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Transcreation – How Cross-Market Copywriting Helps Businesses Globally

Transcreation – How Cross-Market Copywriting Helps Businesses Globally

Industries evolve over time. It’s a must, because if you don’t, or can’t, you find yourself left by the wayside.

While transcreation isn’t a new concept in global business, it is certainly now much more in demand by our clients at EDMF. Let’s take a look at why.

What is transcreation?

Coined from the words “translation” and “creation”, transcreation could be construed to mean creative translation, or perhaps cross-market copywriting. In reality, you have translation on the one side, transcreation on the other, and between the two you will find marketing translation.

Sometimes, just translating the words you see in front of you is the right idea. This can be the best approach when translating a technical manual, when what matters is that the reader understands what the exact equivalent of a particular component is in their language.

Yet other times, opting to translate like this will bring you up very short indeed. It’s not only the meaning that needs conveyed, you have to take into account cultural differences and harness them for mostly marketing purposes. It is no surprise that this is often required mostly with advertising or promotional texts, and also with websites. A complex website translation, for example, may well require translation, marketing translation and transcreation, and can involve several translators working together.

Why do I need it?

When you ask for a text to be translated, you obviously want it to have the same impact on your target-reader audience as it does with your original audience. That’s a given. But sometimes finding the equivalent word is not enough. Transcreation digs that bit further and looks at the emotional reaction triggered by a text, with a view to eliciting the same response in the translated language.

This is where the language professional is given freer rein than they might with conventional translations. Since it’s not so much the words and their literal meaning that count, but what effect they have on the reader, the transcreator is able to stray from the original text in order to achieve that goal, possibly even recreating everything if need be.

Transcreation in practice

One good example of transcreation is Intel, who changed its English slogan, “Intel: Sponsors of Tomorrow”, to “Intel: In Love with the Future” for its slogan in Brazil, because they had realised that in Portuguese this would otherwise imply the company would not deliver promptly as promised.

Transcreation in websites can also involve using different colour schemes or layouts, and sometimes it can even impact on the product. Red Bull, for example, changed the colours of its energy drink when entering the Chinese market. It switched to red and gold because these colours are deemed to bring good fortune in China.

I need transcreation. Where should I go?

There are many examples of companies who failed to do their research and had to rebrand newly launched products as a result, throwing money out of the window in the process. But with a bit of forethought, and the right partner, you can avoid the pitfalls with taking your product or service to other countries.

Contact EDMF today to find out more about how we can help promote your brand in today’s global market.

Untrained Translation Businesses Dilute Busy Market

Untrained Translation Businesses Dilute Busy Market

If you’re interested in the current state of the translation businesses in Hungary then we recommend you read this article published by the Budapest Business Journal, where our managing director Douglas Arnott also gives his professional views on the business.

Untrained Businesses Dilute Busy Market
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Interview with Iain Lindsay, the UK’s Ambassador to Hungary

Interview with Iain Lindsay, the UK’s Ambassador to Hungary

We don’t think anyone really needs an introduction to Iain Lindsay, the UK’s Ambassador to Hungary. Thanks largely to his social media endeavours he is extremely well known in the country. We can find him on the street wearing his kilt to present memories of Hungarian-Scottish relationships, but also see him reciting Hungarian poems on YouTube.

A multilingual ambassador, we asked him about his personal background with languages, and delved into the complex, serious, and unknown world of diplomatic translation and interpreting.

Iain, how many languages do you speak, and what was your first encounter with a foreign language?

I’ve learnt four languages: French, Japanese, Romanian and Hungarian. I can still get by in the first three, but I find that I am very much a ‘one foreign language in the brain at any time’ linguist.  Two of my most embarrassing moments while learning Hungarian at the University of Debrecen were when I tried to hold conversations in Japanese and Romanian. I learnt French from an early age, probably 6 or 7 years old.

We need to ask you as a Scot, do you speak Gaelic?

No, I’m afraid to say that I don’t, although I have tried learning. I have a few Gaelic textbooks at home. It’s a lovely language and I am glad that there has been something of a Gaelic revival in recent years.

We understand learning foreign languages is compulsory for UK diplomatic staff. If it wasn’t would you still learn, and why? Which language would you most like to speak?

Learning languages is not compulsory as such, but it would be unusual to find a British diplomat who has not had to learn a foreign language. For jobs overseas in non-English speaking countries we decide whether the diplomat needs to speak the local language to do their job, so-called ‘speaker’ positions. If they do, then to what level? B1, C1, C2?

For example, among the several British diplomats at the British Embassy in Budapest only I and my deputy need Hungarian (to C1 level) for our jobs. So both of us have had intensive full-time pre-arrival Hungarian training, in my case 7 months, in my deputy’s case a year (the length of time it takes a full-time learner to get to C1 Hungarian).

However, we offer optional language training to all diplomats (and their spouses/partners) being posted overseas into ‘non-speaker’ jobs, which provides a basic level of language training intended to help with day to day living. The number of hours allocated will depend on the degree of difficulty of the language, but will range between 110 and 250 hours.  So we really take language training seriously.

If I didn’t have to learn languages I would still do so as it not only enables better communication but opens up a whole world of insights into another country, its history, its culture and its people.  The next language I would like to learn is Italian, but my greatest regret is that I did not learn Arabic when I was Ambassador in Bahrain, because it was not necessary for my job given that 95% of Bahrainis speak English and, as some of my friends pointed out, the Bahraini Royal family and government ministers speak better English than me!

How much do you use your languages in your working life?

Not as much as you might think.  In the Embassy I speak English and just occasional social Hungarian. External meetings are usually in English with some social Hungarian at the start and finish. When I give a speech some it will be in Hungarian, depending upon the event and the audience. Interviews are usually in English, with a few Hungarian sentences thrown in, although I have given some recent interviews in just Hungarian, like with Nők Lapja and RTL Klub for example. Social media interviews are usually in Hungarian, and I write bilingual Instagram stories.

For which occasions do you take an interpreter, and when do you manage alone?

Only very occasionally for meetings given that they are usually in English! All the TV stations will provide an interpreter, although I have promised ATV that I will give an interview once just in Hungarian.

Have you ever noticed your interpreter making a mistake and subtly corrected it?

No!  I have been very fortunate with my interpreters, most of whom I now know well.

What value does good quality translation and interpreting provide for you as Ambassador, and within the Embassy as a whole?

It’s essential! Without it I would be lost! All my Hungarian staff are bilingual so they provide me with excellent English language briefing for meetings and events. The only time they do produce work for me in Hungarian is writing speeches, parts of speeches or simple speaking notes. So it’s not really translation work as such, although some of the material they work with, e.g. lines to take from London, they will have translated into Hungarian.

Are you good at accents?

Yes, also I’m a reasonably good mimic, which I think helps. But it has taken me a long time to develop a Hungarian accent, and I’m still not there. By comparison, I think I picked up Japanese and Romanian accents reasonably quickly.

If you had to retire to a non-English-speaking country, which one would you choose and why?

I really, really like Hungary….but my wife and I have often talked about living in Italy. We love the place, the ambience and the people.  And the food and wine aren’t bad either!

*Iain Lindsay joined the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) in 1980 and has spent much of his career in Asia Pacific, serving in Tokyo (twice), Hong Kong and Canberra. He was Deputy Head of Mission and Political Counsellor in Bucharest from 2003-2007, working on Romania’s accession to NATO and the EU. Prior to that he served as a foreign policy adviser to the Romanian Foreign Minister. He was Deputy Head of Mission and Director, Trade and Investment at the British Consulate General in Hong Kong from 2007-2011. The Queen awarded him an OBE in 2002.

He was appointed Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Hungary from 30 March 2016.

EDMF-Translation-Interpreting - GDPR

15% discount on privacy policies and other GDPR-related translations

The looming deadline for GDPR compliance, 25 May, has come and gone.

Judging by the flood of emails we have received in recent days and weeks it seems that everyone has been focusing on making sure they are as ready as they can be for the new European data protection law. We hope you made it through unscathed.

Does that signal the end of your preparations? Possibly. It really depends on your business. If you focus only on companies and clients in your own country then the likelihood is you can sit back and relax, you’re finished.

If, however, your clients, partners and employees come from different countries, the chances are you now need to get your privacy policy and many other GDPR-related documents translated. This will make sure that everyone understands exactly what data you use and for what purposes, regardless of where they are or what language they speak.

If we can help you with the languages you now need to complete your preparations, please send us a mail at contact@edmf.com.

Refer to this short article and we’ll give you a 15% summer discount as well until the end of August.

Expat-Press-Inter-Relocation-Expat-Support-Stuart-McAlister-new-vice-president-1

Business translations: a client’s perspective…

In our new series of interviews we ask company owners, senior executives and leaders how foreign language, translation and interpreting affect their daily lives and work.

Globalisation means that working with international clients, customers and partners is more common than ever before. But is it possible to work in a foreign market without the right tools? Are professional translation services important to businesses?

We sat down for a chat with Stuart McAlister, Managing Director of Inter Relocation, one of Hungary’s leading providers of relocation destination services, to find out what it’s like coming to a new country where you don’t understand a thing the locals are saying, and how knowledge of the language can impact on a business.

When you came to Hungary 23 years ago, can you remember your first impressions of the country?

Business Translation-Interview with Stuart McAlister owner of Inter Relocation

1995 and 2016 in Hungary

I moved to Hungary in the summer of 1995. My first impressions were a mix of amazement, excitement and probably a little fear as well. It was my first time living away from the north of England and to say that Hungary came as a shock is an understatement. Of course a shock to any system can have a positive influence and I think that is true in my case.

I think I know what you’re getting at, Hungarian has a reputation for being a difficult language to learn? How did you find it?

I certainly struggled at first. Back in those days it was far more difficult to be an expat without speaking Hungarian at least at a reasonable level. Nowadays almost every shop and business and certainly every restaurant and bar, has English speaking staff, but back in the mid-90s there were only limited and usually expensive options if one wanted to live an expat life without learning the language.

My good fortune was having a flatmate for 4 years who did not speak English. My American flatmate and I had a spare room and ended up letting it to a friend of a friend who only spoke Hungarian. Being forced to attempt communication with someone every day was an incredible experience and gave me the boost so that I could at least have conversations. Once I had the foundations of language knowledge, building on top of that was far easier.

Many people no doubt have had similar experiences to you. In your business you deal a lot with expats coming to Hungary from all round the world. How daunting can a lack of Hungarian be when living and working in Hungary?

I think it’s far easier now. Many or perhaps even most of our customers join international workplaces, so communication at work is easy. Likewise it is possible to shop, eat, drink and get a wide range of services in Budapest, without the need to speak Hungarian.

However, that also makes it far harder to learn Hungarian because there is far less motivation and frankly far fewer opportunities where an expat is forced to build a basic knowledge and then develop that.

I actually like to meet expats living in other parts of Hungary. They remind me of the struggles I went through in the early years and I admire their efforts to learn the language.

What about translation in your business? What kind of translations do you regularly need? Why is it important that these are done professionally?

Business Translation-Interview with Stuart McAlister owner of Inter Relocation

“This requires a far more complex set of skills and we know we can rely on EDMF for this kind of support.”

We have two types of translation requirement. Firstly, we are obliged to request official translations for any immigration application we make for a client.

Secondly, we generally need editorial content or marketing texts, some of which we commission for our sister publication, Expat Press Hungary. For this kind of work we turn to EDMF and for a very good reason. Any article that is written for Expat Press in Hungary must read as if it were originally written in English and for that to be possible, we need far more than a simple translation and copy editing service. The translator must actually feel what is trying to be communicated in the source language and change the editorial text in English so the message is the same but the words sound like they were originally written in English. This requires a far more complex set of skills and we know we can rely on EDMF for this kind of support.

That’s good to hear! Translation can be a tricky business, especially when you don’t understand the target language. Before working with EDMF did you ever have any bad experiences with translation for Inter Relocation, can you tell us what impact this had?

Absolutely. Several years ago, we decided that a German language version of our website would be good for business. We had an agency translate the text into German and I was told this had been copy edited as well. No one on our team spoke German at the time so I could not check it.

Whilst I trusted the agency I decided to get a second opinion on the text and asked a German friend to review the translation for me. That friend completed a quite extensive round of copy editing, which certainly raised concerns in my mind about how “German” the German language version of the site sounded.

My fears were confirmed when some time later a partner and friend from the relocation industry in Germany called to tell me that he had read through the German version of our site and to say the least, it needed a lot of work.

Biography:

Business Translation-Interview with Stuart McAlister owner of Inter RelocationStuart McAlister is a British citizen who has been based in Hungary for around 20 years. Stuart studied business at Sheffield Hallam University and worked as a government administrator, TEFL teacher and IT trainer/manager before discovering the world of relocation in 2001.

He founded his company, Inter Relocation in 2002 as a small destination services and immigration compliance provider in Budapest. From humble beginnings with a staff of 3 the company grew both locally in Hungary and then outbound over the following years to the point where Inter Relocation now delivers relocation services in 23 countries across Central and Eastern Europe.

In 2017 he was elected for the Vice-President of the European Relocation Association.

One of the cornerstones of Inter Relocation’s business model is the provision of in-house immigration compliance and over the last 16 years, Stuart has gained a broad knowledge of the immigration process and challenges across a diverse region encompassing both EU and non-EU states.

Between 2002-2012 he worked with the Robert Burns International Foundation to manage the annual Budapest Robert Burns Supper. This is a major charity event, run by volunteer business people. They have raised over EUR 500,000 in the 12 years the Supper has been running in Budapest.

EDMF Translates High-quality Cookbook on European Gastronomy

EDMF Translates High-quality Cookbook on European Gastronomy

Ever wondered how the Austrians make their renowned Tafelspitz? Perhaps you’re a fish addict and are interested in what makes a good sea fish soup in Croatia, or how the Finns prepare their gravlax? Or maybe, just maybe, you’d love to know how the French make their éclairs or the Belgians make such delicious chocolate cake.

The translators at EDMF were faced with all these recipes and many more during the recent translation of “How to Cook in Europe”, the latest in a series of high-quality cookbooks published at the end of 2017.

Following on from the success of “How to Cook in Hungary”, also translated by EDMF, this time the focus switched to Europe, and the book covers recipes from 15 different countries, including Italy, Spain, the UK and of course Hungary.

Alongside the recipes showcasing some gems of local cuisine in each country, paired with recommended beverages for each course, the book also contains a run-down of the national cuisines in general, so it really is the first place to go for an introduction into European cooking.

Translating a book of this size and complexity does have its challenges. Making sure all the translators are singing from the same song sheet is crucial. What does this mean? Well, it’s important that everyone uses the same terms for the different cuts of meat for example, and for the utensils used during cooking. The measurements listed with the ingredients also have to be standardised. This is all part of the preparatory work before the translation even starts, and fortunately we have a wealth of experience here. The sophisticated translation memory tool in use at EDMF is a huge help when several translators are working on the same project at the same time.

The recipes themselves can be tricky as well, and the translators need to be on top of their cooking terminology. Does the meat need braised, roasted or grilled? Do the vegetables need boiled, steamed, sautéed or stir-fried?

And accuracy is king, as with all translations of course. Get the measurements wrong or miss out a step, and people will be wondering why their panna cotta didn’t set or their cake didn’t rise. This is where EDMF’s tried and tested QA procedures kick in, making sure that the translations are faithful to the original with nothing missed out.

Sometimes translations can be a few pages long, they are delivered in a day, and you never see them again. This is why a book project like this, lasting months, is quite special, as at the end you see the fruits of all your endeavours.

And since you can build up quite an appetite translating over long hours, this means you get to mix business with pleasure. Now where’s my apron….?

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.

CONTACT

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/