The Translational Touch: Copy vs. Code

     When considering the nature of online marketing, one must take into account the globally connected world we live in. While you may have a specific market, you may still have shortcomings within said market due to basic communication errors. It’s simple: if you cannot concisely and effectively convey your ideas, your sales conversions will suffer. The language barrier has been blurred by Statistical Machine Translation (SMT) thanks to services like Babel Fish and Google Translate, but is it enough? The answer, unfortunately, is no.

     The ever-changing online marketing community is in need of not only literal translations, but emotion evoking copy as well. In the Eastern European Start Up community, for example, this is a major road block. A potential client using Google Chrome as their web browser has a built-in feature to translate just about any web page in any language on the spot.

What we find, though, is that with certain languages like those of the Asian and European nations there is a major fault. These SMTs turn out to be nonsensical phrases based on literal translations and they cannot take into account the necessity of grammatical variations between these languages. Additionally, images with text will be completely ignored by the system.The result, nine times out of ten, is a translated page that is loosely based on the general idea at hand. Though this will get the gist across, it will not convince the online community and may drive them away.

     The answer: native language copywriting. There are two main advantages to using the services of someone who speaks the desired language natively. The first is obvious; there will be no grammatical blunders and the wording will be crystal clear. The second, and most important advantage is that with copywriting comes creativity and with creativity comes conversions. Copywriters are not just simple translators, but those who take a target market to another world by way of writing with the senses. They make your clients feel, see, smell and experience what you have to offer. For example, instead of saying “They have a lot of great food here,” a copywriter might say something like “The unbelievable selection of mouth watering dishes here will leave an indecisive customer speechless.” Copywriters not only write words but turn them into a marketing masterpiece.

     In conclusion, while Statistical Machine Translation is an option, it simply will not drive the entire consumer market that you want. It leaves out the essential human touch that marketing needs to be effective. Copywriting on the other hand, will pick up the pieces and put them into a phrase puzzle that results in a beautiful outcome. It is a global market, and we must keep up with the times. Unfortunately, machines and artificial intelligence of any type cannot replace human intuition and creativity. It is what drives us to make decisions. It is what makes us feel. It is what makes marketing, well, marketing.