Avoiding Colony Syndrome with Portuguese Website Translation
A Growing Impact of Website Translation on South America
With more and more businesses utilising website translation services as part of their expansion protocol, integration into a once untapped markets is becoming a more commonplace. For fashion and music businesses especially, the South American markets offer a lucrative customer base – a public who traditionally spend generously in the leisure and arts areas. From DJs to Fashion designers, many small creative businesses are looking to get a foot into the big South American markets where Portuguese is a major language so they can grow without the heavy competition found in Britain, America and Central Europe. Brazil is the go-to place for young, start-up creatives who want to push ahead of their static Anglo-European rivals.
Website translation is a vital service for many of these Europe based creatives who wish to blend in quickly with local consumers, but they often encounter a problem. That problem is Colony Syndrome, and it is an issue which has hampered many cross-continental expansion projects from Europe to South America. It describes the incredibly common business habit of seeking out Spanish or Portuguese website translation, as designed for use in Spain andPortugal respectively, and using it in South American markets such as Argentina and Brazil. The problem with doing this is that it doesn’t fully take into account the vast differences between, say, native Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese. This fairly ignorant approach has backfired on many businesses in the past, but thankfully the much improved translation services sector is beginning to advise clients of the pitfalls and urging them to adopt South American-specific translations.
Certainly, for a Brazilian consumer logging onto a business’s website only to be confronted with a Portuguese flag as an indicator of his or her preferred translation does little for cultural integration and empathy between company and consumer. Furthermore, for the small creative businesses that often look to approach the Brazilian market, this cultural awareness and empathy is vital in gaining a foothold in the relevant ‘scenes’ in Brazilian cities. Fashion designers may rely heavily on the use of localised terms and insignia when looking to breach their South American target audiences, but knowledge of such words and symbols will be lost without the appropriate, relevant translation. For young start-ups heading for Brazil, treating your target market as a Portuguese colony will get you nowhere.