Localization of the ‘World Wide Web’

Localization of the ‘World Wide Web’

Localization of the web is progressing at full speed. Online marketing and advertising, just like search results in general, are increasingly targeted to specific regions, both linguistic and geographic regions. I moved from The Netherlands to Boston three months ago, and the online experience is simply completely different – not just because the average internet speed is, interestingly enough, significantly slower in the US. When you are visiting another country you can get an idea of the differences, but when you change your country settings in all your accounts, the experience changes even more. Over the next few years more content and advertising will become local, even on the ‘world wide web’. We may be connected in a technological sense, through those mysterious cables on our ocean floors, but time zones, languages, cultural norms, geographic and environmental factors all influence human behavior. A sense of community is more important than ever for many people. Google’s Eric Schmidt wrote in his book ‘The New Digital Age‘ that the web could one day be like air space, where countries actively govern their own web and may get involved in international cyber wars and conflicts of interest. Of course, this is already the case to a large extent. In terms of marketing and customer service, however, this development can only mean that translation and localization will matter more than ever. It is the number one reason that translation is seeing the biggest job growth, according to Careerbuilder. Globalization and localization often go hand-in-hand, however contrary that may seem. Both large cooperations and small businesses need to explore ways to connect with their international...
Transcreation Makes Your Texts Work

Transcreation Makes Your Texts Work

Transcreation is a ‘hot item’ in the translation industry. The meaning of this concept is a combination of translation and content creation (copywriting). Usually, such buzzwords add little value to a field of practice, but in this case it’s different. Transcreation can really improve marketing texts and advertisements and thus optimize its purpose in the target language. Translating marketing content for international organizations is not an easy task if you want the text to be as effective as possible. At Google, marketing texts for their AdWords services are sent straight from the U.S. headquarters to The Netherlands. Examples or business cases they would give in those texts are about surf shops, grounded in a Californian context of surfing, typical American products and beach life. If one would translate this in a traditional way, the texts would not hit home with Dutch entrepreneurs. It would be too American, too blatant. To let your audience in Holland identify with the message you must use better examples, such as a bicycle shop rather than a surf shop. How to master transcreation? Transcreation means changes must be made in both language use and context. It’s about commercial and functional optimization, for example in SEO: what do people in a foreign country search in Google? This requires product knowledge, experience in (online) marketing and creativity, skills that are not always needed for ordinary translation jobs. At Textcase, we train translators to transcreate. The translator looks at the bigger picture and understands the full marketing strategy. He or she empathizes with the target audience, is aware of important keywords in that language and takes the freedom...
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