BusinessTranslation

Why your business needs good translated content: a logic-based explanation of the power of words

You may think you don’t really need a professional copywriter and/or translator for your business. You can write the copy of your website yourself and have it translated by your third generation Italian friend or employee. It definitely saves you money and, at the beginning, saving money is critical, especially if you’re a new-born start-up or a small business trying to expand on a slightly bigger market.

Totally understandable, I have adopted DIY solutions myself, so I can relate. In a world that produces an insane amount of content every single day, however, good and well localized content can make the difference between a successful and thriving business and a struggling one. I could make my point by giving examples of famous brands, but today I want to prove the importance of choosing the right words through logical and critical thinking.

In logic, there is a principle called the framing effect*. The framing effect is a factor that can make us respond differently to identical circumstances by changing the framing of those circumstances, by focusing our attention on particular aspects of a situation.

For example, psychologically we are more inclined to choose an option described in positive terms rather than in negative terms.
Imagine you are a health official, preparing for a disease outbreak in your country and you had to pick one of these two programs:

A. 200 people will be saved

B. There is ⅓ probability that 600 will be saved and ⅔ probability that no one will be saved

Which one would you pick?

Now, let’s consider programs C and D.

C. 400 people will die.

D. There is a ⅓ probability that no one will die and ⅔ probability that everyone will die.

And in this case, which one would you pick?

This was actually a study, whose results reported that the majority of people chose option A over B, but D over C. If we assume that our brain has the ability of responding identically to identical circumstances, we should have chosen either A and C, or B and D. In fact, A and C describe the same situation and so do B and D. However, the wording of these sentences throws our brain off. That’s the power of words.

Don’t like the scientific vibe of the example? Let’s take a look at another one where the power of rephrasing a sentence can trigger different emotions.

 

I can see that tear in your eye, don’t try to hide it! Again, that’s the power of words.

You can apply the same concept to your business, to speak to people’s hearts and get your message to resonate with them. How can you do that? With the help of a good copywriter and a skillful translator, able to convey,  frame and localize that very message for your target audience, in your country and abroad.

Can you think of any instances when a particularly good copy convinced you to buy a certain product? Share it in the comments! 🙂

 

 

[*The first example an the definitions are taken from the course Logical and Critical Thinking, available for free on Future Learn.]

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