Sunday, March 29, 2009

¿Quién es Ratón Pérez?

This is my five-year-old nephew, Aaron, who just lost two teeth--one before this pic, and then another right after! Why is this important to you?

Because say you're a dentist, or in any business at all, and you want to use the concept of "the tooth fairy" in your marketing to Latinos. In many countries, such as Venezuela, Bolivia and Spain, that isn't translated at all, but it's Ratón Pérez (Perez Mouse!) who brings kids money when they lose their baby teeth. He's not a fairy at all!

This is an example of when Internet translations/non-language professionals/non-native Spanish speakers can fail miserably.

Understand your target. To whom is your message directed? If it's to folks in Colombia, a direct translation in this particular case may work. But if it's to the general U.S. Hispanic population, you might try another tactic since different concepts are used in different Latin American countries and Spain.

In any case, as a multicultural/multilanguage marketer you must either be familiar with the dialect and culture of the people you're looking to embrace, or consult with someone who is.

Aaron now has two bucks in his piggy bank. Not bad!

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