremely popular porn magazine.

 

A good translator avoids these pitfalls because they not only know the target language well, but also the target culture, and they can immediately identify expressions and situations that are entertaining in the target language, or simply awkward. So localisation means translating a text in a way that also makes it appealing and enjoyable for readers in the foreign language.

Localisation vs SEO translation: different genre, different goal

SEO translation is a completely different genre. This is because the main objective here is not to find readers, but to catch the attention of the search engines. All of the key words, expressions, titles, labels, anchors, script messages and attributes have to be translated in a way that makes the page appealing for the search engines in the target language too. This means if someone is searching in a foreign language for a product or service that your website offers, then it will appear at the top of all the search engines. If it does well on a market in a given language, then a good SEO translation means it will do well on another market too.

Of course, a SEO translation alone is not enough. If the localisation is poor, visitors will quickly find the page, but will be just as quick in leaving it again. It’s possible readers will get a good laugh if they see a funny translation, but it’s unlikely you will get a lot of customers this way.

So an excellent website translator has to be good at both localisation and SEO translation, since they have to be able to blend effective sales with human customers, and thus sell your product or service to potential customers by means of the search engine optimisation. Few translators are able to strike this delicate balance. This is why web designers very often ask for translations from those who are localisation professionals, before finding SEO specialists in the target language who optimise the translated pages. Of course this can be considerably more expensive than an average translation, but it opens up new markets that previously were inaccessible, and you avoid customers coming across mistakes on your website like inactive banks or pornographic toothpaste.

Are you looking for this kind of business model?

A good translation agency spares you these problems, as it is capable of combining all these aspects during a website translation.

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EDMF-Translation-Interpreting-Language-Services-think-global-act-local

Native-speaker translation for business success – think globally, act locally

“If I am selling to you, I speak your language. If I am buying, dann müssen Sie Deutsch sprechen.”
Willy Brandt, former West-German Chancellor

Why is it worthwhile working with native translators who are well-versed in the customs and traditions of the given people? 

EDMF Fordítóiroda-Anyanyelvi fordításLet’s take a look at some sobering figures

A recent survey showed that the price of linguistic shortcomings, in the EU alone, was huge*:

  • 200 companies indicated that they had missed out on contracts because of language deficits,
  • the estimated aggregate value of the lost deals: 54 companies lost between 16.5 and 25.3 million euros, 37 companies lost between 8 and 13.5 million euros and 10 companies more than 1 million euros

One of the reasons for the business failures is the lack of cultural belonging or similarities.

Is it really worth missing out on so many millions of euros by not sacrificing a fraction of this on professional translation? Especially when your company is expanding abroad or you are planning to establish a fruitful business relationship in another culture?

The solution to these important issues is “glocalism”.

Consciously realising this and understanding its crucial importance lead to international success.

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Glocal is a new expression coined from the words “global” and “local”.

The objective of the “think globally, act locally” approach is for the globalised world to be a stable and integrated place, but at the same time protect the cultural heritage of local areas as well.

So what does glocal mean?

  1. Global events take on local significance by influencing the local economy, and local events also have a global impact.

This resembles the butterfly effect, where the wind created by a butterfly flapping its wings can cause hurricanes on the other side of the planet. Glocalism creates smaller events in the local economy which have an effect on the global economy. Parallel to this, every global event can potentially influence the local economy too. Everything is connected.

  1. Adapting your product or service in another culture.

This means that when you position your own products and brands on a target market, you need to take cultural relevance into account.

  1. Glocal helps products and services be global and local at the same time.

International organisations pursuing their business activities all across the world have to take cultural requirements into consideration much in the same way as the local grocer, who knows everything about his local customers. People are not interested in whether a given business can address the masses, what they want to know is whether the company can live up to local needs and demands.

  1. Glocal influences society

The renowned business strategist Dion Hinchcliffe said the following in an article (FORRÁS?): “Glocalism is an emerging trend that will be amplified by social media – and many companies won’t be prepared.”**

With the help of glocalism, local consumers, economies and cultures have much more power in the international economy. They now want products or services not just to be translated into their language, but that they “speak” to them properly.

  1. Glocal impacts on translation and localisation

Based on glocalism guidelines it will no longer be enough for companies just to translate their documents into the local language. Materials have to be culturally relevant at the target destination as well.

Alongside translation and localisation, organisations need to ensure that they not only address their target audience in the local language, but that they are also relevant to them in a cultural context as well. It is no longer enough just to ask a translation agency to translate product specifications into however many languages.

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*Source: 21 November 2011 Egy nyelvet beszélünk? Konferencia a nyelvoktatás és foglalkoztathatóság összefüggéseiről
**Source: https://www.enterpriseirregulars.com/58013/social-media-marketing-predictions-for-2013-part-1/