Copywriting tips for international markets

copywriting tips for international markets

Writing for a global audience can be a challenge. Whether an entire country or a smaller region, each location has its own cultural norms, sense of humor, and approach to business, work, and play. All of which need to be taken into account when writing content for them. Below are our tips for writing effective copy for international markets.

Write in the native language

A seemingly obvious directive, people simply assume that there are enough English readers worldwide that it is unnecessary to go the extra step of having content translated. This is actually a reasonable assumption in some ways. English is a prevalent language worldwide, particularly when it comes to business and financial matters. Many countries offer business English classes, and young students tend to learn it early along with their own languages.

However, think of how it feels to travel to a country like Spain or Italy and see English signs. You feel welcome. Like they are taking the responsibility of communicating with you seriously because your tourism and business are important to them. They made an effort to ensure you are able to understand business communications, maneuver around the area without getting lost, and know that your presence is of value to them. Showing the same respect and care in return can earn you a lot of goodwill.

Even for a US audience, having your online content translated into several languages is a good idea; around one-third of the US population has a different primary language than English, predominantly Spanish, Chinese (including Cantonese, Mandarin, and others), Tagalog, and French. Translation can help you tap into those markets.

Hire professionals to translate your online copy

The creation of target language content does not have to fall to the copywriter. Even if a copywriter is multilingual, it is somewhat unreasonable to expect a writing service who only focuses on English (for example) to create multiple versions of the same piece in different languages. Many copywriters spend their lives developing their writing style and perfecting their content written in their native language; expecting the average copywriter to master translation is totally is unrealistic.

As such, you will need to find someone to perform the translation for you, which can be easily done online these days or by searching locally. Remember that the version of your text that you give to your translator should be the final draft; any source text mistakes will affect the final translation. Remember to use grammar checking tools to make sure there are no mistakes, and your style is consistent.

Is machine translation good enough?

It’s tempting to use machine translation programs instead of hiring a professional; however, in most cases, this should be avoided as these tools can still not achieve the nuance necessary to produce a high-quality text. If you do decide to work with machine translation tools, work with a professional proofreading and editing service in the target language to avoid costly mistakes, such as the disaster the bank HSBC experienced in 2009.

HSBC spent millions on the ad campaign “Assume Nothing” that was poorly translated to “Do Nothing” in a number of countries and ended up costing them an additional $10M to change. Make sure you work with an experienced translation service to avoid these kinds of mistakes.

The term “international audience” is a misnomer

There is no specific international audience; each country, region, district, and town has its own distinct cultural identity, including language, humor, and ethics. In Japan, it is considered extremely rude to be even one minute late, while in India, arriving 15 to 30 minutes late to dinner is completely acceptable. These attitudes can affect how business is approached. For instance, a company selling timepieces in these countries would need very different strategies for each of those countries.

The first step is performing a little research on the area. Here are a few questions that can help identify the most salient details:

  • What are the demographics of the area?
  • Is humor acceptable, and if so, what kind? Puns and clever twists in English rely on common knowledge of the source material, which will most likely not be known in other countries.
  • Will your product appeal to the same target market in each place?
  • What are the most common consumer tendencies? Such as, do women or men perform the majority of household goods shopping?

Be sure to follow the law

Just as there are regulations in the US about making false advertising claims, there are similar rules in place in most countries. The healthcare industry, in particular, can be very strident in some areas about what can be implied compared to what can be proven. Seek out local legal advice and never assume that the rules are the same as in the US.

Focus on a multilingual SEO approach

If you are going to the trouble of translating your website to be read in another country, then it is equally important to know the right SEO approach for that location. Like the problems literal interpretations can cause for the people reading the text, a search engine algorithm can confuse poorly translated keywords. They may not even register as the keywords you thought they were.

This is also an area where employing a human translator can be very beneficial. Or using a keyword tool from Google translate, for example, can tell you if the literal translations are the same as the colloquial terms most likely to be used.

Adjust the visual as well as the written

Images included in your posts or on your website are usually painstakingly selected to convey the exact message you want to get across. This is also an area where you may need to make some changes to suit a location better. Images, symbols, and even colors have different meanings from culture to culture. Consulting with a localization expert will avoid making a faux pas and offending your audience.

Your digital text layout may also need to be altered after translation to accommodate for different script directions or text expansion or reduction. It’s a good idea to build in some flexibility to your content templates from the start.

Final thoughts

Overall, there are many moving parts when it comes to creating copy that can be effectively distributed around the world. Be sure to invest the appropriate time and resources into making sure you aren’t losing anything or projecting the wrong message in the process. A good translator and some additional research can give you a handle on most of the challenges.

When you’re ready to reach out to a professional translation service, consider getting in touch with BeTranslated. Our team of experienced translators has a broad range of specializations from marketing translation to website translation, and our efficient project managers will guarantee that you are satisfied with our work. Call today for more information or a free, no-obligation quote.

How to prepare for a multi-language PowerPoint presentation

Prepare for a multi-language powerpoint presentation

Businesses have transcended global barriers and as such, you may need to travel to foreign countries to hold business meetings or sales pitches. Part of this process may involve creating and delivering PowerPoint presentations and, if the attendees do not speak your language, you must adapt accordingly.

This will require you to prepare multi-lingual presentations. It is vital to get the language in these presentations right, as you don’t want to misrepresent your message or give a bad impression of your company. You should design the presentation with the target audience in mind. Fortunately, there are many free PowerPoint templates available, which will make a big difference as you will have time to work on the content of the presentation, rather than developing your own template.

In this article, we will discuss how to prepare a multi-language PowerPoint presentation for international markets. Let’s dive into it.

Preparing for a multi-language PowerPoint presentation

Preparing a PowerPoint presentation can be an intimidating project anyway, just on its own. But now, you’ll have the additional challenge of adapting it for a multilingual audience. The content of your presentation must be translated to a high standard so as not to alter or lose your message. When preparing your PowerPoint presentation, keep the following considerations in mind.

Understand the culture

What may make sense in your country may have a completely different meaning in another. Some images may be offensive to some cultures. Symbols may also carry different meanings, so be very careful with what you use. If you work with a professional localization service, they will be able to advise you on what needs to be changed or eliminated.

One way to avoid this kind of issue is to avoid unnecessary visuals and idiomatic language. This is also true if you are presenting to an audience that speaks English as a foreign language; using straightforward language will be much easier for all involved.

Script direction

English-speaking countries, and others that use a Latin script, write from left to right. Others, such as Arabic, Farsi, and Hebrew write from right to left. Japanese and Chinese apply vertical or horizontal writing rules.

PowerPoint is ideal to manage these language variations because you can use any direction. However, if you are creating a presentation that will include languages with different script directions, you’ll need to spend a bit more time on alignment and animations.

Translated language considerations

When text is translated from one language to another it changes shape and size. A text that’s translated from English to German on average will grow 30% in length. When translated into Finnish, that same English text will be around 30% shorter. This will have an impact on the layout of your PowerPoint presentation.

As well as text length, the visual difference in scripts will affect the aesthetics and layout of the presentation. Take a look at different scripts such as Arabic, Hebrew, Chinese, and Cyrillic; how do they occupy the space? You will need to take this into consideration when designing your presentation.

Guide to preparing multi-language PowerPoint presentations

Here are some useful tips for preparing your multilingual PowerPoint presentation:

Save the documents using language code suffix

Organize your presentations into language code suffix files. The language code suffix can either be country or locale-based. The advantage of doing this is that you keep the source document intact. You also have quick access to the files on your hard disk when you arrange them properly.

Use of sections to separate presentations

Sections allow for better organization of your presentation. They consist of slides that are specific to what you want to present. How your sections are divided may need to be tweaked depending on the language.

Get a look and feel for the entire presentation

Take advantage of tools such as Google Translate to get a feel for how different word combinations look. Translate a slide on a PowerPoint presentation to see how it will look when you finish. As we have stated above, translated words will have a different look from the original. The length, for example, could be longer or shorter. It’s not advisable to rely on Google Translate for the final presentation, but it can be a useful tool for you when creating the template.

Changing language in PowerPoint

It’s easy to change the language in PowerPoint. Here is what you’ll need to do:

    • Go to the PowerPoint menu
    • Select File
    • Select options
    • Select languages (it is crucial to change the editing language as well so that you can use correct grammar and spell check).

Prepare for a multi-language powerpoint presentation

  • Display language
  • Scroll through the available languages to select the one you want to use. Select language and Set as default.
  • Close the PowerPoint and then restart it.
  • You will have successfully changed the language.

Sometimes the language you want is not on the list. Go to by selecting Get more display and help languages. When the page opens, input the language you need in the selection box. Now download the language and install it on your machine

Translating text

If you want to translate some text but not for the entire presentation, here is what you’ll need to do,

    • Select the text you want to translate
    • Go to the review tab
    • Select translate

Just like Google Translate, this is a useful tool but should not be relied on to create an accurate translation without being checked by a professional.

Prepare for a multi-language powerpoint presentation

Use of translation services

If you want to ensure high-quality translation, it’s a good idea to work with a professional translation service. Machine translation that hasn’t been checked by an expert can lead to some misunderstandings and leave a poor impression of your company. When hiring translators, make sure that they have experience in your field and working with the target culture.

PowerPoint translator for real-time multi-language translations

Artificial intelligence (AI) has found its way into PowerPoint presentations with a PowerPoint translator. It allows for Real-Time multilingual translations. You will need to download and install the app. Once it is on your device, you can access it on the slide show tab.

Getting a language of choice is as easy as clicking on the starter subtitles. You will then choose the language you want from a selection of over 60 options. You must also indicate what language you will be speaking. Take some time to let the AI get used to your voice. Practice well in advance before doing the presentation.

Now, here is where it gets interesting. Everyone at the presentation can choose the language they are comfortable using. When you set up the PowerPoint translator, you get a QR code and URL. You can then share this with the attendees so they can choose their language. When you speak, artificial intelligence captures your voice. It then sends it to Microsoft translation services.

The attendees then get the translation as subtitles. Best of all, you can get feedback from the attendees. All they need to do is type their feedback or speak into their devices.

Final Thoughts

Preparing for a multi-language PowerPoint presentation can be difficult as you must convey your message to an audience that doesn’t speak your language without losing your professionalism. You must be alert and focused throughout the preparation and delivery process. Hire a translator to help with the presentation. Alternatively, take advantage of technology by using a PowerPoint translator.

If you are looking for a reliable translation service, look no further than BeTranslated. Our skilled translators are experts in the cultures and languages of their chosen countries, we have the right professional for you. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.


Simple steps to keep your computers at the office running smoothly

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Maintaining computers at work can be difficult if your employees aren’t aware of the things they need to do to avoid causing your computers to lose performance. You’ll notice that your computers are slowly diminishing in speed and processing power over the time that you or your employees are using them. This can be dealt with very easily if you’re aware of how to restore them to their prime state. (more…)

Learning a new language while in quarantine

Language Learning in QuarantineLearning a new language offers a great number of benefits. For one thing, it exposes you to different cultures. In this age of globalization thanks to rapid technological advancements, we are all much more likely to interact with those from other countries and cultures. Social media, for instance, has connected the world, making it possible to make friends from anywhere around the globe. (more…)

9 Remote working tips to keep you productive

Productivity-When Working From Home2020 has brought a lot of changes and challenges, no matter where you work. Some essential workers had to continue going into their workplaces, while others were lucky enough to start working remotely, and it seems that a lot of companies have discovered that remote employees aren’t all that bad. Just take a look at Google – contract employees at this gigantic company have had their remote work orders extended until summer 2021.

Working remotely comes with all the usual things like emailing people, participating in crowded Zoom calls, sending faxes, doing the laundry, sitting in bed, sneaking a beer, and not wearing pants…sound familiar? Let’s just say that it takes a whole lot of self-determination to keep productive, excited, and challenged when you’re all alone, surrounded by your own things, in a place that used to be your refuge away from work.

So, how can you keep focused at home? Let us help you out. If you’re struggling with keeping on task, these tips will make your life easier.

1. Plan your day

Before you sign off for a new day, plan your next one. This way, when you sit down with your cup of coffee and a fresh morning outlook, you won’t have to pause and dig through the previous day’s work, wondering where you left off. Without a plan, it’s so easy to get sucked into non-priority tasks. Consider trying tools like Trello, Google Calendar, or Asana to help you with planning.

2. Organize your surroundings

To keep concentrated while working from home you need to set the right mood. Many people work from their couch or their bed. If you occasionally work from home because you want to lounge in your comfy chair and hoodie, that might actually give you a creativity boost. But if you work at home day in and day out, think about setting up a workspace like you would at your office. This means having:

  • A well-lit desk
  • A comfortable chair
  • A dedicated space for office paraphernalia: pens, notebooks, a printer, and a friendly office plant

3. Make a dedicated workspace

You’ve probably heard the advice that you shouldn’t work in your bedroom, or anywhere you consider your personal space to relax a hundred times before. While that’s true, it can be difficult if you like in a small space. However, there are often more possibilities than you realize, and if all else fails, use the kitchen table. Think about making your work-zone in your:

  • Closet
  • Garage
  • Attic
  • Laundry room
  • Basement
  • Hallway (use a collapsible desk)

4. Music can help…or not?

Listening to music while working can be great, but it can also be distracting. The key is to pick the right music. There are playlists that are called “concentration” or “work music” on services like Spotify that are perfect for these occasions or you can compile your own personalized playlist.

If music doesn’t quite work for you but you don’t like to work in silence, try natural sounds such as waterfalls and rainforests. Prefer to feel like they’re in the middle of hustle and bustle as if you were in an office or a busy cafe? There are playlists that recreate both of these sounds, take a listen! Finding the perfect background noise for you can greatly increase your productivity.

5. Personal office equipment

A basic home office needs a laptop and WiFi to be functional – but things like a desk, a chair and additional screens will depend on you. You can choose from whatever makes you work better and make your day more productive and fun:

  • Stand-up desk
  • Professional desk chair
  • Effective and bright LED lighting
  • A coffee station
  • Teleconference station with lighting and a good sound system
  • Keyboard – even if you’re working on a laptop it’s a good idea to set it up higher
  • Your favorite mouse – instead of your laptop touchpad
  • Laptop stand

Without some of these items, you may suffer from back pain or eyestrain after long stretches of work, but remember to think about fun additions to your home office too, such as comfortable slippers or essential oil diffusers.

6. Hourly breakdown of work

Plan your day not only by making a list, but by listing what you’d like to get done when. It will help keep you on track. It’s also best to plan a mid-morning break and a lunch break –  otherwise, your whole day will stretch out into a strange break-like work day where you will feel compelled to sit at your computer but eat lunch at the same time. This doesn’t work well in the office or at home. Have dedicated times to get up, stretch, and get your mind off of things. It will make you more productive in the long run.

7. Limit social media

Unless you’re the company’s social media manager, chances are that when you’re browsing Instagram you probably shouldn’t be. It’s easy to go down the rabbit hole, we know. Set up social media blockers on your mobile devices with a timer. Planning breaks is great for motivation and sanity, so allow yourself some social media time as a reward for accomplished tasks.

8. Dress comfortably

Dressing comfortably doesn’t mean staying in your pajamas, which can actually be demotivating. Get dressed for work – but keep it comfortable and casual of course. Why not decide on a work wardrobe; specific clothes that you only wear when working. This will help you to further separate your work and personal life.

9. Keep in touch

Plan activities with your remote co-workers. Zoom happy hours or chat parties have become the norm. You can also set common goals and keep track of them together. This can include anything from jogging to a fitness goal or organizing an after-hours book club.

This keeps you connected to your team on a personal level and it’s so much better to work with the feeling that there’s “someone out there”.


We hope these tips will help you create a more effective workspace and, in turn, boost your productivity and overall well-being.

As businesses realize the benefits of remote working, many are reaching out to international companies and clients, increasing the need for professional translation services. If your company is looking to expand and needs translators experienced website translation, for example, BeTranslataed is here for you. For more information or a free, no-obligation quote, get in touch today.