30/09/2021

International Translation Day: Who We Celebrate

While cupcake day, puppy day, and best friend appreciation day may get more love on social media, here at Terra Translations our favorite day of the year is International Translation Day! Every year on September 30th we take a moment to remember why we do the work we do. 

There are many rewards of working in the translation industry. We help break down barriers, increase communication worldwide, and improve the safety and quality of life for many. But most of all, we’re reminded on International Translation Day of why we are so grateful to work with so many amazing translators. Talent Acquisition Manager Antonieta Martínez Barrios wanted to share her gratitude for our outstanding team of translators and give a deeper look at the work they do every day. 

Who is Antonieta?

Antonieta is a talent acquisition manager at Terra. She is in charge of recruiting and contacting new translators and editors to join our freelance and in-house teams. Her background in translation has been a huge asset to Terra. She devotes half of her time to talent recruitment and the rest of her time to translating literary pieces. “I actually love both sides of my working life,” Antonieta said. “Being a talent acquisition manager gives me the opportunity to meet interesting people from different backgrounds. Being a translator allows me to devote time to literature, which is one of my greatest passions,” she continued. 

What does a Translator Do?

According to Antonieta, a day in the life of a translator involves plenty of reading, typing, and collaborating with colleagues to work through tricky translation problems. Diligence is key. Alongside running issues by trusted coworkers, Antonieta said she frequently checks both online and physical paper references to ensure her work is of the highest quality. And of course, a little caffeine never hurts, “When I devote a day to translating, it usually starts pretty early and there are at least two cups of coffee involved,” she said. 

Why We’re Grateful

The translation team at Terra works unbelievably hard and we are so lucky to have such a top-notch team. Our translators consistently meet quick deadlines, produce quality work, and handle unexpected technical emergencies. “A crashing CAT tool can also become a nightmare on any given day,” Antonieta warned. 

In a time where technology threatens to replace professional translators, we are so appreciative of the value our team brings to the table. Antonieta perfectly nailed the sentiment of the exceptional worth our translators have, “Human translation will always be necessary because of the simple reason that all text audiences are human. There is nothing like the human rationale and touch,” Antonieta said. She also noted that skilled translators are more important than ever before, “I feel that at this moment in time, there is so much information spreading every day. Younger generations are so eager to reach this information. Translation becomes essential to keep up with world news, apps, and technologies that need to reach a global audience,” she said. 

Many experts who specialize in difficult subject matter make up our translation team. Antonieta specializes in literary and legal translation. Our CEO Marina is an expert in creative translation and video game localization. Silvina, one of our in-house linguists, is skilled in medical and healthcare topics. Our teammate Nahuel has many years of experience translating technical texts. “There are so many specializations and mixes of language combos that each translator and editor’s profile is unique for us,” Antonieta said. 

Happy International Translation Day!

Translators and editors are everything to Terra. They are part of our family and we deeply value them. Without our translators, Terra wouldn’t exist. We are extremely proud of the top quality work they do. We want to wish all our linguists a fantastic day where they can relax or celebrate by translating and editing something they feel passionate about!

25/08/2021

The Mission Behind Women in Translation Month

August is Women in Translation Month, and as a women-owned business that provides translation services, this initiative is very close to our hearts. Not familiar with what Women in Translation Month is and what it entails? We’re breaking down why this month exists, why it matters, and how you can participate this August and beyond. 

Behind the Initiative 

Women in Translation Month is a month-long celebration and movement that occurs every August and was founded by blogger Meytal Radzinski in 2014. This initiative aims to highlight how few translated literary works in the United States are written by women. Another purpose of dedicating a month to women in translation, is to track women writers’ representation in English-language magazines, newspapers, and journals.

In short, the goal of Women in Translation Month is to encourage and challenge readers to seek out translated texts that are written by women, with the hopes that this will increase the reach of female writers. According to Radzinski, female authors only write about a third of books that are newly translated into English. More specifically, the University of Rochester’s Three Percent blog found that in 2016, 33.8% of books translated into English were written by women, compared with 63.8% by men.

Where the Challenges Lie

Radzinski believes that the lack of translated books by female writers stems from a few different issues. She identified translation bias, a lack of reviews and publicity for books written by women, and cultural gender bias as potential sources of this problem. At the end of the day, no single party is to blame, but she believes that publishers play a large role in this problem. Female writers are not getting the attention or awards they deserve because men are dominating the literary space. This issue is compounded by the fact that books written by women are not being translated into English and made available to that valuable market.

How You Can Help

One of the best ways that the average consumer can help alleviate this gender issue, is by reading books written by women in their language or translated into other languages. Doing so is a great way to get inspiration, support female writers, and learn from them. After you read a book written or translated by a woman author or translator, don’t forget to share your latest find on social media with the hashtag, #readwomen. Reading texts written and translated by women is a great start, but encouraging your social network to do the same is a great next step. 

It’s important to remember that making these efforts this August is a fantastic way to make a difference, but keeping up with the mission all year round will make the biggest impact.


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05/08/2021

3 Major Benefits of Working with Diverse Suppliers

Diverse suppliers are businesses that are at least 51% owned and operated by either an individual or a group that belongs to a traditionally underrepresented or underserved group. These groups can include minority-owned enterprises (MBEs), woman-owned enterprises (WBEs), and businesses owned by minority groups such as LGBQT individuals and veterans. Hiring diverse suppliers provides businesses with a lot of benefits that many people may not be aware of. Let’s take a closer look at what the advantages of working with diverse vendors are. 

Allows for More Innovation

The more diverse a team is, the more access to varying perspectives and backgrounds you’ll gain. When you’re looking for creativity and problem solving abilities, working with experts that stem from different cultures or who have unique outlooks can be invaluable. 

Alongside the benefits that come along with hiring a team that has varied experiences under their belts, diverse vendors have the potential to deliver a highly effective client experience. Because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller in size, they are often more innovative, agile, and responsive than their larger competitors.

Illustrates Your Business Values to Clients

If diversity and inclusion are important values to your company, when you hire diverse suppliers, you are not only putting action behind your words, you’re signaling to your clients what your true priorities are. Diversity is a sign of a healthy and inclusive culture, which can be very appealing to both prospective clients and employees alike. 

Thanks to increased access to information via the internet and social media, it’s easy for potential clients and customers to learn if you truly put your money where your mouth is. While you shouldn’t only hire diverse vendors to prove to outsiders that you practice ethically, support diversity, and champion sustainable practices, doing so does benefit your branding and reputation. 

Economic Benefits

There are financial benefits associated with hiring diverse vendors. A study from the Hackett Group found that 20% of spending directed toward diverse suppliers delivers at least 10% to 15% of annual sales. 

Once again, because diverse suppliers tend to be smaller businesses, the businesses that hire them can benefit from their size. Smaller businesses usually have less overhead than larger businesses do and can be more competitive with their pricing and more flexible with their services and product offerings. 

It’s also important to remember that diverse suppliers have influence in the communities that they represent and working with them may open up new market shares in their communities.

Insight from a Diverse Supplier

Terra Translations is proud to be a diverse supplier and to be committed to diversity and inclusion. At Terra, we believe that diversity is not the goal, but is the means to a more inclusive and just workplace that has the ability to perform better than less diverse competitors. 

According to Terra Translations’ CEO, Marina Ilari, there is very little diversity in top management in the translation industry as a whole. From the top twenty largest language service companies, there is only one female CEO. “What is more surprising is the fact that the majority of translators, interpreters, and linguists that perform the linguistic tasks within the industry are close to 70% women,” Marina explained, “In some regions of the world, such as in South America, 94% of graduates of translation degrees are women. It has always surprised me that this women-driven industry would not see more diversity at the top. It’s important to bring more diversity to leadership roles in the industry, and I would like Terra’s inclusive and diverse team to help bridge that gap.”

As a women-owned translation company that employs workers from around the world that come from a variety of backgrounds, we’ve found we can provide better client services because we’re a diverse supplier. 


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19/05/2021

How to Prepare Your Localization for Success

Navigating the localization waters for the first time can be scary. You may be launching your product or expanding your services to markets that are unknown to you. And while it can be quite challenging, the benefits and the growth that it can lead to are worth it. Having a roadmap before you embark on this endeavor will definitely give you a peace of mind. Here, we lay out some steps that will guide your localization project and ensure a smooth process.

1. Analyze the Project 

Before actually starting a localization project, it’s important that you first identify what steps will be necessary according to the specifics of your project. Translation companies can help you accomplish this and establish the right workflow for the project. It’s also advisable to analyze the target market to ensure that the translation and localization efforts would make sense. You should also study whether internationalization services are required or not. To come up with the right strategy all of these factors should be taken into consideration.

2. Select the Right Team

Everyone on your localization team will play a key role in the success of the project. The team selected should have expertise on your subject matter field and should be well versed in the language and cultural idiosyncrasies of the target market. 

You should strive to maintain a long term relationship with them. Your team will be your most valuable asset as time passes, because they will learn how to handle localization projects in line with your preferences. Ideally, your localization team should consist of a project manager, translator, editor, and quality assurance manager. 

3. Create a Style Guide 

Consistency is key! You need to specify your desired tone, style, preferred units of measurement, and other key language details so that linguists can study those preferences beforehand. That way, when they begin working they will know exactly how to translate those materials from the get go. This will help avoid spending time going back and correcting text that is not aligned with your preferences.

Creating a translation style guide can help improve the quality and speed of a translator’s work and will encourage consistency.

4. Create a Glossary and maintain terminology 

Alongside a style guide, creating a glossary (also known as a termbase) is a great way to ensure consistency and can benefit both parties. With a termbase, linguists can work faster knowing that the terminology included is already approved. A termbase is a database where terminology is managed and published and it contains words and expressions that have specialized meaning. The terms included — that may be prominent in any customer-facing materials — can be technical, scientific, market-specific, or political. 

You can ask the linguists to build the termbase with the important terminology or you can select the terms and work with them to find the most accurate equivalents in the target language.

5. Use technology to your advantage 

When it comes to localization, technology is on your side. Both CAT tools and quality assurance tools can make a localization project more streamlined, more accurate, and more effective. Select a CAT tool so that your team can make the best use of them while translating. CAT tools segment the text that requires translation and then present the segments in a way that is easier and faster to translate. Using a CAT tool has many benefits, as they can help increase productivity, catch mistakes, achieve consistency, and eliminate repetitive translations. 

For an even higher level of quality control, you can utilize a quality assurance tool, such as Xbench and Verifika, that instantly performs quality checks of bilingual files or translation memories. Many quality assurance tools can check for the accuracy and consistency of the following elements: spelling, grammar, number or tag mismatches, missing translations, formatting, repeated words, double spaces or punctuation marks, untranslatable terms, and inconsistencies throughout the text.

6. Maintain a Translation Memory

Once you’ve picked your CAT tool, it’s time to start building and maintaining a translation memory that stores all the translated material. A translation memory is a database that can store text that was previously translated and can help support the localization process by improving the quality and consistency of a translation project and making the work faster to complete. 

7. Define and Measure Quality

It’s important to identify what quality means to you, so you can set clear expectations that the localization team can strive to meet. Understandably, accuracy will be an important factor, but accuracy doesn’t guarantee quality. The final text must reflect the meaning of the source text accurately, have the same intended effect, and should accomplish all project parameters. When it comes to localization, accounting for cultural differences is important as well. All clients will have different ideas of what quality means to them, so it’s important that you lay out your expectations before beginning a localization project so your translation team knows what standards to work towards. For example, a commercial project that is customer facing will likely have much greater quality needs than internal documents will. 

8. Handle Queries and Avoid Miscommunication

One of the best ways to ensure that throughout the whole process you have open lines of communication that lead to the best results is to communicate effectively with your team. Query sheets can be a great tool to achieve this. A query sheet acts as a centralized location where those working on complex translation projects can organize any questions and comments from all parties involved in the project. Doing this can not only help ensure accuracy and efficiency, but it can help keep the client and the translation team on the same page.


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28/04/2021

Microlearning 101: What It Is and What the Benefits Are

With countless schools and offices having to operate remotely in 2020, and people spending more time at home than ever before, e-learning can provide invaluable education opportunities. Whether a college student needs to finish their course requirements, a retiree wants to pass the time learning a new skill, or a business wants to train their employees, e-learning can come in handy. Even once social distancing comes to an end, our very digital world can greatly benefit from e-learning tools. To make the most out of these tools, there are techniques like gamification and microlearning that course creators can take advantage of. Microlearning for employee training in particular has some benefits worth examining. 

What is Microlearning?

Before looking at the benefits of utilizing microlearning in training, it’s important to understand what microlearning is. Microlearning is a short format for content that is intended to drive a specific learning outcome. Most often, microlearning is seen in e-learning platforms hosted on smartphones, computers, and tablets. One of the goals of microlearning is to make the content learner-centric, easily accessible, and quick to consume. 

Essentially, this is an educational approach that focuses on providing small learning units that only include the necessary amount of information required to help the user meet a certain learning goal. 

What are the Benefits of Microlearning?

Before adapting microlearning techniques for e-learning content creation, you may want to know what the benefits are. The three main benefits are better engagement, retention, and saving time and money. 

Regarding engagement benefits, the numbers don’t lie. From the get-go, employees are more likely to be engaged in microlearning. According to Software Advice survey, 58% of employees stated they would be more likely to utilize online learning tools provided by their company if the content was broken up into multiple smaller lessons. 

When it comes to engaging with the content, shorter e-learning modules can help take advantage of an employee’s focus limitations. The University of California Irvine found that on average employees work for just 11 minutes before they typically become distracted by outside stimuli such as emails or phone calls. During those 11 minutes, employees tend to work on very short and quick tasks that last about three minutes. Microlearning can provide busy employees with the option of making e-learning work for their hectic schedules and environment. Not only can microlearning allow the user to engage fully in a lesson for a short period of time, but because the lessons are easier to complete, they can retain the content better. 

Saving time and money on e-learning content is a nice perk. According to the author of 3-Minute E-Learning, learning architect Ray Jimenez, PhD, microlearning can actually decrease development costs for training courses by 50% and can increase the speed of developing them by 300%. This is because this digital form of digestible content is much easier to reuse and refresh than more traditional in-person training. Another benefit of having shorter bits of content is that it can make it faster, easier, and more cost effective to localize your training to your employees’ native languages. Being able to adapt e-learning content to different languages and cultures through localization can create a better and more effective e-learning experience.


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21/04/2021

Are Translation Project Managers the Same as Localization Project Managers?

The functions Translation and Localization Project Managers (TPMs and LPMs) perform daily are the foundation of any Language Service Provider (LSP) workflow. They oversee the entire project cycle by executing a set of organized and planned actions. This may include analyzing requirements, preparing files, putting teams together and allocating resources, time, and budget. 

But in job descriptions, academic work, articles or media posts, these two job titles—TPM and LPM—are sometimes used interchangeably. Since “localization” and “translation” don’t exactly refer to the same thing, we couldn’t help but wonder: are TPMs the same as LPMs? Is it possible to find any nuance of meaning between them? Below we’ll outline some potential answers to these questions.

L10N and T9N

Defining the differences between localization (L10N) and translation (T9N) can be a helpful place to start. Basically, in the industry “translation” refers to the process of changing text from one language into another to achieve an equivalent meaning. Localization, on the other hand, implies making content, products or services linguistically and culturally accurate to a certain region.

Bearing this distinction in mind, it would be safe to assume that the difference between TPMs or LPMs relies on the kind of services LSPs offer. If an LSP specializes in localization, such as video game localization or transcreation for marketing services, their PMs manage localization workflows, so technically they are LPMs. Now, let’s look at  LSPs which offer mostly translation services for specific domain subjects, like medical, legal or technical. In that case, their PMs are most likely TPMs.

Products vs. Documents

Translation and localization are different services that work towards different goals, so they require different kinds of processes. In localization, PMs manage projects that sometimes involve adaptation or transcreation of globalized products. For this reason, they sometimes work alongside developers, designers or UX writers to localize websites, mobile apps, ad campaigns, etc. In contrast, TPMs are more commonly involved in projects that require the translation of diverse types of documents.

This distinction between the translation of documents and localization of content/products results in different workflows for TPMs and LPMs to manage. For example, it’s common for a large and complex localization project to involve multiple steps and services (e.g., file preparation, DTP, implementation). Sometimes, translation, editing or proofreading, or any other service, are part of a wider localization project. On the other side, TPMs tend to tackle projects with a narrower scope, mostly involving the translation of documents, and all the services related to this task.

Common Factors

Given that “localization” and “translation” don’t exactly mean the same, we can conclude that TPMs and LPMs have different roles and functions. Yet, both terms—TPM and LPM—are sometimes used without making any explicit distinction. Furthermore, in some cases, even the contrast between localization and translation is ambiguous, which supports the ambivalent use of the terms.

The overlapping of TPMs and LPMs also comes from the fact that, regardless of the nuances, these roles have a lot in common. Their responsibilities and skills are very much alike. An expertise in technology solutions for localization, an analytical approach, and organizational and communication skills are mandatory for both TPMs and LPMs.


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31/03/2021

What is International SEO and Why is it Important?

SEO. Three little letters, a whole lot of potential. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization and it is a super valuable tool for anyone who wants their website to be discovered by potential readers or customers. Many businesses have their websites and content SEO optimized, but when it comes to localizing a website’s content into different languages, it’s really easy to forget about carrying SEO optimization over into the newly translated version. A simple translation of the website is not enough, international SEO is necessary.

What are the Benefits of SEO?

There are many benefits of using SEO techniques, primarily working towards helping a website get as many eyes on it as possible. Some of these benefits include using SEO to:

  • Help internet users find the answers and solutions they are looking for
  • Increase website visibility and traffic, as well as brand discovery
  • Provide growth opportunities for businesses
  • Grow traffic and sales through targeted searches

Why Machine Translation Can’t Do the Job

Translating a website into a new language can give businesses the opportunity to vastly grow their audiences and brand reach. However, their efforts have to go past a straightforward translation and must take the proper keywords for each specific market into account. Even if the internet users are searching for the same thing, they may not search for it in the same way. 

While it may be tempting to use machine translation because it is time and cost-efficient, the truth is, it can not assist with international SEO needs in the same way a human translator can. Having a list of translated keywords is not always enough to gain the same SEO traction. To properly take advantage of international SEO, there has to be research into the target market and a high level of cultural insight in order to be truly effective. The ideal keywords can change greatly when working with a new language and location. In effect, translating SEO keywords is more similar in nature to transcreation, as you can’t directly translate keywords and instead need to come up with new keywords that suit the needs and habits of the target audience. 

On top of the nuanced SEO requirements that Machine Translation can’t handle, Google recently updated their Quality Guidelines to state that using automatically generated text that is translated by an automatic tool is no longer allowed unless it undergoes a human review before publication — a process known as post editing.

How a Linguist Can Help

A linguist can step in where Machine Translation cannot thanks to having a diverse skill set and a deeper understanding of cultural context and the target audience, as well as SEO and marketing best practices. A linguist with a strong grasp on all of these elements can research which search engines are most popular in a target market, they can complete a detailed keyword analysis, and they can leverage SERP analysis and the ranking factors search engines utilize. 

Alongside understanding the needs of international SEO, linguists specialized in this field also have web writing skills and can create content that is engaging for the audience and utilizes SEO keywords to their advantage.


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24/03/2021

The Translation of Humor and Its Challenges

Whether you want to admit it or not, most of us love a good pun. Puns can be hilarious. In fact, we even frequently use the word “punny” to describe puns that make us chuckle. While this made up word may be hilarious to fluent English speakers, it would leave countless people around the globe scratching their heads, even if it was translated into their native tongue. This not-so-funny issue brings us to the translation of humor and its challenges. 

Why the Translation of Humor Is So Difficult

Humor touches many areas of our lives. From entertainment to advertisements to business relationships. Because movies, products, video games, and educational tools can have a global reach, the translation of humor is often necessary. 

Humor presents a challenge as it is often tied to very niche cultural and linguistic contexts. Some humor is universal, but some is very culturally dependent. This can leave translators with the task of translating humor that is impossible to translate without risking reducing the intended meaning of a joke. 

The Top Challenges

Word play is one of the main challenges that translators face, as many jokes rely on it, yet word play can be lost upon translation into a different language. As mentioned earlier, puns present a particular challenge. Puns use words that sound or are spelt similar, but may have different meanings to humorous effect. For example, the below pun is funny to native English speakers, but would be lost in translation as the word “knights” is being replaced for the word “nights”. In another language, these two words may not have a similar enough spelling or sound to make this joke work. 

Q: Why was King Arthur’s army too tired to fight?

A: It had too many sleepless knights.

There are four types of puns that can cause difficulties in the translation of humor. 

  • Homonymy: identical sounds and spelling
  • Homophony: identical sounds and different spellings
  • Homography: different sounds and identical spelling
  • Paronymy: slightly different spelling and sound


Puns are not the only roadblocks translators may encounter. Allusion, verbal irony,  subtle uses of humor, and cultural references can all fall flat after being translated. Cultural references can cause particular difficulty as pop culture figures, books, movies, or everyday phenomenons may be misunderstood by a foreign audience, making a direct translation not the most advantageous path forward. 

How Translators Overcome These Challenges

For translators tasked with translating humorous text, there are steps they can take to get the job done well and keep the laughs coming. When it comes to jokes that have a cultural divide, a translator may invent jokes that cater to the new target-culture. This can be more effective than simply translating the original joke. Similarly in cases of word play humor, a translator may have to rewrite the wordplay in a way that works in the target language. To successfully translate a joke, it is more important to capture the essence of the original joke than to directly translate it. 

The translation of humor is not a quick and simple task. It can require multiple drafts and countless edits to nail the intended tone and effect of the original jokes. However, it is the role of the translator to bridge differences between cultures and languages. With the proper skill set and work ethic, translators can get their job done and elicit a laugh or two in the process.


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17/03/2021

Blind Résumés: a Lot More Than Meets the Eye

As the saying goes, the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, because the way those parts relate with each other also constitutes the final outcome. The good thing about sayings is that they can be applied to many different situations, and Language Service Providers (LSPs) are no exception. The skilled linguists that participate in a project are not the only factors that can add value throughout the translation workflow. How the elements interact with each other also makes a difference. This includes managing times, human resources, budgets and IT tools, encouraging a culture of teamwork, supplying clients with prompt and accurate solutions, articulating clients’ needs and expectations with the production team. These are only a few of the actions that can contribute to successfully tackle a translation project.

Why résumés are not all

It’s a common practice across the industry to ask for résumés or blind résumés of the professionals that will be part of a project. This way, clients can evaluate the assets and check if they are suitable for the task. Of course, qualifications and experience are a mandatory part of the profile of any translator or editor, according to ISO 17100.

Vendors with a solid background are crucial for quality-driven projects because they bring their experience, expertise and domain mastery to any task. However, sometimes résumés don’t properly reflect that worth. For example, translators may be remarkable linguists, but not that skilled when it comes to preparing an impressive résumé or detailing their vast experience. Because of this and other reasons, the value of the services an LSP offers shouldn’t be measured in terms of résumés only.

In the search of quality

There are other roles within an LSP that bring value to the equation and enhance the potential of their language professionals. For example, project managers schedule deliveries that allow translators to work comfortably while meeting clients’ deadlines. They also assess the need for linguistic resources, such as style guides or termbases, that can be decisive in maintaining consistency within a project. Furthermore, PMs take the best advantage of technology choosing the tools that can automate steps of the process or ensure quality through their features.

But also the contribution of vendor managers is vital because they recruit and evaluate talents. On their end, account managers and business development managers nurture the relationship with clients, whose trust is the headstone of any job. Lastly, language leads attend to linguistic queries and perform quality assurance checks.

So, how to assess value?

It’s true that the managing footprint is less tangible than the written qualifications listed in a résumé. But it doesn’t mean it can’t be tracked. The communication established via emails or meetings, the detail in a project proposal or the information available on an LSP’s website, for instance, can hint at the strengths of the team. With all these considerations in the spotlight, we can see there is more to evaluate than résumés when choosing a translation partner.


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09/03/2021

What is Culturalization and Why Does it Matter on a Global Scale?

While at first glance, it’s easy to mix up the terms localization and culturalization, the latter term plays a different role than localization does in translation projects. Culturalization accounts for the geopolitical and cultural climates of the local markets where the content will be distributed after a translation project takes place. While localization centers around how to tailor content to the target audience by taking current events, local news, and regional dialect differences into account, culturalization goes a step further in order to create content that is culturally appropriate and meaningful to consumers of a specific target market. Let’s look at a few examples that illustrate this concept further. 

Video Games

While culturalization can have a vast impact across any type of creative content project, generally this concept is associated with video games. This is because video games can create richly detailed worlds where there is representation of culture, history, and religion, as well as the use of symbols, body language, and gestures. All of which are elements that may not translate across multiple cultures. Not to mention, there is room to offend a new target market if culturalization doesn’t step in to adjust for that market’s unique history, current events, and cultural preferences. Across the world, different markets have different perspectives on religion, politics, and current events. If a video game (or any other piece of creative content) doesn’t take these differences into account, then not only does the content risk performing poorly in certain markets, it may be banned. The video game Kakuto Chojin was banned in certain parts of the world because it was found to be offensive. 

Television and Movies

While Hollywood may be the film capital of the world, there are brilliant television and film makers from around the world that create content that reaches the far corners of the globe. For a film or television series to thrive in varying target markets, sometimes culturalization may be necessary to avoid offense or to make the same impact contextually.The point of culturalization is to support content, not disrupt it. If possible, adapting the creative vision in a way that will better fit with a new market can make an impact. For example, Disney / Pixar’s massively popular film Inside Out has a scene where a father struggles to feed broccoli to his toddler who is disgusted at the prospect of eating that cruciferous vegetable. In the United States, this scene is relatable and funny as many American children don’t like broccoli. So what’s the problem? In Japan, children don’t take offense to broccoli. Their scary green culprit is the bell pepper. So to make the scene just as impactful in Japan, animators swapped the broccoli for bell peppers in the version of the film released in Japan. Sometimes a small change during the culturalization process can make all the difference!


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