Five Terrific Tips to Help Take Your Brand Global

May 2, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, International Business

globeReady to take your brand from domestic to international markets? Whether you're setting out on an all-out global brand launch, or tailoring your efforts to a few well-chosen foreign language markets closer to home, your best first step is a well-thought-out plan to set your strategy and make some realistic goals.

That way, you can streamline your efforts and do what gets you the most impact for your budget. In many cases, you can (and should) leverage your existing brand assets in new language markets. Done right, finessing and tailoring what you already own with localization and smart multilingual translation can be highly effective in making that all-important first impression in new international arenas.

To help get you get started on your strategy and goals, here are five great tips that can lead to smart, culturally sensitive localization as you move into new language markets.

1.  Do your research to find the best potential markets.

The fastest-growing economies (like Brazil, India, and China) may look like a sure bet for your brand. But with a little research, you may find that Eastern Europe is where your brand will find its greatest initial success. Think about your differentiator in new markets, unique trends, and how you might need to reposition your brand as you localize for a global launch. Surveys plus attitude and usage studies are excellent ways to take the pulse of the locals, too — get to know your target customers, their likes and dislikes, influencers, hobbies, and where they shop.

Q&A: Doing Business in Brazil

April 27, 2011 by Guest Author
Category: Q&A, International Business

About guest author Rui Monteiro-Claro: Rui is a client development manager at Acclaro, with nearly 15 years experience in the translation and localization industry. Rui was born and raised in Portugal and often travels to Brazil for business and pleasure.

What makes Brazil such an appealing place for business?

Brazil has the world's eighth-largest economy, despite the poverty and inequality that plagues this giant of the southern hemisphere. And as one of the fastest-growing economies on the planet, it's become a much more attractive place to do business. Brazil is the second-largest exporter of agricultural products, has a large industrial sector, and vast mineral, oil and gas resources.sao paolo

Starting in 2003, the government headed by President Lula (and now by his successor, Dilma Rousseff) put in place a mix of progressive social policies and excellent fiscal management. Domestic consumer demand is rising, GDP was more than $2 trillion in 2010, and the economy continues to enjoy healthy growth.

The official language of Brazil is Portuguese — not Spanish — and it's very important to remember this. While most Brazilians can understand Spanish, they are proud of their status as the only Portuguese-speaking country in South America.

How should I prepare for business meetings in Brazil?

It's important to schedule business meetings at least two or three weeks ahead of time, and confirm them when you arrive in Brazil. Make sure to leave a couple of hours in between meetings in case the meetings go on longer or start later than you've planned.

You'll also need to adjust your own expectations of time. Brazilians approach scheduling with a very relaxed and flexible attitude and may arrive late — very late.

It's extremely important to socialize a bit before you get down to business, because the first step to building trust and good relationships in Brazil is getting to know your colleagues personally. And personal relationships are one of the single most important keys to succeeding in business in Brazil. So you may start a meeting by sharing a cafezinho (a little cup of that famous Brazilian coffee) and talking about soccer and family before any actual business takes place. Make sure to accept any food and drink that you’re offered as refusing can be considered insulting.

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Toronto

April 25, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

The meeting's over. You've got a little time to explore. It's your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people. 

Toronto is one of our favorite cities — cosmopolitan, friendly, and with the special beauty of a city on a lake. So we\ve pulled together fascinating activities and places in Toronto that most travelers never experience. Next time you're in town and find yourself with a few free hours, check out the list and go home with your best stories ever.

1. Get out in nature at the lyrical Toronto Music Garden, inspired by J.S. Bach's First Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. Stroll through the garden’s six 'rooms,' on curving pathways, past a 'stream" of boulders, a birch forest, a wildflower meadow, a flower parterre, and more. If you're lucky, you'll catch a concert in this lovely, relaxing spot.

toronto at night

2. Step into the Bata Shoe Museum's shoebox-shaped building to check out more than 10,000 'pedi-artifacts.' You'll see everything from 19th-century French chestnut-crushing clogs to Chinese bound-foot shoes to the glamorous platforms of Elton John and the simple sandals of Indira Ghandi. More than 4,500 years of history and a collection of 20th-century celebrity shoes are on display. No wonder the museum's tagline is “For the curious.”

The Easter Bread Basket

April 21, 2011 by Guest Author
Category: Culture

About guest author Lynne Carstarphen: Lynne is a freelance editor and writer who loves bread and eggs at Easter and every other day of the year.

As befits a holiday that marks the end of Lenten fasting, Easter is a day of feasting. There are as many food traditions associated with Easter as there are cultures that celebrate it, but almost all of them feature bread. Easter bread, in many forms and by many names, shows up on tables across Christendom.

pastieraIn Italy, every region has its own (often several) version. The star on the national stage, however, is colomba di pasquale, a sweet, eggy bread shaped like a dove. Enjoy it with a glass of spumante to cap off the Easter feast. Also popular is pastiera, a pie filled with wheat berries. Romans put sweet and savory together in pizza pasquale, a sweet bread topped with salame. Neapolitans have casatiello, an egg bread embedded with chunks of cheese, ham, and salame. Venetians eat fugassa di Pasqua; Genoese dig into torta pasqualina, a 33-layer tart filled with chard. Easter in the Friuli-Venezia-Giulia region brings gubana, a heavy bread stuffed with walnuts, raisins, and cocoa with a splash of grappa. In Emilia-Romagna, the town of Cesenatico offers ciambelle, a ring-shaped bread flavored with anise and lemon peel.

Come Easter Sunday in Portugal, they will be eating (among many other things) folar da pascoa, a folar de pascoameat-stuffed bread.

Mexican Easter bread comes in the form of dessert, either as capirotada, a bread pudding with cheese, peanuts, and raisins, soaked in a sweet syrup of brown sugar and cinnamon, or torrejas, a French toast–like treat.

The Chickens and Pigs of Agile Software Development: A Localization Fable

April 18, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Software Translation

chickensOnce upon a time, a chicken and a pig met and decided to open a restaurant that served only the best ham and eggs in the land. The pig would supply the ham, an assignment she took quite seriously as the ham would come literally off her own back. The chicken would supply the eggs, naturally without the same sense of sacrifice as our friend the pig.

This charming fable is often used to explain the characters involved with agile software development, with its continuous software releases, self-organizing teams, and fluid team assignments during sprint times.

Scrum masters and facilitators, dev team members, and product owners are the pigs, with a lot of skin in the game. Vendors, customers, and managers are the proverbial chickens, who can pigscontinue their normal, day-to-day lives.

To understand how localization plays into agile software development, let's imagine that our chicken and pig will soon be opening a restaurant in Mexico that serves chicharrones and huevos.

How can they localize their product for the new language market in a way that makes sense? What questions do they need to answer ahead of time? And what role will each play in the process?

Read on for our quick take on the question of how to get your software localized when developing via the agile model. And get the whole story in this full-length article.

Three Localization Lessons from Superstar Websites

April 13, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services, Localization Tips

www signHow do you translate your website’s U.S. appeal for an international audience? Let’s look to three multilingual sites from TIME’s 2010 Top 50 list for a few examples of how website localization can be done right.

Each teaches a different lesson ­— but what do these sites have in common? The companies behind them took the time to really understand the true goal of website localization: making sure a user from a different culture could easily interact with their site. Rather than just translating to other languages, they optimized their interfaces to make it easy, familiar, and enjoyable for their international users to navigate, shop, and network.

1. LinkedIn: Align your website localization with your global business strategy. In order to achieve their business objectives in other language markets (German, Portuguese, Italian, Spanish and French), the premier social site for professionals established:

  • Multilanguage customer support, training local staff and localizing training materials
  • Multilingual payment processing, backed by deep knowledge of local banking customs and laws
  • Localized advertising, translated or "transcreated" when appropriate

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.

How Wine Became Modern

April 6, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Culture

Global wine culture is the dripping, whirling, pulsating heart of the sensorial exhibit "How Wine Became Modern" at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (MOMA). It has attracted a chic following of wine appreciators from around the world. The exhibit is the first of its kind, assembling diverse media and art forms — graphic and industrial design, architecture, performing arts, visual arts and film — in a mind-altering celebration of the overlap between art, culture and wine. Each display illustrates how winegrowing, winemaking and wine-sipping have served as inspiration for artistic creations across cultures and countries.

Here are a few musings around my favorite “samples” from the exhibit:

  • wine mind mapIn [ ] Veritas, by Peter Wagner. This 70-foot long mural is a mind map composed of 200 different wine-related colors and terms. Lovers of linguistics will enjoy this playful representation of the ever-evolving terminology around wine. As the circle of international wine connoisseurs continues to expand, the words used to describe wine shift to accommodate a wider range of taste buds and cultural references.
  • The Judgement of Paris display includes a life-size photomural that depicts the (in)famous 1976 Paris tasting while evoking Da Vinci’s Last Supper. It would seem that the French judges are likened to Jesus in this analogy — and thus British journalist Stephen Spurrier would be Judas. If you’ve seen the movie “Bottle Shock”, you know about the betrayal of 1976, when Stephen Spurrier snuck a few wildcards from California into a blind tasting of judgement of parisFrench wines from Bordeaux and Burgundy. Much to the French wine experts’ chagrin, many of the California wines outperformed the Grand Cru Classés of Bordeaux and the whites from Burgundy. When Château Montelena Chardonnay 1973 and Stag’s Leap Wine Cellars’ 1973 Cabernet Sauvignon were pronounced the winners, mayhem ensued. In addition to the striking mural, the two original bottles from the tasting are on display.
  • Terroir. This installation combines soil samples from 17 vineyards of famous winegrowing countries such as Germany, South Africa, Spain, France, Chile, Argentina and California. Wine geeks, geologists and linguistics alike can enjoy this exploration of world-famous terroirs, gleaning information on their varying climates, humidity and soil structures, the etymology and translations of their place names and quotations from the winemakers on the somewhat abstract notion of “terroir”.
  • precision viticulturePrecision Viticulture. This projection by Diller Scofidio + Renfro highlights a technique that Napa icon Opus One has used to track the evolution of its vines and to map their growth and disease. Opus One combines multispectral aerial photography with remote sensing technology to keep a maternal eye on each individual vine in their prized vineyards. This projection is viewed against a white film on the floor of the gallery. The patchwork of multi-colored vineyard plots is as lovely as it is mind-blowing, an expression of “science-meets-quilting” or perhaps “landscape painting with infrared”. It is no wonder the wine from Opus One is among the highest quality in the world.

Join Us for a Free Mobile App Translation Webinar April 13

April 4, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Mobile

mobile app iconIf you’re ready to tap into the growing global mobile app market, we invite you to sign up for our upcoming free webinar, designed to help you localize and take your apps to the world.

Mobile app stores experienced explosive growth last year – and not just for iPhone and iPad. Android, BlackBerry, and Nokia apps increased by huge percentages (up 544% for Android alone), in every category from business and medical apps to entertainment, comics, and casino games.

Smooth Multilingual Voiceovers: Five Ways to Avoid the Do-Overs

April 1, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Multimedia, Localization Tips

Remember those badly dubbed Pippi Longstocking movies? A generation of Americans will never forget the way her out-of-synch mouth movements made her misadventures seem even more comical.

Mic Successful voiceovers are nearly imperceptible – they can make you think you’re watching a film in your own language. Such inconspicuous dubbing isn’t easy. But with the right localization partner and the right process, you can achieve flawless voiceovers for local appeal in your target-language markets.

Just follow these five tips to maximize your studio time, and avoid expensive re-recordings.

1.  Determine your voice style. For each language market, do you want to convey happiness, expertise, excitement or professionalism? For example, in the U.S., enthusiasm and hyperbole are standard, but such pep could be seen as overdone in Germany, where a factual, instructional tone establishes more credibility.

2.  Choose the right voice talent.

  • Prevent embarrassing, expensive casting blunders by outlining character profiles with first names, gender, ethnic background, age and basic personality traits.
  • If budget allows, get voiceover artists to record a small sample of your translated script, acting as one of your characters.
  • Are your voice talents are already "branded" in your target countries? For example: would the French voiceover artist for Sylvester Stallone help or harm your business objective in the French market?

Shooting People: The (International) Disposable Film Festival

Last night in San Francisco, The Disposable Film Festival premiered 24 short films made by people from around the world. Finalists hailed from the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, Spain, Germany, Russia and France.  The films, ranging in time from fifty seconds to seven and a half minutes, were not made by video recorders or professional cameras, but from point and shoot cameras, pocket cams, web cams, screen capture, SLRs, mobile phones and a “hacked” Kinect video game console.

While people in Arab countries are using their mobile phones to disseminate information and images about civic revolutions, these video artists are using their phones and other small devices to create a global film revolution. You don’t need to be a Hollywood or Bollywood film director with a big budget, diva movie stars, big name backers, or formal training to create innovative and compelling films.

Take a look at this film, titled “Thrush” by UK director Gabriel Bisset-Smith, the grand prize winner of the Festival:

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.

Five Tips for Translation Preparation

March 17, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Localization Tips

cloverGood translation has nothing to do with luck and finding a four leaf clover. It has everything to do with preparation. You prepare for a launch. You prepare for a meeting. You prepare for a presentation. You may even prepare for St. Patrick's Day (happy St. Paddy's Day!). And you should prepare for your translation and localization project. It'll save you time and money in the long run.

Here are five quick tips to help you prepare for any translation project — no matter what the target language (i.e. German, Arabic, Portuguese, or perhaps, Gaelic).

1. Create a glossary and style guide that are reviewed and approved by all internal parties. Determine the tone of what you’re trying to capture in the target language. Constantly update your glossary with new terms and revisions.

2. Give as much detail to your translation vendor about the subject matter. The more detailed the better so your vendor can choose qualified translators who have an advanced degree and/or extensive experience in the subject matter area.

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Paris

March 15, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

The meeting’s over. You’ve got a little time to explore. It’s your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people of Paris.

We’ve pulled together some of our favorite activities and places in the City of Lights, the ones many travelers never have a chance to experience. Of course, since it’s Paris, we’ve included more gastronomic delights than usual on our list. Next time you’re in town with a few free hours, check out the list below and go home with your best stories ever.

1. Start your day with the famous African hot chocolate and sinfully rich pastries at Angelina’s Salon de Thé in the first arrondissement. Get there before 11am to beat the lines — locals and travelers alike are magnetically drawn to the irresistible fragrance.

2. Wander the narrow, historic streets of Le Marais, Paris’s arrondissement of aristocrats. You’ll see medieval and Renaissance architecture plus loads of artisan boutiques, galleries, lavish squares, and unique French character.

le marais

3. Refresh yourself with a plate of andouillette, pommes frites, and a glass of silky Morgon cru Beaujolais at Ma Bourgogne, a wine bistro cherished by Parisians. You’ll find it on the elegant Place de Vosges, one of the loveliest squares in Le Marais.

Getting to Know the Hispanic Market

March 10, 2011 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, Culture

Do you parquear your car? How about vacunar the carpet? If you're one of the 34+ million of Spanish speakers in the U.S., you may understand this mix of Spanish and English perfectly well. And you may even expect to hear or read this Spanglish in advertising.

The purchasing power of the Hispanic population is currently valued at $1 trillion (that's a lot of dolares). Read on to learn some tips on how to createspanish english words culturally-specific marketing campaigns for this growing market.

Learn about the demographic. Hispanics in the States come from 20+ different countries (although a majority, around 60%, are of Mexican origin). Culturally, they tend to be travel between two worlds — their native culture and American culture. Skim through Hispanic magazines, watch Latino TV shows and listen to Spanish-language radio. You don't have to speak Spanish fluently to get an appreciation of the look and feel of the advertisements that target this demographic.

Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of International Women’s Day

March 8, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

iwd logoToday, millions of people across the globe will celebrate the centennial of International Women’s Day. And there’s a lot to celebrate: Since March 8, 1911, women have made vast economic, political, and social strides forward — though of course, there is still much more to be done. This special day has a hundred years of history behind it, from its beginnings as a march through New York City in 1908 to the designation of 1975 as International Women’s Year. And did you know that in the United States, the entire month of March is celebrated as Women’s History Month?

In some countries, International Women’s Day is an official national holiday. The celebration originally came out of early 20th-century socialist movements, so it’s only natural that countries like China, Armenia, Russia, Ukraine, Vietnam, Cuba, and most of the former Soviet Republics make it a day off to celebrate the accomplishments of women. In many countries, men honor their mothers, wives, girlfriends, colleagues, and daughters with gifts and flowers. There are even special greeting cards created just for the occasion, translated into every language imaginable.

Today, thousands of events will be held worldwide to celebrate women’s achievements and contributions ­— and to inspire future accomplishments as well. From Afghanistan to Zambia, political rallies, business conferences, networking events, craft markets, theater performances, and sports meets will connect women and girls on every continent.

The Many Faces of Carnival

March 2, 2011 by Garner Gollatz
Category: Culture

Starting on March 4, revelers in countries across the world will once again celebrate Carnival. The origins of the word, from a Latin phrase that means “removing meat”, hint at the nature of this exuberant holiday — traditionally the last chance for Roman Catholics and other Christians to indulge in rich food and other pleasures before Lent.

rio float carnaval

Carnival began in medieval Europe, but spread across the world as Catholicism followed in the wake of European powers such as Portugal and Spain. Today it is a truly global phenomenon, and celebrations from Brazil to India tend to have much in common, such as the selection of a King and Queen. Even so, the influence of local history and culture makes every version unique. If you want to experience Carnival for yourself, consider learning some key terms and traditions before you go.

Software That is World-Ready

February 28, 2011 by Alyssa Paris
Category: Software Translation, Localization Tips

World-ready has a nice ring to it, doesn’t it? Interested in learning how to take your software global by making it world-ready? Join us this Thursday for a complimentary software localization webinar and take your first step towards tapping into new international markets.

The global software market today is valued at $272 billion. Europe (key languages include French, Spanish, German, Italian and Portuguese) generates 36% of global revenues, while 22% is generated by Asian-Pacific markets (key languages include Japanese, Korean, Mandarin, Tagalog and Thai). How can you get your software into these lucrative, international markets?

Binary code Our webcast will break down the internationalization and localization processes into bite-sized, manageable pieces perfect for the amateur or “localization newbie”. Consider it akin to Software Localization 101. If you have the desire to go global but not a clue as to where to begin, this is a must-see presentation for you.

Through a series of basic steps, we will highlight the best way to approach the process of internationalizing your software and then adapting it to new foreign cultures. From initial preparation to linguist/cultural adaptation and finally testing/QA, we will demystify this seemingly convoluted process.

Egypt: The Arab World's Trendsetting Nation

February 25, 2011 by Garner Gollatz
Category: International & Global Translation Services, Culture

As Egypt goes, so goes the Arab world: if that idea has lost some of its currency in recent years, Egypt’s latest revolution is proving its worth once again. By far the most populous Arab country, Egypt has long had a cultural influence that extends far beyond its borders — a status reflected in Cairo’s Arabic nickname, “Umm Al-Dunya”, or “Mother of the World." A brief look at a few of Egypt’s “greatest hits” shows why events there have such an outsized impact on other Arab countries, and why the rise of democracy in Egypt could pave the way for a new era in the region.

Politics. For better or worse, Egypt has long been at the leading edge of Arab politics. The fiery President Gamal Abdel Nasser breathed life into Arab nationalism and inspired a generation of young revolutionaries — though his star dimmed after Egypt’s disastrous 1967 war with Israel. His successor, Anwar Al-Sadat, lacked Nasser’s popular appeal, yet he transformed Arab politics yet again by making peace with Israel and aligning Egypt with the West.

egyptian musicians

Music. Cairo and Beirut have a longstanding rivalry as capitals of the Arab music industry. For lovers of traditional Arab music, twentieth-century Egyptian stars such as Umm Kulthum and Farid Al-Atrash remain legends. More recently, singer Amr Diab has become one of a handful of Arab pop stars to achieve worldwide fame, most notably with his 1996 single Habibi ya Nur al-‘Ain.

Been There, Never Done That: Four Hours in Rio de Janeiro

February 24, 2011 by Lauren Kerr
Category: Culture

The meeting’s over. You’ve got a little time to explore. It’s your chance to get out of that hotel room, get off the beaten path, and experience the culture, the flavor, and the people.

It’s almost Carnaval time, so we’ve pulled together some of our favorite activities and places in Rio – the ones most travelers don’t have a chance to experience. If you’re in town with a few free hours, check out the list below and go home with your best stories ever — especially if you’re there next week when the festivities are at their de janeiro

It might be tough, but don’t spend all your time at the beach. Go for some  hang-gliding at Pedra Bonita, a short distance from Ipanema — it’s a great spot to start. And you’ll end up at the beach after all, where you can grab a refreshing coconut water sipped right from the shell.

Tour a Rio favela and gain a better understanding of how the other half (or actually, the other 20%) lives. Favelas may be poor, yet they’ve been home to some of Brazil’s finest soccer players and contribute more than their share to Rio’s famous Carnaval celebrations.

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