Addressing Cross-Cultural Issues during Website Translation
- You Are Not Your Own Audience: You are not creating a personal website for yourself. You need to cater to your visitor, and you need a lot more than just a professional translation of your mostly English content for Asians, Latinos, or Europeans. Forget nitpicking about machine and human translation services—catering to the wants and needs of your consumers is your foremost priority. The credo, "The customer is always right!" has always worked before, so now you merely have to adapt it to another culture and socio-political backdrop in order to make it work once more.
- Research and Learning: Self-education is important here. If you're part of your company's marketing or promotions department, this is a must. If you're one of the higher-ups, a bit of awareness on your part will do your company good, if only to understand what your marketing department is presently planning. Learning everything about your foreign consumers will save you a lot of money and bring you profit in the long run.
- Catering to Your Audience: Take off your own shoes, forget about your red-blooded patriotism for a second, put on your consumer's shoes, and attempt to understand his situation. What's in it for him? What will he get out of visiting your website? How can you make your website appealing to him as a foreign demographic? This is a basic promotional tactic that you can apply on an international or global scale.
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International Translation Day is held in celebration of the feast of St Jerome, the Bible translator widely considered the patron saint of translators. The International Federation of Translators is the promoter of International Translation Day, and has been since it was first held in 1953.
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