Spoken in the Americas, Africa, Asia, Oceania and Europe, Portuguese is the first language of 10 countries, the largest of which is Brazil. There are approximately 280 million speakers, making it the fifth most spoken language in the world.
Colonized by Portugal during its maritime expeditions of past centuries, the Lusophone countries – Portugal’s former colonies – have their cultural particularities, and tend to assign different meanings to certain expressions and situations. That is why knowing the characteristics of the target countries is a prerequisite to marketing your products and services effectively.
Brazil is the largest of these countries, with approximately 210 million people. Mozambique and Angola are next, with populations of 30 and 28 million, respectively. Portugal, with 11 million people, is fourth on the ranking. Rounding out the list are Guinea-Bissau, East Timor, Equatorial Guinea, Macau, Cape Verde and São Tomé and Príncipe, with smaller populations.
With an incredibly diverse vocabulary, the Portuguese language is rich in linguistic variations, and its translation process requires a high degree of precision and knowledge to ensure that the message is understood accurately.
Therefore, when translating content, it is extremely important to be mindful of tone, target segment, local characteristics and diversification.
1) Know your persona and achieve effective communication
Communication is key to ensuring your product or service is marketed successfully in your target countries, but that goal is only truly achieved once you understand what tone should be used with your brand’s persona.
Determining what your text or video will sound like and how this message will be conveyed to the audience requires careful planning to decide which tone best fits your brand, and whether it should be formal, informal, relaxed, or follow a more general approach aimed at a broader audience.
During the translation process, it is important to make sure that everyone involved is aligned and knows the target audience for the content being produced. Therefore, it is a good idea to bring examples that illustrate situations that could be part of the project.
2) Look for a team consisting of subject matter experts and raise your content to a new level
Understanding, studying and fully immersing yourself in a given subject are some of the characteristics of a translation team that has a real command of the Portuguese language, knowing its vocabulary, culture and the best ways to express themselves on each subject.
In order to achieve the best results, the translation process must be collaborative in nature, with the client company determining the target audience and market.
3) Translation Services
Understanding your company’s needs and demands is essential to determining the style to be used in the translation. Determining the number of texts to be translated, whether there are videos that require subtitles and/or voice over work, and if the company should have an international blog are extremely relevant issues to take into consideration before starting the translation process.
The answers to those questions will allow us to determine what type of service will resonate best with your target audience, and thus help you achieve your goals.
Here are some of the services available:
- Technical translation: with an agile, skilled team ready to execute your projects, this translation service is carried out by experienced linguists who are responsible for content production and quality control, overseen by a project manager.
- Automated, customized and professionally edited translation: carried out with help from automated tools, this service is similar to a technical translation, but it is a low-cost alternative for those looking for a custom translation edited by a professional proofreader at the end of the project.
- Blog and Website Localization: this service consists of translating blog and website content, providing the option of different languages for users who access these platforms through interfaces embedded into the client’s blog.
- Software localization: In order to impact the persona, you need to translate and localize your apps to wherever your target audience is. This type of translation goes through a series of steps and tests to make sure it meets your requirements.
4) Machine translation
Machine translation is one of the services that has been widely used by companies as a practical, low-cost and time-efficient solution. Despite its benefits, it is important to know how to use it wisely and that the organization that chooses this service bears in mind that it involves risks such as loss of quality, misinterpretation of words or expressions and an inappropriate tone for your target audience.
It is important to align your expectations with the translation team so that you can have greater control over the editing process and prevent incidents that could interfere with the project’s development.
5) Linguistic variations and their impact on glossary construction
Knowing how to differentiate the linguist and cultural characteristics of each Portuguese-speaking country is extremely challenging. Therefore, paying attention to those details makes all the difference when translating your content.
Examples of linguistic variation:
The long motor vehicle known as “bus” in English is called ônibus in Brazil, autocarro in Portugal, machimbombo in Angola, microlete in East Timor, and toca-toca in Cape Verde.
Breakfast is another word that has various iterations in these different countries. What Brazilians call café da manhã is called pequeno-almoço in Portugal, while in Angola and Timor-Leste it is known as mata-bixo.
These are just a few examples of various differences that reinforce the fact that the translation team and the client must be aligned on the glossary, so that both can properly adjust to each type of material to be created.
6) ROI for International Marketing
Content translation and localization is a serious activity that must be carried out by experienced professionals who are knowledgeable on a given subject. You could have these linguists working within your organization, but hiring a company that specializes on this service helps to optimize time and gives your team more flexibility to focus on other important aspects of the project, which helps improve your operational cost-effectiveness.
The language service provider is also responsible for helping your company maximize your Return on Investment (ROI) for international marketing faster, by providing customized strategies. Zaum Langs offers full support to develop projects that require translation. Contact us and get international recognition for your brand.