What is Localisation? Conquer foreign markets with the right words

For a company intending to open its own line abroad, one of the simplest things to do is to develop a complete communications strategy for the destination country. From the creation of a website or e-commerce space to online and offline marketing activities. In fact, today, internationalising a business involves, first and foremost, brand exporting through differentiated strategic communications strategies.

Opening localised social channels in the destination country, advertising campaigns, web sites and e-commerce portals, press releases, public events. These are all important initiatives in communicating the values of your brand and building a relationship with the target market. Sharing your identity, the ability to communicate your values and convey emotion are key objectives in forging lasting connections with different national markets.

These goals can only be attained with the right messages using the right linguistic registers.

What is Localisation?

LocalizationLocalisation is the process of adapting the content from an existing communication channel to be published in an external market. If, for example, an Italian company wants to sell its products in Germany, it will need to create a website with content adapted in the local language, open social channels in German or regularly publish German language content for the German market. The same goes for advertising, public events and all online or offline marketing activities.

While the term may seem to refer to the translation of content from a source language to a target language, the truth is that localisation is more than that. In fact, translation and localisation are often thought of as synonyms. However, localisation is a much more complex process than simply translating a text. Localisation also involves the general adaptation of the text, which in some cases is is limited to converting currency, time, units of measure and data formats. But very often, it requires a deep understanding of the culture of the target audience.

How important is localisation for a company that wants to sell on the global market?

According to Internet World Stats, of the more than 4 billion daily internet users, only 25% speak English, and more than half of all Google searches are performed in a language other than English. When we look deeper into user behaviour, we discover that, in every aspect, language affiliation is essential to the value of the product sold.

According to a European Commission survey (click here to download), 90% of Europeans never search in a language other than their own. Additionally, 42% won’t buy a product if the description is not in their own language.

Common Sense Advisory found that, at the global level, 72% of customers are more likely to buy a product or service if the information is in their own language, while 56% say that finding brand information in their own language is even more important than price.

Localisation is serious business

Let’s start with an example which is both funny and tragic (for the company).
A few months ago, the global brand Coca Cola launched a new marketing campaign in New Zealand. Wanting to use the Māori language to create a trademark channel to attract users in the local language, the company posted a slogan at the top of all its beverage vending machines.

coca colaIn an attempt to combine Māori and English slang, the slogan was “KIA ORA, MATE!”. In the Māori language, kia ora is like saying “hello” in English, and everything is fine to that point. The problem was the choice to add “mate” (English slang for friend), in an attempt to create a friendly and colloquial connection with consumers. With this bit of communications artistry, the local meaning of “mate”, which is not quite the same as in English, clearly escaped them. Actually…

In Māori, mate means death. So, essentially, the greeting at the top of Coca Cola’s vending machines in New Zealand was, “Hello, Death!”

Why use a translation agency for localisation?

The example serves to clarify an important point. Using a language or register different from your own requires more than just the company’s marketing department. The use of a specific term or phrase, the meaning a word can have in one context versus another are issues that require a high level of professionalism to get right.

Localization services

Only professional linguists capable of adapting the source language not only to the vocabulary, but also to the culture, the usage and the customs of the target country can offer this type of professionalism.

Therefore, it is good policy to use a professional translation agency for all your localisation needs. Established and organised language service providers, like Intrawelt, who deal with localisation do not use general translators to provide this service.

Translation and localisation agencies hire professional linguists, specialised in marketing an communications, who know the language, usage and customs of the target market perfectly and who can even work from an SEO perspective. With highly specialised employees, translation agencies like Intrawelt are able to provide a true strategic consulting service for marketing and communications, even before translation. From choosing product names to which slogan to use, from linguistic formulations to typical local expressions, through to identifying content which would be awkward or even unsuitable in the

target country, professional, native speaker linguists are a valuable resource in the pursuit of your sales goals.

To receive further information about our localisation services, contact us for a quote.

Sworn translations and Certifications: New simplified procedures for Albania

The Italian embassy in Albania has issued a Press Release establishing the new procedures for Certifications and Apostilles for documents going between Italy and Albania. In fact, starting from the first of January 2019, the new rules for authenticating translations in Albania will apply. Following the communications for the Italian embassy in Tirana, with the new year, it will be possible to also use the Apostille form for sworn translations (as established in Article 1 of the Hague Convention of 5/10/1961, implemented between Italy and Albania starting from the 1 July 2011).

Therefore, it will not be necessary to request translation authentication from the consular authorities The original document, issued by the Albanian Authorities with an Apostille and accompanied by the translation, also with an Apostille, may be presented directly to the Italian authority in Italy. The same rules will apply in reverse for documents issued by Italian authorities and presented to Albanian authorities.

Now that Albania participates in the Hague Convention and with the implementation of the new simplified procedures, documents translated by a sworn translator going from Italy to Albania will only need to have an Apostille before being sent directly to the Albanian authorities and will not need to be examined by the Public Prosecutor’s office (as is necessary for countries not participating in the Hague Convention of 1961)

In this way, the original document issued by the Italian (or vice versa Albanian) authority bearing an Apostille may be presented directly to the Albanian authorities.

With our decade of experience in the field, we have opened an office dedicated to sworn translations near the Court of Fermo. In this way, we can carefully and precisely manage the thousands of requests we receive annually and which our sworn translators take care of.

For further information or to request a quote for a sworn translation, please contact us through the dedicated page on our website https://intrawelt.com.

How to choose a Translation Partner (part 2)

Let’s start off by making a few assumptions. Ok, so you’ve read “How to choose a Translation Partner (part 1)”. And you agree that translation agencies should be more, what shall we say, trustworthy because, well, they have a business name and…

…but hang on! Can’t any Tom, Dick or Harry set up a Translation Agency?

Of course they can! And that was kinda the tongue-in-cheek point I was trying to make in Part 1.

The translation industry is easy to get into: Computer? check. Internet? check. Speak one language? check. Speak another language? che…..well I get by in French.

If a freelancer might be anything but modest, think what a translation agency might do to win business.

Our advice is “Trust No One”.

But take heart because “The Truth Is Out There”.

We feel that if you need something translated, you should get a quality job. Full stop. And by that, I mean that the translation should meet your needs. If you need a contract translated and sworn as a true translation, that’s one thing. If you need an email translated, that’s potentially something quite different. But in each case, you need a translation.

In 20 years of translation, we’ve never heard these conversations:

client: “I need this translated. English to German. By Friday. It’s ok if the translation’s crap.”

client: “How much will it cost?”

agency: “500 euro.”

client: “hmmm. What about a crap translation? how much is that?”

agency: “Ah…that’s on offer right now. Crap only costs 200 euro”.

Our advice – and you see it time and again here – is to look for independent quality certification. We think the important ones are:

ISO 9001 – obviously!

UNI EN 15038 (translation services)

UNI EN 10574 (interpreting services)

It’s very important to look for independent certification. Just ask your translation partner for a copy of their certificate. It’s in a convenient PDF document. Then check the details. It’s easy. It costs nothing. But could save you a packet.

Whilst it’s true that freelancers will be cheaper than translation agencies, do you really want to check the credentials of every freelancer? Of course not. You need to concentrate on your business.

Our business is translation and part of UNI EN 15038 gives very clear instruction on how to select and manage translators. What that means is that when we say we review, assess, evaluate and continually monitor our translators, we mean it. Because that’s what the quality certification demands.

In short, trust independent quality assessments. Then trust the companies that hold them.


Techniques for consistency: alignment

Aligning corresponding texts that are available in different languages can be a valuable resource, particularly for projects that require rigorous consistency with texts previously translated for the same client or official texts. At Intrawelt® we carry out alignments frequently, a task skilfully managed by our project managers. One of the sectors for which this activity is crucial is the pharmaceutical sector. We had a little chat with Elisa, one of our Senior Project Managers and the Coordinator for all pharmaceutical and life sciences projects. In this sector, alignment of official EMA documents (European Medicines Agency), which exist in a whole host of languages, is a precious resource if we want to guarantee conformity with already-published material.

We asked Elisa to answer three simple questions.

Is it possible to align any type of document?
Alignment can only be carried out with parallel texts that are already available in two or more languages. Then, the source and target texts are segmented, which determines the overlap between the two languages. The aligned texts are a valuable reference for the translator, who can use them to maintain uniformity with existing documents and to make translation choices that have already been approved by official institutions or by the client.

Is alignment always reliable?
The alignment’s reliability obviously depends on the quality of the material used, as well as the skills and precision of the person carrying out the alignment. It often is the case that the documents available online or that are provided by the client for an alignment contain typos, grammatical mistakes or even mistranslations and therefore are not of a high enough quality to meet the standards of a language service provider like Intrawelt®. Therefore, it is crucial to be able to trust professional and specialised translators, that have been carefully chosen and are able to use the reference material with a critical eye.

What are the advantages of alignment?
The alignment procedure is particularly useful both for the client and for the professional translator. For the client, cohesion and coherence with already-published material is guaranteed and for the translator, they can manage terminology research in the best way possible.