Author: May Thawdar Oo
A few years ago, if you typed the word “dog” 18 times into Google Translate, from the language of Yoruba to English, users were met with a translation of apocalyptic proportions.
Google Translate’s interpretation, a victim of a side-splitting coding error, is one of many potential pitfalls along the translation pathway.
High-quality online casino website translation requires a handful of essential elements to ensure top-quality content fits your brand, is all over the habitual nuances of your target market, and holds a deep appreciation regarding the culture of an end user’s country.
After memorizing – elephant-like – these six simple tips, you and your content strategy will be amplified to that of the arena rock volume. (Alternatively, you could also have them tattooed on your inner arm.)
Digital marketing for the online gambling industry just got more international, and easier. We make sure it stays that way for our readers.
1. Create Market-specific Style Guides
International businesses work with teams of translators to create marketing content for social media, game guides, ads, landing pages, and pretty much everything that reaches your business audiences’ eyes.
Humans think differently. Writers are no different.
While unique embellishments, insights, and creativity should be encouraged by content managers, writers should work within guidelines set in a style guide and relating to their specific market. Without a style guide for each specific country, your business’ content will be riddled with inconsistent brand messaging, or worse.
Not limited to only content writers, style guides can convey your aesthetic dogma to graphic designers, technical writers, and UX/UI designers.
You could think of your style guide much like a bible of creativity dedicated to digital marketing for the online gambling industry. But much smaller.
You could be creating content for a third-party site, an online casino, or a geo-specific ad, among many other things.
A country-determined style guide will provide both translators and output with the following advantages:
- Cultural cohesion within individual markets
- Stylistic unity
- A nuanced understanding of country-specific colloquialisms
- A handy reference for brand-determined content conventions across international markets
- Legislative information that impacts location-particular content
A Guide to International Currency Conventions
When formatting each country’s currencies, many nations have slight tweaks to the format of how their currencies display. Some put their symbols after, some favor the full point, while other countries are partial to a comma.
It’s a punctuation minefield out there people, and this is why we’ve put together the ultimate guide to how some of the biggest iGaming markets write their currencies.
It goes like this:
- Australia – $ 1,234.56
- Austria – 1.234,56 €
- Canada (en-CA) – $ 1,234.56
- Canada (fr-CA) – 1.234,56 $
- Denmark – 1.234,56 DKK (to avoid Kroner confusion)
- Finland – 1 234,56 €
- Germany – 1.234,56 €
- Ireland – €1,234.56
- Italy – €1.234,56
- Japan – ¥123,456 (no decimals used) or 12万3,456円 (in traditional writing)
- The Netherlands – €1.234,56
- Norway – 1.234,56 kr or 1.234,56 NOK
- Spain – 1.234,56 €
- Sweden – 1.234,56 kr or 1.234,56 SEK
- UK – £1,234.56
- USA – $1,234.56
Little things can make big things happen, which is one of the reasons why getting currency formats right should be at the front and center of your iGaming SEO mind when embarking on the international crusade of high-quality online casino website translation.
2. Dust the Cobwebs from the Source Text Before Translation
The ever-shifting legislative nature of iGaming means that content can date quicker than an ‘80s one-hit-wonder.
Every piece of content for each market needs to be fully updated, reflecting current legislative policy before the document can be passed on for translation.
One example would be the new German gambling regulation, the State Treaty on Gambling 2021 (Glücksspielstaatsvertrag 2021 = GlüStV 2021) that could, potentially, come into effect this year. Although it’s not even signed, yet, there’s already a transitional regime to make licensing easier for operators.
One thing to consider, for example, is that virtual slots may not be referred to as “casino” or “casino games” and auto-play is prohibited. So, some casino operators are already switching their on-site content.
Factors to consider before handing over content for translation are the accuracy of content, whether it correctly reflects the latest iGaming environment per market, and if the tone of the content is still on-brand.
3. Permit Platform Access for Translators
Whether you’re running a third-party affiliate site, a casino operation, a poker site, or a pure sportsbook operation, your translators need to see how their content will ultimately manifest itself online.
The platform your content appears on will inform your translators of the site’s theme, audience, content format, what kind of images will appear alongside the content, and provide them with a general feel for tone and form that a style guide may struggle to convey.
Having access to the output site will not only empower translators to create better-written, GPS-accurate localized texts, it’s also a great way for an extra set of eyes to feedback on-site errors, glitches, or bugs that your pages may be suffering.
4. Provide Comprehensive Feedback to Translators
Not always the easiest thing to do, giving feedback is an art unto itself. Feedback is crucial to iGaming content localization.
As one famous quote goes:
“The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
Apply the theoretical physicist’s musing to feedback and you’ve got the foundations of a solid assessment.
How to Provide Feedback (well)
One of the best tried and tested methods of delivering feedback is by utilizing the Sandwich Method.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that the Sandwich Method consists of criticizing a translation to your heart’s content and then awarding your translator with a pastrami on rye.
As tasty as that sounds, the truth is far more prosaic.
The Sandwich Method is, in fact, a technique used throughout schools, workplaces, in everyday life, and of course, in digital marketing for the online gambling industry. It’s the best way to provide constructive feedback and leave it on a positive note.
So, the Sandwich Method works like this:
- Start with something positive. It’s always wise to provide the translator with a comment on the strength of their work; quality of content, use of vocabulary, and accuracy of the structure are all content ingredients that require praise when praise is deserved.
- Hit them with aspects of the translation that need work. This could include tone of voice, syntax, on-brand stylizing, and a whole host of content translation sins.
- Finish with a final, genuine comment on an upbeat note. Not only does this boost your translator’s confidence, but it’ll also decimate reluctance to attend future feedback sessions.
The Sandwich Method can be employed during on-going projects, or once a particular project has been completed.
Whether you as an employer decide to implement feedback while a content project is live, or alternatively, even when the project is completed, it will help to eliminate a few errors worming their way into your translated content.
5. Grammarly is not Gospel
Ah, Grammarly: Interrupter of YouTube videos and mainstay of browser plugins before time immemorial, or that’s how it seems, at least.
Translating to English and then running content through Grammarly will only get you so far, and for the following reasons:
1. Grammarly does not understand iGaming lingo. Grammarly corrections don’t pick up on the subtleties of our iGaming language and will correct bona fide terms and spellings, even where there is no error.
2. Grammarly can’t figure out the syntax. That is to say, sentence structure. Suggestions that are wildly inaccurate can often appear.
3. Grammarly is a robot. The Grammarly algorithm is one of the most advanced spell-checking tools on the market but no replacement for a flesh-and-bone, expert proofreader.
This is not to say Grammarly doesn’t have its value. Running a first draft through Grammarly and weeding out typos and the odd spelling mistake is where Grammarly earns its keep.
Just ensure that you have an experienced content editor to sign it off before your content is published.
With iGaming content translation, It’s the human touch that counts. Copying your content directly into a machine translator is one of the biggest iGaming content translation mistakes to avoid.
6. And Don’t Forget the Brief
No online gambling digital marketing strategy for translation would be complete without a solid content brief.
For a translator, content briefs can range from the heaven-sent to something resembling directions scribbled in biro on the back of a napkin.
To avoid back-and-forth between yourself and your translator, a professional translation brief should include the following elements:
a) Project Details
The brass tacks. An extensive translation brief must include the following information:
- Company name and contact person
- A reference number – to support tracking
- Project type – marketing, promotional material, email send-outs, SMS content, game guides, etc.
- User intent – the translator needs to know whether the content requires a persuasive copy, an informative article style, or an industry news update, for example.
b) Priorities and Deadlines
The average translation linguist writes at least around 3,000 words a day. Quite the workload, and often on varying projects for a combination of clients.
Deadlines ensure that each project has a definitive timeline, enabling your translator to schedule accordingly.
Often, files may need to be delivered during certain times or before a certain time of the day. If this is indeed the case with your content order, establish these requirements early on so both yourself and your translator know the delivery drill.
c) Reference Materials
Any reference materials and links that may prove helpful to your translation maestro should be included in your brief.
Not only does this give your translator a bit of a head start on research, but it’s also valuable to show an example of the direction you wish your commissioned content to follow.
iGaming is a language unto itself. A native speaker reading a location-relevant iGaming text in their mother tongue could be just as confused had it been written in a different language.
The industry terminology or ‘lexical set’ of the gambling world is more expansive and evolutionary than most, and therefore a touch more confusing.
Clear terminology and country-specific adjustments must be conveyed to the translator in the brief. Online sportsbook translation doesn’t slip under the radar either. A full glossary of geo-particular sports betting terminology should always be included in the brief.
In the best scenario, it’ll provide a fully comprehensive vocabulary list for translators new to the industry; in the worst, you’ll be jogging the memory of an industry old hand. Either way, it’s a mutually beneficial cog in the content brief machine.
A poorly-realized brief is not only incredibly frustrating for a translator but it’s also one of the biggest iGaming content translation mistakes to avoid.
Take your time creating a pitch-perfect, water-tight brief worthy of the Booker Prize, and you’ll save yourself and your translator hours down the line.
Furthermore, not only is iGaming a language in its own right, often online casino operators have their own jargon. What might be ‘Free Spins’ on one site may be called ‘Star Spins’ on another, some might say ‘Play through’, while others call it ‘Wagering requirement’.
Client-determined vocabulary is a requisite component of every translation brief. Without an extensive, casino-specific vocabulary list, the potential for rewrites that last long into the night is a distinct possibility, and no one wants that.
It’s a linguistic jungle out there. While a simple mistranslated noun could seem like a minor slip, this fast-and-loose approach to detail has far-reaching implications for your business image. It looks sloppy. It fuels skepticism towards your site and damages your pristine brand image.
If you don’t have a native editor on your team, the value of hiring an expert agency with locals on their team is immeasurable.
Machine spell checks sift through the nitty-gritty of content but a native editor will bring a human understanding with cultural comprehension as standard, pop culture references that resonate with local audiences, and bullseye the subtleties of your target language.
Content written by non-native and near-native speakers sticks out like an arm on an analog fruit machine. It’s glaringly obvious and has a serious impact on dwell time, the kiss of death should you wish your site to be dominating Google results.
While an immaculate translation won’t catapult your site to position zero on Google’s results page, it’s one of the many, many factors that contribute towards increased traffic and increased revenue. Globally.
How did you like May Thawdar Oo’s blog post “Lost in Translation? 6 Top Tips for Quality iGaming Content Translation”? Let us know in the comments if you have anything to add, have another content idea for iGaming blog posts, or just want to say “hello.” 🙂