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The importance of emotive language in translation of holiday sites

The importance of emotive language in translation of holiday sites [image: iStock]
in Travel and Tourism

Any salesman worth their salt will tell you that their most important tool is language. When coupled with body language and attitude, more traditional salesmen had quite the arsenal for getting someone invested in a product or service.

However, in a world where the internet is king for commerce and services, the varied tools of the sales trade are somewhat stripped back, and marketers are often required to rely a lot more heavily on the power of language than they ever would have done before.

According to Business2Community, the use of emotive words such as freedom, happiness, relief and satisfaction, among others, help to bring about an emotional connection between website and customer that can greatly improve the chances of conversion.

This online link is important enough in the world of ecommerce, for example, where as many as a fifth of sales have moved to the web. However, there are other sectors where online language is becoming an even more prominent factor.

Holiday sales online

ABTA reports that as many as 89 per cent of all holidays are now booked online, meaning the sector has a far narrower range of tools for reaching customers than most other industries, but also a much wider demographic spread across the globe.

When we take language into consideration, this is both problematic and beneficial. On one hand it makes the travel industry as a whole more multinational, giving companies a chance to go global and sell to far more people than ever before.

However, when foreign holidays are sold to people all across the world who speak a range of different languages, it makes it difficult to pinpoint just one when it comes to marketing.

This is where the lack of effectively translated content online can be problematic. We know that as much as 53 per cent of content online is presented in English, despite the fact three-quarters of web users are not native English speakers. In the travel sector, this is even more of an issue, with many of the most prominent bookers not necessarily English speakers.

According to the Telegraph, out of the top five nationalities who are likely to travel overseas, none have English as the dominant first language. Of the five, only Hong Kong can boast a language that is among the most widely spoken on the internet (Chinese), with Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway all having native languages that are not among the most commonly provided by online content.

In addition to this, holidaymakers are also becoming more adventurous than ever before. While the past few decades saw European-based holidays remain king, recent trends have meant more people than ever before taking long-haul vacations to more adventurous destinations.

ABTA figures in the organisation’s 2016 Travel Trends Report suggest that people are going further afield than ever before, with Abu Dhabi and China two new entrants to a top ten destinations to watch list that includes the likes of Iran, Sri Lanka and Peru.

It means travel companies having to address translation with far more scrutiny to ensure they are providing for the right people, as well as translating from a far wider range of original languages than ever before, thanks to the wider spread of destinations people are headed to.

Emotive language and holiday sales

Selling online in another language is difficult enough when it comes to simple products and ecommerce. But when the product in question is a hotel, destination or experience, emotion is more of a factor than it is in any other industry.

According to an Ipsos survey of more than 53,000 travellers from around the world, the single most important factor for the majority of people (53 per cent) when booking a holiday is the excitement they feel while doing so. Clearly, this means that the use of emotive language when selling a holiday is vital for ensuring bookings.

Selling a holiday in these more adventurous climates means using emotive language to entice people, and when bringing them from their native language into one that customers speak, it’s vital that the emotive language carries over into marketing campaigns. A straight translation can miss the nuances of the destination language and what power can be found in emotive words therein.

This means the translator must be not only competent in translating travel content, but also in making sure they know how to make a connection with the consumer to make them want to take the plunge and book their holiday.

The translation of emotive language

Emotive language is clearly vital when it comes to selling holidays online, with more than half of all people booking based on the excitement they feel during the research and transaction process. And with more than three-quarters of all holidays now booked via the web, being able to evoke an emotional reaction from a potential customer is absolutely vital for the travel industry.

However, problems arise from the fact the industry is so multinational, and many holidaymakers will speak a different language from that in the destination they are booking in. Thankfully, effective translation, particularly in the emotive side of marketing messages, can bring online travel companies and hotels success on a global scale.

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