Translation in the Retail Industry

I recently translated a fascinating presentation about the major changes happening in the retail industry. Although it appears to be all about mobile technology, personalised recommendations and entertainment, the major X factor for successful application is language/communication, and the shadow counterpart: translation.

A Globalised Market | Offering Multilingual and Localised Content

With the advent of the Internet and, more recently, mobile technology, consumers can now purchase products and services anywhere, anytime, from the comfort of their homes, using their mobile phones while at work or during their commute. Options are limitless.

Now many companies take the virtual route, anyone in the world can access their online shops. They can potentially reach anyone on the planet with an Internet connection. But, being able to approach new clients is one thing. Being able to communicate with them is another, a major factor that can make or break sales.

Thanks to surveys, it is now known that Internet users prefer to purchase on a site that provides content in their own language. Offering multilingual websites is really important. You will see the benefit on your bottom line, provided that you used the services of a professional linguist.

The era of brick-and-mortar looks dead and gone? Think again!

The Age of Entertainment and Personalised Services

Physical shops arent’s going anywhere. They simply need to adapt to the new market and the changes in the way consumers purchase items. Mass production is rapidly losing its appeal, and it is now all about offering highly personalised, targeted and bespoke services/items.

Marketing professionals are now trying to figure out what individuals will want and need in the near future. They even possess the tools and algorithms to cater to these needs on a much deeper level. Thanks to predictive personalisation, social media and mobile technology, they can create highly bespoke offers. Using apps and geofencing, they can boost their sales and drive people to purchase goods they weren’t considering buying. Retail 2.0 is here and ready to take your retail experience to new heights!

In order to attract clients in brick-and-mortar shops, creative directors have their work cut out for them. They are now completely rethinking the way products are displayed (magical worlds for kids, etc.), the types of services offered (WiFi lounge, kids playground, coffee lounge, etc.), the way products are available (showrooms, etc.) among other things.

The world is the retail industry’s oyster. And to further its expansion and changes, language and translation will be a crucial part of the process.

The global success of French TV series

Although US TV series invade programs all over the world, Americans aren’t the only ones to create good quality TV shows. France has created some very successful TV series that inspired foreign broadcasters to adapt them. And some might surprise you!

Did you know that the French TV series « Fais pas çi, fais pas ça », released in 2007, depicts the everyday life of two families in a mock reality-show format? In 2008, the American TV network ABC had purchased an option to adapt the show for the US public. However, the project didn’t go through. Surprisingly enough, in 2009, Modern Family hit the small screen and was a huge success. It bears several strong similarities that would naturally lead some to think that it was heavily inspired by the French original format. It was, of course, never confirmed. From a bicultural and bilingual perspective, I must say that it is absolutely fascinating to compare the two and spot the differences in the way families are perceived and portrayed in the media. It reveals a great deal about culture, society, as well as local/national hot topics.

Want to see for yourself? Find below the first few minutes of the French pilot which aired in 2007.

Another French TV series was also a huge hit worldwide. It is called « Caméra Café », a comedy filmed in short episodes of a few minutes only. Reminiscent of The Office, it depicts the crazy days of hilarious, colourful employees getting together at the coffee machine to gossip and plot mischiefs.

It was adapted and localised in numerous countries globally, including Spain, Canada, Italy, Greece, among many others.

Want to try and understand the French humour? Give it a go!

Do you want to (re)discover King Arthur in a very comical, hilarious, ironical way? You would be thrilled to binge-watch Kaamelott. This excellent TV series was sold to broadcasters in Québec and Poland.

Many other successful TV series caught the eye of broadcasters overseas, like « Joséphine ange gardien », « Les Revenants », « Braquo », « Mafiosa », « Engrenages » and « Les hommes de l’ombre », among so many others.

French creativity is in full swing, « Cocorico » as we would proudly say in such circumstances!


The status of French in the world

The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Development has recently published an enlightening article that will show you how important it is to have your content translated into French.

French is widely spoken all over the world, with more than 220 million speakers on all 5 continents! It is taught in many countries. It is the official language of a myriad of international entities, including UN bodies and the Olympic Games.

French is an official language of 29 countries, second only to English in this category.

From a business perspective, it is also a language of reference that has to be reckoned with. So it is crucial to address your potential French-speaking clients in French. Think globally but act locally!

France and the French-speaking countries play an active part in the world economy, accounting for some 20% of world trade in goods.

As mentioned in previous posts, it is crucial to address new markets using the local language. It has been proven that localisation leads to a higher conversion rate. Consequently, having your website, business literature, press releases (among other documents) translated into French is crucial to engage successfully in French markets.

French also accounts for 5% of Internet pages, ranking between sixth and eighth of the languages most widely used on the Internet.

Find the whole article here:

The importance of multilingual content marketing

Do you know how important content marketing is?

Companies willing to boost their sales shouldn’t overlook blogs and social media. According to this article « The anatomy of content marketing »: blogs give sites 434% more indexed pages and 67% of Twitter users are more likely to buy more brands they follow.

Therefore, it’s crucial to communicate online, and above all, to communicate in your customers’ language. Don’t hesitate to publish blogs, tweets, Facebook posts, newsletter articles in several languages. You’ll broaden your footprint and reach a much wider audience.

These compelling numbers were published in a very informative infographic to illustrate the power of marketing content.

AnatomyofContentSource: article on

Petit guide de l’acheteur de traductions

Cherchez-vous à élargir la présence de votre entreprise au marché international ? Dans ce cas, il est dorénavant essentiel que vous vous internationalisiez aussi sur le plan linguistique. Si vous vous adressez à votre nouveau public dans sa propre langue, vous aurez plus de chances de le séduire et de vous implanter avec succès. Pour cela, il vous faut traduire, entre autres, vos brochures, votre site Web, votre blog, et même votre communication sur les réseaux sociaux !

Pour une communication internationale réussie, il est indispensable que vous vous posiez toutes les bonnes questions en amont. La première impression est cruciale, alors mettez toutes les chances de votre côté et sollicitez les services d’un traducteur qualifié et compétent.

La traduction de vos supports est un investissement, et non un coût.

Dans ce sens, la Société française des traducteurs (SFT) a élaboré un petit guide de l’acheteur très complet et informatif. Pour le consulter, veuillez cliquer ici.

La traduction de vos documents ne consiste pas uniquement à changer des mots d’une langue à une autre. Toute une stratégie doit être mise en place pour garantir une communication efficace, ciblée et adaptée à votre nouveau public. Que ce soit au niveau des slogans, des images ou du style de rédaction, vos documents doivent être soignés et refléter avec précision l’image de votre société. Cela exige une véritable collaboration entre le traducteur et l’entreprise qui s’ouvre à l’international.

Vous voulez vous donner une image internationale ? Bannissez l’approximation. Car dans de nombreuses cultures, les gens n’apprécient guère qu’on déforme leur langue. Charmant ? Non, ils trouvent ça méprisant.

The Art of Translating for the Tourism Sector

It’s official, France is the #1 destination for tourists with more than 84 million people visiting the country in 2013. They’re mostly from Germany, the UK, the US and China. Therefore, offering multilingual content is necessary to properly welcome these numerous international guests. So, if you’re still unsure about your areas of expertise, here’s a sector you should consider. However, translating touristic texts isn’t as easy as it may sound.

In fact, it is a very demanding task involving various notions: translation, localisation, transcreation and adaptation, as explained in this academic paper on quality in the translation of tourist discourse on the Web, by Patrizia Pierini, published in the Journal of Specialised Translation.

Translation is in high demand in this industry, and it includes a wide range of content –  1362514234xwt2dinformational, promotional, commercial. Depending on the aim and scope of the material, a translator has to apply the proper strategy to ensure that it has the same effect on the target audience as the source text did on the original audience. And in order to achieve just that, there is no such thing as a standard procedure; and the exact purpose of the communication strategy has to be clearly established by the client so that the translator can take the proper decisions. He/she may need to adapt/localise the text – changing currencies, dates, the measurement system (metric, imperial) – but also ensure the proper tone is applied (depending on the target culture, the source text may be considered too straightforward and aggressive, requiring an important stylistic realignement).

The ultimate goal is to create the same effect on the reader – persuasion – in order to enhance the client’s conversion rate and turn readers into paying customers. In that regard, Pierini mentioned the AIDA approach ⎯ capture Attention, create Interest, increase Desire and motivate to Action.

Every translator working on this type of content has to constantly keep in mind the socio-psychological needs of the potential tourist. One has to strive for a translation that sounds like an original text, not a translation. And that’s why clients need to think local. Indeed, for a touristic text to be persuasive, it has to be relevant to the target audience, not foreign. And only a native has the extensive knowledge needed to convey accurately every nuance and localise appropriately.

Localisation – What does that mean? Pierini gives a compelling answer:

Localisation involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language) where it will be used and sold. For example, the French spoken in Canada is a different locale to the French spoken in France.

According to a recent survey by TextMaster, mistakes and errors in translation account for a loss of about €120 million each year. So, a competent translator with excellent writing skills can seriously consider this sector a viable option!

Ready to make people dream?