Words from the Wardrobe

Translation-related New Year’s resolutions



New Years resolutions, translation

Let me help you keep them!

 

Just like it’s never too late to wish someone you haven’t seen since the start of the year a Happy New Year (even though you have been back in your usual routine for three solid weeks since the Christmas break), it’s never too late to start on your New Year’s resolutions either. Even if you start in June, the most important thing is that you keep them!

I’m not going to talk about diets, gym memberships or quitting smoking, we’re going to look at the resolutions you’ve made in relation to your company’s international strategy.

Last year, I posted this image on my social media:

New Years resolutions, translation

If any of these resolutions are on your list, this post will give you some helpful tips so that you can successfully achieve them first time round.

Translate your website

If you’ve decided that 2019 is the year that your website is going to become available in other languages, you need to bear in mind some basics:

  1. Check your content and decide if all of it needs translating or if there are some sections that you think you’re not going to need on the localized versions of your site.
  2. When you’ve chosen the content that you want to translate, make sure it is free of spelling mistakes or any silly errors that could alter the meaning of the message you want to convey. Also check to see if it includes any content that’s linked to local culture, which may need extra explanation for it to be conveyed in another language.

Translate your online store

An online store is still essentially a website so the first two tips that I’ve just given for website localization are also useful for you, but there are a few more things that you need to take into account:

  1. Once you’ve decided where you want to sell your products, you need to make sure that you include payment and delivery methods that are common in those countries.
  2. Check your product catalogue: some of your products may not take off in certain countries, meaning that you wouldn’t need to localize those pages. Not only will you make savings on translation costs, but your international online store will be much more attractive and useful for your customers if you only offer products that are available to them.
  3. User-generated content is more useful than brand-generated content. Translate your customers’ product reviews, as you’ll help your international customers make well-informed decisions.
  4. Check any country, city and region lists that appear in your store’s forms. A common error is translating these names and not putting them back into alphabetical order. For example, España, Spain, Espagne and Spanien would all appear at different places in a list of countries on your website in Spanish, English, French and German. If you don’t put them in alphabetical order, you may confuse your customer, making them lose trust in your company, as they’ll feel you’ve made them waste time.

Translate your content

Although we may often feel a little overwhelmed, content marketing is still a good tool for bolstering visibility, directing traffic to your website or online store and connecting with your customers. As such, having a different profile for each of your target countries is a good way of outshining your competitors.

  1. Different social networks are popular in different countries, research which ones are best for your international audience and only open profiles on the ones that are best for you.
  2. Set up a post calendar for each country. Although many public holidays are the same from one country to the next, many countries have their own important events. Posting things at the wrong time can be counter-productive.
  3. Make sure that your images reflect your brand’s ethos and values but also those of your customers and users. Some images may be offensive in other countries, so choose wisely.
  4. As part of your website, the blog contains the highest word count, and therefore incurs the highest translation costs. If you do choose to translate your blog, make sure you pick posts that are interesting for each target country. Just like in the world of fashion, one size does not always fit all.

I hope that these tips help you to start giving some shape to this year’s translation strategy and keep your New Year’s resolutions. We’ve got all year to talk about it, so please do come back to Words from the Wardrobe from time to time, as it is likely that I will look at these matters in more detail in coming blog posts.

See you for the next post!




Alicia González, Spanish translator

Alicia González López

Hi! My name is Alicia, and I am a translator. My expert fields are website and software localization and marketing. After 15 years working for other companies, I decided to open my own translation firm, Prêt-à-translate. A dress may not suit two different people; same happens with translation. Long live context!

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