Transcreation, adding values and emotions into translations

Being an international communication manager really is complex and challenging. Your colleagues and partners must work together fluently, sharing one vision, common ideas, goals, tools, and content. They all must stay on the same wavelength, and create one coherent brand experience. But each participant has to play a tune that is at the same time in synchronicity with the local audience. You need insights in local market values, know the market’s do’s and don’ts, to hit the right notes at the right time. Otherwise, you risk to throw away your communication budget or even damage your credibility and reputation.

Translations without flair for meaning and culture and lacking an eye for detail loose punch; you end up with a scrabbled result.

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You really should never underrate the importance of professional translations.
They allow the consumers to feel positive and respected by your brand. They understand what it is you want to tell them. But in many situations, it simply is not enough to have content that just ‘only’ translates what you have to say.

The beauty of languages is linked to the experiences of people, their culture, heritage, shared values, pride and sense of belonging. Some words and expressions are obvious in a country or region, but simply cannot be translated in another language without loosing part of the meaning. The nice clip of babbel.com gives some fun examples of this universal truth.

To ring true, intelligent localization is often required.
This means it is not only about making sense, it is also about sharing sensibility. Adding stories and testimonies involving real people helps. But even this can feel as an ‘add-on’, a half baked attempt to sell cookies your customers do not really trust or like.

So you might need to take it to the next level: transcreation.
This term started popping up a few years ago and touches the nerve of the question. Besides linguistics and cultural fine-tuning, you add a creative layer. The objective is to make the brand resonate in the market, as a real and likeable cultural identity. Transcreation is about making content really consistent with the culture and the emotions of the audience, and making the brand locally into a success, an adopted taste.

A simple solution for a global brand is to associate with a worldwide sport like football or a singer like Rihanna. But does that really move people? It definitely is not enough if you have to share complex messages in multiple markets.

Making your message locally correct is already half the story. Bringing home the message and make people adopt your idea is the real challenge.

Maybe transcreation is the marketing boost you need!

Want to learn more? Here’s the video on transcreation of GALA, the Globalization and Localization Association.

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Lanceurs de relève

Vous cherchez un collaborateur freelance, aussi bien à l’aise devant un conseil d’ administration que sur le terrain ? Depuis 20 ans nous sommes “lanceur de relève”.

Nous avons déjà mis en jeu notre expérience et notre force d’expertise  dans divers domaines. Notre gamme de références s’étend des médias aux banques et assureurs, à l’ industrie, à l’ IT, à la logistique et au retail. Nous avons également de l’expérience en RH et avec des ONG.

Si vos projets demandent un rédacteur/copy writer, traducteur, project manager, conseiller en communication ou event manager, nous sommes à votre service.

Cela vous convient ?

Parlons-en.

Europe’s language business

From www.guardian.co.uk:

In our January 2010 diary we report on the European Commission’s revelation that language related services amount to one of the biggest earning sectors in the region, but more needs to be done to raise awareness of these skills and resources.

Business generated by Europe’s translation providers and other language teaching services is estimated to have been worth $12bn in 2008, according to research published by the EU last month.

The report, commissioned by the EU’s translation service, said that the language industry is growing faster than any other sector in Europe, with expansion estimated to continue at 10%. But researchers warn that because the industry is so diverse, spread across activities ranging from in-company translation, software development and subtitling of films and television programmes, its impact is often overlooked.

One indication that this could change comes from evidence that investment companies are showing growing interest in the sector, the report’s writers say. They point to evidence from eastern Europe where a small number of players are dominating translating services.

The report also highlights a growing acceptance of machine translation tools. This is in response to a shortage of human translators and improved accuracy of computer-assisted translation.

The translation and interpreting sector dominates the language industry, with an estimated value of $8bn in 2008, while language teaching was the next biggest sector, estimated to be worth $2.3bn.

Singapore set to test foreign workers’ English skills
Foreigners seeking visas to work in Singapore’s service sector will have to sit a test of English from later this year as part of a government campaign to raise English standards.

Details of the test have yet to be revealed but Lee Yi Shyan, minister for manpower, told the Straits Times newspaper that the move was aimed at raising English language skills in the retail, food and beverage and hotels sectors. It comes after prime minister Lee Hsien Loong decried foreigners in service jobs who could not distinguish between phrases such as “chilli” or “no chilli”.

The government will also offer employers the opportunity to reduce a levy on foreign employees from $170 to $100 if they can prove that new staff are proficient in English.

Malaysia speeds return of Bahasa
Bahasa Malay will replace English as the medium of instruction in maths and science classes in Malaysia’s schools in 2011, a year earlier than scheduled, said education minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin. The government had the resources to implement the policy sooner than planned, he said.

Muhyiddin said that English language standards had not benefitted from the use of the language for teaching. “[Students’] proficiency in the language currently should not just be average and drastic measures are needed to address this problem,” Muhyiddin told the Bernama news agency last month.

He said foreign teachers would be recruited to act as “master teachers” to improve standards of English language tuition alongside new textbooks and language labs.

Dutch eyes in Sweden’s schools anger unions
Sweden’s schools inspectorate has called in a Dutch education consultancy to review English language teaching at 30 secondary school, angering Swedish teaching unions.

A team of inspectors from Cito, the international assessment and testing company based in the Netherlands, will assess English language teaching for 11- to 16-year-olds under a contract worth $700,000.

Teaching unions expressed surprise at the decision. “I question how a Dutch firm can study a Swedish school. What requirements do they have to judge Swedish schools?” Metta Fjelkner, chair of the National Union of Teachers, told the Dagens Nyheter newspaper.

www.guardian.co.uk

De woorden die je zegt, tonen wie je bent

De woorden die je zegt, tonen echt wie je bent. Kijk maar naar Steve Jobs van Apple. Hij  is een mensen-mens. Hij spreekt over dromen, dingen waarmaken, waarde, mensen. Kit Eaton van Fast Company plaatste alle gebruikte woorden van een interview van Jobs in een woordenwolk. Prachtig om te zien wat er leeft in de geest van zo’n man. Waar het hart van vol, is loopt de mond van over. Jobs spreekt niet over IT. Of over wat ze gemaakt hebben. Wel over mensen. Over denken, willen, waar ze naartoe gaan.

Uitstekende filosofie. Grote leiders die tot actie inspireren vertellen waarin ze geloven. Niet welke diensten of producten ze aanbieden of hoe ze dat doen. Apple is een succes omdat ze goede producten maken. Maar nog meer omdat ze een identiteit uitstralen en uitnodigen er deel van uit te maken. Simon Sinek op Ted.com legt uit hoe grote leiders tot actie inspireren. Mensen kopen niet wat je doet maar waarom je het doet.

7 steps to deliver what the client wants

What was it again that the client wanted?


It seems the most obvious question of every project. But is it? If you’re building a bridge or a tunnel, a website or an event, a translation or a swing in a playground, there are logical steps you need to follow to reach the right result. Everybody knows this. Or not? Again and again, these steps are not respected.

1. Make sure you talk to the right client
Will the person you talk to have the power to decide on the project?
Who decides on strategy? Objectives? Budgets? Timing? Just don’t start running unless you know where you are running. 

2. Set the scene, define the agenda
Even a simple meeting deserves a clear agenda. Confirm the steps you want to follow in the meeting, to create the best information exchange.
Make sure you have enough time to cover the topics. Leave time for a conclusion and ‘next steps’.

3.  Really Listen
Communication starts with listening. Really listening. Leave space for silences; ask questions that clarify what the client wants. Use examples if they help. But don’t get swamped in the sea of boasting on previous success stories. Think in future results.

4. Confirm and be frank about it
Always confirm what you think you heard. And translate it in clear conclusions. The goal is to know who has to do what by when, who will be involved and how much it can cost.

5. Confirm again, in writing
Even in telegram style, make sure you confirm what was agreed. Do not count on it that the client actually reads your confirmation. Make sure all is understood. And accepted.

6. Share with your team
If others are involved in the process, it is deadly to start off without all heads turned in the same direction. Make sure the technical and ’emotional side’ of the project are clear to all. Often, in theory all know what it is about, but cultural and language differences make that in the real world not everyone is “in synch”.

7. Fine-tune, adapt, reconfirm
Even when all goes well, make sure to give frequent updates on the status of your activity.

Although this is basic class 101 material, these 7 steps are neglected too often. Costing a loss of energy and money beyond imagination.
Not with us, dear reader! Not in our backyard! On time and above expectation start here, today and in the seven steps!