If your company has started to get attention from markets abroad, it might be time for you to think about translating and localising your website for the consumers you are targeting in other countries. Translation, when done properly by a professional translation agency means that you can communicate effectively in another language. Your document and business translations are important because it demonstrates your professionalism and respect for the people with whom you do business. However, when dealing with customers abroad, it is not always advisable to merely translate your website. Why? Because people who live in other countries have different cultures and deal with things differently. Therefore, to attract new customers and keep the ones you’ve got, you’ll need your website translated and localised. Localisation means that you take into account the customs and tastes of your target audience. Customers want value and they are more likely to buy from a website that’s in their own language and which caters to their customs. Look at your website’s content. Change any idioms or slang terms into expressions that your target audience will understand. Take care that any slogans you use don’t cause offence once they have been translated. Even large corporations make mistakes. Just look Kentucky Fried Chicken. Their famous English slogan is “finger-lickin’ good” – However, when they opened their first restaurant in China and used the slogan, it was quickly pointed out to them that in Chinese it meant “we’ll eat your fingers off”, which the Chinese didn’t find at all appetizing. Another thing to think about are the visuals you use. For example, you might have a photo showing the thumbs up gesture, which in the UK means ‘okay’ or ‘good’. But, in places like the Middle East or Greece it is an insult. Your website is one of the places consumers will visit when they are looking for the product or service you supply. Whether at home or abroad, it should be interesting to look at and engaging to read. Your company will then get a reputation for being helpful and friendly. This keeps current customers loyal and means that they will spread the word about your brand which will then attract new customers. If you would like more information about localising your company website, send us an email or give us a call. Language Insight is a UK based translation agency supplying translation, localisation, interpretation and desk publishing services from offices in London and the North of England.