Translate and localise your message with Better Languages

Localisation (or localization if you prefer the American spelling) is most often used in the translation industry to refer to the practice of localising websites; that is the process of making them linguistically and culturally appropriate for a given locality. However, whilst we do provide website localisation services, we prefer a wider definition:

To localise is to “make or become local in attitude or behaviour” according to Collins English Dictionary.

This wider definition reaches beyond words on a page (printed or on the web), the truly localised translation we provide is therefore about understanding and adapting a text to suit local attitudes and values.

Some time ago, we translated a user guide for an electrical product, which included wiring instructions for a three pin plug. As we are paid on number of words translated, it would have been easy to provide the translation requested, however this would not be very good customer service. As anyone in mainland Europe knows, plugs have two pins, not three. Wiring instructions for the UK product would therefore have been totally useless for the European mainland.

Does your translation company tell you these things? We think they should. Here’s why:

  • Lisbon – Portugal. Ever heard the story about Opel trying to sell its smallest car in Portugal calling it “Nova”, nice name for a car, except in Portuguese “no va” means “it doesn’t go”!
  • It didn’t sell, but changing the name to “Corsa” did the trick, they sold like hot cakes.
  • Another famous story is the marketing slogan aimed at the US market “nothing sucks like an Electrolux” great marketing wording, except that in the States if something “sucks” it’s really bad……maybe not the way to sell your product.

Our Localisation Services

Selling in a new market is about more than sticking a pin in a map and hoping for the best, so is appropriately localised translation.

Our team ensures relevant and accurate expression in the translated text.  We make extensive use of in-country translators. This ensures up to date language use, and an awareness of current local culture and values.

To find out more about localisation, to discuss your requirements or to request a quote, contact betterlanguages.com today.

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    New Look Retailers

    Better Languages worked with New Look in the mid noughties, helping them enter new European markets by translating a wide range of retail texts.

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    Marketing Translation

    We work with marketing and brand agencies, as well as with marketing departments of large multinational clients. Here is a case study of work we did for a local Leicestershire marketing agency.

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    Mothercare

    Global retailer translation case study - Mothercare