Spotlight on Multicultural Marketing: Part III

asian american marketingIn a previous post, we looked at Hispanic Americans and the impact that they have on marketing in the United States. With marketing, it is important to reach people in such a way that they feel connected to a product or service. Typically, brands that use multicultural marketing are very successful. This is because they are showing each demographic that they care; their product or service connects with them in some way. As we look at the dynamic landscape of the population in the US, let’s focus on another demographic: Asian Americans.

The Profile of Asian American Consumers – Getting Started

Of course, there is great socioeconomic diversity among Asian Americans. But, when talking about the population as a whole, we can make a pretty general statement: Asian American population is growing! In fact, a 2012 Nielsen report said that this group is “the fastest growing multicultural segment of the United States population.” The report also points out that Asian Americans have a higher median household income than the total population. Half of the population over age 25 has Bachelor’s degrees. What does this tell you? It tells you that this group is educated, informed, and offers huge potential for spending.

Speaking the Language

The Nielsen report also says that 77 percent of Asian Americans speak a language other than English at home. What languages are we talking about? Data from the US Census points to Vietnamese having the largest increase. Also, the percentage of Armenian, Korean, Persian, and Tagalog speakers has doubled since 1980. Chinese takes third place behind English and Spanish, with 2.9 million speakers and counting. What do these numbers mean for your business or organization? Research from Common Sense Advisory (See “Can’t Read, Won’t Buy”) points to the fact that customers are more likely to buy a product or service if it is presented to them in a way in which they best understand. In previous blog post, we talked about San Francisco International Airport and the launch of their Chinese website. This is a great example of an organization that is aware of their customer base, identified a need, and then addressed that need.

Including Culture

Beyond language, let’s look at culture, too. It is important to take elements of a host culture and native culture and blend them together. The identity of an Asian American is a mix of Asian and American influences. Advertisers have made strides in using Asian actors in commercials. Of course, Asian culture is not uniform – there are many ethnicities that fall under the umbrella group of “Asian Americans,” but there are a few common values. One is the focus on family. Homes are usually comprised of two married parents. Family influences education. Respect for elders is very important. Focusing on a unifying theme will make it easier to reach Asian Americans rather than focusing on the differences.

Be Online

Let’s continue quoting the Nielsen report: “Asian Americans spend an average of 80 hours surfing the internet each month.” Their site preferences are similar to the rest of the population (Google, Facebook, Yahoo!, YouTube, and Twitter). It is important to point out, though, that they are very interested in technology and consumer electronics products and are more likely than other groups to buy products online. They are also very active on social media and blogging sites. What do all of these numbers mean? Basically, if you want to reach Asian Americans, it is important to have a solid presence online (website, social media, mobile friendly sites).

Spotlight on Multicultural Marketing: Part II

At LinguaLinx, we are always getting inspired. Two weeks ago, an article on the changing dynamic of the U.S. population really got us thinking: what impact does this shift have on marketing? The goal of marketing in its purest form is to match a company’s products and services to people who want and need them. In order to do this effectively, creative strategy is employed. It is all about reaching people in such a way that they feel connected to the product or service.  In Part I of our spotlight, we introduced our thoughts on multicultural marketing. Now, we’re going to take it a step further. Let’s take a look at the fastest-growing minority group in the United States: Hispanic Americans.

Connect with Language and Culture

Spanish is the second most widely-spoken language in the United States, by far. Of course, the use of English increases with second and third generation Hispanics. Latinos in the United States are not only bilingual, but also bicultural. “Speaking the language” does not simply mean “speaking Spanish.” It is about creating and using content that represents Hispanic ethnicity, but also framing the Latino population as a part of a greater whole. All of this really helps connect a brand to consumers. Target nails it with their recent “SinTraducción” ad campaign. The ad connects with the bilingual and cultural identity of Hispanic Americans and the back and forth between language and culture. One of the ads is shown below:

Don’t Be Literal

Directly translating a slogan from one language into another does not always work. The most infamous and relevant example was the California Milk Processors Board’s decision to use a literal translation of “Got Milk?” which became “Are You Lactating?” in Spanish. But, let’s give the Board some credit; they redeemed themselves with this 2014 ad for milk. The ad does a great job telling a story while also correctly using a bilingual approach. “Toma leche” translates into “Drink Milk.” It promotes and supports the idea that drinking milk before bed leads to positive dreams and quality sleeping.

Online Video is HUGE

A Nielsen report showed that Hispanics spend over 90 minutes longer than the U.S. average each month watching online video. Universal has the right idea with its own YouTube Channel for the Hispanic audience in the United States.

Universal Latino - YouTube - Google Chrome 4202015 42239 PM.bmp

Mobile is Important

Forty percent of Hispanic Millennials (ages 18-34) are mobile-only Internet users, according to ComScore data. This statistic is significant because it shows that having a mobile advertising strategy is paramount when looking to target Hispanic consumers. The challenge, as this article in AdAge points out, is “when consumers go mobile, their ethnicities become largely invisible to advertisers.” They point popular social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as music streaming sites and digital publications as great places to buy ad space to reach your targeted consumers.

Media Channels

Let’s get back to the ad mentioned above. The Target ad will run on Spanish-language television networks such as Univision and Telemundo. They will also run ads online on YouTube, Hulu, and People En Espaῆol. Target recognizes that a lot of Hispanics are online, so they are continuing the conversation on social media. Hashtags are instrumental with creating conversation, so #SinTraducción will be used. The goal of this conversation is to get people talking about traditions in their culture. The idea is to get people excited about a brand and how people in a particular culture use and relate to it.

In short, the Hispanic audience in the United States is one that is connected, retro-acculturated, proud, and growing! Take a look at some of the examples we provided as a guide when looking to market your products and services!

Celebrate English Language Day!

english language dayToday is April 23rd. It’s also English Language Day! In 2010, the United Nations created language days for each of their six official languages: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, and Spanish.  Their goal is to promote multilingualism and cultural diversity. April 23rd was chosen for English Language Day because it is the birthday of William Shakespeare. At LinguaLinx, we love languages. Words are our business, and our passion. Let’s take a moment and celebrate English!

There are 360 million native speakers of English in the world, making it the 3rd most widely spoken. English is the official language in 67 sovereign states and 27 non-sovereign entities. A lot of this is due to the former British Empire. English does not have official status in the United States (there is no official language in the United States). Due to its status as “The Language of Business,” English is learned by many worldwide as a second language.

Ten Fast Facts about the English Language:

  1. There is no word in the English language that rhymes with month, orange, silver or purple.
  2. English is the official language of the sky – all pilots speak in English on international flights.
  3. “E” is the most commonly used letter in the English language.
  4. Nigeria has more English speakers than the United Kingdom.
  5. There are 24 different dialects of English in the United States.
  6. “Pronunciation” is the most mispronounced English word.
  7. The word “checkmate” in chess comes from an Arabic phrase, “shah mat”, which means “the king is helpless.”
  8. More words start with “S” than any other letter.
  9. Eighty-nine percent of people in Sweden speak English.
  10. Two of the shortest completed sentences in the English language are “Go.” and “I am.”

Now that you have some random knowledge to wow your friends and use for Trivia Nights, go forth and love your language!

LinguaLinx is heading to Lectora 2015!

LUC 2015LinguaLinx is pleased to announce that we are returning to the Lectora User Conference for 2015, and this good news is “music to our ears”! Next week, we will join our friends at Trivantis in Nashville. You can find us at Booth 3 in Meeting Room 208 at the Music City Center!

Jennifer Agiovlasitis, Account Supervisor, and Kayleigh Gratton, Business Development Specialist, will be representing LinguaLinx at the conference. Jennifer works with Trivantis directly, and Kayleigh has attended previous Lectora conferences and is one of our eLearning experts!

“Trivantis has been working with LinguaLinx since 2007. I have been working with them directly since 2011. I am excited to meet all of the great people there, as they are one of our oldest clients! Of course, I am duly thrilled to meet all of the Lectora users that will be attending, as well,” says Jenn.

[For more details on our work with Trivantis, take a look at one of our case studies.]

“Of course,” she adds, “I am also happy to finally get to Nashville after growing up listening to all of the country legends such as Johnny Cash, Hank Williams, and Tanya Tucker, just to name a few! (Plus some newer greats such as Reba McIntyre, Martina McBride, Garth Brooks, and my personal favorite… Kenny Chesney!)”

Kayleigh, who attended #LUC2013 in San Antonio, also enjoys kicking up her boots at country concerts!

“The choice of venue only adds to my excitement! The Lectora User Conference presents a great opportunity to be a part of the eLearning community. Users attend the conference to learn tips and ideas for Lectora’s popular suite of products. We’re here to network, learn more about Lectora, and also stay up-to-date with the latest trends in learning and development, “ Kayleigh says.

With the recent release of Lectora 12, we are sure there is going to be plenty of great dialogue, learning, and training happening!

“We value our relationship with Trivantis very much,” says Jim Maziejka, Director of Sales. “We enjoy attending the Lectora User Conference as it is a great way for us to support one of our clients. LUC also presents a unique, fun and intimate atmosphere where great minds come together for learning and networking. “

For more information on what to expect from this year’s conference, check out Trivantis’ Lectora Blog. They have posted many “Nashville Notes” articles about different sessions, conference guides, and interesting places to go and try in the Music City! Follow LinguaLinx on Twitter (@LinguaLinx) and the backchannel (#LUC2015) to get engaged!

Spotlight on Multicultural Marketing: Part I

Multicultural Marketing - Part ITimes are changing! As we watch the final episodes of Mad Men, AMC’s popular period drama, over the next few weeks, we are reminded of how current events and changes in the population influence advertising and marketing. Just as the 1960s and 1970s ushered in waves of change, we are encounter changes due to shifts in the population. There’s plenty of data showing the trends for the U.S. market now and in the future. AdAge has covered this extensively in their report, “Your Guide to the Multicultural Mainstream.” In 30 years or less, predictions by the US Census Bureau show that non-Hispanic whites will no longer account for more than 50% of the population. This inspired us to take a closer look! The culture is changing: how will you adapt?

Multicultural marketing is the key. It’s all about balance. We know that marketers want to evoke emotion. This is achieved through understanding of the different types of consumers, their habits. There are several ways to do this:

 1. Language

Immigration has brought a steady flow of people into this country for generations. The percentage of English speakers grows as people assimilate. However, it is important to note that a lot of groups still speak a language other than English at home. There is a comfort level with their native language. In marketing, like other forms of content, it is important to convey information to consumers in ways that they best understand.

2. Culture

Assimilation to the dominant culture happens over generations, but whatd oesn’t go away is the desire to maintain some elements of native culture and identity. Marketers should embrace traditions and cultural values and incorporate these into marketing campaigns.

3. Media Channels

English-language media outlets are, of course, the most standard ways to reach consumers. But, don’t forget about marketing on additional language and culture media outlets of your target demographic.  Think about television networks, radio stations, and print and online news outlets. Ethnic groups often use these media outlets to keep in touch and stay connected with current events here and abroad.

4. Getting social

Social media usage is growing exponentially across the world. Products and services are promoted through social media. Get savvy with your social media marketing. Find out where your target demographic is hanging out. There are US-based outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but what about Weibo (China) or VK (Russia)?

5. Going mobile

Smartphone ownership and mobile usage is rising. People are using their phones to access the Internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch news, and engage with social media. The largest groups of users are millenials! Where will you by ad space? How will you reach these consumers? There are streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio which offer advertising opportunities. Also, look at mobile apps such as Snapchat as a way to engage. Think about video marketing! The point is – if you’re not mobile, you are missing out.

In later posts, we will focus on specific groups and how to best market to these key demographics. We hope to fill in some of the blanks. Stay tuned!

Get Creative with Transcreation

transcreationWhat is it, and how can it be used with global marketing?

Defining Transcreation

The most basic definition of translation is the process of translating words or text from one language into another. But we all know that it is so much more than that! Content is created in a source language to serve a specific purpose. Look at marketing and creative content, for example. There are many goals for marketing your content. Some include brand awareness, brand loyalty, customer education, and customer engagement. Creative phrasing, logos, and artwork are used to evoke emotion and make content more interesting.

Many companies are marketing globally. Because we are a multilingual world, they are seeking the help of translation agencies to help make their content available in other languages. When we are talking marketing, we are talking transcreation.

Think of transcreation as a fusion of translation, localization, and copywriting. It is taking source copy, translating it, but adding a creative touch and a local flavor. When an in-country, native-speaking linguist transcreates copy, they are doing their best to make sure that that the content evokes the same emotion in the target language. Content such as logos, marketing campaigns, taglines, and product pages are examples of things that can be transcreated.

Things To Remember

  • When developing content, we always like to say “keep translation in mind.” The same applies for transcreation. Taglines are often idioms that are culturally-specific, so they may not make sense in other locales.
  • Transcreation may take more time than standard translation, since there is more work involved with multilingual copywriting.
  • Make sure your graphics and slogans won’t offend other cultures. Cultural consulting can help with that!
  • An LSP will use in-country native speakers who have backgrounds in copywriting to perform transcreation. We also recommend that any transcreated projects be signed off in the market that they will be used in by a product manager or reviewer. You can never be too careful! In fact, we encourage client review and welcome feedback!

For Example

We know you’ve read about those infamous brand tagline translation fails. However, many brands have gotten it right! McDonald’s first global marketing campaign, “I’m lovin’ it,” was launched in 2003. The fast food chain transcreated the tagline into 20 languages and tailored the meaning for each culture. For example, in Chinese, the phrase was changed to “I just like (it),” since the meaning of the word love in China is taken very seriously.

In short, transcreation is taking the essence of a message and re-creating it in another language or dialect. If you want to learn more about LinguaLinx’s transcreation and global marketing services, visit this page or contact us today!

LinguaLinx Recap: Learning Solutions 2015


#LSCon Selfie – Caitlin (Left) and Kayleigh (Right) at the LinguaLinx Booth!

We’re not going to let chilly temperatures in upstate New York make us forget about our experience in sunny Orlando, Florida. Kayleigh and I had a successful return to this year’s Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, hosted by the eLearning Guild. It felt great to be back!

This year’s theme was “The Convergence of Technology & Training.” Technology has become such a part of our everyday lives. This is apparent in training and development; technology is present in design, delivery, and support. Tom Wujec kicked off the conference with his keynote “Return on Imagination” on Wednesday morning.  He spoke about innovation in learning. His points helped provoke learning professionals to think about different approaches for bringing innovation into their practices. We found this great Mindmap on Clark Quinn’s “Quinnovation” blog based on this keynote.

We took our place in the expo hall in the same spot as last year, the front right corner, and we were so happy to see familiar faces! Of course, it was great meeting new people as well.

At each conference we attend related to eLearning, training, and development, we continue to be impressed by the knowledge and interest that learning professionals have of the translation and localization industry. When we ask if they are currently translating their content, the answer is never “no.” It is usually “not yet.” This is because eLearning is a global industry. Companies are going global, and in turn, their training needs to be available for learners worldwide! This means providing content in their native language so that it is both accessible and effective. eLearning also reduce costs and is easier to manage compliance and oversight.

As a follow up to our conversations, we wanted to curate some eLearning resources that we’ve written. We hope that these resources are informative, easy-to-read, and beneficial for any learning and development professionals who are looking to localize their content. See below:

Any additional questions or comments, reach out to LinguaLinx. We hope to be back in Orlando next year for Learning Solutions 2016!

5 Common Mistakes in eLearning Localization (And How to Avoid Them!)

eLearning mistakes to avoidThe purpose of eLearning localization is to make sure that courses you develop can effectively reach a broad target audience. As a leading provider of eLearning localization solutions, LinguaLinx is using our experience to put together this list of common eLearning localization mistakes and how to avoid them. Trust us, it makes your job (and ours, too!) much easier.

1. Cutting Costs Where You Shouldn’t

Every course has a budget for development. It may seem expensive to localize eLearning in-house, but this may not always be the case. There are too many factors involved that make it easier – and cheaper – to outsource. We gave reasons in an earlier post “Why You Should Outsource Your Translations.” It is also important to use local subject matter experts (SMEs). They are trained eLearning professionals who can help decide what can be included or omitted. SMEs also review translated content to make sure that it is not just culturally relevant, but that terms used are preferred for the company or organization. eLearning localization costs don’t have to be expensive. We offer tips on saving money (and time) during the localization process in an earlier blog post “6 Tips for Cutting Cost and Time for eLearning Localization.”

2. Not Using “Translation-Friendly” Content

When writing content for your e-Learning program, it is best to begin with the end in mind. Anticipate that the content will need to be translated and localized. As always, make sure your writing is clear, concise, and consistent. Avoid being too wordy and using complex sentences. Then take it a step further by avoiding slang, idioms, or acronyms that whose meaning may be unclear in other languages. Providing a translation agency with a glossary or a term base will help with consistency and accuracy of content. This can also cut down on the number of unique words in your translation, which will, in turn, cut down on cost.

3. Not Making Room for Expanded Text

Keep “language expansion” in mind.  Many languages such as Spanish, Italian, French, and Portuguese can add 20 percent or more to the word count. Make sure your course is designed to handle this expansion. White space is your friend. Text boxes, frames, and other potentially-restricting areas are not.  Areas to be cautious about are navigation bars, drop-down menus, and links. We cover this more extensively in our blog post titled “Handling Expansion with eLearning Localization.”

4. Embedding Text in Images and/or Not Providing Source Files

Embedding text in graphics is a mistake. The text cannot be extracted for translation. A desktop publishing department would have to recreate a new layered image file, with the text as its own layer. This may also call for retouching of a graphic or photo. The result is added cost. A way to avoid this would be to provide editable source files such as PSD, INDD, or TIFF files; a JPEG is not an editable source file.

5. Putting Too Much On Your Plate

“Go Big or Go Home!” is a saying that might work in sports, but not with eLearning localization. Have one version of your eLearning completed before localizing. It’s a lot easier to change two paragraphs of text one time rather than in 3,4,5,6 or more different languages! Also, keep in mind that each course needs to be tested, and most of the time, reviewed by subject matter experts. Then, courses also need to be published. The process is a lengthy undertaking. Reach out to your partner LSP for help. We will work together with you to set deadlines and help manage these projects in the most efficient way possible so that each localized course is an A+!

LinguaLinx at Automate 2015

automate2015Chicago – our kind of town! In just five days, LinguaLinx will be landing in the Windy City to exhibit and attend Automate 2015. It’s our first time attending this show, and we will be sending Colin Melanson, one of our business development specialists, to represent us. He will be at Booth #197.

Automate is billed as “the largest solutions-based showcase of automation technologies in North America.” We will be in the company of fellow exhibitors and attendees who can demonstrate and are interested in robots, machine vision, motion control and automation solutions to help companies of all sizes succeed.

With such a broad range of industries, how does LinguaLinx fit in? It’s quite simple, actually. Companies want to have all of the pieces they need to compete in the global marketplace. Translation is one of those important pieces. Localization is needed for global marketing of your materials, collateral, and website for each new market you want to reach. Then, of course, all support documents such as instructions and manuals will need to be translated, too! Let’s add software localization to that list, too! Automation solutions are important components to help companies succeed, as are multilingual solutions. You’ll find this combination in Chicago next week!

What are we looking forward to? Our primary goal is to network with professionals in the automation industry to expand upon our knowledge of what they do, educate them on what we do, and see how our work can align with theirs. Of course, we are also pretty excited for all of the March Madness-themed networking that will be going on at the conference.  After all, we think our translation services are a “slam dunk!”

See you next week! (ICYMI – we are at Booth #197.)

LinguaLinx Returns to Learning Solutions 2015!

LSCon 2015Orlando, Florida attracts more than 57 million tourists each year. On March 25-27th, the “Theme Park Capital of the World” will attract eLearning and training professionals from across the world for the 2015 Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, hosted by the eLearning Guild.

The conference is always a great forum for innovation with engaging keynotes, sessions covering a variety of eLearning topics, and discussion panels. It is also a great stage for networking as everyone is eager to share ideas, strategies, and discover new solutions that can help them in their practice.

Cue in LinguaLinx. We are returning to Learning Solutions for our second year. We had great success last year connecting with eLearning professionals to talk about translation, localization, and how we can help meet their needs.

“The eLearning and training world is constantly changing. We like to keep up with trends in each industry that we work in, and conferences present the perfect opportunity to do just that,” says Jim Maziejka, Director of Sales.

Representing LinguaLinx are the usual suspects, Caitlin Nicholson and Kayleigh Gratton, at Booth #600. They had such a great time in sunny Florida last year that they could not wait to return!

“A great portion of my clients are in the eLearning industry,” says Kayleigh. “I enjoy these opportunities to reconnect with them and catch up on how they’re doing and what their needs are. Plus, LSCon allows me to learn more about their industry and see the innovative work they are doing.”

Her colleague, Caitlin, agrees. “Kayleigh and I are both eager to say hello to our eLearning friends and great new developers! This year’s theme The Convergence of Technology & Training should be very interesting for us. Technology is definitely changing the world of language translation, and we want to learn the role it is playing with eLearning as well.”

No matter what, it is always important to provide culturally-appropriate learning in the user’s native language. Whether it’s translating documentation and modules or multimedia content such as video and voice over, LinguaLinx has helped a growing number of developers expand their reach and effectiveness. And it’s not as difficult as it seems! Popular eLearning technologies easily integrate with translation tools for smooth importing and exporting.

We hope to see you all in Orlando. If you can’t make it, follow the #LSCon backchannel on social media – it’s always engaging! LinguaLinx will also be tweeting, so be sure to follow us (@LinguaLinx). Let the learning begin! We’ll be back in a few weeks with our key takeaways from the conference for sure.