To translate, localise or transcreate: that is the question?!
Did you know that out of the world’s approximately 7.5 billion inhabitants, 1.5 billion speak English? That most of those people aren’t even native English speakers? In fact, just 360 million people across the globe speak English as their first language.
Global Head of Client Experience at Acorn Strategy, Annabel Amann, explains the significance of these realities for content marketers in Australia, and the incredible opportunity brands have to translate, tailor and transcreate their content for greater global engagement and success.
A common challenge is that many of us treat the worldwide web like the Australian web or the Australian English web. I understand that for Australian businesses looking to export into offshore markets, it can often be an overwhelming process to produce content outside of your already successful domestic market and are probably unprepared as to where to start. Don’t worry you’re not alone!
It’s time to develop a healthy respect for consumers living outside of your domestic boundaries.
So whats the solution: Many make the mistake of looking to online translation tools like Google Translate, which can make it easier to reach a larger audience. However, they will never capture the nuances of language that are essential to engaging an audience with your content marketing, such as colloquialisms, humor, and cultural sensitivities.
As globalisation takes hold in business, so too must it infiltrate every part of your content marketing strategy and approach. The question is, how deeply nuanced does this conversion need to get for your brand, product or/and service? How culturally rich is your target export market?
The key is to tailor your content for your target export market in mind. It’s time to develop a healthy respect for consumer living outside of your domestic boundaries and to consider the cultural and characteristics of the market.
There are three levels that one can take when it comes to this process.
Level 1 – Translation
Is the act of simply changing words into another language, however it’s important to take into consideration the context, and any religious or cultural complexities as most direct word-for-word translations will simply not make sense or has ability to offend certain cultures.
Level 2 – Localisation
Will adapt collateral to a specific locale – thus it being referred as ‘localisation’. For marketing material, localisation looks at colours, images, analogies, cultural differences and everything else that has meaning or an impact on the reader. Are women’s heads covered in the pictures on your Arabic site for instance?
Level 3 – Transcreation
Then there’s transcreation, which is the creation of content in the local language that is inspired by the local target audience and the local markets needs. It’s highly adapted for the language and culture where it will be used.
So whether its translation, localisation or transcreation you choose for your brand abroad, businesses have an opportunity to tailor content for greater global engagement and success. Language is key, however only part of the solution to creating engaging global content. It’s important to value the local point of view and to employ a local professional who can ensure the trust you’ve built for your brand domestically is not damaged by awkward missteps that could ultimately damage your brand abroad.
Feeling unsure as to where to start?
Acorn Strategy has helped hundreds of brands just like yours from around the world to successfully expand into the Middle East region. Using our award-winning international marketing strategy system since 2010, our team of 20 specialists are able to localise and carefully tailor your content marketing strategy and approach, for sustainable growth and success. You won’t find that anywhere else in the world. So get in touch today to learn more by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.acornstrategy.com.au
Annabel Amann is Global Head of Client Experience of Acorn Strategy Australia and loves to help small-to-large organisations identify the best path forward to achieve their marketing, communication and most importantly their international business objectives as they expand into the complex markets of the Middle East and Asia-Pacific.