Tag Archives: Medical device marketing localization

“Scots Wha’ Hae” and Radical Localization for Medical Device Marketing Material

‘Scots, wha hae wi Wallace bled,

Scots, wham Bruce has aften led,

Welcome tae yer gory bed,

Or tae victorie.

As a Celtic Studies major in college and one-time resident of Scotland, I’ve watched with keen interest the impending Scottish independence vote. After 300+ years of union, it’s shocking to think this vote is too close to call (with an incredible 95%+ voter turnout). However, it’s also a very good example of the persistence of regional culture and identity in Europe – and underscores the importance of localizing (not just translating) your marketing content.

Marketing messages designed for the US may not resonate (or even translate) into e.g. French, German, or Turkish markets. That’s why many manufactures are now looking at “radical localization” – a complete rewrite of marketing content for local markets – only “guided” by the English original.

Of course, in these instances, it’s important to have a control in place to ensure that the localized material is acceptable from a Regulatory point of view. This is where technology can help: TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions offers clients  validated technology (Translation Review Portal; TRP) for easy, online review and auditable commenting of translated material – there’s even a preview function so you can see your material in formatted context.

If you *do* need to translate your content into EU target languages, TRP also makes a great platform for your overseas contacts to review and comment on translation quality – there’s even a built-in grading and scoring system so you can track results.

So, whether it’s review of translation accuracy or review of “radical localization” for compliance, technology from TransPerfect Medical Device Solutions can help. And, if Scotland *does* become independent and requires Gaelic for labeling, you’ll be ready!  😉

P.S. Although, romantically, I would love to see an independent Scotland, I know from a practical perspective that continued union is in Scotland’s best interest: No thanks!

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Don’t Get Yanukovych’d

Yanukovych_WEB-readyShortly after Yanukovych was ousted as Ukraine’s President, the Ukrainian Parliament repealed a recent law allowing the use of “regional languages” like Russian.  Language has long been been tied up with issues of nationalism and national identity and can often be something of a “land mine” (not to be indelicate in the current, tense, situation).

If you think that these types of language sensitivities don’t apply to the medical device industry, you’re wrong. On one recent client visit, I heard a story of how the company had sent Russian instructions to a location in Estonia…not realizing the reaction that it might provoke (after the Soviet domination of the Baltic States). The result? Even though an exemption could have been written, the client demanded everything in Estonian and at a significant cost. The moral of the story? Know the political implications of your language choices when doing business abroad.

A Localization Within a Localization

fortune-cookie-1

For everyone who wrestles with marketing translation (sorry, localization), you may appreciate this story (and short video) from NPR.

Turns out, many Americans living in China miss really good Chinese food…well, Chinese food as they remember it in America, anyway.  So, a couple of enterprising Chinese Americans opened Fortune Cookie in Shanghai – a restaurant serving up the Americanized form of Chinese food to US expats and curious Chinese.

Aside from the humorous aspects of this story (the Chinese staff had only seen the white take-out boxes in Hollywood movies, so took pictures when they first saw them in real life), it does hold a lesson for medical device marketers, and the lesson is this:  sometimes a US-centric message, if it’s the right one, can be adapted and succeed quite nicely in the local market. Not everything has to be created whole-cloth, in-country.