Everything we do—from the design of our products to our customer support strategy—begins with our customers in mind. One way we can work toward fulfilling our customer-focused mission is to consider the culture and experience of each audience we touch. It’s not enough to simply translate our content into another language. We also need to make sure the content makes sense, remains accurate and is culturally relevant.
The difference between translation and localization is demonstrated in our content for the United States and the United Kingdom. They are both written in English, so translation isn’t needed for our UK clients. But UK content does need to be localized. Localization for the UK audience would include spelling changes (color to colour, realize to realise and so on), updating time, date and currency formats and ensuring that language is culturally relevant (eating nachos at a bar vs. getting chips at a pub).
Here are a few things to keep in mind to help ensure
smooth translation of MINDBODY content:
Avoid referring to things of local or regional importance, which wouldn’t be understood by people outside of the US.
Avoid synonyms, in general, to ensure consistency. Words that are interchangeable in your content might each get translated differently.
Watch out for words that have multiple meanings. For example, “once” can mean “as soon as you” or “a single time,” which could lead to mistranslation.
Our voice is conversational, so we often use contractions. When writing copy that may be translated, however, keep in mind that using contraction can cause issues.
Try not to use negative words to describe positive situations. For example, “Isn’t exercising a great way to get healthy?” begins with a negative word, possibly causing someone who isn’t a native English-speaker to interpret it as negative. Instead, try something like, “Do you agree that exercising is a great way to get healthy?” or, “Exercising is a great way to get healthy, right?”