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A BLOG FOR THOSE WITH VISION...


What the General Data Protection Regulation Could Mean for Your Company

If your company has access to data from customers within the European Union (EU), it is important to understand what the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) will mean for you. The new data protection standards by the GDPR will be made effective on May 25, 2018. This not only affects companies based in countries within the EU, but it will also impact U.S.-based businesses that have access to data for their EU consumers. Since violating the new GDPR standards could result in serious fines for a company, we’ve put together a few key points to make sure you are ready for the changes coming up on May 25th.

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  • Do not assume you will not be affected just because you don’t have offices in the EU. All companies that have access to data from EU consumers need to be aware of the changes. If, for example, your company manufactures and sells products via a website that is accessible in Europe and provides the option to pay in Euros or British Pounds, this affects you, too.
     
  • The regulations do not only apply to data you collect moving forward, but retroactively as well. If your company has not already taken steps to examine and assess where all of your data is stored, it is important to begin now. Your organization will need to make sure you have the ability to do the following with this data, according to the new regulation’s standards:
    • erase a consumer’s entire data profile at their request;
    • provide information to the consumer about exactly what data you are processing, where you are storing it, and the purpose this data collection serves;
    • provide the consumer with a copy of the personal data you’ve collected about them at their request.

The consumer also has the right to question and fight all decisions that may impact them if the decisions were made on a purely algorithmic basis.

  • Failing to meet the requirements of the GDPR could result in a fine of up to $23 million or 4% of your company’s annual worldwide turnover. Fines this hefty could put some companies out of business. There are cyber insurance policies available, but whether or not to invest in this type of service will depend on every company’s individual needs.

The standards put in place by the GDPR are quite different from the more liberal U.S. approach to consumer data collection. So if your company may be impacted by these changes, it is imperative that you begin preparing now for the May 25 changes. Should you need help providing the information to consumers from any of the bullet points above in specific languages, now’s the best time to get the ball rolling and plan for 2018. We’re here to help!

Is there such a thing as Universal Spanish in translation?

Although we know that producing translations that are localized as specifically as possible depending on the particular locale of your intended audience(s) can be fruitful, many people find it may not be realistic to have their project localized for all of the different varieties of Spanish spoken in different locales. In 2010, Spanish was ranked number two in terms of the number of native speakers worldwide, falling second only to Mandarin. There are many different countries with Spanish speakers, and oftentimes, a company may want to release its product to an audience that spans across several of these different locales.

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While each area has a different dialect, and therefore could require specific changes in the final localized product, it is not always within a company’s budget to go through this process for every locale. So, one might pose the question, “Is there a universal Spanish I can use? Something everyone will understand?” The answer to this is both “yes” and “no” and may also depend on the text itself.

Even though there may not be an official “Universal Spanish” dialect, there are certainly terms and phrases that are considered more "neutral" without the influence of local jargon or slang. The Real Academia Española, for example, strives to provide terms that are recognized by speakers of various dialects and does well to provide the standard definitions of words, as well as their various possible colloquial meanings, which may vary by country or region. For this reason, it is a good resource and starting point to localize a translated text into a Spanish that is somewhat universal.

However, it is still noteworthy to mention that the translators and editors of your content are influenced by their own respective countries and locales, which can inadvertently impact a word choice for even the most skilled linguist. They can work together to provide the most neutral Spanish possible, and a skilled team will provide a great rendition of the text with terms that are understood as widely as possible. There is always the potential that someone will read a translated word or phrase and not immediately recognize it as one they would use in their own dialect, but typically, context allows one to perceive the intended meaning.

In short, it is definitely possible to translate a text and localize it for a more universal Spanish overall. However, in doing so, there is no guarantee that the language team will not choose a term or phrase that is more commonly used in one area over another, despite its general neutrality. If you know that your target audience is specific to a few locales, it is best to let your translation project manager know so that he or she can ensure the finalized product is best suited for your needs. It may be the case that your text is better suited to a specific area, rather than trying to remain universal.

How to Use SEO for Your Multilingual Audience

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It’s no secret that maintaining your company’s website ranking is already a difficult task and can be a constant challenge. You know that maximizing your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is extremely important when it comes to gaining Internet visibility for your company, product, or service. So, what happens when you decide to sell and market your product overseas or to a multilingual audience? Is translating your website content enough?

Ultimately, that answer is no. While translating your website content is critical to ensure you connect with your international audience, you will also need to consider a multilingual SEO plan to ensure you even reach that audience. After all, what good is a translated website if no one in your intended market is able to find it? Here are a couple of things to consider when updating your SEO strategy to go global with your products.

Know your audience

Your new market will have an entirely different set of customs and culture than your U.S.-based audience does. You must choose keywords and phrases that you know they are using in search engines. This is how you will really draw them in. What is important to your U.S. consumer base may not be at all to consumers in another country. If you do not already know this international market inside and out, be sure to find someone who does. Skimping here could mean a particularly negative impact on your search results, and therefore, your sales revenue.

Analyze competitors who have gone before you

Researching competitors’ success when going international with a product is a great step to figuring out what has worked (or not worked) for them. While you obviously aren’t looking to copy what a competitor has done, it doesn’t hurt to find out about best/worst practices in advance for your own industry if the information is already out there and available to you. If you come up short, ask us. We can help!

Don’t overlook location information

When coming up with a new SEO strategy for foreign markets, don’t neglect to include the country, city, or even the region your new target market is in when deciding on keywords to pair with your product. People use “near me” or addresses in their search often when trying to find a product they’d like to purchase/browse for. Having the location information in your SEO set-up will help your site pop up more often and easily in those search engines!

Figuring up a brand new SEO strategy for your international market can be difficult, but you don’t have to do it alone! Did you know we offer website audits? We’d be glad to take a look at yours and help create a strategy for your international growth! Feel free to reach out if you’d like to be in this one together.

Back to School! What Content to Translate for Parents Who Don't Speak English

Back to School! What Content to Translate for Parents Who Don't Speak English

The back-to-school season is officially in full swing! As an educator or provider of educational materials, you already know how important it can be to understand the needs of your students both inside and outside of the classroom. You may also already be familiar with some of the difficulties that present themselves if a student’s parents speak a language other than English. It’s hard to know whether or not these parents fully understand some of the important papers, documents and materials distributed to their children. In fact, you might not even receive some of the information back that needs to be signed/returned. To best serve your students, parents, and teachers alike, we’ve compiled a list of items you may want to have translated in order to help ensure clear communication between the school and parents.

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The Value of Hiring Multilingual Employees

The Value of Hiring Multilingual Employees

With ever-increasing globalization in the marketplace, having multilingual employees in your workplace can be of great benefit. According to recent Census reports, the population of non-English speakers in the United States has continued to rise over the past 20-30 years. Having one or multiple employees who speak a language other than English can give your business a definite edge in a competitive atmosphere.

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How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

How Societal Values and Customs Can Make or Break Your International Deal

If your company is based in the United States, you are likely familiar with business etiquette here in North America. It would be normal, expected even, for you to arrive on time (or better… early!) and shake someone’s hand when you greet them during a business meeting, for example, or even to invite fellow associates out for dinner to both discuss a potential deal and socialize with your colleagues.

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How Social media in Spanish can boost your ROI

How Social media in Spanish can boost your ROI

Social media has quickly become one of the top ways that businesses market their products and services. Many are also seeing the benefit of marketing to their customers in Spanish. And these days, companies are combining the two: social media in Spanish. Why? Check out these numbers… As of 2016, Hispanic buying power had soared to $1.4 trillion. This is up from just $495 billion in 2000. Of the 54 million U.S. Hispanics, 26 million are on Facebook, 12 million on Twitter and 9.6 million on Instagram.

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ATS Client Feature: VoicePad

ATS Client Feature: VoicePad

It's time for a brand new ATS Client Feature in our monthly series! In case you're new to our Client Features, each month we share one of our favorite translation and interpreting clients. This month we're pleased to feature a client who has been with us since we opened our doors, VoicePad. If you're a real estate agent and could use their services for your business, please reach out to them!

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