Marketing & Media
Website Design and Development
Engage: Tell Your Story!
These days, anyone who’s anyone has a website. But not just any anyone’s website stands out amidst the noise.
And there’s a lot of noise out there.
Opt-ins here. Free offers there. Downloadable e-books, cool products and slick images abound.
Bells and whistles permeate the web. Sure, some whistles might ring in a few clients. Some bells might whet some appetites. The right search engine optimization (SEO) strategy can pull in a few new eyes to your landing page. And a terrific video clip might keep those eyes fixed long enough to read your byline.
But according to Tony Haile, CEO of Chartbeat, 55% of mobile web readers engage on most websites for 15 seconds or less. SEO may get them in the door, but keywords alone don’t keep them there. The right attention grabbing headlines will give your readers’ a pause. But as the adage goes: you can lead readers to your site, but you can’t make them drink the good things you've got there.
So, what keeps potential clients on your site? How do you get readers to trust you? What makes conversion happen?
If you invite readers to sign up for a service or click for a sale, you need to do more than get them to land on the site. If there’s a program you’re delivering, a product you’re promoting or anything else on offer, how do you engage them and convert that to action or sales?
Unfortunately, no single template exists to answer all your website engagement problems.
Some tips hold true: be consistent with your brand, your visual cues and layout; get a logo; create value proposition, (or a promise to be delivered).
But if you’re ticking all those boxes and you’re still not getting anywhere, what’s left?
Maybe you need to ask some tough questions. Am I communicating in a generic way? Am I out of tune with my reader’s needs? Am I just copying someone else’s approach?
A good site doesn’t just dress up in the latest fashion and hope for the best. Sure, on any first date, an unkempt appearance might be a deal breaker just like a tailored jacket might make a great first impression. But a new outfit alone can’t convince someone to spend time with you in the long term. Likewise, in website design, the right font and logo alone won’t win your clients’ hearts.
Your story, and just as importantly—the way you communicate it with your readers—must shine through every design decision. Every feature, every photograph, every category on your site offers an opportunity to bridge a bond between your brand and your niche market.
Like any human being, readers long for relevance, distinctiveness and authenticity. In the age of fake news when we’re never sure if the photo we see online links up to a real person, readers have grown hungry for trustworthiness. Like most human beings, they long to feel connected—to the humanness, the empathy, and the rapport in web communication.
Good web design begins not with a generic template but with a human story. If your web designer has a firm understanding of a brand’s story and knows how to get that across with the target reader in mind, design flows naturally.
Great graphics, easy navigation, and lucid prose are all keys to the door, but they only get you so far in. What lies inside it all is your story and your power to connect.
If you're looking to develop the story of your brand, enhance your copy, and swim instead of sink in this competitive climate, reach out to me for assistance.
I know about the importance of a good story. Get rapport with your target audience in every design and development decision we make.
To Blog or Not to Blog: Answering Your Questions
Just like good stories help build great brands, better blogging helps build better ones. But blogging takes effort. It takes time. And is it right idea for your business?
If you’re on the fence not sure whether to blog or not to blog, read on.
When did this whole blogging thing begin?
The art of blogging comes from the early days of the web when users kept online journals. From those early “personal web logs,” the term “blog,” was born from “web” and “log.” And personal blogs, or web logs, have covered every topic under the sun since: from blues music to hairstyling to parenting. Anything goes.
Early bloggers may not have had a business marketing strategy in mind, but keeping up a communicative “log” of entries on a niche topic provides an organic way to attract readers to your site—and your business. If you’re an entrepreneur, there are big bonuses for your biz if you blog. You can key in potential clients to your services, reach out in personal, empathetic ways to your readers and update your audience on the latest developments within your organization.
What’s the difference between a blog and a website?
Unlike websites that might be updated every few months, a blog might be updated monthly, weekly, or even daily. If you’re an entrepreneur, you’ll likely want to keep on top of the changing trends in your industry and update your services accordingly. A standard website might not always give you the space for that. Much like a newsletter, keeping a blog offers a way for you to communicate regularly with your audience. But where a newsletter usually has the shelf-life of an email, a blog stays published online indefinitely.
A blog can be part of your website or act independently on another server. With the right strategy, a blog can draw in potential clients to your services.
What are some other advantages of blogging?
- They offer opportunity for reader engagement. Write about topics key in your business, engage readers with that content, and link the post to your social media site to drive up traffic to your site.
- Blogging gives you an opportunity to build expertise and credibility in your area. If you run a catering business, blog on your best practices in meal preparation, customer service and food design. Whatever your level of expertise, there are always things to learn, and a blog gives you the opportunity to dig more deeply and show off your brilliance.
- They can drive interaction with your customers. By using a comments feature, blogs give you the chance to have conversations with potential and/or loyal customers. Those clients can talk with each other too, which helps build a sense of community around your brand.
- They can build brand loyalty. The more you’re creating engagement with market-specific content in blog posts, the greater opportunity you’ll have for customers to develop their trust in you.
- They can build more revenue for your site. Just like you might do with a website, pump up revenue with your blog by adding advertisements or use affiliate marketing and promote others’ products.
With all the benefits of blogging, there’s a few key downsides. First, good blogging takes time. Second, you must know how to write and keep the ideas flowing to post regularly. If you’re already pressed for time, if you’re stuck for ideas, or if your writing isn’t flowing from conception to completion quickly enough, reach out me. I can pick up the pen when you’ve already got too many things on your business to-do list.
Social Media Management and Marketing
How to Tweet: Is There a Method to the Madness?
From presidential pranks to hashtag activism, Twitter has been making headlines this year. But the platform might be tricky to those who haven’t learnt its ropes. This post looks at the potential of Twitter to work for your business.
These days, news hits the Twittersphere sooner than it hits the headlines of traditional media. Social media marketers know that Twitter holds real potential to reach a market and influence it. Smart businesses see the power in using Twitter for engagement, campaigning and building their brands.
But if you’re not a savvy social media marketer, you may be asking: how do I make the most of this thing?
It looks deceptively simple. On the surface, Twitter offers a network where users share stories from anything to news articles to film archives. Like any web-based media presence, Twitter offers a way to engage with other businesses, colleagues or consumers. Twitter gives you 280 characters or less per tweet to share your share.
But like the simplest of tools, Twitter offers more for businesses and organizations than might appear on the surface.
Here’s a quick list of ways you can use Twitter to help grow your brand.
- #hashtag. If you’re a millennial, you may be already using “hashtag” in your everyday speech. Whether the term familiar to you or not, the hashtag has potential. Experiment in using hashtags as part of a social media marketing campaign—they can be part of a holistic marketing strategy. Add a hashtag to any trending topic on Twitter, and you just might ramp up engagement or enter a conversation on a topic with thousands of users worldwide. If you’re running a marketing campaign, use a hashtag on a keyword to centralize a conversation about any topic you like. If you’re taking part in a conference, start a conversation with other people about the event by adding a hashtag to the name of the conference. Tack on a hashtag to any trending word, phrase or abbreviation and your tweet will show up in a search.
- Share content. Promote your business by sharing text, photos and links to your blog or website. Make content even more visual with a video. Tweet relevant quotations that add colour and personality to your brand.
- Engage with others. Tweet to engage with customers and ask questions to your followers or answer questions from clients.
- Learn and research. Research your industry and market by searching for trending topics in your area and get a sense of what your target audience wants, likes and needs from how they express themselves and interact on Twitter.
- Build community. Retweet other users who are relevant to your brand. It can also be a way to engage with others and flatter them by retweeting their content.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. But remember, just like in any thoughtful social media presence, organizations need to stay smart about how they use Twitter and follow the changes on the platform. You want to maintain your brand’s identity in every tweet and retweet.
That best social media marketing strategy might be to use a professional service to help you. At 7G Media, we can manage social media for your organization. That might involve a social media marketing campaign that targets advertising across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn. We also create viral videos with embedded calls to action. Check out our social media marketing services pages for more ideas!
Wise Strategy: Wax On, Wax Off
Some of you may know the 1984 flick The Karate Kid. It’s an iconic martial arts film that tells the story of a young kid bullied in high school. He’s the underdog, but with the slow but steady guidance of his reluctant Japanese mentor, the kid goes onto win a championship karate tournament. Throughout his training, his mentor gives carry him menial chores that seemingly have nothing to do with karate. In one memorable scene, his mentor hands him a soaking wet sponge. He tells him to wash the car and then wax it. The old man’s instructions are simple. Wax on; wax off.
What does all that have to do with social media marketing you might ask?
Whether its karate or marketing, any strategy requires focusing through menial tasks that might not on the surface be getting you somewhere. Part of your strategy is to maintain clarity and carry on.
There are numerous marketing channels for your social media presence. Managing them all might give you more work than value for your effort. You want a return on investment.
Instead, why not put some karate kid into your social media marketing strategy? Breathe. Focus your energy into something worthwhile. Wax on and wax off.
Begin with focusing on your target audience. Ask intelligent questions. Research. Where does your target audience spend most of its time? Are they professionals connecting primarily on LinkedIn? Are they networkers who discuss topics length on Facebooks groups and pages? Do they tweet on trending topics on Twitter? Do they share visual stories on Instagram?
Despite the spontaneous mode of most social media platforms, a wise social media marketer gets specific with her plan, focuses on her target audience, clarifies her goals and carries calmly through with implementation.
Other things to focus on include:
- Metrics: Focus on web referrals, leads generated, and conversion rates. What channels are you getting the most referrals? Don’t just focus on retweets and likes. Where is the conversion happening?
- Create and improve your accounts: Ask yourself which accounts you’ll focus on and clean up your presence on those platforms. Update and refine them according to your goals. Focus on your brand identity and your communication with your target audience.
- Optimize performance: Each social media channel has its own SEO. Make sure whatever network you’re on, your company’s page is easy to find. Keep readers focused with a clean, simple name. Don’t stuff your site with key words that might bring in the wrong people.
- Inspiration: Look to others for what they are sharing. What kinds of quotes and photos are other successful brands in your industry using? Notice when and where those brands share that content.
- Create a calendar and plan the content: Who will create it? When will it will be shared? Who will it be shared with? Plan how often you will post. How will you promote what you share?
- Evaluate and adjust: No strategy works perfectly for all situations. The landscape of social media is forever changing, so if you’re managing marketing online, you’ll need to stay on top of the changes and constantly evaluate to adjust your strategy.
But that’s just a skeleton of the entire body that makes up any wise, focused social media marketing plan.
It’s a multi-disciplinary, ongoing process. Engage with your audience. Track your success. And if you need good copy, an piece edited, or a coach, give me the sponge. I'll wax on and wax off for you until the job’s done.
What Are the Biggest Trends in Social Media Marketing?
In 2018, it’s tricky to keep your audience’s attention. However common or complex, new technologies are embedded in nearly everyone’s life. Mobile-ready content has quickly become the norm. The number of smartphone users worldwide is projected to be around 2.53 billion. Apps are more accessible than ever. People turn to their smartphones to book flights, order meals, and learn about outer space.
The typical smartphone user might be one moment uploading a photo to Snapchat while Googling the surface temperature on Mars. One minute, she might be scrolling through her Twitter feed, and the next, she might be swiping through the stories of influencers on Instagram. Amidst all that activity, social media marketers in 2018 face the challenge of managing attention spans spread across multiple platforms. The best social media campaigns know how to engage users, maintain their interest, foster a sense of community, and keep abreast of swiftly changing trends.
But how does a company manage all that? Businesses that rely on the social marketing strategies of 2016 may miss the boat. Or, if they’ve got on the boat, they might still be using yesterday’s compass. Sailing the digital seas takes steady ingenuity, insight, and research. If a business is attempting to set sail with an outdated map, they’ll get lost with shifting breakers. They might capsize if they’re not expert on the helm as the wind shifts.
Good marketing campaigns stay on their toes; they think on their feet. Keeping up in this swiftly changing climate doesn’t mean following one map. Besides, there’s no longer any rulebook. With businesses are overwhelmed with platforms, as many possibilities exist as there are users.
But it’s easy to get fatigued with options. With various content formats, game plans and tools, marketing teams need to re-evaluate the impacts of their efforts have on their overall business objectives.
Those in the know use the platforms and tools that work for their clients and their business.
2018 is all about learning and growing to be one step ahead.
In this four-part series, we’ll look at how you can keep two steps ahead. After all, life’s a dance, and sometimes you need improvise to make the right moves for your business.
Let’s overview those latest trends in social media marketing. Let’s make these digital seas a place of ease rather than ones we fear drowning in. From Instagram to Twitter to Snapchat to social media listening tools, sometimes excellent marketing means learning about the latest apps and trends and keep your business in the know.
Did you know, for example, that ephemeral social media, or short-lived content, is emerging as the hottest way to engage users?
Did you know customers go to social media first for customer service?
Did you know that Gen Z is the driving force of social media and is shifting the way that content is shared and digested?
Did you know social media channels will continue to incorporate new technologies? That users may start to expect augmented reality experiences and that social video content will be more mobile friendly?
Even if you’re not in the know, thankfully, there's a guiding hand to bring you and help keep you there.
Instagram: Be There, Be Square
Maybe you’re on it. Maybe you’ve heard of it. Maybe your teenager has posted a picture of you with animated antlers there. Whether you call it Insta or IG or nothing at all, Instagram is one of the hottest growing platforms for social media marketing in 2018.
Let’s take a brief tour of this media-mover.
Launching in October 2010 on iOS and released on Android in April 2012, when Instagram was bought by Facebook later that same year, the app had a net worth of over $500 million. By 2017, Instagram had 800 million users.
Instagram is a trendy app loved by millennials and marketing moguls alike. The concept behind it rests partly on the aesthetics of mid-20th century photography. Originally users only framed their photos in an aspect ratio of 1:1, or a square, a ratio that mimics the prints of Kodak’s 1960’s Instamatic or those of Polaroid camera.
Instagram has since embraced the rectangle, but it’s impossible to ignore the retro feel of its filters. From “Nashville” to “Sierra” to “Willow”, Instagram offers its users choice. From a 1970’s filter with increased exposure to monochromatic filters that add a dose of nostalgia, Instagram can give your brands’ social media campaign photos a customized look.
Instagram name takes its name from “instant” and “telegram.” And the app acts just like a clever telegram system, delivering image, text and video content to your target audience’s smartphones.
But how can social media marketing campaign make the most of Instagram?
- Embrace Instagram Stories
Instagram adopted the idea from Snapchat where users post videos, photos and captioned text into a disappearing “story” that lasts 24 hours. There’s now an option to archive Instagram Stories, but the ephemeral quality of these mini digital tales comes with loads of marketing potential. They keep your most loyal followers engaged and leave your content open for new audiences to discover. Companies can add surveys and giveaways to capture leads.
Studies of college students show that they preferred the temporary quality of disappearing stories, saying that these campaigns felt less formal. That fleeting quality of this tool can give your brand a sense of authentic, friendly engagement with your audience.
Stories are also an effortless way to create and offer a testing ground for ideas. Users have the option to “swipe-up” for a direct link to your organization’s web page. Hashtagging and geotagging your location is another great way to generate likes and followers.
- Post Product Teasers
- Partner with Influencers
If your brand doesn’t have a wide audience yet, the best way to get your business out there is to pair with an influencer who has already built a large following. Offering a free service or product to an influencer and asking them to promote your business can draw a lot attention to your brand or company.
- Interact with Followers to Spark Growth
The trends for social media marketing for 2018 favour user engagement. One great way to generate followers and keep them is to interact with them. If a user comments on your post, respond helpfully and enthusiastically.
How Would You Like Your Reality? Augmented or Virtual?
Have you ever seen those animated videos on social media with a friend sporting a pair of cat ears and a set of whiskers? Ever thought the technology behind that would become one of the hottest upcoming marketing trends?
If you said “no,” think again.
Augmented and virtual reality are predicted to be the all the rage for social media marketing in the coming seasons. Who would have thought the technology behind Pokémon Go would lead the way to profit, engagement and leads for your business?
The iPhone 8 and Google’s Pixel 2 have now incorporated augmented reality with talking emojis, amongst other things.
Sure, augmented and virtual reality have their novelty appeal. But think of the potential. Showcase your products in unique ways to your target audience. If you’re a clothing company, let users to use try on your products in virtual space to see how your new fall line will fit on them. Maybe a customer might want to see how a new fabric might look their home. Think of the ease of using augmented reality to test how the pattern of a fabric for a new sofa might look next your drapes.
What is augmented reality exactly?
In a nutshell, it’s the ability to integrate digital data into real-time experience. AR marketing takes the digital data it has and creates an integrated 3-D image of a product. Many brands are already using the technology. It’s been used in sports, medicine, and education for years, but marketers are now embracing its potential. AR differs from virtual reality (VR), which creates an entirely closed simulation or virtual world that users can control through different movements. There’s no real-world element in VR. But AR offers an open simulation, where a virtual element interacts in some form with our real world.
Hotels can use AR to allow guests to take tours of the properties, get 360 degree views of the rooms and facilities. Some apps let those same guests make reservations.
Social media offers a great way to engage with the possibilities of AR. We’ve already seen how Snapchat, Instagram and Facebook use AR to keep users engaged with those cat ears and whiskers. Millennials especially love working with filters and doctored animated images of themselves. And research says Generation Z is one the key target audiences to engage with for social media marketers.
Why not add some AR to your campaign?
Companies and brands that understand the potential of augmented and virtual reality might develop their own AR apps to demonstrate products. LEGO now uses this in its advertisements. Kids can hold up a smartphone to a box of LEGO and see a 3-D image of the LEGO product once it’s finished.
With AR, your company can create its own filter. Find original ways to connect customers to your brand by making your own set of branded headgears or augmented features specialized to your brand’s story. Think of the engagement that kind of marketing will create for your followers.
Livestream with AR filters. If you’re a makeup company, you can show off your products with a livestream tutorial with AR filters of the different colours of lipstick and eyeshadow.
In the government and space sector, AR can be used in weather forecasts and outer-space simulation.
The potential of AR and VR for social media marketing end at the limits of the imagination.
If there’s one audience that a social media marketer needs to understand, it’s Generation Z.
“What’s that?” you ask?
Well, each generation has its own drives, habits and triggers, and Gen Z is the one that is driven, habituated and triggered most on social media.
But let’s step back a bit and, for the sake of chronology, look at X and Y before we get to Z.
Termed by David Copeland in his novel by the same name, “Generation X” is made up of the sons and daughters of the Baby Boomers, or the post-war generation. Born between 1966 to 1976, Gen Xers are sometimes called the “lost generation”. There have been a few "lost generations." Fitzgerald and Hemingway were also called part of a lost generation. But maybe like flappers and expats of Paris's Rive Guache of the 1920s, Gen Xers are often characterized as skeptical, sometimes selfish. From a marketing perspective, this generation loves labels and brand names and spends more than it has earned.
Generation Y, born between 1977 and 1999, came of age in the onset of computer technology. Sometimes referred to as Millennials, this generation had early on exposure to the speed and pace of the internet. So, generation Y is characterized by quickly changing tastes and a flexible approach to trends. From a marketing perspective, this generation doesn't have the brand loyalty of Gen X, and they are less persuaded by brand names. Coming of age amidst digital technology means they tend to shop online, learn online, and engage online.
Generation Y might have grown up online, but Generation Z are the true digital mavericks. They are the social media generation. Sometimes referred to as “digital natives” most of this generation grew up with a smartphone, or are growing up with one now. Born after 1995, digital tech streams seamlessly into their lives. This is the most experimental generation. 3-D printing, driverless cars, and nano-computing will likely be second nature to them by the time they hit 30.
From a marketing perspective, predictions say this generation will account for 40% of all consumers by 2020. Generation Z is a group of detached consumers who are engrossed in technology. Because they grew up on social media, they are savvy with it and spend a lot of time on apps where engagement between friends and brands is casual, ephemeral and mobile. There’s little differentiation between their social lives and their lives on social media.
Knowing this customer base in and out can help your business succeed. Since Gen Zs spend most of their time on social media, marketers need to be be savvy on social and mobile and include multiple touch points to their campaigns. Gen Z prefers direct and “no-fluff” messaging with videos, pictures and stories. They tend not to fall for discounts in the ways their parents or grandparents might. Instead, they want authenticity and the feeling that companies and brands address them in friendly no-nonsense, non-gimmicky ways. Traditional selling doesn’t work for Generation Z. They’re tired of catch phrases like “one-time offer” or “flash-sale.” They may be persuaded, but not by promotions. Instead, they’re turned on by values and strong messages.
To market to Generation Z, your tech design needs to be top-notch. Companies that invest in technology savvy platforms and keep abreast of digital trends will navigate this generation’s needs more readily.
Generation Z doesn’t want to be labelled, but they do want to be entertained. Using video is one of the most powerful tools to engage consumers and clients of this age group. Most of them have smartphones, so all content in your campaign needs to adapt to mobile technology. Gen Z prefers their apps to their email. Their Snapchats over their Facebooks. Its Instagram instead of Gmail.
Generation Z knows they can look up just about anything online. They’re young, but they’re informed. Likewise, if they are doing business with you, they want transparency. These consumers respond well to a company’s message, but they want it with precision and customer experience.
What Makes a Good Translation?: Make and Elephant out of a Fly
While translation apps and technology allow us to decode the dishes on a foreign menu and make sense of phrases we see on a street when travelling, true translation is an art that few apps can properly curate. It requires human skill and experience to take a text and turn it into a one that is both faithful to the original source and reads fluidly in the new one. A good translator speaks at least two languages flawlessly and has a strong knowledge of the culture of the countries whose languages with which they work. She must keep up to date with the latest trends. Most translators translate into their native language so they can notice when a sentence doesn’t read right or an idiom might need some delicate rephrasing in the new dialect.
Languages are alive, so a good translator needs to engage with the language of translation as a living thing. Organically, languages shift with usage, context and culture. Thanks to social media, new words are constantly being invented. A good translator knows how and where to translate newly invented words. They know that some words cross cultures, like “Wi-Fi” and “internet,” and others are localized or will get lost in translation.
The best translated texts don’t sound translated. Often, they’re better described as trans-created. Any good translation should read as if it was produced, created and made for the language that it’s being translated into.
For that reason, a good translator needs to adhere to cultural knowledge. Most idioms need equivalents in the new language. They can’t be literally translated. If they were, they wouldn’t make sense.
Take for example the Dutch phrase: “Met de deur in huis vallen.” If a translator were to translate that idiom word-for-word, she’d end up with: “to fall with the door in the house.” But good translator, well-versed in Dutch culture and at ease in English idioms knows that this phrase is best expressed as: “To get straight to the point.”
Or take the Russian saying, “to make an elephant out of a fly.” The best translation service knows that the closest approximation in English to this idiom involves neither elephants nor flies but mountains and molehills. In English to “to make a mountain out of a molehill” means to be overly concerned about a small thing.
In French, “mettre son grain de sel” means literally to put in one’s grain of salt, which sounds somewhat like the English idiom, “to take with a grain of salt.” But the phrases mean quite different things. A literal translation would most certainly confuse English and French speakers! In English “to take with a grain of salt” means to view something skeptically. The French “mettre son grain de sel,” means to offer unsolicited opinions.
As you can see, a good translator can interpret the oddest idioms with finesse within cultural context. Different regions have their own dialects, so a good translation service is well-versed the regions its working in. The best translators know the idioms of both languages “like the back of their hands,” which is an English idiom meaning to know something very well!
What Makes a Good Literary Translation?: You Can't Blush It.
Some might think that the process of translation begins by jumping into a document and interpreting the sentences line-by-line.
Those who are skilled translators know better. They realize that professional translations take a much more holistic approach.
Here are three keys to a great literary translation.
When you’re translating every page, every phrase, every word of a novel or poem, you need to have the eyes of a highly skilled craftsman. Think of a boat builder who uses the wrong wood in the hull of his craft. After all, “translation” means to “carry across.” If a boat builder uses the wrong materials, in the best of scenarios, the ship won’t sail as smoothly when it carries cargo across the water. In the worst of situations, the thing might sink. In literature, sometimes it’s the details that make the story sail. Sometimes it's the voice. Sometimes the characters are carried across by the tone they use in dialogue. Whether because of lack of finesse or carelessness, if a translator gets any of that wrong, at best the book might lose its fluidity. At worst, readers might miss a key plot twist, and the story will sink.
Borrowing from the advice Daniel Mendelson his piece in The New York Times "Bookends," accuracy is key to good translation. Mendelsohn writes that “every text is a bafflement to its translator, because every language, like every writer, has characteristics that can’t be ‘carried’ across.”
That’s one of the reasons we adopt words from other languages. The French use the word chic to describe stylish elegance, but the phrase “stylish elegance” doesn’t quite ‘carry across’ what it means to be “chic.” For that reason, the English, along with other cultures, have adopted the word “chic” into their language.
Whether a translator uses “chic” or “stylish elegance,” what’s important is that she creates an accurate translation that “carries across” the important details of the original.
- Artistic value
Emphasizing the importance of accuracy might suggest that the translator is a technician, a mathematician, or a scientist. But as the translator builds that craft that will carry across the original text to its new language, it takes more than technical accuracy to do the job right.
There’s a saying in Italian, “traddutore, traditore.” Literally, that means, “translator, traitor.” But if we only take that literally, does the English capture the beauty of the original proverb? Is it even accurate to be literal? Does the proverb literally mean that all translators are traitors, that all translators betray the original text? If you speak Italian, you might hear the semantic beauty of traddutore, traditore. It sounds like music. The words next to each other carry symmetry and elegance. How can that be translated?
As you can see, it’s a tough job to put the art back into proverb if you have taken the words away from their roots in a culture, a land, a living place. That’s why the best translation service in the UAE considers translation an art and not purely technical trade. 7G Media works with translators who know the regional dialects, who strive not only for accuracy, but for artistic value.
In 2014, the British Council interviewed translator Fahmida Riaz and asked her: “What makes a good literary translation?” Riaz translated the Nobel Prize winning author Nagib Mahfouz’s Afrah Ul Qubba into English. She agrees with Daniel Mendelson that some words are untranslatable. In Urdu, she says there is a word, “sharmana,” which in some contexts can mean “blush,” as when a girl is approached by a boy and is “sharma gaiee.” But Fahmida Riaz knows that in Islamic culture, this is more than the English habit of “blushing.” So Riaz uses her cultural knowledge to create a beautiful, accurate and insightful translation.