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Should you Localize Your Smartphone Applications as a Manufacturer?

If your manufacturing company has recently launched a Smartphone app, or even if you’ve had an app that’s been out for quite some time, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while to localize it. Localization, in this sense, basically entails adapting your product to another market or set of markets. This could involve language translation, but it could also mean adapting some of the images, colors or audio files within the app, or even the marketing materials you use to promote it.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that,” then you may have an understanding of just how important apps have become in our society. People use them for just about everything. Having a Smartphone application puts your business, quite literally, in the palm of someone’s hand. If well developed, it is convenient for the consumer to use and helps build brand loyalty and trust by delivering the information they need quickly and easily via their phone or other handheld device, just as they need or want it.

If your business markets itself toward different demographics, then it is important that these demographics be represented in all facets of your business, including in the use of your Smartphone app. In fact, according to a 2012 report from Distimo, The Impact of App Translations, a study of 200 iPhone apps that launched in different native languages saw a 128% increase in downloads the week following that launch, and a 26% increase in revenue from these downloads. Applications localized into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean saw the most growth from this update.

Although the US/English app market is still the most dominant market to date, other markets are growing at an impressive rate. In fact, according to the Global Mobile Market Report, global app revenues will reach $80.6 billion by 2020!

Since a user feels most secure reading something in his or her own native tongue, the potential to actively engage and reach these users through a properly localized app can increase exponentially. If a user is interested in your brand and has a basic understanding of English, he may download your non-localized application. However, if he cannot decipher the language of the app well enough to make purchases, he may become more hesitant to use it in the long term than he would an app in his own language. This can easily cause consumers to delete the app and disengage with a brand entirely.

Users value content in their native tongue, and the above statistics help demonstrate the impact that localizing a Smartphone application can have both on your business’ visibility, as well as on revenue. If you are actively working to expand into other markets and demographics, then Smartphone application localization is definitely something worth investigating for your manufacturing company.

Should you Localize Your Smartphone Applications?

If your company has recently launched a Smartphone app, or even if you’ve had an app that’s been out for quite some time, you may be wondering if it would be worth your while to localize it. Localization, in this sense, basically entails adapting your product to another market or set of markets. This could involve language translation, but it could also mean adapting some of the images, colors or audio files within the app, or even the marketing materials you use to promote it.

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If you’ve ever heard the saying, “There’s an app for that,” then you may have an understanding of just how important apps have become in our society. People use them for just about everything. Having a Smartphone application puts your business, quite literally, in the palm of someone’s hand. If well developed, it is convenient for the consumer to use and helps build brand loyalty and trust by delivering the information they need quickly and easily via their phone or other handheld device, just as they need or want it.

If your business markets itself toward different demographics, then it is important that these demographics be represented in all facets of your business, including in the use of your Smartphone app. In fact, according to a 2012 report from Distimo, The Impact of App Translations, a study of 200 iPhone apps that launched in different native languages saw a 128% increase in downloads the week following that launch, and a 26% increase in revenue from these downloads. Applications localized into Chinese, Japanese, and Korean saw the most growth from this update.

Although the US/English app market is still the most dominant market to date, other markets are growing at an impressive rate. In fact, according to the Global Mobile Market Report, global app revenues will reach $80.6 billion by 2020!

Since a user feels most secure reading something in his or her own native tongue, the potential to actively engage and reach these users through a properly localized app can increase exponentially. If a user is interested in your brand and has a basic understanding of English, he may download your non-localized application. However, if he cannot decipher the language of the app well enough to make purchases, he may become more hesitant to use it in the long term than he would an app in his own language. This can easily cause consumers to delete the app and disengage with a brand entirely.

Users value content in their native tongue, and the above statistics help demonstrate the impact that localizing a Smartphone application can have both on your business’ visibility, as well as on revenue. If you are actively working to expand into other markets and demographics, then Smartphone application localization is definitely something worth investigating for your company.

Translation Mistakes to Avoid When Marketing in a Foreign Language

If you are interested in reaching new target markets abroad, or those right here in the U.S. who primarily speak a language other than English, you’ve likely considered translating some of your marketing content. If you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry! Here are four translation mistakes to avoid when marketing to a foreign language consumer group.

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1. Using free translation tools 
In a world where everyone is used to receiving things within an instant, it’s easy to assume translations should be immediately accessible, too; we get it! While free automated translation tools can be okay to use when it comes to some phrases, and can be handy when trying to get the gist of a statement or paragraph, they are not meant for professional translation work.

Your marketing materials likely contain idioms, colloquial language, or phrases with words that could have more than one potential meaning. Machines simply do not have the capabilities to translate 100% accurately or to understand the nuances of language. When approaching a new target demographic, your materials will likely be their first impression of your company, so making it a positive and professional one is key.

2. Not finalizing your source text before sending it off for translation
Having your materials translated is an investment (and one that is certainly worthwhile if you’re reaching out to a new target demographic!). However, there’s no reason it needs to cost more than it has to! Making multiple changes can be costly. You won’t always be able to avoid making changes mid-process but when possible, try to have everything finalized in your source text before you send it off for translation so as to avoid extra costs for updates.

3. Translating names and terms that should be left in the source language
Never translate the name of your business, your trademarked products or proper names that pertain to your business and/or industry. Many times these terms are not commonly known in other languages and may just confuse your customers more. Keep a list of trademarked names and terms that you wish to keep in English so that your translation vendor does not mistakenly attempt to translate these terms.

4. Not localizing your materials
The localization process is a great way to take your translations a step further. Localization ensures that the language, images, layout and more, related to your brand and message, are engaging for your target markets and not offensive or inappropriate in any way. The images and design of your materials are just as important as the text you get translated.

Have you witnessed the consequences of one of these four translation mistakes? Do you have other tips on good practices for translation and localization of marketing materials? Let us know!

5 Tips for Creating Effective Brochures For a Foreign Market

Once you decide to expand into a foreign market, creating a properly localized and unique brochure can really help you market your business successfully there. Whether the brochure you create is print or digital (or both!), it should be geared toward your target demographic in that market. Here are a few tips to for creating the best possible brochure for a successful marketing campaign.

creating effective brochures in foreign markets | Accessible Translation Solutions | www.accessibletranslations.com

· Get to know your customer. Ask yourself, “What’s important to them and how can it be incorporated into our brochure?” Take into consideration customs and preferences in that market that may be different than what your U.S.-based customers experience. Also, make sure the brochure is professionally translated and in the language your target audience primarily speaks, even if English is prevalent in that country or region. There is plenty of research to support that consumers feel most comfortable consuming information in their primary language, so the translation piece of the puzzle is critical.

· Select appropriate images. What works in brochures to target your U.S.-based customers will not necessarily work for a foreign audience. Use images that fit seamlessly into your target market’s culture instead of using the same images that you would for your U.S.-based audience. Remember, however, to be careful not to display images that portray stereotypes, as they might not be well received.

· Make sure the brochure is organized to optimize your selling points. As with any brochure, there should be a clear and clean flow of text and images that tell your business’ story. Make them as enticing as possible so that potential customers will feel engaged with your content. Use catchy headlines that are relevant to your target market and will draw them in. Once you have their attention, show them how your business can benefit their work or lifestyle.

· Choose content wisely. Share information that is both useful for your readers, as well as concise. If people see too much text immediately, they may not be inclined to read it all. You could even lose them all together. Keep in mind that some text will be longer once translated, and some shorter, depending on the language. Spanish translations, for example,  are often about 30% longer than their original English content, so be sure to consider this when deciding what to include.

· Make it simple to respond. If potential customers are interested in your content, it’s important to be easy to contact or find. They need to know what action to take next and how to reach you, whether it be to purchase your product or service, or to get more information. List your business name, phone number, website, and social media channels on the brochure for an easy connection. If you have someone who can help customers in their own language, make sure they know that so they feel comfortable reaching out. If you don’t, not to worry. A telephonic interpreting service could be the answer. You don’t have to speak your customers’ primary language in order to do business with them.

Remember, every piece of literature you send out represents your business and leaves an impression on potential customers. If you are unsure how effectively localize your brochures and other promotional materials, be sure to choose a professional company to help you with the process. This will help avoid potential blunders with content in unfamiliar foreign markets.

Tips for a Custom Welcome Packet for International Students

International students have a lot to prepare for before they begin their first semester at your university. Having a comprehensive welcome packet created with them in mind can truly go a long way in making them feel a little less nervous (and a little more ready!) about adjusting to life in the United States and at your institution.

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Since students will receive your university’s welcome packet while they are still in their home country, and will likely be going over certain aspects of it with their families, it can be beneficial to have certain parts of the packet translated in a dual-language format. This way, both the student and their family can review the information together in a way that helps everyone feel confident about the student traveling so far away from home. It will also solidify their decision that your university is the right place for this next adventure.

While translating the entire packet may not be necessary, here are a few sections you may consider translating before sending future welcome packets to international students:

Tips for preparing to come to the U.S. There is a lot that goes into preparing for international travel and study. From visas, to travel tips about U.S. airlines, which documents the student will need upon reaching a port of entry, to even whether or not his or her mobile phone will still work here, there are so many factors to consider. Many students may wish to review this section with their families. Having it available in their native language will make the process that much smoother.

Finances (tuition, budgets, banking). Many families may be assisting with or covering tuition costs or other monetary needs for the student. Making this information available in the family’s primary language could prove very helpful in the event the family needs to reference it in order to help the student prepare his or her finances and budget in advance.

Information on medical care and options. The health care system in the United States is quite different than in any other country. If your international students will be automatically enrolled in any type of insurance through your university, or if they need to shop for some sort of plan on their own, this is an important distinction to make and something students may also wish to review with their families before departure. This helps everyone to know that the student is safe and covered in the event of a medical emergency or simply for routine doctor’s visits. It may also be helpful to translate information regarding the different types of immunizations that may be required before the student travels to the U.S.

Providing this information in a student’s primary language can be a great start in making things just a little easier for everyone involved. Above all, though, simply having an easily accessible and specific welcome packet emailed to the student once they are accepted to your university will create a lasting impression that they are valued and welcome on your campus.

Localization Fails in International Markets: Don't Let This Be You!

Localization is the process of adapting a product to your target market’s cultural, technical, and linguistic requirements. Localizing your product and marketing strategy ensures your international audience is able to interact with your product effortlessly in a way that seems like it was created just for them. Having a professional team handle the localization process is crucial, as these 5 brands found out after their own localization blunders!

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1. Apple. In the ‘80s and ‘90s, the Apple II was localized for various European markets and Japan. In a race to launch before competitor IBM, Apple failed to localize their keyboard for European markets, and did not include umlauts, accents and other punctuation marks necessary to write in many European languages. They also neglected to translate their user manuals entirely into Japanese! IBM may have reached these markets more slowly, but their focus on proper localization meant they had greater success over Apple’s hastily handled global product release.

2. Pepsi. In the ‘60s and ‘70s, Pepsi decided to go international. Their slogan at the time? “Come alive! You’re in the Pepsi generation!”. The campaign was a success in the West, but ran into some hitches when they tried to localize it for China and Germany. In China, it was mistranslated as “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the dead!” and in Germany as “Rise from the grave with Pepsi!” Not exactly the slogan they were hoping for!

3. Honda. In 2001, this Japanese car manufacturer decided not to change the name of the Fitta when releasing the compact car in Sweden. Unfortunately for Honda, “fitta” is a vulgar word in Swedish, referring to a woman’s genitals. Yikes! Honda quickly made a change and decided to call the car the Honda Jazz in Europe and the Honda Fit in the U.S.

4. Parker Pens. In 1994, Parker Pens decided to market its pens to a Mexican audience. Their headline was “It won’t leak in your pocket and embarrass you” but the word for “embarrass” was mistranslated as “embarazar” which means “impregnate” in Spanish! The mistranslated ad read “It won’t leak in your pocket and make you pregnant”. Oops!

5. Starbucks. In Italian, “latte” means “milk”, so Starbucks used the term to sell their café latte drink in their European and English-speaking markets. This worked well pretty much everywhere… except in Germany. In German, “latte” literally means “pole”, but is used as a slang term to mean “male erection”, so you can imagine the reaction when Starbucks began selling lattes in its German locations! The German people, however, took it mostly in good humor and Starbucks actually still includes the untranslated drink on its menu there even today!

To successfully launch a product globally, be sure you’ve got a professional team handling it for you. This will ensure you do not succumb to potentially disastrous errors for your company abroad (and it keep you off of lists like these!).