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Expert Digital Tourism Marketing and Advertising by ACRO Global
New England Inbound/Outbound
Tourism Advertising and Marketing
Experts Since 1995

Boothbay Harbor, Maine USA
Boston, Massachusetts USA

Localization and Translation

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Localization and translation of Web sites and other advertising and promotional materials is a key strategy for success in international markets, especially when you‘re selling products or services:

  1. to precisely-targeted market segments, and/or
  2. for which customer relationship management is important.

Your Web site is a 24-hour-a-day salesperson for the services you're offering. It must be able to explain your offerings to cross-border prospects, and convince them to buy from you instead of one of your many competitors. To be effective, translation and localization needs to be undertaken in close coordination with affiliates "on the ground" in the target location.

ACRO is currently localizing Web sites for the following markets: New England USA, Canada, the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Localization and branding

  • Products/services are branded for differentiation from competitors.
  • Copy, images and colors create the brand.
  • No one single choice of copy, images and colors is universally optimal; the cultural preferences of each target export market must be recognized and accommodated.

Cultural considerations

ACRO localization overcomes cultural differences
  • In many markets, local models and surroundings in images are viewed much more favorably than American or other non-native models and surroundings.
  • Colors provoke differing reactions in different cultures.
  • Navigation conventions differ from market to market e.g., should the "NEXT" arrow point to the right or to the left?

Technical considerations

  • Local phone calls are billed by the minute in many countries; fast downloads and offline browsing are the norm.
  • Different countries have different technology-level distributions among Internet users; e.g., not everyone has 3GHz processors, 32-bit color and DSL.
  • Localized copy is not always of the same length as the original version; this can affect page layout and require changes in font sizes.

legal wrangleLegal considerations

  • Tax laws differ among markets.
  • Some countries have enacted privacy legislation more stringent than that in the US.
  • Each country has its own laws with regard to marketing, advertising, credit, etc.

Standards considerations

  • Half of the orders placed with U.S. e-commerce sites go unfilled as a result of order-processing failures (payment methods, currency conversions, fulfillment problems, etc.)
  • Date and time conventions vary.
  • Currencies and payment methods vary from country to country.
  • Currency exchange rates are ever-changing.
  • Differing moral standards affect the acceptability of content and advertising.
  • For all practical purposes, all the world but the USA uses the metric system to express weights, sizes, distances, etc.

Political considerations

American companies, and Americans in general, are not always highly esteemed in export markets.

Linguistic considerations

woman talking
  • There are significant common-usage and idiomatic differences among English as spoken in the USA and English as spoken in the UK or Ireland or Canada.
  • Idioms and metaphors have to be rephrased to make sense in the target culture. This is true both in general, and as specific to the tourism industry: an American's "housekeeping unit" is a Brit's "self-catering accommodation."
man not comprehending

David Boggs Do you have questions about Tourism Localization and Translation that we haven't answered?
If so, please use the form below to send them to me, and I'll get back to you shortly.
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