Translate online advertising materials into other languages

Translate online advertising materials into other languages

If your business relies heavily on the web, you are surely aware of the potential of the internet to quickly reach and reach an international audience via online advertising. To meet the needs of your international clients, your website will likely be translated into the major languages ​​used in your target markets. For many people, this part is relatively straightforward: you send your copy to the translator, who will give you a quote based on the size of the text and any other special requirements you might have, such as checking the translated text for web forms once you’ve done so. ‘re on the line. But have you thought about how to approach the translation of your advertising materials online?

Done right, translating online advertising materials differs from regular translation in some important respects. First, much of the material that will actually be translated will be the keywords you are bidding on or buying rather than the ad copy itself. Effectively translating keywords is somewhat different from translating paragraphs of text for reasons we will see below. A good advertising translator must also act differently from a plain text colleague when it comes to the ad text itself.

The last point may seem more obvious but it’s worth expanding on. In general, the ad scheme you use will have limitations, such as the maximum length of headlines and other ad lines. It’s possible that the text of your ads was chosen to look attractive and not because the specific literal meaning was important. So to translate an online advertisement, it may be best to use a rough translation that looks attractive and adheres to length restrictions. As an example of the type of decisions a translator can make, there is a word in Spanish that can be used to translate “summer vacation” (“veraneo”) which is actually shorter than the generic word for “holidays” (“vacaciones”). If the translator knows your business or campaign deals specifically with the summer holidays (and a good translator will always take the time to understand your business), they can use a shorter word that might be important when translating an ad headline with the 25-character limit.

The issues involved in translating ad keywords may be less obvious. But first think about the process you went through to choose your keywords. You might start by choosing a few phrases that characterize your business. You may then have expanded this list by considering synonyms, perhaps using a tool like Google Trends to find the most likely synonyms a user might search for. I had also considered which combinations of these synonyms were most likely in English. For example, in British English the words “rent,” “rent,” and “let” have similar meanings, but “rent” is often associated with industrial vehicles or machinery, “rent” with residential property and “rent” with commercial property. . Subconsciously, your choice of potential keywords may have been influenced by your English grammar and the rules of your web searches. For example, you would probably choose “truck rental” instead of “truck rental” or “truck rental,” both of which are typically grammatical in English. If you run a vacation business, you might choose “minibreaks Paris” instead of “minibreaks in Paris,” because you know that people tend to omit short job words like “in” in web searches.

When it comes to translating these keywords, you might naively think that you can look up translations for each word individually and do the search and replace in the keyword list. Unfortunately, this will not usually be effective for several reasons. If there are such synonyms as “rent”, “rent” and “let” in English, then it is likely that the foreign language will not have the same number of synonyms with a direct designation between them. (In Spanish, for example, both the verbs “alquilar” and “rentar” can apply to vehicles or possessions.) So in a foreign language, you may need to think of combinations of words that you wouldn’t think of in English, and some combinations might not. be applicable.

Some of the grammatical limitations that affected your English keyword selection may not apply in the foreign language. For example, in English the phrase “truck rental” is generally ungrammatical. But in French, Italian, and Spanish (and many other languages, indeed), the phrase may be common and grammatical alone or in combination, resulting in more keyword combinations to consider bidding on. And in these and other Latin-based languages, compounds are usually formed by inserting the word “of” among the content words (eg, “de” in Spanish and French, and “di” in Italian). But in web searches this word may be optionally omitted, so in Spanish, for example, a Spaniard searching for “car rental” (among other things) might search for either “alquiler DE coches” or simply “alquiler coches”.

Most important of all, the rules for searching the web actually differ from one language to another. Some of my own research indicates, for example, that Spanish speakers are more likely to include “de” among content words than French speakers are, and that Spanish speakers are more likely to group words in their searches.

Finally, remember that some online advertising systems offer a keyword tool that will suggest you alternatives to bidding on your start listing submission. You should also speak to your translator to see if they can help you choose between the list of suggestions and advise you on their meanings when necessary.


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