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Localization of Translation Services: How to Avoid Mistakes

Localization, Translation Francesco Pagano on Feb 4, 2015 2:00:24 PM

Localization and DialectsThe localization of translation services is essential to the success of an international product launch. Big companies like Apple have learned this the hard way when their products hit the global market with a name that was unintentionally vulgar in a specific dialect.
We have compiled a list of five important ideas to consider for localization across dialects. This information will help you to avoid embarrassing mistakes and ensure that your message is received as you intended for your customers.

Attempt To Understand The Market

You may know this to be true from being an English speaker: even when a common language and culture are shared, people will speak differently depending on their gender, age, and specific location. To best reach your target market, you need to identify as many defining characteristics for your target demographic as possible. Understanding exactly how, where, when, and by whom your product is likely to be used is important for a successful localization effort.

Respect Dialect Differences

Take this for example: European French and French Canadians may be able to understand one another, but there are important differences that exist amongst the two dialects that should not be skimmed over in localization. What’s the difference between the two dialects? Well, Canadian French is typically more direct while European French leans towards a more formal approach. Also, there are numerous vocabulary differences that could very well cause confusion or misinterpretation of a message.

Most importantly, there are often prejudices embedded within the language that speakers are quite sensitive to. For example, Canadians may view European French speakers as pompous, while European French speakers find Canadian French to be outdated and overly traditional.

Connect With Consumers

Most varieties of a language will be understood by speakers of other dialects; however, a message will be much better received by the target audience if it is presented in the version of the language that they identify with directly.  Localization for each specific variety of a target language will optimize your connection to consumers.

Go Beyond Translation

A well-known case of translation gone wrong is that of Coors. The U.S. Colorado brewing company, Coors' "Turn It Loose" slogan translated into Spanish as "Suffer from Diarrhea." This is not exactly an enticing tagline for Spanish speakers. Localization entails more than just translation to a certain dialect. Many factors need to be taken into account such as local culture, history, social norms, and religion.

Leave Translation To The Professionals

The best way to avoid embarrassing gaffes and obfuscated messages is to contact a professional translation service company that works with native speakers of the language you plan to target. Choosing the correct words for the right message while still remaining faithful to your core values is a delicate art and as many international companies have learned, one misstep can be quite costly. Contacting us from the start will save you time and money in the long run.

iTi Translation Services

iTi's dedicated and experienced teams offer a wide range of multilingual solutions for domestic and global corporations in a variety of industries. With our expansive resources, you can take advantage of communication services on a global scale, creating, managing, and distributing your content in any format. You are welcome to contact us to request a quote for your language translation project.

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