Bringing the sunshine

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We would like to warmly welcome 2 new colleagues to the Attached team: Paola Ferrantelli and Fiorella Mantovani!

Fiorella comes from the south of Italy, so maybe you wonder why she would leave such a sunny place? The answer may seem cliché but holds true for her: she has always had a curiosity and passion about new cultures and learning other languages. Dutch is her next endeavor and still a work in progress.

This love of culture and language motivated her to study Linguistics and Communication. After receiving her Master’s degree, she moved to the Netherlands for an internship in communication. During this time, she fell in love with the Lowlands and, despite the gray weather, decided to stay. Her career path moved into the digital arena, but her dream to work in a linguistic capacity remained alive.

“You can imagine how happy I was when I had the chance to work at Attached – from my very first interview I felt it was right! My current professional goal is to succeed in my role and provide both customers and colleagues the best service.”

Fiorella Mantovani

Among Fiorella’s other interests are cooking plant-based recipes, swimming, horse riding, long walks and nature. She values her time with friends and family, and she loves animals – so much so that she hopes to adopt a dog one day. Her next personal goal is to travel to another continent.

Paola also comes from the south of Italy – deep south that is: Sicily!

She decided to leave her beautiful country about 4 years ago driven by the extreme desire to travel and learn new cultures. With The Netherlands, she says it was love at first sight. During her studies she took part in the Erasmus Program in Leiden, where she fell in love with the picturesque canals, the beautiful Dutch houses and the open-mindedness of this country. So right after her Master’s degree in Languages and Literature she moved permanently to The Netherlands to start a new chapter of her life.

“I never stopped dreaming to work in a more linguistic area. So I’m very happy to start a new job in line with my academic background now. It’s a dream that finally comes true!”

She started her career in Tourism and Hospitality, upon which her career path moved to the digital field. Her current professional goal is to gain experience in the localization industry, learning and developing. With Attached, she looks forward to discovering the whole field of LPM work after which she can decide what she finds most interesting as a specific direction for her career.

Her personal goal is to travel around the world, learning about life while exploring new things. It excites her to visit new places, learn about different cultures, and see other people live a life that is different from hers. In her free time she enjoys doing sport, especially pole dancing and going for a walk, or going for a hike in the nature. Sometimes she enjoys just lying on a couch, reading a good book, watching a good movie, or listening to some music. On weekends, it’s all about doing short trips or spending time with friends and family. She is not a cat person, she says, but now lives with two kittens… what you don’t do for love!

Thanks, Fiorella and Paola, for bringing the sunshine with you and brightening up the office 😊!

WE ARE HIRING!

(Junior) Localization Project Manager

Localization Engineer

We’re looking to strengthen our team at our The Hague office with a (junior) localization project manager as well as a localization engineer.

Are you that organizational talent with a love for language, customer service and efficiency? And are you fluent in Dutch? Then the role of (junior) localization project manager may be the perfect opportunity for you to take your first steps in the exciting localization industry!

For the position of localization engineer, we’re looking for someone that lives and dreams localization technology, understands different file types and their impact on the localization process, and ideally also has a keen interest in workflows, API integrations and/or MT/NLP.

Curious? Get in touch with Eveline van Sandick to learn more about these jobs, or send your motivation letter and CV to .

I Meet Hotel Webinar with Matthijs Kooijman

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Building credibility with customers online 

In the spirit of our Do’s and Don’ts series, our Commercial Director, Matthijs Kooijman, was invited by I Meet Hotel to present a webinar about the challenges surrounding online localization in the hospitality industry. His message, however, applies to a much broader range of industries. After all, the common denominator across all sectors is building credibility with your customers – and localization is the direct route.  

Matthijs presents some data from CSA Research that shows the effectiveness of a winning localization plan. In short: companies that offer localized websites are simply more successful and create more customer confidence. If a website is only offered in English, you are undercutting your potential buyers by at least half.  

Conversely, poorly executed localization can have major repercussions for your customers, for example by sending them to the completely wrong destination! This does not help when you are trying to build a good reputation.

Bali… or is it Paris?

Getting the most out of localization 

Matthijs takes it even one step further by presenting examples of search term fails and how the benefits of doing good SEO and keyword research in other languages can majorly pay off.  

Hence, he covers a lot in just 17 minutes. A few other topics include: 

  • Cultural and emotional aspects of localization, or the Cultural Iceberg
  • The importance of a frictionless customer experience 
  • How investment in localization increases customer engagement and drives sales

And as Matthijs says, involving a localization professional from the beginning can save a lot of time and money in the process. If you are interested in knowing more about any of these topics, just get in touch with us.
We’d be happy to help! 

Local offices: essential for company knowledge

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Brand and product names… what do you do with them when moving into new markets? Do you leave them as is? Or do you adjust, translate or come up with a new name altogether?
This is a big question with big consequences. Get it right, and you can see big returns. Get it wrong, and you get a big fail.

Your localization partner, with local knowledge and expertise, can help identify what would work, what not and why.

At the same time don’t underestimate the role your own local offices can play. After all, they know their target audience and sales channels best.

Get the best of both worlds

Not only does your localization partner have the insights and inroads for helping you set up a system for locally validating your brand and product names with your local colleagues, together they can also combine all linguistic and commercial information needed to make the right decision.

Below are a few examples of how a little bit of localization could have gone a long way…

When Audi released the high-end electric car e-tron, they unfortunately didn’t do their research on the name in all markets and were receiving all kinds of strange comments on social media about the name in France. Why? The French weren’t too keen being seen driving around town in a car with the French word for ‘excrement’ on the back. The name ‘e-tron’ is very similar to the word ‘étron’, the not so luxurious word for that particular bodily function.

There are also quite a number of fails of Western companies launching brands and campaigns in China.

Here are two well-known examples:

Mercedes-Benz launched in the Chinese market using the brand name ‘Bensi’. This was bad advice as it translates to ‘rush to die’.

They eventually decided to call themselves ‘Bēnchí’ or 奔驰 which means ‘dashing speed’. Lots better!

Coca-Cola is one of the most recognized brands in the world. Unfortunately, it was off to a rough start in China. They translated their name to 蝌蝌啃蜡 which roughly means ‘tadpole chewing wax’. Not a good taste.

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.

Localization:
More than just language

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When moving your brand to new international markets, researching not only linguistic differences but also colours is a big ‘Do’.

Below you’ll find a few examples of the difference in symbolism in different countries and the importance of good localization techniques.

A subtle colour used mostly for accents in branding. It represents purity and cleanliness in many countries.

In some countries, like Japan and Indonesia, it is the colour of mourning and sadness.

Most used colour for international brands. Why? It has broad appeal by conveying positive attributes like trust, professionalism and security.

On the flip side, in some countries it represents sadness or depression.

In the West, orange represents energy, excitement and adventure and is generally a positive colour in many lands.

However, in the Middle East, orange is the colour of mourning and loss, and in Northern Ireland it has negative political connotations (see example).

Do your research when using red in some countries. In China, it’s good luck, so used for weddings and celebrations.

It symbolizes mourning and bloodshed in wars in South Africa. Western countries see it as excitement, passion and danger.

Localization Fail: Orange

Telecomm giant Orange ran a campaign in 1994 in Northern Ireland using the slogan: ‘The future’s bright… the future’s Orange.’ Sounds innocent enough, right? However, the campaign wasn’t performing as well as Orange had hoped until they researched the association the Northern Irish have for orange. It wasn’t the colour or the company but a protestant-operated organization called Orange Order. The campaign was inadvertently suggesting the future lies in protestant Britain. For the pro-separatist Catholic region of Northern Ireland, this brought up strong emotions and an aversion to this brand.

Not doing research on their brand in this specific market led to distrust and a major loss of revenue.

Localization Success: McDonald’s

When McDonald’s, the fast-food franchise, wanted to start opening across Europe, they took a look at how the colours in their logo would be perceived. In the US, the brand used red and yellow. To appeal to the European market, they substituted the iconic red for green.

What was the reasoning behind this decision? From their research, it showed that Europeans in general are more concerned with health and environment. Green was a better representation of this. Today, McDonald’s generates the most revenue of all the fast-food chains in Europe and is the most recognizable.

Easy conclusion: getting to know and studying new markets before they entered majorly paid off.

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.

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.