Website Localisation for Asian Markets

Website Localisation

for Asian Markets

In the past, many companies focused their operations in only two countries in Asia, namely China and Japan and had their websites translated into Chinese and Japanese. However, the situation is no longer the same. Following the economic development of other countries, for example Korea, companies have understood the need to have their websites translated into more Asian languages. At present, particularly the development of the ASEAN countries creates a need for website translation services into Malay, Lao, Vietnamese, Khmer, Thai, Burmese, Indonesian, etc., as foreign businesses want to consolidate their presence in the ASEAN region.

Website Localisation for Asian Markets


For sure, website localisation helps your business succeed internationally, as long as you consider the importance of quality in website localisation and have the entire website localisation process done by a quality language service provider. However, when you approach Asian audiences, you will soon see that each country in Asia has its unique characteristics and it is important to take those characteristics into account. Many Western companies had to learn the hard way that what works in a Western context, will not always be appreciated in Asia. Let’s talk about a couple of things to consider when you have your website localised to ensure that you leave a good impression on Asian markets!


Translation, transcreation vs. localisation

As we have discussed many times before, there are differences between translation, transcreation and localisation. We would like to invite you to find out more about website localisation, the differences between transcreation and translation and transcreation in general in our resource section, but to provide the basics for newcomers, let’s sum up briefly:

– When linguists work on a translation, they can go for literal translations (particularly translations of contracts, certificates, financial documents, etc.) or free translations (texts for marketing purposes, magazine articles, etc.). When a text is very freely translated, this might – in some cases – already be regarded as transcreation.

Transcreation includes translation, but goes beyond it. When a text is transcreated, the linguist adapts it to local preferences, norms, cultural characteristics, etc. Some texts require none or very little changes. In those cases, transcreation is more or less the same as translation. For other texts, however, many changesare necessary – in fact so many that in the end, you will have two completely different texts. Adjusting website content for Asian markets may require a lot of transcreationwork to bridge differences, particularly cultural differences.

– Localisation means that a website, a brochure, PR collateral, a marketing campaign, a magazine, adapted to a specific country and its cultural, legal, social, etc. context. Example: A website is localised for a Korean audience. Besides translating the textson the websiteinto Korean, many passages might need to be rewritten/transcreated, some content will have to be added, prices will need to be provided in Korean currency, etc. (see more details below)

To sum up: Website globalisation solutions usually require translation and transcreation. When you localise a website for Asian audiences, many changes to the original website might be required.

Basics Translation vs. transcreation vs. localisation

Make the most of your website

– Adapt the images on the website to local cultural norms and aesthetic preferences and make sure that no images stir undesirable associations; in the website localisation process, a professional localisation agency can arrange to have your website checked for culturally insensitive content to avoid pitfalls

– Provide content that is related to local culture, for example wish people a happy Lunar New Year in Chinese or Vietnamese, just as Chinese and Vietnamese companies would do on their domestic websites

– In addition website localisation, also remember the benefits of localising your social media campaigns

– Give your clients options to provide valuable feedback in their languages with an online feedbackform

– Provide shipping information for overseas clients; if, for example, you don’t have a distribution office in Indonesia yet, let your Indonesian clients know everything about the order process (payment details, shipping fees, etc.)

– Add legal content that is required on websites in the specific country; also general terms and conditions might have to be adapted so that they comply with local legal requirements

Make the most of your website

elionetwork has successfully completed countless website localisation projects for prestigious clients. We provide and coordinate our website translation services from Singapore, an ideal location for the translation business, as well as from Bangkok and Phnom Penh. In addition, we have a huge, worldwidenetwork of outstanding linguists for Asian, European and African languages. If you want to know how we can help you localise your website and learn more about our website globalisation solutions, please contact us. We are looking forward to hearing from you!