Why It Is Important To Understand Local Culture For Translation?

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Author: Suchi Desai
Category: Culture Blog   Translation Blog   

It is true that Understanding Local Culture is always important when it comes to translation work around here. It will help you learn and love the language even better and from the core. Culture plays vital role in localization and translation projects. The company’s reputation rests on proper document translation and correct website localization. Taking notice of this culture helps in contextualizing concepts and translations better. Translation is not just lexical substitution. It comprises of multiple effective factors and one is culture. It is vital to understand that some elements like images, colours and more as accepted in one country might be a risky legal breach in another one.

In most of the localization and translation work, the pros working with need for localization have to be quite careful while dealing with the topics and concepts like sexual orientation, religion and civil rights and status. For any company conducting international business, they have to be very cautious about miscommunicating such issues, which is commonplace in other areas.

If the companies were kind enough to do research and have taken full time in understanding local culture of the foreign area where they plan to sell items, they can easily avoid loss of revenue and can deep dent in reputation at the same time. So, while focusing on localization or translation help, it is vital for the translator to look at cultures first before heading with the right work. The fundamental step towards that to ensure positive effective of translation is to have material adapt to all cultural requisites of targeted language.

Potential Effects Of Localization On Translation:

Even before dealing with cultural considerations, you might want to understand potential effects of localization on translation. Whenever trying to localize any language, you have to modify it to adapt to culture of the country, with its expectations of audience and local customs. In some parts, religious is difficult topic to translate and in other instances, even translations have something to work with women apparels and needs to be written carefully in Middle eastern areas like UAE. Here you have strict dress codes for women.

For example, spontaneity like letting hair down for feeling the wind blow like scenes in car campaigns will need localization help when running in countries where men and women have to cover their head, face and hair. It is one of those extreme examples but it can definitely illustrate that how crucial it is for international pros to understand cultural considerations. Failing to work on that will have immediate impact on company’s reputation. Any company can venture overseas for capturing broader market. So, it is vital for every aspect to be global including local culture in marketing plan. Before any of that, company might conduct careful study and analysis of target consumers and country.

Cultural Expertise

You need to learn more about translation culture before being a pro in this regard. Whenever you are talking about culture, you actually talk about combination of attributes and knowledge of specified groups. The features or qualities are related to traditions, customs and language to music, art, religion, health, cooking and lifestyle. Culture will have some visible and invisible pats. Some of those parts will include food they eat and way they dress and speak.

So, the time has finally come to take effort to learn and appreciate invisible arts of a different culture like the way they think, about their religion, their beliefs on that and how they actually feel. These hidden parts are important as they get to dictate how receptive target audience is to marketing and messaging strategies of a firm. Language always has close relationship with humans and translations with interpretations are best tools for facilitating understanding among all.

To localize the language, the translators have to be culture expert. They must have proper understanding and respect of various cultures and they need to be expert of effective ways to say things properly for better delivery of client’s message in an effective way. They have to do more rather than changing source language with targeted one. They need to present proper content meaning in way, which is highly acceptable. Such cultural expertise might extent to the awareness and cultural sensitivity. It can actually encompass religion, nationality, language and ethnicity. Even though this diversity is beneficial, it can affect work of translators as they will not control directly on who can access to this service.

Importance Of Culture For A Business

The failure and even success of overseas ventures depends on understanding the culture and recognizing the vital role it has on people’s lives. You cannot forget this major part of website or else the marketing campaign will be doomed. As new entry in present market, it is your job to attract multiple potential consumers. Without understanding the cultural preferences, you can alienate or offend intended market without gaining attention and winning patronage. You have to work on that to localize your website now.

Culture and language will work together and while exploring foreign markets, you have to understand local culture as you speak their language through localization and translation. It is best for your business if you ever pay attention to country’s cultural and custom differences. Understanding this culture helps in formulating and implementing effective forms of marketing strategies. You cannot just import the strategy that you use in home country into another one when there is a huge difference in culture. It will then be quite impractical for the targeted audiences.

Failure Of Understanding Local Cultural Considerations

Businesses always have to understand the behaviours of the consumers in various cultures as locations are thoughtfully shaped by preferences, attitudes, values and economies. For gaining entry into foreign marketplace and win patronage of the consumers, you need to time product release and create tailor made marketing strategy, localize website and translate information. The success remains on how well you get to understand local consumers and that calls for time to study not just the demographics of the target audience but also their local culture.

Failure to get to this point can lead to so many considerations. They will lose faith and confidence in your product and company and you might get negative reactions from consumer and public through backlash.

There will be some negative reactions to your brand, which can easily lead to bad publicity. Moreover, you will start losing sales opportunities, customers and revenues. There will be one possible breach of retaliatory lawsuits and local legislations.

The lack of this awareness and cultural sensitivity is well exemplified by the post of indie film in 2004 known as Hollywood Buddha. It showed man sitting on top of a poster of Buddha’s head. During that time, the Thai audience with monks from Sri Lanka and Buddhists protested against it and voiced anger over this poster. The producers actually failed to understand that every part of the notable Buddha statue is sacred to the Buddhist community and no one gave them right to play with it. It is more like playing with people’s emotions.

What Should An Organization Do?

To be a pro in overseas business and open up your great demand over there, you might want to catch up with the qualified translators right now. If the goal of your business is to get global, then you can consider various aspects of culture of targeted markets in marketing campaign, development and product’s web design.

For proper accuracy and efficiency level of the localization and translation help, you are asked to get along with expertise and professional LSP for help. These highly qualified translators are native speakers of target language. The translators over here will have proper knowledge of the local culture for enabling to translate specified idioms, phrases, slang, concepts and even expressions. It is also vital for you to take time out in hiring web designer, who is well and quite familiar with the art of localization and even cultural requirements of the said audience now.

The easiest way to handle some of the cultural consideration for the international business localization or translation is to well collaborate with professional agency. You have to choose the one with good track record for delivering appropriate and accurate translation in target languages and countries. For that, TridIndia is a name you can always trust for the best response.

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About

My experience as a translation blogger says it all about me. Since I was in my graduation school, I had a deep down love for languages. I love to communicate and socialize with different people. This motivated me to learn a variety of languages and pen down some useful information that is not just meant for the translators or language learners, but for the common masses, who love to acquire knowledge on multiple stuffs.


image 1 credit to Tianshu Liu | image 2 credit to Andre Benz | image 3 credit to Florian Pagano

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