How To Grow Your Business in Multiple Markets
Few companies hit the ground running with a global marketing strategy in place. Usually the process of going international is incremental, a gradual entry into new markets and regions driven by overseas opportunities and new partnerships, rather than a strategic international marketing plan. But even without a formal plan, you can enjoy immediate benefits by translating your website and collateral into several key languages.
Focus on the languages of those countries where you currently do business or are trying to do business. The potential ROI from providing a more customized customer experience far outweighs the actual costs of localization, and this is where you come into the picture: by advocating the global localization of a company’s collateral, a marketing department can make a profound contribution to the bottom line. Here’s how to get started:
The research into online buying behaviors tells a compelling story. A Common Sense Advisory survey of 3,000 consumers in 10 non-Anglophone countries found that 75% prefer to buy products in their native language and 60% rarely or never buy from English-language websites. In China alone, 95% of online business is conducted on Chinese-language websites, according to Forrester Research, yet the online presence of U.S. companies in China is almost entirely (99%) English-only. That’s just one example of a massive missed opportunity!
Pro Tip: If your business website is currently in English-only and you want to expand your business in non-Anglophone countries, at the very least you should translate your website into the local language of every country where you currently have customers. You can also go a step further by adapting your content (including colors and imagery) to appeal to local tastes and attitudes. This is called transcreation.
To remain competitive, your company and products should be optimized for search engine exposure in each of the markets you serve. In China, for example, over 70% of the population uses a search engine called Baidu – while less than 2% use Google. In Russia, over half the population uses a search engine called Yandex. If you’re trying to expand into those or other countries, you need to make sure customers there can find you online, regardless of the language in which they search. This requires consistent and accurate keyword translations as part of a multilingual approach to search engine optimization (SEO).
Pro Tip: Proper keyword targeting is just as critical to achieving high search engine rankings overseas as it is in the United States!
Localized marketing collateral
Your message and brand can easily get lost in translation if your marketing and advertising collateral isn’t localized correctly. This can have a direct impact on your team’s bottom line. Working with an experienced language solutions provider (LSP) can help you accurately and skillfully communicate with your target markets and achieve strong results like:
- more effective email blasts to potential customers in different countries
- more persuasive sales presentations with localized slides, displays, banners, brochures, and scripts optimized for different audiences
- more lead generation through subtitled or dubbed video outreach
- increased impact from local-language print ads.
Pro Tip: We recommend staying in touch with customers via company newsletters that help generate excitement about your product and keep you on your customer’s radar. Whether you include product updates, company news or previews of what’s coming next, creating localized versions of these publications in your key markets is a great way to connect and show that you are focused and invested in that country/region.
If your product requires a demo, you should consider the added value of localized online eLearning modules. Localized training modules can help you to ensure your product is promoted in its best light by every sales rep every time.
Embrace the opportunity
Conquering foreign markets is a prodigious task, but you don’t need to make huge investments in time or money to achieve new opportunities and revenue right away. Translating and localizing your existing collateral is a relatively inexpensive way to reach new customers and, over time, the successful execution of a marketing localization strategy can position your company for dramatic growth in markets around the world. Consider the possibilities.
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Technical Translations: 5 Tips to Reduce Translation Costs
Translators are trained to work with the text and formatting they receive from clients. However, if that content is not optimized for the most efficient translation workflow, it can wind up costing the client time and money. That’s why it’s important for businesses to engage technical writers who understand as much as possible about the technical translation and localization process. A savvy technical writer can design content to be easily translatable, which will improve efficiency and cut costs during future translation projects. Here are five ways to make your technical documentation more effective:
1. Reuse content wherever possible
Most businesses have content that is used repeatedly, such as warnings or disclaimers. Identifying the content that appears in multiple places and standardizing it is an extremely beneficial exercise. Doing so will decrease the amount of time that it takes translators to work because they use specialized translation tools that can offer suggestions for previously translated content. If translators do not have to translate from scratch, the job will not only be completed faster — it will also contain content that is consistent across all different types of outputs (e.g. website copy, manuals and marketing literature). A Content Management System (CMS) is ideal for managing these reusable chunks of content.
2. Create a predefined glossary
Consistent terminology should be added to a glossary of terms, which can be used by translators in conjunction with their specialized translation tools. A glossary of terms is a living tool and it should be updated when you have new terms to add. Doing so will result in documentation that is not only more consistent (which provides a better customer experience), but also more accurate (because if different terms are used for the same thing, it can be very confusing in the translations).
3. Separate text from graphics
If text is embedded in graphics, the localization process can end up taking longer (and costing more) because the graphics will need to be recreated with localized text. If the translated text fills a different amount of physical page space, the whole graphic may need to be redesigned to account for that. That’s why, whenever it’s possible, it’s in your best interest to separate text from graphics. Doing so will mean that your project can be translated more quickly, saving time and lowering costs.
4. Avoid cultural references
It’s important when writing technical content in English to remember that not all end-users are native English speakers. Cultural references and idiomatic phrases are difficult and sometimes impossible to translate. They can cause misunderstandings and potentially even damage your brand. By avoiding these types of phrases in the first place, your end-users will have a better understanding of the content, and the translation process will be easier to accurately complete.
5. Make smart revisions
If you need to update previously translated content, you should do everything possible to minimize unnecessary changes to the text. It can be very tempting to want to change or tweak text here and there, but the more content you change, the more expensive and time consuming it will be to translate and localize the updates for all of your different audiences.
Seek an expert partner
At Morningside, we take pride in offering highly professional technical translation services to customers around the globe and we’re here to assist you along the way. It’s never too early to prepare and plan for localization. How a document is written and formatted will directly impact the amount of time and money it takes to translate it. To learn more about how to save time and money with localization services, contact us today.
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How Translation Memory Can Improve Quality While Saving Time & Money
If you’re considering expanding your business into foreign language markets, a translation memory (TM) is one of the tools you can implement with your translation services company. A TM helps translators work more efficiently to reduce costs, increase consistency and reduce time to market. Here’s a closer look at all you need to know about TM.
What is Translation Memory?
A translation memory is a repository of original content and the translated versions of that content. For each new project, the translation services company inputs the new content into the TM, and the TM identifies repeated or similar content. Translators can then reuse previously translated content stored in the TM during future projects. As more content is translated, the TM continues to grow — so the more you put into the TM, the more you get out of it.
How Does a Translation Memory Work?
The TM compares existing content to the new content and identifies three types of segments:
Repetitions/100% match – This type of segment occurs when a new word segment matches exactly with another word segment in the TM. For example, let’s say that you previously translated this sentence: “To complete the installation, you need two AA batteries.” If this sentence exists in a new translation project, it would be identified as a repetition/100% match. The translator still needs to review the sentence for context and quality, but this type of segment takes the least time of the three to translate.
Fuzzy segment – This type of segment occurs when a word segment partially matches another word segment in the TM. Per the previous example, let’s say that your TM contains the following sentence: “To complete the installation, you need two AA batteries.” Now let’s say that your new translation project contains this sentence: “To complete the installation, two AA batteries are required.” In this case, the TM will recognize the sentence as a fuzzy match because the first part matches an existing segment exactly, but the second part is somewhat different. A fuzzy match takes the translator less time to work through than brand new content, but obviously it takes more time than a 100% match.
New segment – A new segment is one that either doesn’t match any existing segments or it matches a segment at less than 50%. A translator will have to translate this segment from scratch.
Note: A translator will see both the original content and the highlighted 100% match/fuzzy/new segments, and then decide whether to accept the translation that’s in the TM or modify it. Upon completion of any translation project, the TM will need to be updated so that it contains the latest information.
Benefits of a Translation Memory
A TM has three main benefits:
It Saves You Money – When repetitions/100% match and fuzzy segments are identified, they will have lower translation fees than new segments. If you’re working in an authoring environment where you have a content reuse strategy, you’ll probably have a lot of 100% match segments. If you don’t have a content reuse strategy, and/or if you have multiple writers, chances are that there will be a lot of fuzzy segments along with some 100% matches. In either case, a TM will make your translation projects more cost-effective due to its ability to recognize word segments.
It Improves Quality – Using a TM will increase consistency across different projects. It makes for a better customer experience when things are translated the same way across all documentation, websites and software applications. Even if more than one translator is working on a project, the suggestions from a TM can help translators remember which specific words to use. This can be especially handy if there are certain standard terms for your industry, product or service. If you work with your translation company to capture this terminology and get it translated before a project begins, you can incorporate it into your TM. A TM and a glossary of standard terms are two good tools to use together for the highest quality translations.
It Decreases Time to Market – A TM prepopulates new content with previously translated segments. A translator can then simply approve those segments and focus their energy on new content. You can really see the benefits of using a TM whenever content is repeated a lot, such as with technical documentation, or with larger projects such as website and software localization. With a TM in place, you can expect faster turnaround time and therefore decreased time to market.
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5 Ridiculous Patents
If you want to patent an invention, it must offer a solution to a problem. Specifically, it must meet the following three conditions: (1) Novelty – at least some aspect of it must be new; (2) Inventive Step – the new aspect/s must not be obvious or easily deduced; (3) Industrial applicability – the invention must be able to be made or used in an industry. We’re not quite sure how the following five U.S. patents made the cut, but they sure are entertaining!
Apparatus for simulating a “high five”
If you ever wanted to give a high five but no one was around, this invention could save the day. Patented in 1993, the high five apparatus “allows a user to simulate a ‘high-five’ in celebration of a positive event, thereby providing the user with a convenient outlet for the release of excitement,” says the description. And that’s not all! The patent also claims to improve hand-eye coordination and provide “an exercise device for enhancing the jumping skills of a user” when mounted above normal reach.
Method of concealing partial baldness
Look familiar? President Trump seems to be sporting a hairdo that was patented in 1975 by a father and son team from Orlando, Florida. According to the patent description, Frank and Donald Smith wanted to create a solution for partially bald men who didn’t have the financial means to buy and maintain hairpieces, hair weaves or hair transplants. This patented ‘do uses only the hair on your head divided into three sections folded over each other.
Sealed crustless sandwich
Be careful, your lunch might be infringing Smuckers’ PB&J sandwich patent! Yup, you read that right – the American company known for its jams, jellies and preserves also has a proprietary sandwich patented in 1997. What’s so special about it? By their own description, Smuckers’ patent provides “a convenient sandwich without an outer crust which can be stored for long periods of time without a central filling leaking outwardly.” An important part of the patent is a cutting cylinder that creates the circular shape of the sandwich, crimps its edges and removes the crust.
Life expectancy timepiece
If you ever wondered how much time you’ve got left, this watch claims to have the answer. Patented in 1991, it displays “the number of minutes, days and years remaining in a person’s life based on actuarial data.” The data it evaluates includes whether a person smokes cigarettes, consumes alcohol and fatty foods, their stress levels, exercise routine, and genetic factors such as family histories of known diseases and recorded lifespans.
Animal ear protectors
This picture might look like someone stuck toilet paper rolls on their dog’s ears, but the strange headpiece – patented in 1979 – is actually meant to keep the pup’s long ears away from its mouth and food while eating. (A simpler solution might be to purchase a tall bowl for your long-eared animals, but I digress.) In the description, the inventor says the ear protectors are “light weight, comfortable and not easily removed by the animal.” Of course, it can also be “decorated so as to enhance the appearance of the animal in the eyes of its owner and of others.”