Web localisation: 4 points to bear in mind (2/4)

This is the second week of our four-part series that focuses on important points to remember when it comes to website localization. Each week we are publishing one point for you to do or to bear in mind early on in your company’s development, so that when you need to go multilingual you can easily make that transition.

– Imagery –

It is not enough to just translate a website. When creating a new language version of your website, your company should explore the culture of the target market to provide guidance and to see what has the most impact.

Even if the imagery for your website has already been chosen for the original language version, we recommend that you check all the pictures and colours once again before going global. You want to be sure that they are culturally appropriate and sensitive.

Let us take the example of an ancient culture like that of the United Arab Emirates. In this culture there are some symbols that carry a special cultural meaning and it is important to be aware of them. Here are some examples:

Symbols: When using hands in a UAE culture, the entire hand should be used when pointing, as pointing with just one finger is considered rude. The use of the left hand is also considered rude. Shaking hands, eating and gesturing should all be done with the right hand, although passing items with both is acceptable.

Colours: For the United Arab Emirates certain colours have specific meanings. For example green symbolises holiness or luck, whilst red symbolizes danger or evil.

There are countless examples of images, colours and concepts that work well in some cultures but that are wholly inappropriate in others. So just remember that when you are localizing your website to check your translations as well as the language of your imagery.

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