This week in international marketing: Language Negotiation | Pitfalls for Marketing Content in Europe | Marketing in Canada | Colours in International Idioms | Brand Translation

by Julia Litvin

1. When to Use Language Negotiation

Language negotiation is a function of the HTTP protocol which lets a server choose among several language versions of a page, based on the URL and on preference information sent by the browser (specifically in the Accept-Language header). This is distinct from page selection based on the IP address of the browser or from a manual selection by the user on a language-selection page. If there is no match between the preferences expressed by the browser and the languages available on the server, either a language-selection page is shown or a default language is served.

This article addresses the question of when it is appropriate (or not) to set up language negotiation on the server.

Source: When to use language negotiation

2. 6 Pitfalls to Avoid When Using English Marketing Content in Europe

With today’s profusion of digital channels, even local, smaller businesses can promote their products anywhere on the globe. Often though, they cannot rely on a budget for localization and are forced to re-use their original English marketing content. In a digitally mature and culturally diverse market like Europe, this is not ideal, with respect to triggering the attention of potential customers. However, by adapting it a little, your English content can become more palatable to a European audience. Here are six typical, and sometimes amusing, pitfalls that companies should avoid on the English marketing materials they are using in this region:

Source: 6 pitfalls to avoid when using English marketing content in Europe

3. Marketing in Canada: Officially Bilingual, Proudly Multicultural

Despite its small population, Canada is one of the top 10 trading nations in the world. Globally, Canada ranks tenth in terms of total GDP, and international trade accounts for more than two thirds of that. Not surprisingly, Canada’s biggest trading partner is the United States. But increasingly, Canada is also looking to expand its trade relations with Europe and Asia.

Canada is a country of many languages, cultures and religions. But it is one of the few countries in the world where this kind of diversity is seen not as a liability but as an asset. In fact, it’s a real point of pride for Canadians that they live in one of the most multicultural, multilingual countries in the world. Companies looking to do business in Canada need to understand this if they want to be successful here.

Source: Marketing in Canada: Officially Bilingual, Proudly Multicultural

4. Colourful Language: Colours in International Idioms

Although we have a plethora of words in our vocabularies to describe colour, it’s unlikely that we each perceive colour in the same way. What if your red is actually my blue, or my yellow is your green? We may never know if a Parisian’s rouge is identical to a Varsovian’s czerwony, but we can at least explore the use of colour in language; if we take a walk through the colour spectrum, how much do we really have in common?

Source: Colourful language: colours in international idioms

5. Translating a Brand: China vs. the World

When it comes to cultural and linguistic differences, few regions stand as far apart as China and the Western world – the US in particular. One is a communist state that prioritises cooperation and collectivism, the other a democracy that sees itself as a paragon of meritocracy. While both may fall short of their ideals, this does not change the vast differences between their fundamental principles.

Brands looking to capitalise on globalisation and sell their wares to new audiences overseas can learn many lessons from the high-profile successes – and failures – of these leading companies. What shines through most strongly is the need to present the brand in a way that local audiences will engage with. Marketing transcreation is an essential tool for any brand wishing to succeed in a new culture. It gives companies the ability to speak directly to local audiences around the world, delivering their messages in a way that will be understood and appreciated. With such vast markets to explore, brands simply cannot afford to make cultural faux pas any longer.

Source: Translating a Brand: China vs. the World

This was our 'best of the week'. Next week we will continue to provide you with the interesting and current news on digital globalization, culture, language, localization and international digital marketing. 

Stay tuned.