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Localization expert or website translator? Find 5 differences.

Юлия Венцковская
Юлия ВенцковскаяPosted by
CEO MK:TRANSLATIONS 12.02.2020
Localization expert or website translator? Find 5 differences.

How to find out whom you are hiring to localize your website? Could it happen that a translator personated himself as a localization expert in order to get an order? Portfolio can be stolen. Customers are unlikely to verify translator’s background. 

1 — In order to check whether a translator or an experienced expert in localization is working with you, ask them to take a sample test.

Let’s take an ad translation into English. The trick is that you should not indicate the target country. Nor even mention that there is any target country.

Localization expert will primarily ask you: What is the target country? Who are we writing for: Britain, America,  Australia, Canada or English speakers all over the world? What about target audience? Do you have a brief description, analysis data or anything else?

Translator will merely translate the ad. That’s it. Forget about local culture, language aspects, intricacies of wordplay… And, consequently, about customers attraction, conversion boost and virus outspread of your publications.

2 — True localization experts will offer not only the document with adapted texts for you.

They will prepare from  microcopies for button labels and pop-ups to recommendations on images, currency, size chart change, as well as more global UX characteristics.

True localization experts will offer not only the document with adapted texts for you.

For example, reading. In UAE, Japan, Korea, Israel, Pakistan, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, they read texts right to left. So the buttons and objects should be placed accordingly. Otherwise, a website with poor usability will distract a customer from purchasing.

Or naming. A legal company in Japan may have the name “Abundant knowledge and victory in our pursuit of gold” (real case of a brand name adaptation), but it will work neither in Europe, nor in America.

Or colours. In some countries, orange colour is the colour of grief and loss, white — the colour of death, red is always the colour of danger, but never of love. Don’t be afraid to change corporate colours as your main purpose is loyalty of the target audience.

Does your translator know about all these?

3 — Localization expert never works alone.

He or she needs help of a local marketing expert from a target country and, probably, some more local marketing translators in order to reach a good result. For example, a brand name that sounds adequate in Chinese may be ridiculous in Mandarine (though it is also Chinese). You should consider all details.

And it is unprofitable for a website translator to share work with another specialist. It is unlikely that he/she will think of your business goals as you pay for the number of characters to be translated, but not for the time on the market analysis.

4 — The most difficult thing is humour localization.

Even translators can handle it, but… Will they think of whether the joke is offensive for your reader? Cause offensive things may also be funny.

But you will have to make your apologies. Brands, especially big ones, often happen to apologize while localizing. For example, BMW company shooted an ad where the Emirates football players, hearing the sound of BMW engines, started running towards the cars right amidst the national anthem.

So the company had to apologize 🙂 Because the Arabs went furious. Such cases may easily lead to failure in the market.

5 — Website, software, computer games, apps and extension localization — everything requires field-oriented knowledge

In localization, quality marketing translation is essential. Sometimes, it is even necessary to completely copywrite the text based on localized brand message. 

Software, extension, apps and computer games localization requires understanding of the habits of the target audience. What is the common payment method via Internet for them? How many stages does it consist of? Date format, measurement system, names way of writing, etc — SW localization experts should consider and amend everything. Aside from that, they should understand usability and UX so that intuitive interface could remain the same for Europeans, Arabs, Mexicans and Chinese.

This is the reason why the average salary of an English translator in our country is UAH 15k, while the average salary of localization experts (a handful of) starts from $1000.

That is why, the translation price is calculated per words. And localization — in hours.

Spending money on localization means saving on longer-term costs. If your brand wins the consumers’ hearts, your ad will be more effective and the sales — more significant.

Seek and you will find 😉 Or ask us and you will receive!

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