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Translation of Social Media Updates for Corporations

With approximately ten percent of the world’s population on Facebook and over 340 million tweets being broadcast around the world every day, it is not surprising that corporations are increasingly looking towards social media as a crucial part of their marketing plan. And with Google’s announcement earlier this year that it will take social searching into account - meaning that anything you or your friends have posted on Google+ will influence your Google search results - it is now more important than ever for corporations to have a solid social media marketing plan in place that stretches across all of the major social networks. While many corporations are now embracing social media as an essential means of communicating with and engaging their customers, most are failing to look further than the English-speaking market sector. While English used to heavily dominate, Twitter is quickly becoming a multilingual place with approximately half of all tweets in languages other than English. As the numbers of Chinese, Russian and Arabic users continue to surge, English is rapidly losing its language dominance online. As people naturally prefer to engage and converse in their own language, corporations who do not effectively translate their social media updates are ignoring an increasingly powerful group of potential customers. And as most corporations continue to avoid professional translation of their social media updates, the corporations who do make this a priority for their business will inevitably find themselves standing out from the crowd for all the right reasons. While there are various free and paid automatic translation services available online, effective multilingual social media cannot be managed by machine alone. Human experts are required to not only choose the right words but understand the cultural implications and potential difficulties in the target language. Translation of social media updates involves so much more than swapping English sentences for those in another language: it requires an intimate knowledge of cultural norms and local practices to ensure that your corporation protects its well-earned image and reputation overseas. Different countries use social media in different ways, and it takes a professional native-speaking translator to fully understand these differences. Studies have shown that while French and German social media users tend to share more news and links, Korean and Malays are more inclined to hold conversations online. Similarly, Americans and Germans have very different ideas about how much personal information should be shared through social media. Twitter’s strict character restrictions make every character choice a crucial one and pose a unique problem when translating social media posts. One hundred and forty characters in English can translate to as little as 40 characters in Chinese and as many as 120 characters in German or French. Engaging a professional translator is an essential task for any corporation who is serious about engaging with overseas markets. The perfect translator for your corporation will take the time to develop a close working relationship with you in order to fully understand your product and your market, both locally and overseas.

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