What Tip O’Neill and George Bernard Shaw Share: Localization

According to the late Tip O’Neill, “all politics is local.”

Former Speaker of the House, Tip O'Neill
Former Speaker of the House, Tip O’Neill

And it seems to me, given what I’ve been reading this week, soon we’ll be saying all search is local. That has me thinking about language, communication and communities. Content marketing is inextricably tied to all three.

Effective communication is the goal of every marketing strategy. More than just writing great copy, it’s the combination of words and images which encapsulates a common understanding of intent, facts and experience that’s shared by a community. Perception and emotion color our understanding of what we see and hear, and they influence our decision to act upon the message in a way that is understood by our community.

George Bernard Shaw declared, “England and America are two countries separated by a common language.” Shaw was right when he noted the very real difference between American English and British English. So imagine the pitfalls waiting for companies who cross the language barrier.

George Bernard Shaw
George Bernard Shaw

Businesses wishing to tap into the global market need to follow in the footsteps of the majority of the world and become multilingual. And by multilingual, we mean the ability to speak the local language, which includes knowing, understanding and using the common experience and intent behind every word and image.

Just taking a Rosetta Stone course isn’t enough. In order to reach 80% of the online population, you need to be fluent in 11 languages. To reach 90% of the population who purchase online, you need 13 languages. With nearly $50 trillion USD in online spending, the question is not whether or not you want more than one language: it’s how many and which ones do you need?

Before you start translating, think about where we started. Language is Multilingual opportunitiesmore than words. Its unspoken subtext is critical to shared understanding. Inaccurate or just plain bad translations have left major corporations with egg on their face and PR problems. The solution is localization. When all the world is your stage—or digital marketplace—you need local experts who understand the subtext and how best to communicate your message. EVG has an international network of 1,500+ writers, editors, proofreaders and fact checkers who not only speak your language, but also speak the local language.

So no matter what you want to say, or how many languages you need to use, EVG has someone who can help.

Kathleen Gossman – Project Manager

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