“If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language that goes to his heart.” – Nelson Mandela
Haven’t we all experienced this at one point or another? Of course, we all know, and understand English because it’s the universal business language after all. But doesn’t everything somehow becomes more enriched and meaningful when it is communicated in our own language?
That is exactly how you want your customers to feel when they think about your company.
Globalization requires that you localize your business in order to sustain and maintain consistency. It is not a mandatory requirement, however, many companies have gone global and disappeared in a short time because they resisted localization.
Ultimately it is up to you to make the best decisions for your company to keep it going.
7 Facts to Remember for your Business Localization
The language barrier is an important factor when it comes to the global market. Yet, just translating one language into another is not enough. Business localization requires that you strategically convert the content while keeping the context so that it doesn’t look translated at all.
Making global customers feel that the content was created exclusively for them is the key to win their hearts. Localization ensures that the local market identifies with the message you are trying to communicate to them.
The defining factor of global success is cultural sensitivity. Here is what you need to keep in mind in order to ensure that and execute an effective localization.
1- Integrate a Cultural Touch
Whether you are localizing a software, a website or an app, translation of the text is the first step. There is no starting without the conversion of the text from one language to another.
However, there is also a number of other elements involved in that particular task that you need to change in order to fit the customs and beliefs of the society. For instance, a certain color may represent glory while representing death in the other.
Everything has a unique essence in a certain society. It is crucial to keep that in mind when entering that market.
2- Use Culture-Appropriate Images
Graphics are a part of everything, from a website to the software. It is important that you keep in mind the role they play in cultural identity.
To make sure they are used effectively, make sure the graphics that you use originally are interchangeable. Moreover, be very careful when using symbolic images. The peace hand-sign, for instance, can mean something entirely different in other cultures.
If you want to translate the same image into a different language, then make sure that the original image is neutral in every way i.e. it doesn’t have any symbols, dresses, religious references, etc.
3- Amp up the Locale Flavors
Where the original image needs to be absolutely neutral, the localized content can be absolutely specific.
In fact, using a region-specific strategy such as using an incident that happened, or simply using local names can really get the attention of your market. This allows local consumers to feel a connection with your business.
It makes it easier for the consumers to retain information when they see something that they can relate to. This helps you imprint on their mind in the long run as this helps them remember you later and preserve the associated message.
4- Use International Formats
Every country has different formats for different things. It is safe to use the formats that are internationally accepted for the date, time, measurements, etc. This is to ensure that the information that your consumer is receiving is accurate and not ambiguous.
Wrong formats can cause real problems, misinformation, and lead to frustration for the customer. Therefore, you want to make sure that the formats that you are using are convenient for the customer and they are getting the information they need.
5- Hire a Professional
Localization is a very elaborate and intricate process. It is also very time-consuming and cumbersome. But it is important that you get everything right in order to be effective therefore it is best to hire a professional company that has been doing this for a while.
When localizing, you need to get everything just right. Anything can cost you your entire international presence. It is better to have a professional by your side when you are getting into new territories.
Make sure that you hire someone that is right for you by keeping these few points in mind:
- They need to be ISO-certified in order to ensure high-quality translation.
- They need to have experience in the language that you want.
- They should have knowledge about the industry that you are in.
- They should have good references and reviews
6- Understand your Translation Partner
It is important that your translation partner understands your company just as well as you do. The reasons that the localization is not often effective is because you fail to explain the business thoroughly to your partner.
Make sure that you are on the same page before you get started.
7- Stay Realistic
The possibility that you can enter any market once you are over the cultural barrier can be overwhelming. You may want to conquer all the markets all at once, but it is better to not do that.
Take one market at a time. Make sure that you stay focused on it and once that market flourishes, you can move on to the next one. Do not lose the one bird you have in your hand just to get two in the bushes.
So to Conclude….
Keep these points in mind when you are localizing and do your own research and find the best translation company from top translation companies. If executed right, localization can open many doors for you. So make sure that when you do it, you do it with planning and you do it right. Most importantly, make sure that you trust the right translation partner with your business.