World of Translation Blog

Language translation: Using social media in foreign languages

Posted by Mike Nelson on Jan 18, 2012 6:54:00 AM


The more people you can reach out to through social media networks, the better. That’s where foreign languages come in.

I just ran across an article entitled "Secrets to Social Media Success in Foreign Languages."

(The link will be included later for reasons that will soon become clear.)

Without even reading the article, I thought I would first come up with my own ideas, then compare.

Doesn't that sound fun? I think so.

Quickly, this would be my advice:

1. Don't rely on automatic translation. Language used in social media is informal and creative, and a translation platform could have problems with that.

2. Make an intelligent choice about which languages to social network in, depending on your target markets and/or audience.

3. Make sure you know something about the culture, and more specifically the culture of social media use, in the countries you want to reach out to.

4. Remember that "country" does not equal "language." For example, French is spoken, among other places, in parts of Canada, Belgium, Switzerland and, of course, all over France. But consumer behaviour and social media conventions may differ.

So how does the above compare to the advice posted recently on Social Media Today?

Ta-da! Pretty darn well. In fact, much of it is nearly identical.

One important point that I left out, however: the writer points out the importance of reaching out to non-English speakers here in the USA.

English to Spanish translation of social media messages could thus be a first step for an American company hoping to extend its social media communication base.

Betty Carlson

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Topics: language translation, language translating, language translators, English to Spanish translation

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