5 Localization Do’s and Don’ts

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Want to make sure your message hits your target – in any language? Yet not sure where to start exactly with localization?
Here are 5 Do’s and Don’ts that you need to know. We’ll be expanding each one weekly with more details and examples to get you on your way.
Stay tuned!

Localization: an intrinsic part of your communication strategy

Leave translation and localization until the end of your content creation process.

Include localization as a critical part of your internationalization strategy. This allows time to foresee opportunities and bottlenecks in an early stage.

Localization: more than just language

Focus only on the linguistic differences.

Take account of all differences between target groups. This includes not only the tone of voice, salutation, form of address, local dialects and information density, but also design elements such as visuals, colours, symbols and even numbers.

Differentiation: more ways than one to approach your language portfolio

Adopt a one-size-fits-all approach to your language strategy.

For all your content channels, opt for a differentiated approach to localization. Consider elements like visibility, duration of use, degree of creativity, planning and budget to determine the best type of localization, such as translation, transcreation or copywriting.

Pseudo-translation: an ideal way to prevent obstacles from popping up before it’s too late

Second guess character count in design elements.

Include pseudo-translation in the design phase to check if the translation will actually fit. This ensures that translations with languages that are longer still look nice in the channel used.

Local offices: essential for local company knowledge

Underestimate the importance of determining which content should be validated locally and which centrally.

Consult closely with your language specialist, so that they offer workflows with a review step in targeted local markets to combine the best of your company’s central and local expertise.

It’s Lindsay, eh!

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Lindsay Coghill

We have happily added a Canuck to our ranks. Our newest Localization Project Manager, Lindsay Coghill from Canada, joined us in January, acclimating remotely and meeting most of the team through video calls.

Two-and-a-half years ago, Lindsay decided to make a change and move from her native land to the Netherlands. With no concrete plans and what was supposed to be a post-university gap year, the Lowlands turned into her new home.

Lindsay

“I’m very excited to be a part of such a creative and enthusiastic team!” Lindsay says.

“One of the great things about working with Attached is that even when working remotely, there’s always someone there to offer help.”

At an early age Lindsay developed a love of reading fiction and its power to create such immense imagery using language. This inspired her to specialize in English literature and history in university and ultimately to join our team as a Localization Project Manager.

Being able to begin this new adventure and combine it with her passion for language and culture makes Attached the perfect fit. She also provides extra insight about Canadian markets that correspond with our office in Toronto.
A huge bonus!

Letter from Toronto Pt II
Anticipating clear skies

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After 2 weeks of quarantine – they actually flew by because it was just like working from home with the added bonus of learning how to cross-country ski – I finally arrived in Toronto last Sunday.

My first impression was that I found it more bustling than I expected during a ‘stay at home’ order, but maybe that was because it was a Sunday. Still, many of the eateries and restaurants were open for takeout and delivery and there were lines in front of stores for curbside pick-ups.

But during this week I saw that the lockdown especially affects the small shopowners that are depending on commuters and travellers for their business. Because of the dramatic decline of people being ‘out and about’, suddenly a business model that has existed for literally ages seems out of touch with our current reality. And although I admire the perseverance of these SMEs enormously, some of them really have to adapt in order to survive.

That’s what I also discuss during my meetings with clients and business relations here in Canada. Covid-19 has propelled a massive change in consumer behaviour resulting in a strong demand for online accessibility. Companies have come to rely on their online presence, appearance and credibility like never before. And if they want to attract or retain consumers from other markets, the localization of their content should be in tip-top order.

I’ve also finished preparing our Attached office, so hopefully within the foreseeable future we will be able to have more in-person conversations while having coffee in one of the nicely decorated communal spaces at Spaces Queen West – where our office is located.

Matthijs Kooijman in Toronto

As any snowstorm in Toronto will be followed by clear-blue skies, let’s trust that this COVID-19 storm will end soon and the future will be a very clear sky for everybody.

Letter from Toronto
Quarantining in Attached style

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Although this is titled ‘Letter from Toronto’, it isn’t from Toronto. Yet.

Matthijs Kooijman Canada 2021

I write this while staying at a very nice location in the hamlet of Saint Agatha where I’m quarantining for 14 days to be able to travel on to Toronto. It’s important to me to strictly adhere to the rules and conduct all my business activities in a covid-proof manner.

Recently the Ontario government proclaimed new restrictions to try to keep COVID-19 from spreading further. This probably won’t affect me personally, but the business activity in downtown Toronto will surely slow down further.

Of course we have thought long and hard before we finally decided I would travel here. Especially with all the ever‑changing guidelines and possibilities, this wasn’t always an easy process. Yet now, it feels so good to be here!
I prefer experiencing with my own senses what’s happening in Canada instead of relying on second-hand input from people who relay the information through their own mental filters and assessments. Since we can now conceive strategies based on our own information, our planning becomes much easier, and we can make better-informed decisions about our investments and responsibilities here.

Being here physically also gives me some time to finally set up our office and arrange some practicalities, so we can hit the ground running when the travel restrictions are lifted.

Home » Archives for Attached BV

Although this is titled ‘Letter from Toronto’, it isn’t from Toronto. Yet.

I write this while staying at a very nice location in the hamlet of Saint Agatha where I’m quarantining for 14 days to be able to travel on to Toronto. It’s important to me to strictly adhere to the rules and conduct all my business activities in a covid-proof manner.

Matthijs Kooijman Canada 2021

Recently the Ontario government proclaimed new restrictions to try to keep COVID-19 from spreading further. This probably won’t affect me personally, but the business activity in downtown Toronto will surely slow down further.

Of course we have thought long and hard before we finally decided I would travel here. Especially with all the ever‑changing guidelines and possibilities, this wasn’t always an easy process. Yet now, it feels so good to be here!
I prefer experiencing with my own senses what’s happening in Canada instead of relying on second-hand input from people who relay the information through their own mental filters and assessments. Since we can now conceive strategies based on our own information, our planning becomes much easier, and we can make better-informed decisions about our investments and responsibilities here.

Being here physically also gives me some time to finally set up our office and arrange some practicalities, so we can hit the ground running when the travel restrictions are lifted.

Opening our Attached office in Toronto extends our working times by 6 hours per day. That’s a lot of added flexibility, and we want to ensure it’s as seamless as possible for the team and our clients. In this aspect, being here is very useful to give us an idea what it will be like when we officially start operating in two different time zones and incorporating this into our daily workflow.

Reactions to my being here vary across the board from ‘So cool that you’re doing this’ and ‘I’m so jealous you are actually travelling’ to ‘That makes no sense. You know everything is closed?’

I appreciate all these reactions, because they confirm one other goal: create food for discussion, for opinions, for ideas. Give serendipity a little nudge. For me, doing nothing is not an option. You can guarantee that nothing will happen then. And for us as a company, that is not an option either. After all, even if the road we take is different from what we originally planned, we always need to keep moving forward.

Which is what I did by coming here.

A localization thriller

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The American film director Stanley Kubrick still receives praise for his incredible attention to detail. His movies are noted for their unique cinematography, extensive set designs and evocative use of music. Kubrick’s 1980 screen adaptation of Stephen King’s horror novel The Shining contains one memorable scene that is fascinating from a localization point of view as well.

That scene is when Wendy finds page after page filled with the phrase All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, and she realises that her husband Jack lost his mind. Kubrick made sure to film five versions of this typewriter scene – with English, German, French, Italian and Spanish copy.

Interestingly, Kubrick didn’t opt for translating this phrase. Instead, he used well-known sayings of the respective target audiences to induce spine-chilling impact in the context of the scene:

German:

Was du heute kannst besorgen, das verschiebe nicht auf morgen
Never put off until tomorrow what can be done today

French:

Un tiens vaut mieux que deux tu l’auras
What you have is worth much more than what you will have

Italian:

Il mattino ha l’oro in bocca
The morning has gold in its mouth

Spanish:

No por mucho madrugar amanece más temprano
No matter how early you get up, you can’t make the sun rise any sooner

Why all this effort to type these sentences out hundreds of times, restage, direct, film and edit this one image when it is only visible a few seconds? Well, Kubrick reasoned that it would take away from the shock value if the audience had to read the translation in a subtitle at the bottom of the screen instead. Hence the choice to localize.

Be like Stanley

Key to Stanley Kubrick’s localization approach is that he managed his audiences’ expectations and kept them forefront in his mind when designing his movie’s experience. This wasn’t done at the end of the process or as an afterthought but planned from the very outset. This attention to detail is what has made The Shining legendary worldwide.

Why do we relate this story to you? It’s because this is something that you can also do when creating your own stories and marketing strategy. The level of localization your target audience expects and how that matches your expectations in terms of gains can be built into your approach. In other words, what impact do you want to make on your audience? What’s your “shock value”? For the best results, don’t make localization the tailpiece of your communication strategy.

Do you want to optimize your localization strategy, but you don’t know where to start?
Contact us! Localization is in our DNA and we’d love to help you out.

Localization – what, why and how

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In September and October this year, we were honoured to write 3 guest blogposts for the women’s entrepreneurs network GroYourBiz. Our focus was on the ‘What’, ‘Why’ and ‘How’ of localization. For some, this is new territory so we were happy to share insights, information and tips about how localization – a very important element to effectively grow your business across the globe – can increase customer loyalty.

Below we’ve compiled the links to our 3 posts so you can also easily access them.

We’ve tried to keep them short and sweet, but as you can see, we could go on and on about localization.
If you have any questions or would like to share your thoughts, don’t hesitate to contact us. One of our experts would be happy to help.

Attached turns 20!

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Attached turns 20! And we want to celebrate with you!

To show our appreciation to all our clients and partners for making these past 20 years so successful, we are offering 20% off your project ordered between October 1 to October 7, 2020! Check out the conditions below.

Thanks to all who supported us throughout the past 20 years.

Here’s to the next 20!

anniversary Attached

Conditions:

This discount applies to one project using our standard rates with a total project price of minimum €200 and ordered between October 1 to October 7, 2020. Use the code ATTACHED20 in your request.

To submit a request, you can:

Don’t forget to use the special code ATTACHED20 to get your 20% discount.

From localization to
loyalty: straight to the
heart

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Loyalty   ♥   Emotions   ♥   Localization

One thing is certain: the impact of COVID-19 on the economy has underlined and bolded the word loyalty and emphasized that it is even more critical now to create active and dedicated relationships with all your partners. After all, returning customers, suppliers you can rely on and a loyal team are at the core of any business’ continuity.

But is it possible to maintain and/or expand your loyal base in these challenging times with decreased purchasing power and mobility? And if so, how do you do that? Most specifically, how do you retain and engage your loyal and devoted customers in the short term to ensure a more certain outlook in the long term?

In this blog, we are going to give you one solution to boost loyalty that is often overlooked in the customer experience chain. Yet, we think it is one of the most important when building a durable relationship with your client base.

Basics first

Although the circumstances have recently changed, the main benefits of loyalty have not. They are:

  • A loyal client base lowers customer acquisition costs
  • It increases the likeliness to be recommended to friends and family
  • Loyal customers buy more and more frequently
  • They are more forgiving

In this current environment, the last point is probably the most important. Your steadfast customers are now more likely to be forgiving when something goes wrong. And when it does, more likely to return when things are looking up again.

Loyalty   ♥   Emotions     Localization

So how do you create a loyal base? To answer this question, it is good to know the 3 main types of loyalty: rational, behavioral and emotional, with the most effective being the latter (Source: Loyalty Magazine, November 2019). Let’s dive a bit deeper into this one.

With more and more customers demanding an emotional connection to brands, a lot of research has been done on building loyalty on an emotional level and finding the most effective ways to engage to create that bond.

Such research also shows that customers who feel emotionally attached to a brand make exponentially more purchases or use of a service when reached on an emotional level. Or in numbers: 82% of consumers with high emotional engagement will always buy the brand they are loyal to when making purchase decisions versus only 38% of consumers with low emotional engagement (Source: Capgemini).

Since the most effective and lasting engagement with your customers is emotional, how do you best reach them? Simply put, in a language they understand best – their own.

English is great as a standardized option and may work well if you want to transfer basic information. But even individuals with a good level of English miss out on much of what is presented. A missed opportunity, we think, to really connect with existing and potential clients.

Therefore, we suggest adding a 5th building block to the 4 most common that we usually see for new markets’ launch plans:

  1. Creation of a great product/service
  2. Carefully chosen target markets
  3. Substantial investments in a marketing campaign
  4. Construction of a stellar website

PLUS

  1. Inclusion of localization into your strategy – to solidify an emotional reaction, make a bigger impact and closely bind your customers and other partners to you

Loyalty   ♥   Emotions   ♥   Localization

Localization increases the odds in a simple way, and as research shows, the majority of consumers prefer their user experience in their native language. For example, no less than 90% (!!!) of online users prefer to conduct transactions in their own language. They spend more time on websites in their own language and are much more likely to return and make repeat purchases. This is also true of users with a high proficiency in English. Users simply respond more positively if you are speaking their language (Source: CSA, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy).

What’s in it for you?

The above findings mean that if you are moving into new markets with your company while not adapting your content to the local audience, you are at serious risk of alienating potential purchasers or users by missing out on truly connecting them emotionally to your products or services.

Localization should be a given in any loyalty initiative. Yet, too often it is overlooked or an afterthought when planning customer loyalty strategies. This ultimately impacts the turnover.

Of course, we realize that hitting that sweet spot of an emotional reaction to build loyalty can be a challenge already in good times, yet it is even more important in today’s trying times. Let localization do the work for you and watch your customers’ loyalty and audience engagement increase.

Want to know more about how localization can support you? Then keep an eye on our next blogs, in which we get into the details about what localization is and other tools you can use to connect with your clients.

To be continued!

ISO 17100 in the pocket

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Every year, Attached strives to meet the demanding requirements to obtain ISO 17100 certification for our translation services. It takes good preparation and renewed scrutiny into our processes and constantly gives us the opportunity to spot room for improvements, as well.

We are happy to report that we can again book this certification. Having this stamp identifies us as a professional, quality partner and shows that our project managers, translators, editors and language engineers have the tools and skills to meet the high demands of our clients. Obtaining this certification guarantees a streamlined process and trusted service and product.

The audit scenario was ‘slightly’ different this year than in previous years. Because of COVID-19 measures, it was conducted remotely instead of in-person. Hopefully that will change back again next year!

Our CEO Eveline van Sandick says, “I’m very proud to have passed our yearly ISO 17100 audit by Kiwa! This audit is always a great opportunity for us to reflect on where we stand as a company, where we want to go and how we plan to get there. A big thanks to my entire team who made this all possible again, and especially to Marieke, Leen and Thijs for their preparations for today!”

Way to go! But the work doesn’t stop here. We’re already busy making sure we pass the coming years’ audits, too.

To read more about ISO 17100 certification, visit Kiwa ISO 17100 (Dutch only).

Shifting demand

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The impact of COVID-19 has been different for all companies, of course. So we wonder: what impact do you see in your industry?

For us, translation and localization needs in the hospitality and aviation sector clearly temporarily decreased. But interestingly enough, we also see upticks in other domains. Take the legal sector: due to COVID-19 safety measures, many live court hearings could not take place, increasing the need for written legal translations.

What sets legal translations apart, and how do we best serve this type of client?
Three main points can be mentioned here:

  • First, they require a high degree of confidentiality and security, so systems in place to ensure this are a pre.
  • Second, a large volume of this type of content needs a quick turnaround, and the only way to do that is by having knowledgeable and experienced legal translation teams at the ready.
  • Lastly, due to its sensitive nature, accuracy and dependability are very important.

When we deliver on all three, we create a partnership built on trust.

We would like to hear your thoughts on LinkedIn!