Translation Pitfalls in the Hispanic Marketing Niche

Translation Pitfalls in the Hispanic Marketing Niche
Translation Pitfalls in the Hispanic Marketing Niche

Communicating a message and persuading a group to take action is a difficult proposition in itself.Add to that a group with cultural and linguistic differences and you will miss the opportunity entirely.

This is one of the pitfalls that marketers face when translating marketing copy to the Hispanic market.

 Many marketers still use the “one size fits all approach” when translating copy to the Hispanic group. This path of least resistance is a general practice because it  keeps  their strategy more  organized and general across the board  and  their ideas easily accepted by  management.

Yet this approach clearly  does a disservice to  them as marketers as well as the target audience they are trying to reach. It lends itself to  generalizations and stereotypes that does not speak nor  realistically represent the target market.

Marketers that continue to practice this strategy  are missing great opportunities in tapping one of the markets with the most growth in the US: The Hispanic market.

Not only is this market growing but they are a young group with a growing disposable income, but also are tech savvy, highly involved in social media, and highly influenced by family and peers. All of the factors that contribute to a marketers dream;if only done properly.

The Hispanic market is a diverse group and although most are acculturated and bilingual, they take pride of their cultural differences and hence respond to ads that are cultural relevant to them.

On the other hand, overemphasizing on the cultural aspect of the group can lead to generalizations and stereotypes that would otherwise backfire in the ad or worse yet bring the opposite response to the ads call to action.

 

HERE ARE A  FEW COMMON PITFALLS TO AVOID WHEN TARGETING THE HISPANIC MARKET*

  • Hispanics are not a homogeneous group
  • Lack of bicultural and bilingual staff
  • Assuming that Hispanics are a lower-income bracket
  • Translating  copy into Spanish but sending the wrong message
  • Misunderstanding and misusing connectors and symbols affiliated with each culture
  • Translating a website into Spanish but lacking Spanish-speaking customer care representatives
  • Fail to establish  relationships with key community influencers and leaders

*As published in Top Ten Mistakes Companies Make Marketing to Hispanics

 

HOW TO AVOID THESE PITFALLS AND  CREATE A MARKETING STRATEGY THAT WORKS

  •  Cultural relevancy – We cannot stress that enough yet this strategy is still not applied in a large number of cases and marketers fails over and over again.  If you are targeting a specific Latino group, have someone well versed and well-rounded in the group’s culture that can pinpoint the needs and wants of this group.

 

  •  Partner with influencers and community leaders Establish a relationship with businesses that already have ties with Hispanic communities. This  could help you ease the cultural barrier and bring your product or service to their attention. By partnering with these companies they can help your business increase exponentially both on and offline.

 

  •  Decreasing the language barrier Many companies believe that by translating a message from English to Spanish they are targeting them. Yet, they don’t fully embrace the customer or the customer relations aspect of the business. Although the majority of the Hispanics are fully bilingual, most buying decisions are influenced by family and  peers and  these members may still prefer to be catered in Spanish. Marketers have to be ready  to service them fully as well.

 

 

 

 

 

5 Bilingual Data Resources That Work With Your CAT Tool.

The use of translation memories has become somewhat of a standard in our industry. If you work for agencies they are now expecting that you at least have a command of TRADOS. Although I have used TRADOS, and  see that our productivity increases using it, I don’t personally own a copy of the software yet. I won’t be discussing about TM programs per se, I believe too many articles and blogs have discussed the pro’s and con’s of it. Rather, I would discuss the resources that can work well with  the use of a TM program or CAT tool or use  as a standalone resource.  They are large amounts of bilingual data (corpora) extracted from websites in all particular areas.  The reason I love these resources is that they are not the result of machine translation but rather large sources of data that have been translated by translators in a specialized field. So the result is an accurate copy of what you search for. The following list is but a few that I have in my arsenal of resources and some that I have used so far. They are in no particular order.

Linguee
www.linguee.com

This is the corpus that I use the most and like the most.  I do find it the most complete and it is continuously  improving its site. It first started with an English German language  pairing. It then included Spanish and Portuguese and now French.  It gathers  large bodies of information from websites and the internet and matches it with your search. It also tells you the link to the website where this information appeared and gives you several contexts in which the query appeared  and  the website link  ( This can also be downloaded and aligned to your TM). On the side bar there is a dictionary that will help you to understand the phrase and it also allows you to add information to improve the corpora itself. Of all the TM’s I use I find this one the most useful and most complete. You may even download their dictionaries as a GTL file.

My Memory
 mymemory.translated.net

Established in 1999, My Memory is another  resource that I use extensively. It gives you both, internet searches done by human translators and when none is available it  gives you  machine translated text (from Google Translate). Like Linguee, it tells you where the source came from but here it allows you to rate and improve the entry. Furthermore, you can also use their existing memory by downloading  a TMX file  of your  document into their system. It searches the memory for you so you can work with it through your  CAT tool.  You may also contribute your memory to improve the site. They do protect the identity of the material and only use the memory they need. It is available in many language combinations and you can either search by phrase or word. It does not have a dictionary entry like Linguee, but it is also another resource . It is free to join and given that they can provide massive information for you , this is not quite bad at all.

TAUS Data Association
www.tausdata.org

This corpora is a paid subscription that allows you to download the memory directly into your CAT tool. Through their website you can browse their extensive catalog, some are public and others are for paid members. Categorized by subject, you have access to a vast variety of subjects and through this website www.taustracker.com you will soon be able to have access to directories from a specific translation memory.

Finally, there is always Google, but they to have a particular bilingual engine.

2lingual
2lingual.com

Powered by Google and now Bing search engines this bilingual engine provides side-by-side  samples of websites in the language pair that you are looking for by word, phrase, or keyword. Just another free source.

And there you have them, these are just a few that I have found useful to me. There are many others of course , just google “translation memory” or “bilingual data” and  hundreds of pages will appear. However, you have to select the ones that are more useful to you. This is my sample.