For a business to grow that can mean expanding beyond the domestic market and into new global territories. To scale and deliver that same fantastic product or service that you offer in the domestic market to a global audience can mean a few headaches along the way.
The challenge and the opportunity of a a business seeking to go global requires careful planning and consideration of how you present yourself online to an ever-connected global audience and even for those companies looking to sell online and have a single point of location for their base, the truth is, if you sell online then you are global and so the language of your end-to-end customer experience needs to address a global audience.
Consider the following notes from the SDL presentation at Going Global Live in London and see what works for your business approach to being global.
Why does language matter
- 72% of consumers spend most of their time on websites in their own language.
- 56% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.
- 90% will choose a native language when available
- 82% more likely to buy if promotional material is in their language
- 60% of people on Japan and France simply wont buy from a site that isn’t in their language
- It takes 48 languages to reach 99% of the total economic opportunity online
Is localization built into the end to end user experience?
The bounce rate on your website could be dramatically reduced if you are setup for a global audience. Are the navigation options localized – is site content in more than one language? Is the full web experience localized or do users get bounced to another language when it comes to the transactional process? Is the support documentation in the same source language too or is that further localization and user friction?
Which languages matter more than others?
It takes 13+ languages to address 90% of the Global Online Economic Opportunity…
Six things to look out for when driving content to an international audience:
- Numbers, colours and animals
- Dates and seasons
- Colloquial expressions
- Maps, Flags
- Cultural References
- Social norms
Your content portfolio needs a Global/Local content strategy so that all content is engaging in all the relevant languages.
Getting started with translation
Style guide – Establishes standards for writing and designing documents that describes writing conventions, from spelling, punctuation and word use, to structural and formatting issues
Glossary – Enables access and integration with enterprise content and data from various sources, including content management systems
Translation memory – Stores “segments”, which can be sentences, paragraphs or sentence-like units (headings, titles or elements in a list) that have previously been translated, in order to aid human translators
Translation tips and tricks
- Categorizing your content, and its value is vital to ensuring you can translate all of your content within budget and time constraints
- Choose the best translation method for your content based on its value within the customer journey.
- Consistent content writing for localization starts with excellent source language. If the source language is well-written it makes the translation easier.
- Single list of approved source and target terms
- Consistent abbreviations and usage (RHS; R/H/S; RH/S; RHSide; right-hand side)
- Consistent spelling (tyre; tire)
- Consistent hyphenation and spacing (anti-lock; anti lock; antilock)
- Consistent capitalisation (Anti-lock; Anti-Lock; anti-lock)
- Avoid jargon
- Reducing redundancy saves translation and helps to retain consistency in your content.
- Relevant to help, support documentation, but also in general for marketing materials so as not to confuse customers.
- For example, the following phrasing means the same thing but is expressed in multiple ways:
Please enter an actual start date earlier than the actual end date.
The Start Date cannot exceed the End Date.
The End Date cannot precede the Start Date.
Start date must be before end date.
Enter a Start date that is before the End date.
The Period start date cannot be later than the Period end date
The actual end date must be on or after the actual start date.
- Plan ahead and establish how your content will be managed.
- For example, an eCommerce site will benefit from being localized by country, taking into account the currency and shipping requirements.
- Informative content such as a knowledge base could benefit from being localized by language – content may be leveraged across markets.
- Use global templates and determine what info is local and what is global.
Web content & Architecture
- Ensure Unicode encoding, the English language has 26 letters but other languages utilize more.
- Allow auto-resize of text boxes and content frames
- Make sure it is SEO friendly with translatable URLS, Titles, H1, H2, H3 etc
- Google may be the largest but local territories have their own alternatives
The following local search engines have a good local share of web search volumes:
- Baidu in China
- Yandex in Russia
- Naver in Korea
Video Marketing and beyond YouTube
- Brazil: UOL, Vimeo, YouTube
- China: iQiyi, PPS, Youku Tudou
- India: Storypick, Upworthy, YouTube
- Turkey: Dailymotion, Vimeo, YouTube
- Russia: RuTube, YouTube
Create content with a script that reflects international references that appeal to a global audience
Obtain, preserve and re-use source audio narration scripts
Internet access by mobile phone is more common than via PC in many countries
Ensure your platform supports mobile display formats
App localization may need localization incorporated into strategy
Attend SDL’s Translation Challenge Masterclass at Going Global Live
If you’ve got a quick 30 minutes during your time at the show, we really think you’ll love our translation masterclass running over the two day event. Our global language professionals will talk you through the importance of language for international business success and how adopting a translation strategy will help you to deliver relevant and impactful customer engagement in any language.
- Why language matters and the importance for growing businesses expanding into new markets
- The best strategies for managing your growing translation requirements and how to avoid embarrassing translation fails!
- How growing businesses can access best of class translation services through SDL Language Cloud – Managed Translation