Localisation is most often used in the translation industry to refer to the practice of localising websites. This is the process of making them linguistically as well as 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 (either printed or on the web). Truly localised translation 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. It included wiring instructions for a three pin plug. As we are paid on number of words, it would have been easy just to provide the translation. 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? They called it “Nova”. A 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. You need 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.