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.

Handling Expansion with eLearning Localization

german expansioneLearning translation and localization has many different components. In previous posts, we’ve provided a broad range of tips that touch on these different components for text, audio, video, and graphics. Recently, we noticed an issue happening with client courses, and we wanted to help with this challenge: text expansion.

After translation of the source (English), there is usually a much greater amount of text. How much depends on the language combination. Here are a few examples:

  • Most Romance languages (French,Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, and Romanian) expand 15-20 percent.
    • Example: Please = Se il vous plait (French)
  • Some Germanic languages (German, Danish, Dutch) are known for their compound words, where they combine several small words into a larger one.
    • Example: Motor vehicle liability insurance = Kaftfahrzeug-Haftpflichtversicherung (German)
  • Some languages contract (character languages such as Chinese, Japanese, and Korean). Though the number of characters might decrease, the horizontal and vertical space needed may increase as characters themselves take up more space.

Expansion is tricky, but before it becomes a problem, let’s come up with a solution! Here are some options to help with this potential challenge:

  1. It is great to anticipate potential issues before the localization process begins and be proactive. We like to tell eLearning developers to create content with localization in mind. Anticipate that the course will need to be localized in the future. Therefore, when creating the course, add extra space in text boxes/text areas to allow room for expansion.
  2. If there is a lot to say about a particular subject, try not to cram all of the information onto one slide. A text-heavy English slide will be very hard to localize. Translated text might not fit! Remember the idiom “Two heads are better than one”? Think about this when putting together slides: two slides with less text are much better than one crowded slide for localization.
  3. Look at the font sizes used in your course. You never want fonts to be too small. A learner might not be able to read it! Therefore, there are limits to how small your course fonts can be. It is a great idea not to use your smallest font for your English content. Therefore, the font size of translated content can be reduced to make room for expansion. (Note, font size character languages might need to be a few points larger so they are readable!)
  4. Sometimes text is placed on top of images or graphics (example: buttons). Translated text may not fit. In this case, images can be re-sized or font sizes reduced (within style guidelines). These issues may be identified during the localization process. Recommendations will be made by the localization team, and we will work with the client to arrive at a solution.

There are a lot of nuances to the translation process. As a leading provider of turnkey eLearning localization solutions, LinguaLinx is here to help!

LinguaLinx at the 2015 HPBExpo!

hpb exhibitorSomething’s cooking next week in Nashville! Cue in the Hearth, Patio & Barbecue (HPB) Expo in the Music City, which opens on March 4th, 2015. Billed as “North America’s largest indoor-outdoor living showcase,” the expo is a great meeting place for industry manufacturers and suppliers to show their latest products and innovations and connect with customers.

Where does LinguaLinx fit into all of this?

“We’ve been warming up to the idea of exhibiting at the HPBExpo for the past few years,” says Jim Maziejka, Director of Sales. “LinguaLinx works with several leaders in this industry on translation, and this expo offers a great opportunity to establish and develop more relationships.”

So, we will be exhibiting this year at Booth #937!

Indeed, language is very important in all facets of communication from marketing materials to product packaging, manuals, assembly instructions and warning labels. If you are marketing or distributing your product internationally, quality language translation can help communicate your brand’s message, instructions and safety precautions in a language that customers understand.

Nicole Savage, Business Development Specialist, is one of the LinguaLinx team members attending the expo. “I work with a lot of my clients to help translate their MSDS, safety, and warning labels into a variety of languages. I hope to share my experiences with attendees at the expo and learn about how LinguaLinx solutions can meet their needs.”

Her teammate, Caitlin Nicholson, another Business Development Specialist, will be joining her. She agrees with Nicole and adds, “It is important, too, to not ignore language diversity in the United States when it comes to safety. Beyond this, from a marketing perspective, a lot of the products on display at the expo are new and innovative. We’re hoping to help companies market them all over the world with translation!”

Of course, both young ladies are excited to explore Nashville. As Willie Geist said on the TODAY show, “Nashville, man. That’s the place to be.”

See you next week!

Don’t Fail at Labeling and Packaging Translation!

only pukeYou’ve seen them. You’ve heard about them. You’ve laughed at them. Yes, we are talking about packaging translation fails. However, when it comes to translating your packaging and labels, it is no laughing matter. Bilingual packaging is now in demand with the growing Hispanic market in the US as well as the demand for products in Canada, Mexico, Europe, and beyond!

Accurate translation of your labels and packaging instructions can affect your business in many ways. First, presenting important information to your customers in their native language increases the appeal of your brand. Second, it helps with compliance. There are legal regulations in place for packaging and labeling. These vary from continent to continent and country to country. Here are three major examples:

  • Europe: Did you know that the European Commission issued a new Food Information Regulation (FIR) that introduced new stipulations that make food and nutrition labeling mandatory? [There’s a great Infographic that explains it for you here.] One important component is that information should be presented in a language understood by consumers. This may mean translating into one or more of the 24 official and working languages of the European Union.
  • Canada: The Consumer Packaging and Labeling Act (CPLA) outlines Canada’s labeling and packaging requirements. Highlights include providing certain information in English and French as well as converting units to the metric system. The Province of Quebec has additional mandates for bilingual labeling.
  • Mexico: By law, all labels on packaging must be translated into Spanish. The metric system is used. As of 2014, all nutrition contents and caloric content must now also be in Spanish on pre-packaged foods and non-alcoholic beverages.

Does this seem overwhelming? Cue in a language service provider like LinguaLinx.  We’re a fun and lively bunch, but we know how important it is to take translation seriously. It is important for the health and safety of your consumers and also for the integrity of your brand. We use in-country native speakers as linguists so they are well-versed with the laws and regulations for labeling and packaging in their countries.  We also have a desktop publishing team that works with whatever design file format you currently use.

Types of projects you might look to have translated include:

  • Care labels (for clothing items, etc.)
  • Retail packaging and inserts
  • Food and drink labels
  • Hazard or warning labels and important safety information
  • End user instructions, handling, and warranty information

Stay off of those “Translation Fails” lists and give us a call!

Tips for Finding a New Translation Vendor

switching LSPsThe New Year is well underway, and as you (hopefully) maintain your New Year’s resolutions, why not look at your relationship with your current language service provider (LSP)? Are you happy with your vendor, or have you thought about switching it up? Sometimes, a vendor becomes complacent. You’ll notice missed deadlines, poor translation quality, or lack of communication with your account manager. It is hard to make the switch – we understand! It’s like being unhappy with your job; you might not love it, but it’s easier than looking for a new one. Starting over with a new vendor may seem aggravating, but if your English content is important to you, it should be equally important to be satisfied with your translated content. Don’t let passiveness be an excuse. It’s not as difficult as you might think, and the end result will be an improvement.

Here are some tips for you when looking to make the switch. It is a great idea to get a relationship with your new LSP started on the right foot. Some topics you might want to bring up include:

  • What went wrong: It’s never great to dwell on the past, but letting your new vendor know about old issues puts your concerns at the forefront. Then, we can highlight and focus on these particular touch points. Your goals become our goals. We want those concerns to disappear!
  • Translation memory: Your translation memory (TM) is yours – you can take it with you wherever you go. You may not want to lose the leverage that you’ve built with your old vendor over time. If that’s the case, we can continue to use and expand upon your TMs.
  • Style guidelines and glossaries: If you have style guidelines in place for communication such as font sizes, margins, etc. and also a glossary of key terms used, supply them. We can continue to use and build upon these to keep consistency in your communication.
  • Quality control: Most of the time, organizations look to make the switch due to poor quality. We like to throw in this important disclaimer; apply this to the previous two bullet points! If quality was a key concern with your last vendor, it is beneficial to have us review your glossary and style guidelines. We can evaluate them and see if they need to be redone or updated. Of course, with these updates come updates to the TM to make sure these edits are incorporated into each project from now into the future.
  • Talk about the process: With each vendor, there is good and bad. (We try to avoid the ugly!) Talk about what worked and what didn’t work with your last vendor’s translation process. If one of your key issues was turnaround time, let’s assess how we can be more efficient, on the client side and the vendor side, to alleviate this problem.

Thinking about switching to LinguaLinx, but have questions? Contact us today. We’re ready to talk about it.