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global marketing, translation, translate business, transcreation, translate website, translate your marketing campaign

The Best Languages to Target for International Marketing

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Having a marketing campaign translated into different languages is a great way to reach audiences who may not be well versed with the primary language of your campaign. However, choosing the right languages to translate your campaign into can be quite challenging, especially considering there are so many options out there. That’s why we’ve compiled a handy list of the top 10 languages to translate your campaign into, with the facts and figures on why these languages are your best bet:

 

1. Spanish

 

Around 427 million people across 31 countries speak Spanish, making it the second most widely spoken language worldwide! This isn’t surprising, considering that Spanish is the second most popular language in Europe and the fourth in the world. In the United States alone, there are already 36 million Spanish speakers. The Hispanic population in the US is projected to double by 2050, meaning that Hispanic people will make up 30% of the population in America. As a language for websites, Spanish makes up about 4.9% of online content. Ultimately, in terms of native speakers around the globe, Spanish precedes English too, making it a crucial language to translate your campaign into!

 

2. English

 

English is spoken in 106 countries, making it a very widespread language. There are 339 million English speakers, and 27% of Internet users prefer English. English is the most used language on the Internet by far, dominating with more than half (53.6%) of content languages for websites in English, followed by Russian (6.4%), German (5.6%) and Japanese (5.1%). E-commerce sales in 2015 were booming in English speaking countries with $349.06bn in the US, $93.8bn in the UK and $28.7bn in Canada.

 

3. Chinese

 

There are a total of 1.3 billion Chinese speakers in the world with Chinese spoken in about 35 countries, making it the most widely spoken language worldwide. It has a 2% usage of content language for websites, with about 674 million Internet users in China. The number of Chinese Internet users far outweighs Hindi speaking users (375 million), Spanish speaking Internet users (222 million) and Portuguese speaking users (117 million).  In 2015, China and the US were by far the world’s leading e-commerce markets with sales of $562bn and $349bn respectively, followed by the UK ($93bn), Japan ($79bn) and Germany ($73bn). China’s growth over the next five years will widen the gap between the two countries and will exceed $1 trillion in retail e-commerce sales by 2018. According to the National Bureau of Statistics of China, the country’s economy is 7 times larger today than it was 15 years ago. Chinese businesses are spreading all over the globe, and thus the spread of Chinese as a language is also far reaching. With its steadily growing economy, China is definitely not a country to be ignored.

 

4. Arabic

 

Arabic is spoken in 58 countries, by a total of 267 million people, making it the fourth most spoken language worldwide. Egypt and Iran make up the majority of Arabic users on the Internet, with 95.1 million users from these two countries alone. The Middle East and Africa are among the fastest growing regions in terms of Internet news, and 0.8% of the usage of content for websites is Arabic. As Gulf economies bring down their trade and investment barriers, the Middle East seems to be a promising destination for economic growth. In a report from the British Council, which lists the top 10 languages of the future, Arabic ranks as the second most important language of the future.

 

5. French

 

With a total of 75.8 million speakers in 53 countries, French is a very popular language today. In fact, it is estimated that around 100–200 million people also speak French as a second language. 4.1% of content on the Internet is French, and this number is increasing. In countries like Algeria, Morocco, Vietnam and Cambodia, where there is a low proficiency in English, French is particularly useful as a lingua franca.

 

A study by investment bank Natixis even suggests that, by 2050, French could be the most-spoken language in the world, ahead of English and even Mandarin.

 

6. German

 

German is spoken in 26 countries with a total of 76.9 million speakers and it’s the third most used language online. Among European countries, Germany has a very promising future. It is the largest single export market for British goods apart from the United States, and is Europe’s largest economy with a GDP of more than $3.9bn.

 

7. Portuguese

 

Even though Portuguese is spoken in only 12 countries, a very large number of people – 206 million – speak it fluently. Portuguese is 2.6% of content language for websites. In Brazil itself, there are at least 182 million Portuguese speakers. In the African continent, 13.7 million people speak Portuguese, and in Europe too, Portuguese speakers are widespread (and not just in Portugal). Portuguese is also gaining popularity in Asia due to the region’s great diplomatic and economic relations with Portugal and Lusophone countries. According to an estimate by UNESCO, Portuguese and Spanish are the most rapidly growing European languages after English.

 

8. Russian

 

Russian is spoken in 17 countries, with 103 million Internet users in Russia alone, not to mention the millions more in post-Soviet states where Russian is still widely spoken. It’s the second most used language online, displacing German. Russia is also famous for its great engineering minds and brilliant IT community, and is definitely growing in terms of global business reach and influence.

 

9. Japanese

 

Japanese is only spoken commonly in 2 countries, but the sheer numbers of people who speak it – 128 million – make it a language that should be considered for advertising campaigns. There are 114 million Internet users in Japan, having e-commerce sales in 2015 of $79.33bn; this is not surprising, considering that Japan is one of the most technologically advanced and connected nations in the world.

 

10. Hindi

 

Similar to Japanese, Hindi is only spoken commonly in 4 countries. However, due to the vast and steadily growing population, there are more than 260 million Hindi speakers worldwide. India is the second most populous country in the world and as a growing economic power and part of the BRICS countries, India is a great target market for any marketing campaign.

 

The list above should give a brief overview on which markets are experiencing tremendous growth, and which languages will benefit your campaign should you consider tapping into these markets. Remember that your own market research should come first, and your target audience should heavily influence what markets you look to break into. If you’re interested in effectively translating your marketing campaign and adapting your message to different markets, contact Textappeal, the leaders in marketing translation and transcreation.

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Textappeal’s New Business Win: Sea Life

  |   News

Textappeal are to support the SEA LIFE brand in helping to promote their ethos and enabling it to resonate with an audience across 13 markets in 13 languages

SEA LIFE Aquariums is the world’s largest and most engaging conservation based aquarium brand, with more than 50 attractions around the world.

SEA LIFE create a breathtaking experience for the whole family and want to share their passion for sea life – its welfare and conservation are paramount in all they do.

Textappeal are proud to support the SEA LIFE brand in helping to promote the SEA LIFE ethos and enabling it to resonate with an audience across 13 European and Asian markets in 13 languages among which are Finnish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Swedish.

SEA LIFE were looking for a partner to support the global unveiling of their website; a partner who shares the same passion for excellence in all they do and a partner who could further the SEA LIFE brand to audiences in markets where the brand is present.

Another crucial point for the brand was to retain consistency across SEA LIFE’s global estate of aquariums and deliver a brand message that would be fun, engaging and family-friendly across the markets SEA LIFE currently operate in.

SEA LIFE were impressed with Textappeal’s approach, passion and credentials and we are now working on the brand’s global website transcreation.

Our goal is to inform people in each specific market, in a locally relevant manner, of the importance of marine conservation, get them involved and inspire children to fall in love with the sea. To help them better understand the importance of the protection of sea life in an entertaining and culturally relevant manner.

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storytelling, travelling brand, creative translation, marketing consultancy, textappeal, cross cultural marketing

The Secret of the Time-Travelling Brand

  |   News

David Brand was in a rush to catch his Uber from the Textappeal offices in London. He planned to make a quick stop by his office to pull together a few charts with the final spending figures, followed by a late bite to eat, and hopefully a few hours of sleep before his 7:30 a.m. debrief with the CEO. A mad six months of global campaign preparation, but the finish line was in sight!

Despite Yuliya’s insistence on guiding him, he told the Languages Account Director of Slavic origin that he’d find his own way out.

She walked him to the lift and gave him a notebook with a pink cover: “For you, David. Text me if you need anything.”  “Spasio, Yuliya!” he answered, knowing it was more impactful to offer thanks in her native Russian, even though her English was perfect…

He stepped into the booth and mechanically pressed a button for the ground floor. Then something inexplicable happened, and everything went horribly wrong.

david brand using the elevator

Unfortunately David Brand fails to notice that instead of hitting “G” for the ground floor, he has accidentally pressed an unfamiliar button that says “-10,000”. The lift sails well past the ground floor, and continues on and on. A digital display above the door spins backwards from -250 then -1000, -5000. But before processing this predicament, he mindlessly checks his phone. The Uber is 1 minute away.

He feels his heart and pit of his stomach float for a few seconds before the infernal machine screeches to a halt. The overhead lights switch off. Silence. Blinking above on the display, a red display warns: -10,000. A millisecond that feels like an eon passes, and the door opens.

London has disappeared. Instead an unknown wilderness illuminated by a full moon lays before him. Instinctively, he checks his phone again. No service.

gif showing jack from Lost wakes up from the shock

As the shock recedes, he steps out of the doors and his senses adjust. A cold breeze whispers in his ear, he feels himself shiver. With impeccable timing, as if he has stepped into a campfire story, he hears a howling in the distance. Then, something else closer by…a scratching, perhaps? He nervously wonders if hungry wild animals already surround him, ready to pounce and rip him apart like a Waitrose prime beef cut.

gif with a tiger

And to think all he wanted to do was get his brand campaign translated and delivered to 110 markets, and be done with it. He remembers Yuliya had said something about stories being told in different ways, and recommended what she called “cultural validation” as if he didn’t know! Six months of market research, endless meetings with the agency…enough! The final brief was to come up with one big idea that worked everywhere: a universal story. He had spent a fortune on market research; battled with French and German operations who insisted they were “different”; been bamboozled by the law firm that had rejected 40 product names because they were supposedly already registered in places like Turkey, Vietnam or Argentina.

But now, here he is. A minor lapse in judgement and he finds himself surrounded by ferocious beasts and on the verge of dying alone, never to fly Emirates or Virgin again. If he isn’t eaten alive, perhaps he will perish from thirst and hunger, missing next week’s dinner at The Ivy without notice. It occurs to him that they wouldn’t hesitate to cancel his hard-earned table privileges over such an egregious lack of courtesy. Just before finding a mossy log to sit down on as his despair sinks in, he notices a small fire flickering in the distance. At the thought of warmth, his resolve stiffens and he makes his way towards the light.

gif showing savages dansing around a bonfire

As he approaches the fire, he sees figures huddled nearby, talking and eating. “People just like me!” he reassures himself, “but only dressed in animal skins instead of Armani suits!”  In a frantic voice, he greets the group in several languages; surely one of them must understand at least something he’s saying! “Hello! Guten tag! Moshi moshi! Privet! Tudo bom!” The group suddenly turns towards him, wide-eyed and with jaws gaping. They break into a loud babble of unintelligible cries, a clatter he can hardly recognise as a language. The tallest individual of the group swiftly moves towards him and seems to size him up. The Tall Man makes some strange, rapid gestures to the others. Then he pulls out a long, jagged flint knife that glows from being in the fire. He runs his fingers along the blade, almost exactly as David’s grandmother would when cleaning the Georg Jensen silverware. If the Tall Man is trying to say something to him, he can’t imagine that it’s friendly.

gif with a character from scary movie holding a knife

Seconds tick by as David runs through several options in his head. “Hand gestures are generally universal, right?” In a rapid succession of movements, he wildly waves towards the night sky and motions towards the wilderness in the distance. One of them sweeps his hand from one end of the crowd to the other and then points to himself again, circling his hand over his stomach while slowly explaining each gesture aloud in English.

The group looks on, mouths agape. Suddenly, the tallest warrior charges at David with several of his comrades-at-arms. They seize him and hold him aloft above their heads, marching him towards the direction of the communal fire. Just as he’s coming to terms with the fact that those gestures may have been mistaken for signals of aggression, he sees the crowd part to reveal two spits suspended over the fire: a skewered deer carcass slowly being spun over one, and the other, to his terror, unoccupied…

Seconds tick by as he runs through several options in his head. Once again, out of instinct, habit and nervousness, he looks to his phone and a single bar of service appears! Before he loses the connection, he shoots an SMS to Textappeal. “Stuck on Lvl -10,000. Pls help!” He eyes the animal-skin-clad group warily as a reply from Yuliya comes through. “On my way! Don’t say anything or make eye contact!”

An excruciatingly silent few minutes pass by until, out of the bushes, his Account Director appears. “So sorry about this,” she says, brushing a few stray twigs out of her hair. “We really need to get that lift fixed! Anyway, let’s get started.” She pulls an iPad out of her bag and begins scanning and swiping away at the screen. Just as he’s about to kindly protest that time is of the essence, her face brightens. “Aha!” Yuliya exclaims. “What we need here is a classic ‘Deus Ex Machina’ solution!”

Before the marketer can protest, she thrusts the iPad into his arms. A video is playing from his latest campaign. “Hold it up with two arms!” she commands. “This society is primarily animistic, and they will revere the light from the screen as well as from the video as being a deistic presence.”

homer simpson holdin a tablet and simulating different faces

Bathed in the glow of the screen, the group kneels in the collective presence of his brand video – a slideshow that highlights this season’s latest rack-ready fashion designs – playing on the screen. “It’s working!” he exclaims. The sartorial collection enthralls the group, as they sit cross-legged and murmur to themselves. While they tug on their own animal-skin coverings, they point to the screen in awe. When the video concludes, the tall, imposing member of the group with the flint knife approaches David Brand and his colleague. With the tip of his blade, the man points to the screen, then to his own rags, then to the marketer, and shrugs.

David and Yuliya face each other and exchange knowing smiles. By bridging this communication gap, they have stumbled upon a whole new world of potential early adopters who are clearly displeased with their own style, but are taking to the designs on the screen. He flips the iPad around and punches a quick message to his CEO. “Found an entirely new market with the help of Textappeal. Can you do a late-night briefing?”

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sea life is the new win for transcreation specialists Textappeal

Textappeal’s New Business Win: SEA LIFE

  |   News

SEA LIFE Aquariums is the world’s largest and most engaging conservation based aquarium brand, with more than 50 attractions around the world.

SEA LIFE create a breathtaking experience for the whole family and want to share their passion for sea life – its welfare and conservation are paramount in all they do.

Textappeal are proud to support the SEA LIFE brand in helping to promote the SEA LIFE ethos and enabling it to resonate with an audience across 13 European and Asian markets in 13 languages among which are Finnish, Portuguese, Turkish, Arabic, Thai, Korean, Simplified Chinese and Swedish.

SEA LIFE were looking for a partner to support the global unveiling of their website; a partner who shares the same passion for excellence in all they do and a partner who could further the SEA LIFE brand to audiences in markets where the brand is present.

Another crucial point for the brand was to retain consistency across SEA LIFE’s global estate of aquariums and deliver a brand message that would be fun, engaging and family-friendly across the markets SEA LIFE currently operate in.

SEA LIFE were impressed with Textappeal’s approach, passion and credentials and we are now working on the brand’s global website transcreation.

Our goal is to inform people in each specific market, in a locally relevant manner, of the importance of marine conservation, get them involved and inspire children to fall in love with the sea. To help them better understand the importance of the protection of sea life in an entertaining and culturally relevant manner.

Read More
food across cultures, translating regional food

Translating Regional Food Ideals Into Reality

  |   CultureShocks Blog

Is it possible to invent a meaningful food culture for a place that doesn’t have one? Radio presenter and food consultant Simon Preston has based his BBC Radio 4 series “The Town is the Menu” on this very question. In the five-episode run, Preston travels to small markets across the UK, where generations have abandoned eel, renounced mutton, given up kippers in favour of egg and chips, beef burgers, even sushi.

In Barnard Castle, a town in Teesdale, in England’s north, Preston interviewed local historians, antiquiers and chefs about the area’s natural assets – the biggest juniper forest in England, for instance. Then they collaborated on a meal that the most famous native, Richard III, might have dined on: venison and pheasant with juniper berries; potato mash with wild garlic; and wild boar sausage with local honey (though the boar was impossible to source, so they substituted pork).

Will it stick, this idea of eating not just locally but patriotically? Or are we all doomed to be taken over by Big Food?

(more…)

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make me beautiful creative translation

“Make Me Beautiful” – Creative Translation of Female Beauty Hits Social Media

  |   CultureShocks Blog

The News:

One woman’s personal exploration into global perceptions of beauty was doing the rounds on social media last week.  Ester Honig, a freelance American journalist, sent an image of herself to graphic designers in 25 different countries, with a simple brief: “make me beautiful”. The outcome of the creative translation experiment is an intriguing series of before and after photographs, documenting the designers’ digital permutations. Localisations of beauty differed vastly, with some even altering eye colour and skin tone.

(more…)

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Impossible to Translate Words into Images? How an Obsessive Blockbuster French Director Proved Hollywood Wrong…

  |   CultureShocks Blog

The News

The film adaptation of Reif Larson’s 2009 novel, The Selected Works of TS Spivet, was released in cinemas on Friday, 13 June. This is somewhat remarkable, considering that the book was initially deemed “unfilmable”. In a recent interview in the Guardian, Larson explains that, despite a flurry of initial interest from Hollywood agents, the book was too challenging to adapt for cinema. So when he unexpectedly received an e-mail from the filmmaker Jean-Pierre Jeunet (of Amélie fame), he was astonished. Jeunet wrote that he was “smitten” with the novel and wanted to make the film. Thus began the intricate process of translating the novel; by rearranging sequences, adapting characters and re-ordering scenes, Jeunet deconstructed the book piece-by-piece to re-create the story.

(more…)

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Most Global Campaign Ever? Soccer Fever Transcreated…

  |   CultureShocks Blog

 

News

For the next month, football fans around the world will be united in World Cup fervour, a collective frenzy ranging from pure elation to inconsolable rage and quiet disappointment. International events such as the World Cup present the perfect opportunity for global brands to appeal to customers in their local market based around one global concept. Which is exactly what Coca-Cola has done with its anthem “the World is Ours”.

(more…)

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