Common Sense Advisory: “How to Craft a Multilingual Web Strategy”

Common Sense Advisory, Inc., an independent market research firm specializing in the language services industry, has released “How to Craft a Multilingual Web Strategy.” The report uses the US Hispanic market to showcase the best and worst online ethnic marketing strategies from 12 global companies, including GE, Samsung and McDonald’s.

For info, email info@commonsenseadvisory.com or visit http://www.commonsenseadvisory.com

What Does English Sound Like to a Foreigner?

Most of us have an idea as to what foreign languages sound like. We can identify the different tones and sounds as belonging to say German or Italian, although we don’t fully understand all the words. So what does English sound like to a foreigner? Thanks to this short film entitled Skwerl we get an idea…

Website Localization: Factors to Consider

The Emergence of Brazil

With nearly one-third of the world population using the internet, more and more opportunities are arising for people to communicate and for companies to reach new markets. Adapting an e-commerce website to a new locale has become an essential way for online businesses to survive and thrive in new markets. In an insightful post from the GPI Translation Blog, we learn first hand some of the strategies that go into localizing a website for a new locale; specifically Brazil.

Brazil will be in the world spotlight in the coming years with the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. China gets the headlines as the next economic superpower, but Brazil lies-in-wait as another market ready to explode. With a current base of 50 million Internet users, Brazil presents an excellent business opportunity for companies. But what specifically must be done to sell to these new consumers? Selling strategies in the United States do not stick in Brazil; new approaches must be developed.

Brazilian Market

  • The Internet is predominantly used by upper and middle-classes, but government initiatives have worked to gain funding for Internet cafes to help lower income groups have Internet access.

Brazilian Consumers & Culture

  • Brazilian society places high importance on looking good and appearance.
  • Brazilians prefer goods made within their own country whenever possible.
  • Decision-making power for Brazilian women has increased.
  • Brazilians are often budget-conscious and look for the absolute best value they can find.
  • Latin cultures place great emphasis on family and community, Brazil included.
  • Brazilian culture values masculinity which can be depicted as achievement, success, adventure and fun.

Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

  • When localizing a website for Brazil, consider many of the spelling and verb tense differences within the two main Portuguese dialects.

SEO & SEM in Brazil

  • As all marketing strategies go, Brazilian SEO campaigns need to be multidimensional.
  • Be advised that while focusing on Portuguese search terms is important, bilingual users also use English to search and navigate the Internet.
  • Keywords and key phrases need not just be translated. Cultural and linguistic issues affect what people search for.

For more information on this subject, please visit:  http://blog.globalizationpartners.com/brazilian-website-localization.aspx

Creating a Multilingual SEO Plan

Multilingual SEO Best Practices

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a valuable way to reach your market and increase relevant traffic to your website. Often times, however, companies that localize their site in multiple languages neglect to implement the same strategies they use in their original content SEO. When done effectively, multilingual SEO can be more valuable than traditional advertising methods and can put your company’s content right in front of a potential customer.

Managing Content Costs

Naturally, there are budgetary constraints on how much content can be localized with tender loving care. Granted, machine translation is easy, but that translated content may not pass along the same message if it isn’t translated professionally. So prioritizing which content would be most valuable to translate for a foreign market is essential to monitoring costs and ensuring quality.

Keyword Research

A basic principle in marketing is understanding how your potential customers think; how will they describe their needs in terms of your product. Through monitoring analytics and reviewing what keywords are most useful to draw views to a website, can you determine what phrases and words to focus on when optimizing SEO. The same idea applies to multilingual SEO. But simply translating a popular English search phrase or keyword into Spanish, for example, isn’t the most effective way to optimize in Spanish (have you ever tried to translate curse words and/or phrases? It’s not really the same is it?). Understanding how your translated content will be found by your target market is essential. Use your company’s resources in your target locale. Have the in-country marketing team review and approve translated keywords and phrases.

Enhance your Reputation

Providing great content to your customers is a great way to establish trust. When your international customers see that your and your company are making an effort to communicate clearly with them, that extra effort is appreciated, leading to an improved reputation and increased sales.

It all boils down to understanding your market. What are your customers needs? What can you provide to fill those needs? Helping your customers make informed decisions, in all languages, is paramount to maintaining a successful global brand.

View Lingoport’s latest webinar to learn about culturizing your brand.

For more information on this topic, please view Best Practices: Successfully Marketing Your Brand to a Global Audience

Facebook Set to Introduce Translation Feature on Comments

With the introduction and prominence of Google’s web translator, companies like Facebook have a more prominent need to provide users with translation features within their display. Often times users, myself included, will leave their Facebook tab to translate something their friends commented on or made a status about. Since introducing Facebook in multiple languages, users have soared to 750 million people. Obviously in such a connected world, these users need the ability to communicate quickly with each other, and Facebook is prepared to provide that plugin.

Languages available for translation will be few at first, and include English, Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese. At times, translations will be unavailable due to unrecognizable comments, which happens sometimes with the slang used by many users (everybody has their own language, even groups of friends). This feature could help to further help the world communicate through social media.

One thought I had about rapid translation (especially among friends) is that it may hinder the need for multiple languages to be learned by one person. Sometimes I enjoy staring at a friend’s Spanish status or comment and figuring out what they’re saying myself; people learn better that way. Granted, it’s not like the feature is an automatic translator: it’s a clickable button (meaning the user has a choice whether to click it or not). But hey, maybe we’ll all end up with a babel fish in our ear and understand every language…

For more, read Inside Facebook

Google Releases Paid Web Translation for Businesses

Google announced last week that they are introducing a paid version of their Google Translate API for businesses and commercial software developers. Jeff Chin, Product Manager at Google said in the release that, “The Google Translate API provides a programmatic interface to access Google’s latest machine translation technology” allowing translation support between 50+ languages.

Translation costs will run at $20/million characters, or about $0.05/page assuming 500 words/page.

Free use of the Google Translate Research API will remain for academic users.

For a full diagnosis of the issue, check out the official Google Code Blog

How Language Transformed Humanity

A talk from Mark Pagel on Ted.com 

Language is a mystery we do not fully understand. Why did it emerge? In this 20-minute video, Biologist Mark Pagel shares his thoughts on why humans evolved their complex language system and how that sets us apart from every other animal.