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Don’t Get Lost in Translation: 4 Digital Marketing Tips

Don’t Get Lost in Translation: 4 Digital Marketing Tips

Nicole Piazza, Sales CoordinatorNicole helps the LinguaLinx sales team ensure clients have the best experience when choosing LinguaLinx translation services. Nicole is a photography aficionado and art museums are some of her favorite places to go. She has a passion for animals and loves spending time with them, especially her Bichon Poodle mix, Cappuccino.

Every savvy marketer knows digital marketing is essential in today’s always-on world. To successfully execute digital marketing campaigns in other global markets, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t just cut/paste your campaign content and expect it to be effective. A thoughtful, well-researched approach along with the support of a translation services partner can ensure your campaign is localized for maximum success.

Here are 4 tips to make the most of your campaign efforts: 1. Choose the Marketing Mix Wisely: Different markets require a unique marketing mix. It’s not one size fits all. How your potential customers receive their media and information may be completely different in each location. For example, social might work best in one region while digital ads on popular sites are better in another region. It’s important to extensively research new markets before expanding into them to ensure the most potential for success. 2. Words Matter: When it comes to email marketing, pay attention to the content and subject lines to avoid ending up in Spam folders or worse offending your target prospects with language or product names that represent something negative in their culture. Avoid the use of idioms which are used in U.S. marketing, but typically don’t translate to other global markets and aggressive tone or overly salesy language could backfire in other locations. It’s truly not enough to push your email through Google translation and call it a day. You risk your brand reputation and lose the opportunity to build a valuable channel to market your products and services globally. 3. There is No One and Done: Localizing and translation of your campaign content is an ongoing, interactive process. Digital marketing campaigns are living, breathing things and require you to provide regular updates, posts and responses. Frequency and fresh updated content can help extend and maintain your reach. 4. Consistency Can Make the Difference: Working with the same translation service partner throughout your global campaign can help you build campaign elements that will resonate in any market you target and align your message and tone with your overall brand message to remain consistent no matter the location. According to research by Common Sense Advisory, 75% of customers prefer to buy products in their native language.  That’s all the more reason to make the investment of time and resources to localize your messages and translate your campaigns using a well-respected translation services partner like LinguaLinx. We can help you create a global digital marketing campaign that doesn’t get lost in translation.

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Why is Québécois French different from Parisian French?

Why is Québécois French different from Parisian French?

Kristen Bradley

If you’re translating content to reach a French-speaking audience, it’s important to consider not just the language itself, but the nuances that arise based on where your audience lives. A great example of this scenario is the differences between the way French is spoken in France vs Canada.

Québécois (someone from Québec) and Français (someone from France) share the same basic grammatical rules, so if someone from Canada and someone from France were both to write the same letter, the letter would read exactly the same due to both of them using standard French in writing. However due to the history of Québec, spoken French there is quite different from the French spoken in France. Québécois French is based on the French spoken in Paris during the 17th and 18th centuries because during that time Europeans were colonizing the Americas and French royals sent Parisians to live in “la Nouvelle France” (aka New France which is modern-day Québec). But, after this initial colonization, the area became increasingly isolated from France which led to a lot of their linguistics becoming frozen in time as their language was not evolving along with their Parisian counterparts. This resulted in modern-day “Canadian French” holding many linguistic characteristics that are not shared by modern European Francophones.

Accent and Pronunciation Due to the archaic nature of the language, Canadian French contains several 17th century pronunciations, resulting in a noticeably different accent than other Francophones (French speakers). The Québécois accent is known in the Francophone community to be “chantant” (sing-songy) when compared to other French accents. However there is no standard “Québec accent” because every city and town will have its own distinct differences in pronunciation and phrasing as is the case with any language. In Québec, vowels are a bit more nasal-y than in France, for example “an” is pronounced more like “in” so a phrase like “les parents” (parents) may sound more like “les parrains” (grandparents) which could cause some miscommunications. Another difference in pronunciation concerns consonants. Some consonants, like T and D, are “affriquées” meaning when they come before a vowel a Québécois francophone would add an S or Z sound after them. For example, one would pronounce “fatigué” (tired) as “fatsigué” or “Mardi” (Tuesday) as “Mardzi”. Another difference in Québécois pronunciation is their pronunciation of “Un” (the). In Québec, “un” is still pronounced which is not the case in France. Most French speakers will pronounce “un” as “in”. In a similar situation “A” is sometime pronounced “ô”, so “l’art” (art) may end up sounding like “l’or” (gold). Prepositions and Pronouns Concerning pronouns, Québécois vary greatly from other French. Canadians prefer to use the informal form while addressing someone whenever possible. In Québec “tu” (you) is more likely to be used than “vous” (formal form of you) with the only exceptions being when speaking to someone you don’t know or when in a very formal setting. Canadians will almost always use “on” (we) where someone from France would use “nous” (we). Québécois tend to replace “il” (him or it) with “Y”. For example, “Y’est malade” would be used instead of “Il est malade” (He is sick), or “Y fait bon” may be used instead of “Il fait bon” (it’s nice outside). Similarly, “elle” (she or it) is replaced with “A”. For example “A mal au ventre.” (She has a stomach ache) would be used in place of “Elle est mal au ventre”. When referring to themselves, Canadians replace “Je suis” (I am) with a “Chu”. So instead of hearing “Je suis fatigué” (I’m tired) you may hear a Québécois say “Chu fatigué”. When it comes to prepositions, Canadians prefer to keep it short and sweet by shortening prepositional phrases. “Sur la” (on the) turns into “s’a”, “sur les” (on the) becomes “s’es”, “dans les” (in the) becomes “dins” and so on. Language Influence Another difference between Parisian French and “Canadian French” is the impact of First Nation languages on Québécois vocabulary. Québécois use many Aboriginal loanwords, for example, when talking about sandals someone from France would refer to “les sandales” whereas someone from Québec would refer to “les babiches”. The use of French sounding words over Anglicized words is promoted in Canada, however the proximity of English speakers has also caused a lasting influence on the language. It wouldn’t be strange to hear a Québécois conjugate English verbs into French sentences, which is very uncommon for other Francophones outside of Québec. For example you might hear a Québécois say “J’ai plugé mon cellulaire” (I plugged in my cellphone), or “On a crossé la street.” (We crossed the street.). Vocabulary Québec has a specific regional vocabulary that differs from that of France. This is partly due to their isolation from the evolution of the French language that occurred centuries ago. But it is also an effect of their attempts to preserve the French language intentionally by creating new French-sounding words, and trying to Anglicize them as little as possible. For example, “Parking” in France is “Parking” but in Québec it has been changed to “Stationnement”. In France, “faire du shopping” means to go shopping, but in Québec it is changed to “magasiner” (derived from the French “magasin” meaning store). As mentioned before, due to the prevalence of the English language, many English words have been absorbed by the Québécois. For example in France when talking about a car one would refer to “une voiture”, but in Canada one would refer to “un char”. When speaking about a cell phone, in France one would refer to “un portable”, but in Canada one would refer to “un cellulaire”. A job in France would be referred to as “le boulot”, but in Canada one may simply refer to “la job”. A major point of confusion could arise when speaking about meal times between a Québécois and a Français due to the differences in meaning but similarity of words. In Québec breakfast is “le déjeuner”, lunch is “le dîner” and dinner is “le souper”. However, in France breakfast is “le petit-déjeuner”, lunch is “le déjeuner”, and dinner is “le dîner”. Differences like these could cause a bit of confusion between French speakers, or someone traveling to a Francophone country who may not be familiar with regional specifics so it is always wise to brush up on local phrasing while traveling. All of these subtle distinctions must be taken into account when creating or translating any materials for French speakers. Even though there are a great deal of similarities between written content, there are certainly cultural colloquiums which may be more appropriate in content for an audience in Quebec than one in Paris. In terms of audio dubbing to website localization these considerations become even more significant. If you are translating or localizing content for Quebec, check in with a translation professional to make sure you can capture the true voice of the Québécois.

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A Profile on Scandinavian Languages: Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish

A Profile on Scandinavian Languages: Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish

Kristen Bradley

Scandinavia is the title given to the Northern European region where Denmark, Norway, and Sweden are located. Three languages spoken in this region are Danish, Norwegian, and Swedish. Did you know that these three languages are mutually intelligible? This means that speakers of each of these languages can understand one another with little difficulty. Let’s take a look at the three Scandinavian languages.

Danish Danish is an Indo-European language descended from North Germanic and East Norse. It is spoken by approximately six million people worldwide, predominantly in the country of Denmark. While there is no law declaring an official language for Denmark, the Code of Civil Procedure does claim Danish as the language of the courts. The English and Danish verb systems are very similar and share many features. Danish verbs are conjugated according to tense, but do not change according to person or number. Danish nouns have only two genders, common and neuter. A noun’s gender is not necessarily predictable and in most cases must be memorized. Danish words are mostly derived from Old Norse Language with new words created through compounding. An extreme example of compounding is the word kvindehåndboldlandsholdet, which means “the female handball national team.” There have been many world-renowned authors from Denmark. A notable example is Hans Christian Andersen, a popular and prolific author of fairy tales. Norwegian Norwegian (Norsk) is a West Scandinavian language descended from North Germanic through Germanic and the Indo-European language family. Norwegian is spoken primarily in Norway where it holds official language status. Norway is not a member of the European Union. Norway encompasses 149,000 sq. mi. and has a native population of about 5 million. As such, it is the second least densely populated country in Europe. An officially sanctioned standard for spoken Norwegian does not exist, and most Norwegians speak their own dialect. There are two official versions of written Norwegian: Bokmål (“book tongue”) and Nynorsk (“new Norwegian”). Both versions are regulated by the Norwegian Language Council. Norwegian is from the same Germanic language family as is English. Thanks to this relationship, there are several similarities between the two languages. However, there are also some significant differences that should be learned and watched out for in both written and oral Norwegian. A greater number of English words have continuously made their way into the Norwegian lexicon, most notably after World War II. Most of these words have come from movies, entertainment, music, technology, and books. However, the influence that Norwegian had over English during the Viking Age is still greater than modern English’s impact on Norwegian. Swedish Standard Swedish originates from the region around Sweden’s capital, Stockholm, and is spoken by virtually all Swedes. While Swedish is the official language of Sweden, it also has the distinction of being one of the official languages of the European Union. Swedish and English share a similar phonological system. However, Swedish has 17 more pure vowel sounds than English. Despite having a larger range of vowel sounds, Swedish speakers still have trouble pronouncing words starting with “sh-”, “be-” and “ba-“. Swedish has 18 consonant phonemes, which overlap those for English. Swedish speakers often have trouble with English “th-” words. When it comes to vocabulary, English shares many similar cognates. However, some words that may be plural in English are singular in Swedish and vice versa. Other things to watch out for when translating the two languages are the possibility that Swedish punctuation patterns may negatively transfer, and there is an expectation of run-on sentences. The New Testament in Swedish was published in 1526 followed by the full Bible translation in 1541.

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Interesting Facts About Polish Language

Interesting Facts About Polish Language

Kristen Bradley

Polish is an Indo-European language that is part of the West Slavic language family. It is the official language of Poland and one of 24 official languages of the European Union. Polish is also a recognized minority language in the Czech Republic, Hungary, Lithuania, Slovakia, and the Ukraine.

Here are some interesting facts about Polish language. Over 40 million people speak Polish. In Poland, nearly 98% of its citizens declare Polish as their first language. The Polish people are considered the sixth largest national group in the European Union. Modern Polish (1930 to present) is considered the closest thing to standard Polish today. The Polish Diaspora There were many waves of Polish emigration over the course of the 20th Century with significant amounts of Polish immigrants and their descendants in the United States, Germany, Brazil, Israel, France, the United Kingdom, and many more. According to US Census data, there are about 9.5 million Polish Americans (Americans with total or partial Polish ancestry). This means that they are the largest Slavic ethnic group living in the United States. Chicago is considered to be the biggest Polish city in the United States. Polish-Americans have influenced American culture in many ways. One way is with Polish cuisine items such as golabki, kielbasa, and pierogi. Monuments to famous Polish Americans such as Tadeusz Kościuszko and Casimir Pulaski are present in many American cities. Polish American heritage festivals are held across the United States from New York City to Chicago to Milwaukee to Kansas City to Seattle. Polish vs. English A big difference between Polish and English is the vowel system. English only uses a modest level of nasalization but, unlike Polish, it does not use nasality for contrastive purposes. Polish retains Old Slavic’s system of cases for nouns, pronouns, and adjectives. Polish has two number classes: singular and plural. It has three main genders: masculine, feminine, and neuter. While English has 24 consonants phonemes, Polish has 29. Whether you are looking to have a document translated from Polish into English, or if you are looking for an English to Polish translation, it is important to work with a qualified translator who is a native speaker of the target language.

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Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portuguese

Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portuguese  

Caitlin Nicholson

Portuguese is a global language. Beyond Brazil and Portugal, Portuguese is the sole official language of Angola, Cape Verde, Guinea-Bissau, Mozambique, and São Tomé and Príncipe. It is also the co-official language in East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, and Macau. Therefore, there are approximately 202 million native Portuguese speakers!

Due to the global reach of this language (#6 in the world), we receive frequent requests for Portuguese translation services. When we receive requests from our clients, our first question is typically “What kind of Portuguese?” When localizing, it is very important to identify your target audience. Often, we are asked what the similarities and differences are between Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portuguese. Let’s explore this further! Pronouns In Portuguese, there are two pronouns that are both correct for the 2nd person singular you – tu and você. Usage is different between Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portugese. In Brazil, você is more common (in media, official text, and dialog) . In European Portuguese, tu is used for informal dialog while você is only really used for formal dialog. Both pronouns are understood by Portuguese speakers. With translation, it is important to reflect the proper tone for your content by choosing the correct usage. Vocabulary This is very similar to British English and American English. For example – “truck” in American English is “lorry” in British English. The same occurs with Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portuguese. For example – the word “ice cream.” In Brazilian Portuguese it is “sorvete.” In European Portuguese it is “gelado.” Differences in vocabulary can lead to a communication breakdown. This is where localization comes into play. If you have content that needs to be translated to Portuguese, make sure you are choosing the correct Portuguese so that your content resonates with people living in your target market. Language Reform The Portuguese Language Orthographic Agreement was signed in 1990. The goal of the Community of Portuguese-speaking countries (CPLP) is to standardize Portuguese language across all Portuguese-speaking countries. Prior to this agreement, Brazilian Portuguese vs European Portuguese had different sets of conventions for writing the language. Implementation occurred over a transitional period which ended in January of 2016. What does all of this reform mean? Changes affected spelling of about 1.65 percent of Portuguese words. In terms of language translation, new rules will be used on materials that are translated for the first time. Translated materials will need to be updated, as well as Portuguese translation memory. Qualified linguists work in the language, study it, and keep up with times. They will incorporate new and correct spellings into their work. The goal of the agreement is to bridge the two language gaps. The goal of your language translation partner is to continue to properly adapt content for different markets to make sure your content reaches your target audience.

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Portuguese Language Translation: It Isn’t Spanish

Portuguese Language Translation: It Isn’t Spanish  

Caitlin Nicholson

A lot of folks think Portuguese and Spanish are basically the same language. That isn’t the case at all. Another common mistake comes from the belief that European (or “Continental”) Portuguese — what people speak in Portugal — and Brazilian Portuguese are almost identical. Not true either.

While people in Portugal tend to understand their Brazilian cousins reasonably well (thanks to their exposure to Brazilian soap operas), Brazilians often have a hard time understanding the Portuguese. Brazilian Portuguese is much more open and singsong-like when compared with European Portuguese. The people of Portugal tend to swallow the ends of their words, and they don’t enunciate their sentences like the Brazilians do. Portuguese language translation is integral to commerce and tourism worldwide. This storied Romance language is spoken widely in places like Angola, Brazil, Cape Verde, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Macau, Mozambique, Portugal (of course), São Tomé, and Príncipe, as well as Indian Goa. With around 240 million Portuguese speakers inhabiting the Earth, it’s a language to be reckoned with. The biggest difference between Portuguese and Spanish is in the pronunciation and in certain vocabulary. Verb tense, reflexive pronouns, and the use of the progressive tense (“-ing”) differ too. Notably, speakers of Brazilian Portuguese tend to use the progressive tense in a manner similar to modern Spanish, while European Portuguese speakers do not. With a little effort, native and fluent speakers of both languages can often understand one another. Even so, many differences do exist, which can cause trouble for Portuguese and Spanish translators not familiar with the subtleties of one, or both, languages. For people who speak a smattering of Portuguese and Spanish (like the author), there is a third “language” out there open for our use. It is affectionately known as “Portuñol.” Portuñol is a willy-nilly mesh of Portuguese and Spanish. If you happen to be serious about Portuguese language translation, you’d best stick with a qualified translator or interpreter. You’ll be hard pressed to find a true Portuñol translator, and to be honest, you’d be hard pressed to find a real use for one.