Translation Demand is Up, But Not Prices

September 15, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: International & Global Translation Services

growth chartLast month Common Sense Advisory published a report with findings from a global survey of 651 language service providers (translation firms) and freelancers in 75 countries about their pricing structures, processes, and customer bases.

The report includes pricing data in average prices for 156 language pairs, as well as the major 10 languages with the greatest global economic impact (i.e., French, Spanish, Chinese).

Below are three key findings from the report:

Automation and technology integration is benefiting everyone. Translation vendors that effectively use technology to partially automate the translation process can offer substantial savings to businesses. Whether it's using translation memory to process previously translated text or providing human post-editing services for machine-translated text, there is a high potential for cost efficiency.

Website Globalization Webinar

September 13, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, Website Translation Services, Localization Tips

griferiasPicture this: A native Spanish speaker just moved into a new house in Phoenix and it's pretty clear that they're going to need a new kitchen faucet. They're not quite sure where the nearest home improvement store is, and anyway, they're used to buying items online.

So they start searching the web for kitchen faucets. Only, they don't type "kitchen faucet" into Google; they type "grifería."

The top search results are fairly useless: a bunch of faucet companies based in Spain, a Delta faucet product sheet PDF that takes a long time to load and doesn't have what they're looking for anyway. The right-hand column is also empty of relevant results, just an ad that says, "¿Buscas Griferias? Consigue Mejores Resultados con"

Why such lack of targeted, relevant results for this proactive, ready-to-buy consumer? Perhaps the faucet industry isn't aware that...

  • Non-native English speakers are four times more likely to buy products offered and documented in their own languages.
  • Even for those who can read English, more than 60% prefer buying from sites in their own language.
  • 65.5% of English-proficient consumers still favor local-language products.

And, more importantly, that the Hispanic market in the U.S. is poised to reach $1 trillion by the end of this year. That's a lot of faucets!

Don't fall into the habit of ignoring foreign language markets. Even companies that sell products and services to domestic customers should consider launching a localized website as part of their marketing and sales growth strategy.

Don't know where to start? Join Acclaro on Thursday, September 23, 2010 at 9am PT / noon ET for a free, live one-hour webinar that will help you start thinking about how to reach those foreign language visitors.

YouTube Adds 4 New Languages

September 7, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services, Multimedia, Technology

YouTube, which already supported two dozen languages, has added four new languages (Croatian, Filipino, Serbian and Slovak) to its lineup, Wired reported last week. The supported languages are supplemented by a script translator that allows viewers to see machine-translated video captions in over 50 languages.

The Google-owned video sharing site was English-only until as late as 2007, when it expanded to Europe, Brazil and Japan, adding a slew of languages (image courtesy of Wired):

youtube's languages

YouTube apparently intends to continue this global expansion trend, hoping to add as many as 12 more localized versions by the end of 2010. (Hebrew, which didn't make the cut this time around because of the complication of its bidirectional script, might get another chance.)

Spanish Language Bloggers a Growing Consumer Influence

September 2, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing, International & Global Translation Services

latismThe number of Hispanic women starting blogs hit a peak last year, with 63% of Latina bloggers founding their blog in 2009, according to the LATISM Bloguera Survey, which questioned 939 respondents in the United States and Latin America.

There's been a steady increase in the number of blogs authored by Latinas since 2006 to date, and projections indicate that the number will continue to increase throughout 2010, the study found.

"Through blogging, they have planted themselves right at the epicenter of merging worlds: between tradition and modernity, between off-line and on-line, between English and Spanish, between American and Latino cultures," observed Ana Roca-Castro, Chair and Founder of Latinos in Social Media (LATISM).

Considering the vast projected growth of the Spanish-speaking population in the U.S. and their spending power, these Latina bloggers are certainly something to watch for companies looking to track this emerging online consumer segment.

Facebook Beyond Borders

August 30, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: Marketing, International & Global Translation Services

7 eleven facebook chineseFacebook's global user base hit the 500 million mark last month, the company reported, leaving marketers and advertisers in the U.S. and abroad wondering, how can I get a piece of that audience?

It makes sense: The purpose of social networking is to share information about yourself in an online profile, connect with others and communicate. Theoretically, fan pages on Facebook should be the perfect method for increasing brand awareness, and ads served to Facebook users should be highly targeted and relevant. At the beginning of the year, eMarketer even predicted a near-40% increase in Facebook advertising spend.

But what happens when you're dealing with an audience that is not entirely native English speakers? How do you adapt and expand your Facebook strategy to make sure you're not losing out on consumers in key language markets?

Trend Alert: Foreign Language Media Gaining Ground

August 26, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: International & Global Translation Services

al jazeeraWho knew what Al-Jazeera was 10 years ago? Not many people in the U.S., that's for sure. The only access that Americans had to foreign language media sources was through special cable subscriptions, and a lot of foreign channels were simply not available in many American markets.

That's no longer the case. Satellite television has brought foreign channels into many American homes. And as people consume media in an increasingly diverse amount of ways beyond newspapers and television, other media sources are getting attention from Westerners.

From North Korea's national Twitter account, in which anyone in the world can read the "pronouncements of the state," to TwoFour54, an Abu Dhabi-based media company that uses TV, radio, film and video games to broadcast its message, foreign language media sources are gaining strength.

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.

3 Steps for Translating Marketing Campaigns

August 20, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Marketing

marketing transcreationMarketing materials pose a particular challenge to companies that want to sell their products or services to new language markets. Some typical concerns are:

  • How do you ensure that your translated materials maintain the impact of the original?
  • How do you name products, translate idioms and maintain consistency across languages without having to launch brand new marketing campaigns for each market (just thinking of all the costs — new creative, photography and production — can make a marketing person cringe).

The answer is marketing "transcreation" — the process of linguistic and cultural translation that makes marketing make sense whatever the target language (or languages).

Here is a quick three-step guide to generate the best marketing translations possible so your products sell just as well in Buenos Aires as they do in Beijing or Boston.

Step 1:  Assess your original campaign and content. Evaluate the goals of the campaign and, if the campaign is already in a market, look closely at the concepts, graphics and headlines to assess their cultural relevance and appropriateness in the target market. Selecting concepts, copy and graphic elements that work across cultures is key to the campaign’s success.

Le Best of French Cinema

August 13, 2010 by Stephanie Engelsen
Category: Culture

french cinemaIt’s summertime. That means happy-go-lucky, action-packed, bigger-than-life Hollywood films. If you’re looking for something different and a way to practice another language (or get good at reading subtitles), regardez (watch) these films in French, among my favorites of le cinéma français.  They take you away from the special effects and saccharine happy endings that riddle summer blockbusters, and invite some depth and beauty into the summer.

"Le grand bleu" (The Big Blue) 1988
You’ll never stare out into the ocean again and not think of this film. Two boyhood friends compete with one another for the world free-diving championship. Stars Jean Reno, Jean-Marc Barr and Rosanna Arquette and directed by Luc Besson (also know for "La femme Nikita", another great French film). An extremely poignant, often funny and unforgettable film, despite the dated 80s synthesizer music.

"Le goût des autres" (The Taste of Others) 2000
Directed by Agnès Jaoui, this movie creeps up on you. Wham, at the end you’re floored by its subtlety and truthfulness. An unappealing man falls for his charming, popular female opposite, yet the tables imperceptivity turn by the film's end. A movie about human nature and the whims of attraction.

Why Translate Your Retail Website? A Few Factors...

The buying power of global audiences is no joke, and there is a reason why many US-based retailers are including both website translation and search engine optimization for multilingual sites in their budgets for 2010. In today's economy, you simply can't ignore potential audiences — including native speakers of other languages within your own borders!

best buy

For instance, in the US alone, there are over 43 million Hispanics with a purchasing power of more than $800 billion a year, and almost 16 million of them are on the Internet. Impressive numbers like these have driven companies like Best Buy to launch Hispanic American sites. Blue Nile and Yves Saint Laurent are also taking steps to reach consumers in other languages.

The Importance of Linguistic QA

linguistic QAWhen you think of certain brands, you automatically think of high quality. You trust that brand and its products or services. You may pay a little more for it (the $100,000 Porsche, for instance). You may recommend it to a colleague or friend.

Quality can be more than the physical craftsmanship of a product or the expertise of a particular service. It can also be linguistic. Linguistic quality assurance (QA) goes the extra step to make your brand stand out among your competitors in any language. Instead of just getting the general meaning across, with linguistic QA you now have more clarity, eloquence and adherence to your overall brand guidelines. Linguistic QA is a best practice for anything that is translated or localized: documents, advertisements, brochures, websites, multimedia, software anything. Even the language jumble of the sign above needs linguistic QA!

Professional translation ensures a correct translation, but when coupled with QA, it really makes it shine. If you’ve done your translation internally or through in-country partners, you should consider professional QA to double check that the overall meaning follows the original content, that the brand personality is adhered to, and that the translation is of the highest quality.

It's Not What You Say...

August 4, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: International & Global Translation Services

on phone...but how you say it, apparently. If you have a foreign accent, it is harder for native speakers to understand what you are saying and they are less likely to find what the person says as truthful, researchers found in a study (pdf) conducted by the University of Chicago last month, with funding from the National Science Foundation.

“They misattribute the difficulty of understanding the speech to the truthfulness of the statements," explained Boaz Keysar, a Professor of Psychology at the University of Chicago and an expert on communication.               photo credit: timparkinson

Best Apps for Facilitating Document Localization

July 30, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Document Translation, Localization Tips

Last week Acclaro held a webinar on the basics of technical document localization. We touched on a lot of areas in document translation, including how to write in Global English, best practices for images, and an overview of the document localization process

One burning question many people have concerns file formats and desktop applications — specifically, what they can do to make the localization process easier.

First, let's just note that if you aren't using XML, you should! XML is by far the best file format for localizers to work with on large documentation projects:

XML and to a lesser extent HTML (it's not as customizable) are great tools to use for document localization. Formatting is embedded in code that typically gets externalized during the translation process. Because of this the engineering end is lighter as it's less likely to have the same problems as MS Word, FrameMaker,  InDesign or Quark. With most XML projects, we've seen that the client remains in control of their docs. Acclaro will execute a quick QA, but once prepped and translated, the bulk of our work is done. What does that mean for you? Fewer costs!

What's in a Color? Meanings Across Borders

July 28, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Culture

What's your favorite color?


Colors, like words, do not carry universal meaning. We all have different reactions to various tones and shades depending on how and where we were raised, our past experiences with it, and our set of preferences — which can change inexplicably.

No Longer Lost in Translation - The Benefits of a Centralized Localization Model

July 26, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Client Successes & Acclaro News

amwayImagine this: a multinational consumer products company, with a sophisticated global management system in place to support international sales. Everything seems to be going smoothly.

But as the company’s localization requirements expand at a rapid-fire pace, the translation work starts piling up. There is little to no structure around the localization process, and translations are being handled on an ad hoc basis.

The problems were quite clear:

  • Each department had its own set of translators and processes, yet there was no sharing of resources between them. One team might have a Translation Memory (TM) management system and a glossary, another may not — so there were no cost savings from re-purposing previously translated content.
  • Requests were coming in from all over. But there was no way to assign those requests to centralized project managers to efficiently work with outside language vendors. Tracking and reporting? Not an option.
  • With no centralized cost models or metrics, the company did not have a clear idea of how much they were spending on translation – and more importantly, what the returns were.

Who is this multinational consumer products company? Amway, three years ago.

What did they do? With the help of Acclaro, they worked through pain points, identified needs, and chose to implement a centralized localization model — aptly called the Amway Localization Center.

John Lennon's Secret Language

July 22, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: Culture

It's one thing to look at a foreign language, particularly one that you've never seen before, and label it as jibberish. Like this: Tíu þúsund manns hafa skrifað undir áskorun til stjórnvalda um að koma í veg fyrir söluna. (It's an excerpt from an article in an Icelandic newspaper that's about — you guessed it — Björk.)

But what about English jibberish?

We often think of language as simply a form of communication, and therefore highly pragmatic, but language also has a history of playfulness. We can see it in the Web 2.0 branding craze of naming companies and products with "silly" words like Flickr, Veoh, Zazzle and Bing, as web entrepreneurs try to show that their ideas are more creative and outside-the-box than their predecessors and competitors. Many teachers try to encourage elementary school students to play with language to see the fun in words, in the hopes that it will make them more attentive to word meanings and spelling patterns.

john lennonBut is jibberish just for kids and website founders? Not at all! Recently we stumbled across some relatively unknown "jibberish" works of literature by none other than John Lennon. Yes, the very person who coined many crystal clear phrases like "All you need is love" and "We all shine on, like the moon, and the stars, and the sun." Not much confusion, there, right?

Well, what about "Woof mebble morn so green the wheel / Staggaboon undie some grapeload"?

Author: John Lennon. Meaning? Hard to say. Entertainment, certainly, and a play on language no doubt. Read on for an excerpt from his story, "Araminta Ditch" from his second book, A Spaniard in the Works.

What is Global English?

July 20, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Localization Tips

What centuries of British colonialism and decades of Esperanto couldn’t do, a few years of free trade, MTV, and the Internet has. English dominates international business, politics, and culture more than any other language in human history, and new words are melding into English at a frenetic pace.
                - David Rhohd in the Christian Science Monitor, on a trip to Australia

More than 1 billion people are believed to speak some form of English, and for every native speaker there are three non-native speakers. Three-quarters of the world’s mail is in English and four-fifths of electronic information is stored in English, PBS reported at the time.

But is English taking the world by storm, or is the world taking English by storm?

The emergence of so many hybrid forms of English means that Global English is becoming even more important. Global English, otherwise referred to as World English, Common English, General English, or even International English, is at the same time the collection of these different varieties of English that is spoken throughout the world, and also one language — the movement towards an international standard for the language.

How To: Translate Figures of Speech

July 15, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: "Spot" on Language, Culture

Have you ever walked like a cat around hot porridge? Or thrown flowers at yourself? You may have, but not even known you were doing it.

These literal translations of figures of speech are examples of the wit and insight that all cultures employ to convey truisms, humor and the subtleties of human behavior.

But how do you translate figures of speech?

Answer: With great difficulty. Think of the translator who has to translate Aus einer Mücke einen Elefanten mache, which literally means "To make an elephant out of a mosquito," into other languages. In this case, there is an English equivalent: "To make a mountain out of a molehill."elephant

5 Best Practices for Multilingual Websites

July 13, 2010 by Acclaro
Category: Website Translation Services, Localization Tips

tree falling in the forestYou've invested time and money into translating your website into multiple languages. But if no one can find the version that they need, what's the point? (If a tree falls in the forest...)

Here are 5 tips that you can use to ensure that your site visitors can easily find the right language version of your website.

Present the names of available languages in their respective translations, rather than in English. Data backup company i365 does this.

Do not use flags to signify languages as this may confuse or even upset users from other countries speaking the same language. A Canadian flag may confuse Canadians searching for the site in French, for example.

America's Changing Demographic & How To Reach Them

July 9, 2010 by Ana Yoerg
Category: Marketing, Culture

Have the past two years made an indelible impression on the American consumer? Absolutely. The retail market took a big hit, and we're only now seeing shades of recovery. woman  shopper

The good news is that the "new" American retail consumer is not necessarily too conservative, but is taking a more holistic approach, to balance what they need with what they want. They're going through a careful, complicated decision-making process for every purchase, according to analysts in a recent report on the country's changing demographics.

What does this mean for brands? More than ever, brands "need to communicate who they are in a way that’s authentic, real and accessible so people can find their way to them," they noted.

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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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