If it is new products, services, event announcements, or personnel changes: you should season your news in a way that is “tasty” for the general public. Classic press releases are still an effective way to do so. But even editors have different tastes. While one prefers mild tones, the next one likes it hot. Especially word-by-word translations can leave a sour taste. Why? Because they are not tailored to the mentality and the market of the specific target audience. You’re better off observing the market and then season your message accordingly.
Wherein lay those aforementioned regional differences? Editors within the DACH-Region for example value information and details that are as neutral as possible, whereas in the USA it is quite common to work with opulent marketing phrases and superlatives. Word-by-word translations from English (or any other language) into German often don’t meet those local requirements. Our tip: Spice up your news with localization.
Instead of blindly translating a report, you should first ask yourself: will this really effect or interest my target audience and markets? Do the readers there appreciate this delivery of information? The announcement of a new service, which will only be available in Asia for example, will be completely irrelevant for the German market.
Short, concisely, informative
Furthermore good foreign language skills and a distinct sense of language alone are not enough for adapting a press release from a different country. Of course it is important to understand the core of the message and to distribute it accordingly, but bloomy phrases will not cover up a lack of information. “Marketing-Tongue” is being used a lot particularly in the USA with phrases like “leading”, “innovative”, “unique approach” – and of course every company is “leading” in their field. In Germany journalists perceive this as exaggeration so these articles often end up in the trash bin. A similar bad aftertaste is caused by composing an article the “US-American way”: starting off with a slow introduction instead of hard facts. The ones beating around the bush will not find themselves in sophisticated publications since journalists generally only have little time to select the incoming news, which means that they only read the headlines and, if interested, the introduction. One has to score right then and there to stand out from the crowd.
One concluding piece of advice: Don’t worry about branding symbols like TM, …, etc. . In the editorial coverage those symbols don’t exist and the editor will be more annoyed than anything if he has to clean up the text.
By the way, these recommendations don’t just apply to adaptations from the US – news from EU- and neighboring countries like France, Spain or Italy should also not be translated word by word.