Content localisation

Content localisation

It doesn’t exactly make us the life and soul of the party but, given half a chance, we can talk about content localisation for hours. It’s become an important component of any worldwide brand marketing strategy, and if you’re making your first foray into foreign markets you’ll need to do it sooner or later. So what is content localisation, and why is it so important?

Tailor your message to your audience

Content localisation is all about targeted communication. When you write content for your website or social media pages, for example, it must obviously be flawless and flow well. But it must also play to your target group’s unique interests and habits, which may vary a great deal between languages, countries, and even regions. When you translate your copy, it’s important to take this into account. Localisation is about adapting concepts to appeal to local readers, so it requires a detailed knowledge of their language and culture.

Up to date

It may not be a good idea to talk about going out for a drink in marketing copy intended for the Arab world, or about potatoes to people in Senegal, where they don’t feature prominently in the diet. Metaphors and other expressions often don’t translate well into other cultures, and language itself is constantly changing. So translators must not only understand the finer points of a language, but keep up to date with developments in the culture or region. For example, you can’t translate the Dutch “we appen nog” (we’ll message each other”) as “we’ll app”. Fortunately, a translator who’s up to date with everyday idioms will be able to come up with the right choice of words.

Tailored translation

Localisation requires an understanding of nuance and context, which is why The Translation Collective works only with native translators who are familiar with the latest cultural developments in their countries. For example, when we translated the Inner Circle dating app into eleven languages, we had to find words for “ghosting”, and deal with the fact that Italian has no exact equivalent for
“dating”. But we managed to make the copy sound natural, so readers feel they’re talking to someone from their own country. And that’s precisely what we intended!

If you’re ready to take your business abroad, we’d be happy to help you localise your copy. You can ask for a quote below, or contact us here.

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