Talking Globally

Friday, March 23rd, 2012 by Simon Morton

Eyeful’s ever widening international base not only takes us physically into new territories and but also often throws up unexpected challenges that make us scratch our heads and go ‘really?’

Preparations for our Eyeful Russia launch has reminded us that translation is not always as simple as it may first appear. Anyone familiar with how we roll here at Eyeful will know that we are particularly concerned with making sure that our presentations engage their audiences. Unfortunately ‘engage’ is not a word that has a direct Russian translation….so thesauri in hand we faced the challenge.

For challenges like these we employ something that marketing people call transcreation – basically translating the essence of the message rather than the actual words.

We’ve all heard stories (mostly apocryphal) of product names that became offensive or rude on translation into other languages. I personally have used a well-known search engine translation function to send an email apologising for the delay in receiving a parcel that an international customer was pregnant with (expecting)!

On a wider note this reminds us that language is about understanding. I do not speak Nuclear Physicist or Systems Analyst in exactly the same way that I do not speak Russian.

Now we have mentioned this before but just because you understand your presentation there is no guarantee that your audience will.  And if your audience doesn’t understand, engage or act on your presentation, what’s the point?!

PS – More news on Eyeful Russia very soon…honest.

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