Why Localization for the Asian Market is the Biggest Challenge Today

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Author: Gaurav Singh

When you consider Localization for the Asian Market the challenges for global businesses becomes slightly hard and time consuming. When you compare the Asian market with the rest of the world, the aspects are very different because of the cultural preferences. For example, when popular and international brands expand their business to any region of the Asian market, they change their slogans in to local languages and dialects in order to woo the local audience there.

The major roadblocks and challenges faced by translators when translating for the Asian market is the extensive research they need to do. In order to properly translate the required materials and documents, they need to analyse and understand the target audience and understand their cultural nuances.

The success of localization in the Asian market depends on its efficiency. The translation process needs to cover the entire data the public is supposed to consume, which includes company slogans, promotional materials and product info among other content.

How To Localize Company Slogan

The first and foremost aspect that you need to translate and take into consideration when localizing for the Asian market is your company slogan. Among other things, this will be the primary content that will be used when communicating with the local audience.

When translating your company slogan, your creative team needs to think hard and fast in order to properly translating it and keeping it line with SEO Localization. They need to consider how the translated version of your slogan will resonate with the local audience since the Asian market has a history of varied cultural preferences.

1. Say ‘no’ To Word-For-Word Translation

If you have a well-established company or organization, there are high chances that your company slogan is a well thought out and witty use of words. But you need to keep in mind, that what works for the West won’t necessarily work with the Asian market.

When translating, the translator or the translation agency has to come up with a creative and effective way to make the translated slogan catchy and acceptable to the local audience while keeping its flair intact. This task will require an in-depth knowledge about the local market and will require a lot of research. A method which will surely not work here is word to word translation and therefore you should avoid it all costs.

2. Find Native Experts

One of the best and most effective ways to get effective translation in a local language is to hire a Localization Leader. Hiring an in house native speaker will guarantee accurate translation with minimal or no errors at all.

Another advantage of hiring a native speaker is the fact, that they understand and can easily comprehend the local temperament and mind-set of the audience.

3. Go Beyond Localization

When localizing for the Asian market, it is always best to go beyond just translation. Take the case for company slogans. Instead of word to word translation which might hamper the core message and the catchiness of the phrase, opting for transcreation will be a better option.

Transcreation is defined as a combination of translation and creation. In this process, the core message of the document is taken and then it is recreated in the local language. The main reason why transcreation is a better option than translation is the fact that transcreation focuses more on recreating the company keeping in mind the temperament, acceptance and cultural barriers of the audience. With transcreation, increasing your business in the local market will become much easier.

4. Localize Colours And Images

The last but definitely not the least is localize your organization or company colours and other graphics, which is one of the biggest challenges for global businesses. The main reason behind the focus on localizing graphics and colours is because the audience will remember the colour of your company slogan, more than its wordings. Also, colours and images have a higher significance in the Asian market than other parts of the world.

For example in the European market, blue symbolises trust and serenity whereas in China, blue is the colour of femininity. It is very difficult to fix the image of your brand, once it has been tarnished and therefore before trying out any localization stunts, do an in depth research in order to properly understand cultural difference and barriers.

Should You Localize Or Not?

Before you undertaking any localization efforts, you need to properly research and understand if the localization efforts will be worthwhile or not. Although it is commonly believed that English is spoken across all major nations of the world, in Asia the statistics are a little different. As per a Russian Translation Expert, only a certain percentage of the population speaks English and they represent a part of the entire demography of the country. If you want to target the entire consumable audience, thinking hard and fast about your efforts is needed.

1. The Chinese Market

If you consider your localization efforts for the Chinese market, you should know that it is an entirely different ball game. Historically it has been seen that organizations literally reinvent themselves in order to patronize and gain the respect of the local audience in this market. For example, when AirBnB came to China, it transformed itself into Aibiying in order to sound authentically Chinese.

Although some organizations doesn’t undertake localization efforts in order to remain true to the brand and its authenticity.

For example, when Amazon entered the Chinese market it sounds adaption technologies and Chinese Translation Guidelines to translate its name to Chinese. This approach has worked for Amazon and today the organization has a strong foothold in the market and is doing quite well for itself.

Other approaches which were tried and tested by other organizations include the likes of Ikea and Hershey, which translate to Yi Jia and Hao Shi respectively in Chinese.

But you should always remember that there are many Global Brands Fail In China.

2. The Japanese Market

Before we delve into understanding more about the Japanese market, let’s take the example of McDonalds. When the organization entered the Japanese market, its audience had already matured in the United States.

Since they were already strong in the United States market, McDonalds could easily invest the time and energy in order to branch out in the Japanese market. In a Translation & Marketing Research, conducted by the organization, it found that the average consumption of beef in Japan is 6 grams per day. So McDonalds started promoting that its burgers contain 45 grams of beef and therefore their kids will be more healthy and strong.

Another scenario that McDonalds took advantage of, is the custom of bosses taking their staff to lunch. For this scenario, McDonalds began promoting that it is cheaper to treat your staff to McDonalds than other restaurants.

All these marketing initiatives and Fast Food Localization Strategy paid off for McDonalds and today the organization is operating in the market for several years. Over time, McDonalds became so absorbed in the local culture that today it can use English to communicate without hurting the local sentiments.

Translators working in the Japanese translation industry need to understand that the local people are accepting towards a foreign language and appreciate it in bits and pieces.

All in all, although Japan is an unique market in itself, the culture and the people are welcoming for foreign businesses and languages that come with it.

How To Begin Localization For The Asian Market

To conclude, before you begin localizing for the Asian market you need to properly research and understand the local culture, mentality as well as cultural barriers.

We at Tridindia have been ranked as one of the best certified translators in the world. With several years of experience in translation services in public sectors, we will always ensure that you get the best and most accurate translation service each and every time while ensuring the safety and integrity of your data. Reach out to us today via our contact us form or by calling us at +91-8527-599-523.

 

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Hello readers I’m professional content writer and blogger that helps companies attract visitors. A writer by day and a reader by night. I’m trying to focusing on helping people to understand how to better drive traffic, develop relationships and earn revenue online.

 


Image 1 Credit to Glenn Tan | Image 2 Credit to Eliseo Madrino | Image 3 Credit to Atharva Tulsi | Image 4 Credit to Les Anderson

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Gaurav Singh
Author: Gaurav Singh
Hello readers..!! I'm professional content writer and blogger that helps companies attract visitors. A writer by day and a reader by night. I'm trying to focusing on helping people to understand how to better drive traffic, develop relationships and earn revenue online.
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