Translation and localization, are without a doubt, the most useful tools that a company has to expand in another market. With proper planning and the support of a professional translation partner, global expansion can become easy and smooth for a business seeking to gain hold in another market.
However, one important consideration that translators and companies must keep into account is cultural consideration. Since every country or region has its own set of culture and belief systems, it is important to keep account of these cultural differences and nuances. Doing so will not only make a company aware of the thought pattern of the audience in a country, but it will also allow a business to gain a stronghold in the new market.
Whether your company provides French Canadian translation services, Italian translation services, or Professional Korean translation, keeping culture in perspective is extremely important for your company’s success in another market. But before we look at the cultural considerations, it is important to define what culture really is.
What is Culture?
Culture is defined as “the total set of beliefs, attitudes, behavior, customs and social habits of the members of a particular society”. It is the gateway to a given society’s heart and gives a close insight into its identity and belief system.
Every region’s practices and culture are different from that of other regions. There are various schools of thought and practices that exist in one culture but are absent in another. Even the deeply held belief systems and commitments to certain traditions vary across nations.
Each of these unique psychological practices is associated with words that have meaning in one language and are not commonly used in another language. For accurate French translation services and interpretation, it is crucial to have a knowledge of the cultural practices of different regions and to be aware of the unique terminologies associated with these cultural practices.
Cultural Considerations and Translation
Every country’s culture is different and the terms used to describe a practice may be different across countries. Language and culture cannot be separated from one another because culture affects language and language has an influence on culture.
When deciding to step into another market, a business must inspect its content and resources and translate them according to the beliefs and cultural nuances of the target audience. It is important to remember that some beliefs prevalent in one country may not hold the same meaning in another country.
Take the example of a website that targets an audience in France. This website will be different from the one targeting an audience in Italy. A translation agency providing French translation services will have to approach translation in a different way than if it was providing professional Italian translation services.
Although English is spoken in both the United States and Canada, there are different terms used for things in these two regions. For example, athletic shoes are referred to as runners, while people in the US refer to these athletic shoes as cross trainers or tennis shoes.
The cultural differences between countries and regions may be obvious and striking in some cases and may involve conflicting values attached to the same objects. For example, in China, the dragon is a symbol of good luck and fortune while in the West, a dragon is deemed a threatening animal and is a symbol of overwhelming evil prowess. This is because the pragmatic meaning of dragon differs in both cultures. On the other hand, the dog has a positive connotation and symbolization in the West, but it usually carries a negative meaning in Chinese culture.
How to Keep Cultural Considerations in Perspective?
The translation is not merely the conversion of one language to another. It is the literal conversion of one word into another language while keeping the context in perspective. This “context” has largely to do with the culture and beliefs that a language carries. For example, a translation agency delivering Korean translation services needs to be aware of Korean culture and beliefs before translating the text into the Korean language.
To translate text from one language to another, cultural considerations need to be kept in perspective.
- The advertising copy that is to be sent in a country needs to be fully understood by the audience. For this, it is important to ensure that it is not offensive in any way and would not make them turn away from the product or service
- The translation of the marketing copy should be accurately executed, otherwise, the target consumers might turn against the badly translated information
- Use images, colors, and text that are culturally appropriate for the target audience. For example, the color red denotes “happiness” in China, but in African countries such as Nigeria, the color red is associated with death. Translators and businesses need to keep these differences in mind when translating
- Marketing content displayed on social media must also be culturally appropriate for the target audience. Images, videos, and text on these social sites need to adhere to the cultures of target countries to create an appeal for them.
The culture of a country is the belief, norms, and value system of its people and reflects the belief system of those people. When deciding to introduce a product or service in another country, translators should keep cultural considerations in perspective before translating and do proper research into beliefs, inherent values, and cultural concepts of the target countries before taking up the task of translation.
Also Read: How Does Language Translation Play A Vital Role In Making A Foreign Trip Fun Filled.