Author Archives: Tiago Aprigio Santos

Tiago & Edu Go to #LocWorld34

Photo: Tiago and Edu competing in a beauty pageant.

Someone compared the evolution of the cycling industry with the localization industry, and no one from the audience or the panel of speakers got the question – maybe the gentlemen was speaking about the translation process cycle?

All-In Translations' Operations Manager Tiago Aprigio and Terminology Manager Edu Ferrer do their best to transcreate what happened when they travelled to LocWorld34 in Barcelona - "the leading conference for international business, translation, localization and global website management".

Photo: Tiago and Edu displaying LOCWorld badges

There was a Facebook guy in the house, and he addressed the panel with queries regarding the evolution and disruption of the localization industry over the last decade. Pretty hard to answer such a question coming from one of the most disruptive companies in the world over the same period that actually disrupted the localization industry itself by allowing users to actively participate in the translation of their website. This took place during one of the more crowded sessions, Where Do I Go to Keep Up with the Ever-changing Localization Industry?, where keynote speakers presented an overview of some of the main channels and showed the audience how they work, how they report, what’s in store and how the industry at large can help.

We’ve specifically written this introductory note to highlight that the 34th LocWorld aimed to impact a wider audience. Thus we had the rewarding opportunity to meet LSP’s, end clients and localization software providers.

As one would expect, the conference was packed with interesting talks and open discussions about various topics, mainly trying to answer questions about software, the evolution of machine translation, quality assessment best practices, key processes and the importance of C-level localization professionals in companies worldwide. We just heard a GO PRO representative sharing their thoughts! Will we be seeing someone from Google?

Yep, the kickoff day of the conference was amazing in terms of getting a grasp of what’s really happening in the localization world. We dropped by some booths, put some faces to the names, met a lot of cool new people, and even took some silly photos with Translators without Borders. We were just trying to get hold of their “best photo” prize..., and we were told to get properly dressed as to become the most handsome “sevilanas” in the room. No prize landed over our heads though. We cannot help wondering why.

Photo: Enjoying la vida loca at LOCWorld in Barcelona

There was an interesting “contest” going on. Some sort of a Shark Tank for disruptive/process innovation ideas in the industry. The contesters were Mr. Zhang, Mr. Zhao and four Europeans. Does it come as a surprise that #AsianLevel was shortlisted for the final?

By the way, Mr. Zhang works for Microsoft, and during his presentation he used an iPhone to demo his (brilliant) piece of disruptive localization software, #WhereisLumia?

He presented us with a bot that can be plugged in Skype/FB Messenger and other APPs and translate whatever we write in a split of a second.

This bot can automatically translate whatever you type in any desired language. You can send your message in real time to the user on the other side and he’ll be able to see it in their language of choice. No we're not kidding! This proves awesome for Tinder users that are not fluent in the same language but want to spread love worldwide. #boom

Buzzwords are all over the place. #change #innovation #disruption #improvement #experience.

Andreas Ekström is a name to look out for. What a smart, engaging and interesting speaker. To our taste, he delivered the best #LocWorld34 session – The big 5 and the digital revolution. To get a grasp of his session, just watch the below video:

We take our technology for granted these days, and we live in an interconnected world where visitors become customers and customers become followers, brand enthusiasts, ambassadors and fans. But, is there a latent danger in this technophile landscape? According to Andreas, our humanity gets more or less twisted when we start buying a power adapter that costs €79, or getting a sleeping bag outside of a shop to be one of the first buyers to acquire an overpriced device.

Photo: Andreas Ekström doing his magic act 

EBay, Linkedin, Intuit and GetYourGuide were also well represented. As an LSP, it is of great value to understand client needs and tweak our operations according to market demand. “Quality at the Speed on Now” was an open debate about how these companies approach localization in the digital era, presenting us with their processes, internal adaptations and how to design a competent quality model in a continuous delivery environment. Definitely some food for thought.

Electronic Arts delivered, alongside Booking.com, Moravia and Legacy Starwoods Resorts and Hotels a great session about data driven globalization. The gaming side of things is interesting for All-In Translations since the processes and customer experience are highly related to the ones of our clients. Strategic decisions are taken according to market demands but also according to language and world events. EA Sports gave us an example of a game that was not launched in Japan due to the fact that the game story was closely matching the recent (back then) Hiroshima nuclear accident. Tapped out is the Simpsons game where Homer caused a meltdown in the local nuclear power plant and our mission is to rebuild the city. The localization of the game into Japanese had thus to be cancelled.

Photo: EA Sports discussing the continuous delivery environment 

Photo: The Simpsons game that proved too similar to local realities in Japan

To wrap it up, some thoughts about BiCrawler.

One of the contestants in the Process Innovation Challenge was Jose Juan, a guy that presented us with this piece of freeware that is able to crawl any website and create a translation memory out of it. That’s quite remarkable and also pretty scary. We’ve asked Jose about the legality of this practice, and were assured that, exactly like Google is crawling all web pages, this software does the same -- an activity that is 100% legal. (But wait, it just kind of copies all the content and uses it from translation memories not caring about copyrights??) We are still puzzled with the practice but can’t deny the usefulness… if it’s really legal.

That's all folks from this LocWorld34 in Barcelona. Hope you enjoyed our brief glimpse into how things were there, and we promise to follow this huge event next year as well.

¡Adiós!

Swing and a miss as Airbnb “localizes” into Chinese

Airbnb is one of our favorite websites, but we wish they would have consulted with us before trying to localize their brand for the Chinese market.

The combination of the words and colours chosen make it sound like they are selling sex toys, condoms or even pornography,

said Erica Cheng (left), Business Developer for Asian markets at All-in Translations.

Erica Roy All-in Translations AirBnb Chinese Translation Fail

In this article she discusses how Airbnb failed and why it pays to pay for expert translators and cultural advisors when localizing content into foreign languages.

While Airbnb claims their Chinese name 愛彼迎 (aibiying), which attempts to sound similar to the original English, means ‘to welcome each other with love’, these three words together in Chinese actually sound very awkward. No native Chinese speaker would be able to understand it. Trying to be clever is one thing, but being totally off the mark is another.

Not surprisingly, the general populace of China has shown very little love for the name, and took to the internet to give Aibiying a roasting rather than a warm welcome. Criticism was leveled at the new Chinese entry on a number of scores, including that the name just sounded ‘weird’. People also came up with suggestions for a better-sounding and more meaningful name, and one can only wonder at exactly how much research went into finalizing Airbnb’s Chinese name in the first place. Or whether they did all they could with testing it in focus groups, as one might consider with such a big global brand.

Airbnb translation fail All-in Translations

Another issue for Chinese commentators was the predominant colour used in the launch event – a deep pink/purple. These colours work well for a client of ours - CondomOutlet - but when Airbnb chose these colours (together with the translation), many noted that it was synonymous with the marketing of sex toys and even pornography. Not exactly the homely concept they were aiming for, perhaps? (The use of colour, which has restrictions and taboos in traditional cultural contexts is another minefield for marketers, but that is an entire subject on its own.)

CondomOutlet translated by All-in Translations

Did Airbnb exercise due diligence in appointing the best language consultants to come up with a perfect name for the Chinese market? The jury is still out on that one. Besides, a global company such as Airbnb would have many more obstacles to negotiate in the Chinese market than just an unpopular name. Competition with already well-established local businesses who have copied the Airbnb model, and growing the accommodation-sharing market in a culture that hasn’t yet fully embraced the concept are rather more pressing issues perhaps.

Still, we’d like to think that a spot-on name for Aibiying might have helped smooth the way for a more successful venture into China. Ultimately, the target market must be able to relate to the brand name or else it doesn’t matter how creative the name is, it’s just not going to work. This is why it always makes good sense to get professional input in the early stages from those who really know the market/culture.

To be given a bad name is worse than to be born with a bad fate.

- Chinese proverb

So what’s in a name?… There’s always a risk when international brands launch in non-English- speaking countries with very different traditions and culture. There are so many instances of faux pas in this arena that one could easily fill a book on the subject. While this would no doubt provide some good comic entertainment for the reader, the companies that committed these errors had to learn the hard way.

Lack of cultural awareness and ignorance of the target language is just one way in which a brand could find itself in trouble. Even when a brand name is retained in its original language, there could be unexpected and unwelcome consequences, like the Ford motor company experienced when it launched its Pinto model in Brazil. While ‘pinto’ is a type of horse – an appropriate simile for a car, in Brazilian Portuguese the unfortunate homophone was understood as a slang term for ‘small male genitals’.

Mercedes Benz’s foray into the Chinese market nearly crashed in spectacular fashion when it first launched as ‘Bensi’ – which could translate as ‘rush to your death’. Microsoft, on the other hand, was better prepared when it launched its search engine Bing in China. In Chinese, the character pronounced ‘bing’ is associated with concepts such as ‘disease’ or ‘virus’ – pretty much deathly for anything computer-related. However, a little twist of the name to Bi ying – still recognizable – changed the meaning to something like ‘responds without fail’.

How one little syllable can change a massive negative to a remarkable positive – or vice versa – is indicative of the many challenges and pitfalls which global companies face in attempting break into the Chinese market. With a population of over 1.3 billion in a geographically, linguistically and culturally diverse country, China is a tough nut to crack.

Successfully launching and integrating a product or service, and communicating effectively with Chinese consumers, requires the professional services of highly qualified Chinese translators who understand the nuances of Chinese culture and language in all its complexity, as well as being fluent in the original language of the marketer.

Chinese trade laws require that brands must be ‘translated’ into a Chinese equivalent. And obviously this is also necessary to appeal to local consumers. There are a few ways to do this, and here are some of the more popular options:

1: Phonetic match only: Sounds similar but no correlated meaning, such as McDonald’s – mài dāng láo (‘wheat serve as labor’), a fairly nonsensical literal meaning, or Cadillac (Ka di la ke), the sounds of which have no meaning at all in Chinese.

2: Semantic match only: The Chinese name is a faithful translation of the original meaning, but does not sound similar. For example, Volkswagen – Da Zhong Qi Che, meaning ‘people’s car’ (from the original German).

3: Phonetic and semantic match: Famously achieved by, among others, Coca-Cola (kě kǒu kě lè) which means something like ‘tasty fun’.

4: No match to the original name: Localizing the brand with an entirely original name, as Pizza Hut did, launching in China as ‘Bìshèngkè’ which might mean something like ‘compelling victory for guests’.

So, getting back to Airbnb, these are the choices they faced breaking into a difficult but potentially lucrative Chinese market. We can assume that they aimed for the third option listed above, but unfortunately didn’t quite make it to first base with their effort, let alone scoring a home run. As language consultants we think that a name, or a slogan – even the words used in every form of communication – are extremely important. And there is arguably no country where words carry more weight than China.

Disclaimer: All-in Translations uses Airbnb on a regular basis when we travel around on our Celebration of Translations for All Nations Tour. Usually, we're sending a team of 3 or more delegates, and in those cases Airbnb offers much better value than hotels. We also find that we get to experience more of the local culture when staying in someone's home. With that said, we genuinely wish Airbnb the best of luck wherever they set up shop!

PS: If someone from the localization team of Airbnb (or anyone else for that matter) reads this and decides they want us to help them with translation or content writing, they can get a free quote here or reach out in the live chat or drop an email to michele@allintranslations.com. We specialise in iGaming and gambling, but our skills would be a good fit for a more "general" brand like Airbnb as well.

Below some examples of when we used Airbnb:

... when All-in Translations had a workshop at an Airbnb house on an island without roads outside of Oslo:

14138092_10157314377580514_5803885159634659800_o

... when All-in Translations shot a promotional video together with Calvin Ayre Gambling News in an Airbnb penthouse in London during ICE Totally Gaming:

...in the Airbnb apartment in Amsterdam where All-in Translations will relax with a game of chess after long days at iGaming Supershow in July:

Skjermbilde-2017-04-06-kl.-23.16.47

Translation fails are funny but it’s probably good for business if you learn how to avoid them.

Read more about the Chinese language and the Chinese gaming market here.

Chinese (Mandarin)

PM team from All In Translations

All In team building “kicks off” at Old Trafford

There was the perfect excuse for a team travel: The 2015 Language industry Summit!

This year’s ATC conference took place in Manchester at the magnificent Old Trafford stadium! What a great venue to host this event and what a great venue to welcome the team of the leading language service provider for the online gambling industry – All In Translations.

PM team from All In Translations

The All In Translations team

We’ve rented a 5 bedroom house (somewhere in Manchester) and we got the perfect scenario for a great team building week.

Five Super Stars from our team flew in from Malta and Spain and a lucky lady even had the chance to stay a few more days and enjoy the Old Trafford atmosphere to the full whistle watching Manchester United defeating Sunderland for 3-0! (We all got the English Breakfast though)

Angelique, Edu, Orsetta, Eloy and Tiago were the elements representing All In Translations among other industry leading companies.

 

Working hard!The conference was a great opportunity to mingle with leading industry organisations, participate in insightful debates, keep up to date with industry trends and tool developments as well as learn from other players experience and develop business relationships.

We hope that the trend is here to stay and next year’s conference takes place in Maracanã or perhaps Cam Nou? Just a hint!

Mobile App Localization

The tremendous growth of the mobile app market is one of the top tech phenomena of our century. Recent research shows that there are currently over 3.6 billion mobile users around the globe. However, if your app is only available in English, there is a large vacant market of potential users who won't buy your app if it's not available in their native language. (Actually, the immense market growth is a result of downloads and revenue from Europe and East Asia -- countries that do not primarily speak English or where English literacy rate is low.) Some big companies out there have understood this and they are looking to succeed in this competitive environment by developing mobile apps that not only cater to their home market but are now crossing the borders to an international clientele.

App revenue share

Mobile App Localization Downloads and Revenue Share

But how do you adapt your English-language app to launch in different markets or geographies? By tailoring the app to fit the foreign market without losing its initial objective or usability. In other words, localization.

Get your app ready for localization

Keep in mind that content length can greatly vary after translating - in fact, your message can sometimes become up to 60% longer! This is why one of the essential things to pay attention to before localizing your app content is text expansion. Moreover, you’ll need to be careful to anticipate text of all orientations -- just think about the languages that are read vertically (e.g. Chinese or Japanese) or those that are read right-to-left (such as Hebrew and Arabic).

Next thing is to make sure to a create a language glossary (abbreviations and acronyms, compound noun phrases, words that stay in English - like terms with a copyright, universally accepted jargon) and set up a translation memory. This is extremely important when more than one translator works on a project.

Also, think twice about symbols or colors that may have cultural, religious or political implications. The last thing you’d want for your ''cutting-edge'' graphics is to turn out to be offensive or vexing in some markets.

It’s important to remember also that the more comprehensive your style guide (like intended tone, brand guidelines etc.), the more it will help the translator(s) deliver on-brand, localized mobile app content.

App localization - Who's going to do it?

Who will localize your app? Do you pull together a team of scattered freelancers? Take the risk and use internal resources with no translation background? Or hire a multi-language service provider like All In Translations?

Assuming you decide to hire us and use our services to localize your mobile app, we guarantee that our translators are all tried-and-tested native speakers and all have extensive experience in the country where the source language is spoken. They know how to customize your mobile app to specified locale or region without losing brand identity and consistency.

Localization team

All In Translations localization team in Malta

Contact us at michele@allintranslations.com and Michele Spiteri, our Sales Executive, will explain in detail how we can help you take your app global.

Video: Got your language strategy in place?

How important is language consistency in your website content across multiple languages?

Do you consider cultural proximity as an essential acquisition and retention strategy?

Are you aware of the importance of localizing your content and keeping your brand ethos across different cultures?

Are you still using "your mates" or CS staff to translate your newsletters and your website content?

Check out this short 2 minutes video in which our Sales Executive Michele Spiteri talks about the importance of language and specialized localization in the iGaming industry.

This video was shot last June at the Amsterdam - iGaming Supershow, where All-In Translations exhibited.

Kudos to Energy Casino for their great job producing this video!

Are your translations "good to go"?

You can get your FREE translation spot check today.