Top Ten

10 Most Interesting Blog Posts


At Acclaro, we've helped Fortune 500 companies, tech startups and leading American brands succeed in global markets with their innovative products. One of the ways we try and communicate the most current, cutting-edge localization news is through our blog. While we've already brought you the 10 most popular blog posts in our Q1 2012 newsletter, we'd like to continue our 10th anniversary blog series with the 10 most interesting posts we've done, to date. Check them out....

The Acclaro Blog Is Two Years Old

The Acclaro blog is two years old! Two full years of snippets of localization savvy, language, and international business, all for you, dear Mr. or Ms. Acclaro Blog Fan. Since 2010, we've done our best to bring some pizzazz to your international business life, and we hope we've succeeded. Come with us as we take a trip down blog memory lane.

A Website Localization Success Story

logoLinkedIn announced today that is has expanded its website languages to include Russian, Romanian and Turkish. 100 million members strong, with 25 million users in Europe alone, LinkedIn has become the uncontested online destination for business professionals.

LinkedIn got it right from the start. Soon after their domestic launch, they realized that going global fast would cinch their victory in a competitive online space. Their global business ambitions took shape in a strategy, and that strategy led to website localization. They undertook the market research, became versed in international regulations, such as the EU’s International Safe Harbor Privacy Principles, and then created a business infrastructure to support their global website. In tandem with the launch of the site in German, Spanish, Portuguese, French and Italian, LinkedIn rolled out multi-language customer support, locale-specific payment processing and advertising. The selection of as one of TIME's top websites of 2010 is proof of their success.

Thanks to their quick reaction to shifting global trends for networking, exchanging ideas and recruiting talent, the LinkedIn platform is the social medium in Europe and North America, and is gaining influence daily in the Chinese, Japanese and Indian markets. Yesterday, LinkedIn crossed a major milestone of 10 million members in India.

Managing Your Far-Flung Localization Team, Part 1: Asking the Right Questions

June 7, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: International Staffing, Top Ten

questionsSo, you’re ready to staff up your localization team. It’s time to consider the challenges of managing a group that may be spread far and wide across the globe.

Since the solution for each organization is completely unique, it’s important to ask yourself a few critical questions so you can start out on the right path. These questions may address what seem like small issues, but taken altogether, they can mean the difference between an efficient, effective, successful team, and a chaotic and inefficient one.

Here’s your first question: Is there someone on your internal staff who can be the designated manager of your localization crew?

Faces in the Crowd: Translation Crowdsourcing

April 12, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Crowdsourcing, Localization Tips, Top Ten

Crowdsourcing is hot. And not just in the tech world. The crowd is changing the face of the translation industry with every passing day. There’s even a buzz phrase for it: social localization.

Regina Bustamente from Guideware and Janice Campbell from Adobe recently gave a talk at the Acclaro San Francisco office on tips for making translation crowdsourcing projects successful. Here are a few highlights:

  • Faces in the crowdDepending on the nature of your products (consumer or enterprise, etc.) you are likely to have different user groups. Remember that open-source techies do not share the same skill sets with your followers on Facebook, for example. You will want to make sure and encourage collaboration within the right user group for a particular translation project.
  • Brand evangelists who are in situ (in-country) are among the most appropriate translators for the lingo and product-specific jargon you need translated. They will be more familiar with street speak than you are. Use this to your advantage.
  • Make contributors identify themselves – you don’t want this to be an anonymous collaboration. Identification will create a space of accountability.

Q&A: Doing Business in China

March 24, 2011 by Jon Ritzdorf
Category: Q&A, International Business, Top Ten

About author Jon Ritzdorf: Jon serves as the Acclaro in-house globalization architect. He holds an M.A. in Chinese Translation and draws on more than a decade of experience for both his professional work and as an adjunct professor at New York University and the Monterey Institute of International Studies.

What are some of the latest trends in China?

There are several trends to be aware of:

sina weibo logoMicro-blogging (i.e. Twitter) has really taken off in China. The clear leader is Sina Weibo, launched in August 2009, with nearly 100 million users, according to If you’re trying to create a loyal following and/or promote your products directly to Chinese customers, definitely consider a Chinese micro-blog.

As with other countries, mobile advertising is gaining momentum. While smart phone penetration is still relatively low overall, the youth market is leading the trend of using their phones for internet use and app downloads (and with these, come mobile advertising). According to Nielsen, 73% of Chinese youth ages 15-24 reported using the mobile internet in the previous 30 days (versus 48% in the U.S. and 46% in the UK). Look for mobile internet use and mobile advertising to really ramp up in the next few years.

baidu logoSearch, search and more search. According to iResearch, China’s web search reached 64.02 billion queries in Q4 2010. And people aren’t necessarily searching on Google China, but rather Baidu, China’s largest search engine, with over 75% (or even as much as 83%, according to some reports) of market share. And watch for Baidu to expand beyond its borders.

Advertising in Europe, Part Two

german-beer-advertisementIn the first part of this blog entry, Advertising in Europe, Part One, we saw that English is understandably prominent in signage promoting tourist activities. We also saw that it is used in music advertising. So, continuing on our bike tour of Berlin, let’s see where else English is used as a “polyglot marketing tactic” in out-of-home advertising. 

When you think of mass marketing with a bit of flair, you may also think food and beverage, especially alcohol. This multi-story scaffold mesh ad for Beck's beer features a German headline that is a play on words and roughly translates to: “Better a cool beer than a refined pilsner.”

The tagline is in English: “The beer for a fresh generation.” That’s a lot of expensive ad space promoting a well-known German brand partly in English, in Germany (Becks was originally owned by a local family in Bremen in northern Germany until 2002; now it’s owned by the Belgian-based beverage giant InBev). 

Perhaps you want a little nosh with your beer? You may be tempted to get a German bratwurst, but then you see a poster for Subway, the American sandwich franchise.

Advertising in Europe, Part One

To Translate or Not to Translate, That is the Question

Walk around parts of Continental Europe and you may think you’re actually in the States or the U.K. due to the amount of English used in out-of-home advertising (e.g. billboards, scaffold banners, bus shelters, subway and bus posters, etc.). Glance at this Berlin subway advertisement below and you'll notice the headline is actually in English. Is English really taking over the world and replacing European languages in local advertising? Well, yes and no. It really depends on where you are.


In France, where Francophile-centric laws dictate what must be in French (mostly everything), you won’t see very much English in advertising, even in cosmopolitan Paris. However, in northern Europe and Germany, there is quite a bit of English – everywhere. Many people, especially those of the last two generations, are highly fluent in English and use it on a daily basis for business. That said, most ads are not exclusively in English; they combine two languages to form a polyglot marketing tactic. Advertisers get attention by portraying their brand as cool and youthful, but at the same time throw in some native language to get specifics across.

How To: Capture the U.S. Hispanic Market

"The concept of an 'average American' is gone, probably forever."

- Peter Franchese, founder of American Demographics magazine

The 2010 census was the first time that the U.S. government made a concerted effort to include all multilingual immigrant groups, and as a result it will likely show the U.S. as it is: a truly multicultural nation, a multigenerational society and a multi-segmented household economy.

2010 populationSpecifically, the new census will show numbers reflecting a large and fast-growing Hispanic population that for years many people were aware of, but never fully grasped the impact this group can have in the future. The Hispanic segement will represent over 50 million consumers with over a trillion dollars in buying power, writes Terry Soto in The Transformation of the U.S. Consumer Market (pdf).

But how do you capture and retain the Hispanic consumer? First and foremost, you need to gather market insights. Because the U.S. Hispanic is so incredibly diverse, you have to identify and understand the micro-segments within it that will be the most productive for your brand.

Mobile App Growth Driven By Emerging Global Markets

June 29, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: International & Global Translation Services, Mobile, Top Ten

global mobile apps market 2009-2012The mobile application economy will be worth $17.5 billion by 2012, with much of the growth driven by users in emerging markets of the Middle East and Africa, according to a report (pdf) released earlier this year by Chetan Sharma.

In terms of overall download share, Asia was ranked as the top worldwide market in 2009, and North American users accounted for about half of global mobile app revenues.

But these emerging markets — many of which are "skipping" the broadband revolution altogether and going straight to mobile — will account for the majority of revenue generated by the year 2012.

That's big enough news as it is, but when you look carefully at the numbers, you'll find it's an even larger divide. As Sharma points out in the report, per unit revenues are smaller in emerging markets, for both paid downloads and advertising. Volume, therefore, must not only surpass that of Western markets, but by much more than it would with a comparable pricing structure.

Hidden Localization Lessons at IKEA

What in the world did we do for inexpensive, “high”-design, build-it-yourself furniture before IKEA?

Before 1985, when IKEA opened their first store in the States, dorm rooms everywhere were littered with “bookshelves” made out of planks of wood and concrete blocks. Now, instead of going to the lumber yard, millions head to IKEA to for flat-packed everything — kitchen cabinets, desks, sheet sets, lamps, glasses, decorations, and yes, even pet beds.

IKEA is in nearly 40 countries; they are the true masters of product naming, multilingual packaging, and labeling and pictorial instructions.

Product Names

Need a toilet roll holder? Why not the MOLGER ($2.99 in wood) or the GRUNDTAL ($4.99 in stainless steel)? Sometimes, a name (and note they are always one word) will also be a series – so the MOLGER series also includes a plethora of other items for the bathroom such as a step stool, soap dish, shelving unit, or a mirrored hook rack.

Pepsi's Hispanic Campaign Inspires Slew of Comments

March 30, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: Marketing, Top Ten, US Translation Services

yo sumo pepsi marketing campaignPepsi received some great coverage in AdAge yesterday about its Hispanic-focused marketing campaign, playing off of the multilingual advertisements for the 2010 U.S. census, which urges all Americans to make themselves "count."

But within 24 hours of the story — which was also distributed on mainstream media outlets like Crain's New York — was a hotbed of discussion, er, disappointment, in both Pepsi and its Hispanic agency, Dieste.

The argument? "Yo sumo," the literal Spanish translation for "I count," may not have been the wisest choice for a campaign whose self-proclaimed purpose is to encourage Hispanics to go beyond being counted numerically and to share their experiences.

As Judy from New York put it in her comment:

"Yo sumo" means I add numbers (1+1=2). However, "Yo cuento", can mean either I count numbers or I count as a person. Hence, in this context, "Yo sumo" does not make sense. It works exactly the same in English: it's the difference between "I add" and "I count". What makes sense is "I count". What would make sense in correct Spanish is "Yo ME sumo" (I add/include myself).

3 (In)famous Marketing Translation Errors

March 7, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, Top Ten, Translation Agency

kfc bucket with birdSome of our favorite blunders from global marketing campaigns:

  1. Translated literally into Chinese, KFC's slogan "finger lickin’ good" came out as "eat your fingers off." Oops!
  2. Parker Pen's slogan "It won't leak in your pocket and embarrass you" translated in Mexico: "It won't leak in your pocket and make you pregnant." We sure hope not...
  3. IKEA, the Swedish furniture giant, decided to call one of its new desks "FARTFULL." Maybe not such a good idea.

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Smart, fun and useful. Acclaro shares news and tips on translation, localization, language, global business and culture.


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