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6 Tips for Successful Marketing using Automatic Translation

Using translation and automatic translation software for your marketing campaign.
Using translation and automatic translation software for your marketing campaign.
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What can a business do to outrun the competition? Attract international buyers at home and abroad. With a few important changes to a normal marketing routine, automatic translation can be an affordable way to increase business with new cultures without speaking the language.

The cost of marketing translation is the single most unbearable cost involved in attracting people of other languages. The heavy cost of marketing translation is often difficult to justify, especially when there is no previous success trail. Yet marketing in several languages will increase sales and impact success in regional and global markets, generally with a minimum of 25% increase in business within 2 years and potential for several hundred percent increase.

The good news – perhaps great news! – is that automated translation is an excellent potential solution toward implementing new, aggressive marketing techniques while slashing costs of translation by up to 95%.

Automatic Translation and Computer Voices

Today's automatic computer voices, especially in languages like Spanish, French, German, Japanese, Dutch, Arabic, and Chinese can be so lifelike that people cannot distinguish from human. Therefore, a mobile advertisement, a website "Live Chat", or an online discount coupon can actually talk to the recipient in a friendly voice in their language without the company speaking any of these languages. These warm translated voices, such as those available through sites like TranslateYourWorld.com, take the place of a human salesman during the preliminary business expansion phase, and the sale is based upon clicking rather than a face-to-face sales pitch.

Writing for Automatic Translation ("machine translation")

Machine translation will not have good results if text is composed “as usual”, without planning or forethought for automation. Anyone who writes well in their native language will discover upon closer inspection that their text is full of imagery, metaphors, double-meanings, slang, and humor. An example of automated translation of baseball text may be an excellent illustration of unthinking writing for automated translation: “The batter is at the plate. He shakes his bat and prepares to swing. “ When translated automatically, the result in other languages may be something like, “The bread dough is on the platter. He shakes his flying rodent and prepares to dance.“

Rewriting for Automatic Translation

First, create a copy of the original whose sole purpose is to run through translation software. Then, remembering that automated translation will select the most popular meaning of a word, review the marketing text to identify expressions that may have a meaning that is more popular than the one intended. In the example, “the batter” would be replaced with “the baseball batter”; “bat” becomes “baseball bat”; “plate” becomes “home plate”; and “swing” becomes “hit the ball”.

It is true that by rewriting for machine translation, the cuteness, charm and humor of marketing will always be lost in translation. But important marketing concepts such as “Buy your tires here” and “20% discount” function beautifully anywhere in any language, including with automation.

6 Tips for Successful Marketing with Automatic Translation

  1. Look for words with more than one meaning, and rewrite for clarification. Example: “To get started, go to this page.” The word “get” is a poor word in English because could mean receive or fetch or nothing at all, as in this case. Rewrite the prompt as “To begin, go to this page.”
  2. Remember that machine translation software becomes confused if there is more than one adjective per noun. A phrase like “This long, complex, Latin American Spanish document” auto-translates as “All this time the American Spanish of the document complex”. Rewrite the phrase to “This long document in Spanish for Latin America is complex.” Spread out the adjectives by using prepositions like “in” and “for” and “of”. This may sound a little strange in English, but is exactly how other languages function naturally, so will auto-translate well.
  3. Watch for 2 nouns in sequence. The English language often uses nouns as adjectives. This often confuses automated translation software. Example: “English language dictionary”. Rewrite to “Dictionary of the English language” or “English dictionary”.
  4. Avoid slang or subtle expressions. Use straight dictionary English. No metaphors, no humor, no catchy phrases. Such phrases are guaranteed to have ridiculous automated translations, the kind that make people laugh or scratch their heads.
  5. Keep the marketing message very short. Bullet items are often excellent.
  6. Enter vital words that could be mistranslated into the automatic translation software’s dictionary.

Where to Find Help

After running through machine translation software, ask a native speaker review the results for errors. Such persons can be found on websites such as oDesk.com and Fivrr.com. And because the text has been re-written for “dictionary English”, its content will be a good candidate for automatic computer voices that will beautifully speak your words in the translation language. Automatic voice recordings from translated text can be obtained from InternationalServices.com.

These rewrites and auto-translate techniques work for any text including simple websites, mobile marketing, email blasts, blogs, and email correspondence. Because using these techniques adds a step in the thought process, it will take awhile until comes naturally. The international version will take a long time to rewrite, but the cost savings can be enormous and puts businesses in a position to attract international buyers and customers who would have been beyond reach in the past.