Author Archives: colin melanson

Spotlight on Multicultural Marketing: Part I

Times are changing! As we watch the final episodes of Mad Men, AMC’s popular period drama, over the next few weeks, we are reminded of how current events and changes in the population influence advertising and marketing. Just as the 1960s and 1970s ushered in waves of change, we are encounter changes due to shifts in the population. There’s plenty of data showing the trends for the U.S. market now and in the future. AdAge has covered this extensively in their report, “Your Guide to the Multicultural Mainstream.” In 30 years or less, predictions by the US Census Bureau show that non-Hispanic whites will no longer account for more than 50% of the population. This inspired us to take a closer look! The culture is changing: how will you adapt?

Multicultural marketing is the key. It’s all about balance. We know that marketers want to evoke emotion. This is achieved through understanding of the different types of consumers, their habits. There are several ways to do this:

 1. Language

Immigration has brought a steady flow of people into this country for generations. The percentage of English speakers grows as people assimilate. However, it is important to note that a lot of groups still speak a language other than English at home. There is a comfort level with their native language. In marketing, like other forms of content, it is important to convey information to consumers in ways that they best understand.

2. Culture

Assimilation to the dominant culture happens over generations, but whatd oesn’t go away is the desire to maintain some elements of native culture and identity. Marketers should embrace traditions and cultural values and incorporate these into marketing campaigns.

3. Media Channels

English-language media outlets are, of course, the most standard ways to reach consumers. But, don’t forget about marketing on additional language and culture media outlets of your target demographic.  Think about television networks, radio stations, and print and online news outlets. Ethnic groups often use these media outlets to keep in touch and stay connected with current events here and abroad.

4. Getting social

Social media usage is growing exponentially across the world. Products and services are promoted through social media. Get savvy with your social media marketing. Find out where your target demographic is hanging out. There are US-based outlets such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, but what about Weibo (China) or VK (Russia)?

5. Going mobile

Smartphone ownership and mobile usage is rising. People are using their phones to access the Internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch news, and engage with social media. The largest groups of users are millenials! Where will you by ad space? How will you reach these consumers? There are streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio which offer advertising opportunities. Also, look at Smartphone ownership and mobile usage is rising. People are using their phones to access the Internet, make purchases, listen to music, watch news, and engage with social media. The largest groups of users are millenials! Where will you by ad space? How will you reach these consumers? There are streaming sites such as Spotify, Pandora, and iHeart Radio which offer advertising opportunities. Also, look at mobile apps such as Snapchat as a way to engage. Think about video marketing! The point is – if you’re not mobile, you are missing out.

In later posts, we will focus on specific groups and how to best market to these key demographics. We hope to fill in some of the blanks. Stay tuned!

Nine Reasons To Make Your Website Multilingual

Marketers, make it multilingual. Say that five times fast, we dare you!

Okay, jokes and alliterations aside, at TranslationsXXX we have a lot to say about your online presence. In today’s global environment, having a multilingual component to your website should be high on your “Global Marketing To-Do List.” In a recent survey taken by Cloudwords at Content Marketing World, marketers seem to agree. Seventy-nine percent of those surveyed have website materials at the top of their localization list.

Nine Reasons To Make Your Website Multilingual

  1. Now You’re Speaking My Language! Not everyone on the Internet speaks English, according to data from Internet World Stats. How are you dealing with the shift away from English Internet users? Keep on reading…
  2. Be There Without Being There. Think of your website as a virtual storefront. The number of online shoppers is growing fast, according to this survey done by Ispos. Forty-eight percent say they shop online, while 61% say they use the web to research products they are thinking of buying. A multilingual website can be a cost-effective move; you can have a presence in a market where you don’t have a brick-and mortar shop and still do business.
  3. Make New Friends But Keep The Old. Expanding your business globally means opening yourself up to a whole new base of customers. A multilingual website is a huge component in this expansion becoming a vehicle of knowledge about your brand as well as a virtual showcase of your products and services.
  4. Trust me. Prospective customers are more likely to understand your message and buy your products or services when they are provided in their native language in a way that they would understand. (See Common Sense Advisory’s Survey “Can’t Read Won’t Buy.”) Having your site in their language goes a long way in building that trust.
  5. Are You Thinking About Me? Similar to #3, but not quite the same. Think about a time where you’ve experienced great customer service, where someone really went out of their way or put in effort. How did that make you feel? This is no different. A multilingual website shows customers in new markets that you care, and could make them want to do business with you.
  6. Think global, act local. This has become an idiomatic expression in global marketing. What does it mean? A lot of things, but most importantly it means to relate to each new market on a local level. Moving into new markets means dealing with cultural and linguistic barriers. A multilingual website is a way of personalizing your website to make it accessible to users and helping to break these barriers.
  7. Be Competitive. If your competitors are not offering multilingual versions of their website, then you are ahead of the game. If they are, and you’re not, what are you waiting for?
  8. Can you find me? This is in reference to Search Engine Optimization (SEO). It’s a lot of work to localize your website; make sure you know that it is going to be found. Different markets use different search engines, such as Yandex in Russia and Baidu in China, and often use different key words. Using in-country, native-speakers who are experts in SEO can help international browsers find your website.
  9. The Big Picture. What does having a multilingual website say to customers in your target market? It says that you care, that you want their business, and that they can trust you. Overall, it tells the world that your company is focused on being international, on growing, on being a staple in the global marketplace for years to come.

25 Language Facts That You Might Not Already Know

Language is all around us. From birth, we are taught to speak the language of those around us in order to communicate. Some of us might learn another language, or several, later on in life. We spend our lives using languages day after day, but there are so many things about them that we do not know. While there are hundreds of facts about languages, some jump out as particularly interesting or very unique.

Since language is our business and our passion at TranslationsXXX, we wanted to share some of these facts with you.

25. Khmer, the official language of Cambodia, has the largest alphabet with 74 letters.

24. The most translated document is Universal Declaration of Human Rights, written by the United Nations. It has been translated into 321 languages and dialects.

23. In the United States, there is now almost 7 times the number of Vietnamese speakers there were in 1980.

22. Mandarin and Cantonese are spoken dialects of Chinese. Traditional and Simplified are written forms of the language.

21. South Africa used to have 2 official languages: English and Afrikaans. Now, there are 11: Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tswana, Tsonga, Venda, Xhosa and Zulu.

20. The name of the Irish language is actually “Irish.” Gaeilge (Gaelic) refers to the name of the language in Irish. Irish is the name in English.

19. The Constitution of Bolivia recognizes 37 official languages, aside from Spanish, including the languages of Bolivia’s native indigenous nations. This is the most of any country.

18. The literal translation of the German word Kummerspeck into English is “grief bacon.” However, the meaning is the excess weight gained due to emotional overeating.

17. In Japanese, Tsundoku describes “the act of buying books and not reading them, leaving them to pile up.”

16. There are 381 languages spoken in the United States; about 169 are Native American languages

15. Persian is also the same as Farsi. There are so many former Iranian nationals and their descendants living in Los Angeles that it is sometimes nicknamed “Tehrangeles.”

14. In Vatican City, the directions for ATM use are in Latin: “Inserito scidulam quaeso ut faciundam cognoscas rationem.”

13. There is a single word in Russia, Zapoi (Запой) to describe a drunken bender.

12. Swedish was not the official language of Sweden until 2009. The usage of English became so prevalent that the government wanted to strengthen the status of Swedish!

11. It took the Greeks nearly 200 years to decide which official language – Demotic Greek or Ancient Greek (katharevousa) – to use. Demotic Greek won.

10. The popular phrase “Hakuna matata” (meaning “No worries”) from The Lion King is from Swahili.

9. Papua New Guinea has no less than 832 different languages!

8. The number 5 is pronounced “ha” in Thai, so 5555 is Internet slang for LOL.

7. In Indonesian, “Jayus” is a slang word for someone who tells a joke that is so bad, that you laugh because it is so unfunny. Such a word does not exist in English.

6. The word for turkey in Turkey is Hindi, which is an official language in India.

5. David Peterson, inventor of Dothraki and Valyrian for HBO’s Game of Thrones, is known as a professional ‘conlanger’- someone who has been hired to create languages.

4. There are 6 official languages of the United Nations.

3. Pope Francis tweets in 9 different languages.

2. There is no official language of the United States.

1. There are about 7,000 languages in the world.

How TranslationsXXX Makes Website Translation Easy!

As a marketer, you are looking to expand into new locales. You are tasked with translating and localizing your content to reach overseas markets – this includes flyers, catalogs, and other collateral, and of course… your website! Your website is an important component because it is your virtual storefront, a gateway into a new market without having to establish a brick-and-mortar business.

With many tasks on your plate, you can come to us for a hassle-free, turn-key solution. TranslationsXXX provides website localization and translation proxy services that allow us to serve as a man-in-the- middle; a real-time interpreter between the visitors and your server.

What does this mean exactly? Pretend you are shopping for a car. Are you looking to buy or lease? The proxy is a translation layer of your website. This is an alternative to localizing directly onto your content management system (CMS) on the server side. There are three major benefits:

  • Was your website designed by a 3rd party developer? If so, you can localize your site without having to heavily involve your IT resources
  • No back and forth having to extract content into files, and then integrate the translation back from files
  • You won’t have to give your language service provide (LSP) partner access to your CMS

How does it work? Simple. We have the ability to crawl your web content and handle translation without any intervention required from your side – you don’t need to extract the content! Translators will work right in your original layout to avoid any contextual or fitting mistakes.

Do you update your site frequently? Not a problem. We’ve got our eye on you! It’s up to you how often you want us to check for updates; weekly, monthly, quarterly, etc. When new content is added, it will be translated immediately and will be available in every language version.

Along with this, we provide a worldwide content delivery network. Meaning, each language version will be hosted on servers near to the relevant market. This allows for shorter response time for visitors and is duly beneficial for multilingual SEO.

Are we forgetting anything? Just a few things.

  • PDFs, videos, and other non-Web components have to be sent separately. We can add those to the multilingual websites, too! Remember, we also offer multilingual DTP and subtitling solutions!
  • How do we charge? You will be charged the standard per word pricing with a tiered discount.  You will also be charged a monthly hosting fee.
  • If you decided you don’t want us to host anymore, no hard feelings! Your content is yours, in XLIFF format to take with you.

Why You Should Outsource Your Language Translations

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This quote really resonated around our office – change is not always bad. It is good to accept change and make sure that you adapt to what is happening in the world around you, especially as it relates to your industry and your business. Embracing change is important for any business or organization.

This quote also reminded us of a frequent phrase that we hear in the translation and localization industry: “We handle translations in house.” 

This really resonates, too. While this might be something that looks more cost-effective on the surface, this might not always be the best approach. Looking at outsourcing your translation services could be a change that you make that will be more cost effective and efficient in the long term.

More Markets Equals More Linguists

Let’s put it in context – you are a United States-based company and you have just expanded into Mexico. You have a team in your Mexico office that handles all of your Spanish translations. Things are going well, so you decide you want to move into China, Brazil, and maybe Russia. Hiring internal translation teams might prove to be costly in this case as the demand for more languages increases. Speaking of demand, you might not always need someone on staff full time for German translation or Finnish translation. Agencies have an extensive pool of freelance translators that they can align on demand to help your organization best meet its needs.

Finding the Right People

Handling translation internally might mean having employees in Brazil translate documents into Brazilian Portuguese or having a bilingual employee in the marketing department translating documents into Chinese. This doesn’t always mean the quality will be up to your standards. Linguists are in-country speakers with subject matter knowledge of the content. In other words, they are professionals. An LSP should also have a vetting process for their linguists to ensure quality.

When You’re In A Hurry

When deadlines are tight, it is hard to scramble for resources. Due to a linguistic vetting process, a translation vendor will have quality linguists readily available. Think of your vendor as a resource. A good journalist has their sources that they can call upon when writing a story on deadline; this is somewhat similar.

For Large Projects

Sure, this statistic applies to an internal translator or a freelance translator, but an LSP can have multiple translators working on a project. How? The wonders of technology! Translation memory and CAT tools like MemoQ allow for more efficient workflow which means consistency, time efficiency, and cost effectiveness. It makes more sense to see this claim in practice.

There is one theme that is present throughout the key points above: be proactive. If going global is part of your growth strategy, or even if your domestic client base is multilingual, taking the time to carefully select a vendor and weigh your options is much better than being reactive on a short notice. It’s like when you’re in college and know you have a long term paper coming up – start researching now for when the deadline approaches. The task will seem much less daunting then!

Reasons to Localize Your Mobile App

Did you know that cell phone ownership among adults in the United States has surpassed 90 percent? Let’s take it a step further. The Internet and American LifeSurvey by the Pew Research Center found that 56 percent of these adults have smartphones. By 2017, 60 percent of Internet users in North America will own tablets, according to a Forrester report. But these trends are global, too. According toeMarketer, 2 billion consumers worldwide will have smartphones by 2016!

What do all of these facts and figures mean for you? The mobile audience is growing, and so, too, is the demand for localized apps. Here are some quick tips to localize your apps for an international audience.

  • When creating content, begin with the end in mind. The demand for localized apps is there; anticipate that your apps will be localized eventually. Therefore, write interface text with this in mind.
  • Let’s stick to talking about content. Text expansion is important, especially when translating content for an app. For example, text expands by 25 percent when going from English into Spanish. With an app, the space on the screen is often small. As with any source layout, white space is your friend. It will help to account for text expansion later on.
  • Also, when creating your app, think about your choices in graphics and images. What is culturally acceptable in one culture may not work in others. Some factors to consider are sensitivities surrounding religion, politics, or government. Poor choices of colors, icons, gestures, or maps may offend international users.
  • How will you export your content for translation? Then, once text is translated, how will your import it? Make sure you include all content that is part of the app (error messages and other pop-ups).
  • Is your software internationalized? Meaning, can it support foreign language characters, vertical text, left-to-right text, right-to-left text, local dates, times, and currencies?
  • Support materials also need to be translated such as online help instructions, product documentation, terms of use, and support.
  • Lastly, don’t forget to advertise! This includes marketing materials as well as app descriptions. For marketing content, transcreation might be the best route to make sure nuances in creative content are not lost in translation! (Pun always intended.)

When localizing your app, look to TranslationsXXX as a partner. We can work with you to make sure your content is culturally appropriate for your target market, whatever country or region of the world. We will make recommendations on any changes that need to be made and will also perform linguistic and localization testing to make sure that the app is functional and the user experience is more than satisfactory!

Adapting To The Audience

New Frontier Media, Inc. is a leading provider of transactional television services and a distributor of motion picture entertainment, including provision of adult-themed pay-per-view content for cable and satellite operators across the United States. The Company owns thousands of hours of digital content and partners with movie studios to bring together the most exciting variety of transactional adult entertainment available today.

New Frontier Media’s Film Production segment produces original motion pictures that are distributed in the U.S. on premium movie channels, such as Cinemax and Showtime, and internationally on similar services. The Film Production segment also develops and produces exciting original event programming that is widely distributed on satellite and cable pay-per-view networks. Recently, New Frontier Media was merged into the holdings of L.F.P., Inc., which is headed up by iconic adult entertainment patriarch, Larry Flynt.

In 2011, TranslationsXXX began working on several significant projects aimed at bringing New Frontier Media content to an even wider audience, by leveraging the use of expert language translation and cultural marketing consultation services.

“I have been working directly with TranslationsXXX for about a year, and our company has been doing business with them for over two years,” said Justin Himes, New Frontier Media. “They have proven to be a valuable resource when we seek out new business. Quite often, our potential clients request specific dialects or terminology, and TranslationsXXX has sourced individuals who can accommodate our requests. Their projects are always returned quickly, and their linguists adhere to any guidelines we put in place.”

With a long history of producing XXX content for clients from all over the globe, New Frontier Media understands the importance of keeping things local. Recent statistics have shown that visitors are far more likely to become customers when the content and marketable materials are adapted to their own language of choice, rather than by requiring the audience to adapt itself to the content

WebsiteSecure Site Certifications Now Visible in 5 Languages site certifications can now be translated into German, Italian, Spanish, French or English by any consumer with a single click of their mouse.

“As emerging markets continue to increase their influence on the success of commercial websites globally, having each site certification available in more languages makes good sense,” said Stewart Tongue of “We take the feedback of our customers and the millions of consumers who utilize to find ethical sites online very seriously. As additional languages become prominent we will continually add new translations to accommodate everyone in their own native tongue.”

The certifications explain that each site has passed a rigorous ethics inspection which may include detailed review of terms and conditions pages, cancellation policies, privacy policies and test joins to ensure that consumers are being treated fairly during all interactions with a certified site,” the company said.

The company said that prevents sites from mistreating customers or visitors via unscrupulous business practices.

“It has been said many times that there is no such thing as a completely air tight method of monitoring all activities of a website with absolute certainty,” Tongue said. “While there is certainly some truth to that, highlighting the ethical brands who voluntarily have their sites inspected and relying on a combination of automated and manual techniques to exclude bad actors is allowing and the brands we certify to continue making an important difference.”

The certifications were translated by experts at, a company with years of experience in providing commercial text translations for mainstream or adult brands.

“We were obviously pleased to be a part of this project,” said Colin of Translations XXX. “Working with a prestigious brand like also makes it clear that we agree with the basic philosophy involved — that good companies and consumers ought to be banding together to deal in fair value as part of an ethical purchasing experience online.”

The benefits of having a multilingual website…

Today’s global marketplace demands a multilingual component to any online presence. Having a multilingual website significantly increases your chances of turning your visitors into customers. Web users will stay on a website twice as long if it is in their native language. Over half of the world’s consumers say that the ability to obtain information in their native language is more important than price

 If your website is only available in English you are neglecting over 1.4 billion people who access the internet in a language other than English. Nearly 90% of web users who have little to no knowledge of English spend most, if not all, of their time on websites in their native language. By simply having your website available in English, Chinese and Spanish you can reach almost 40% of the world’s population.

 The use of free online translation tools to translate your website can frequently distort meaning, diluting your brand and rendering your intended message incomprehensible. Some phrases do not make sense in other languages or even worse, they can be offensive. You need to have professional translators with an understanding of your industry and content who will localize your website. This will ensure that words, images, colors and design are appropriate to the local target audience.

 “TranslationsXXX has invested in cutting-edge technologies and resources that allow us to help any company develop a multilingual website to reach their desired target audience. We are well-versed in a variety of content management systems and will adapt your content in a manner completely transparent to you. TranslationsXXX relies on a diverse pool of over 5,000 experience translators who are native speakers of the target language and residents of the target market who will translate and localize your content accurately” said Colin, Business Development Specialist.

 Your target market will always want to do business with the company that is easiest to communicate with. Only 10% of web users with little to no knowledge of English say they will purchase products or services from a website that is only available in English. More than 60% of non-native English speaking people who do read English still prefer buying from websites in their native language. The fact is we live in a multilingual world no matter how local you “think” your business is.

 If you have a web presence and a good product, the international community will find you, whether you are prepared for it or not. Translating your website properly allows you to penetrate untapped and underserved markets. Nearly 96% of the worlds consumers and over half of the adult entertainments revenue is generated outside of the US which makes having a multilingual website a necessity.

TranslationsXXX Helps Manica Media Expand Globally

Manica Media S.L. is a global content distribution network that monetizes content for publishers across a wide variety of platforms including internet sites, broadcasting, mobile applications, DVDs and tangible goods. The global reach of Manica Media goes far beyond other distributors because the entire company is keenly focused on achieving a level of cultural integration within each local market that goes far beyond simply translating a website name or sending out an occasional press release.

“One of the important aspects of the company and the affiliate program is that we are based in Barcelona Spain but our management heritage varies and that gives us a more global view in marketing” said Erwin de Boer, VP of Online Media at Manica Media. “When we work with content partners from Germany, Portugal, Italy or the States, we aren’t just trying to sell their products to people – we are interested in embedding their brands and motivating consumers to want their products. People buy a lot more when they want something than when you try to sell them something.”

As part of their global strategy, Manica Media has worked extensively with TranslationsXXX to identify cultural marketing triggers, establish a pitch that resonates with local markets and provide content suited to those markets in the most easily accessible ways.

“Working with Colin at TranslationsXXX is terrific” said de Boer. “We have worked with other so-called language translators in the past and the results were nowhere near what we wanted. However, with Colin, we know we are getting more than just words. He takes the time to understand the brands involved, selects writers who grasp the flavor of the content, and creates maketing materials that stay true to our initial vision while making it as enticing as possible for each potential customer of any specific region. We speak more than one language in our offices and can see first hand why the work TranslationsXXX provides improves our marketing materials internationally.”

“In business nobody is supposed to have favorite customers, but the fact is when you work with a company that truly understands the value of what you are doing every day, the way Manica Media does, it’s impossible not to admire their approach” said Colin, VP of Business Development for “They see the broader goals and understand that even when you have a million customers, each one wants to be treated like the unique individual they are with a history and heritage all their own.”

To learn more about Manica Media and see the power of culturally relevant marketing materials visit or speak with Colin of TranslationsXXX to learn more about the ways we can bring your brands to a much bigger audience.