Translation in Politics: Romney and Obama Focus On Securing The Latino Vote

For those who don’t know, 2012 is an election year in United Sates and soon U.S. citizens will decide if President Obama should serve 4 more years as president, or if his challenger, Mitt Romney should be the next president.   According to recent polls, the election will be extremely close with most polls showing Americans being equally split.  As a result, both the Obama and Romney campaigns are battling for Latino voters with millions being spent with Baltimore Translation Services firms to translate fliers and other materials into Spanish.

The reason that the Latino vote is so critical is because it currently represents 8.7 percent of the electorate.  In 2000 and 2004, George W. Bush’s ability to secure up to 40 percent of the Latino vote helped fuel his victories.  In a similar way, Senator Barack Obama’s ability to secure a large portion of the Latino vote helped him win the electorates in several critical states that included Colorado, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico and Virginia.

In the past, most campaigns relied on agencies such as the Denver Spanish Translation Services company to help translate their advertising and other literature from English to Spanish.  But this year, many translation and localization firms insist that the candidates will need to develop targeted strategies to capture the votes of Latino vote citizens if they need to win in November 2012.  Furthermore, the states most important to the two campaigns include Arizona, California, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. In addition, Latinos will have a role in affecting the statewide outcome in several swing states including Colorado, New Mexico and Florida.

For the upcoming election, most political strategists believe that Obama will need more than 60 percent of the Latino vote to win reelection and Mitt Romney will need 40 percent of the Latino vote to be elected.  The successful candidate will understand that the Latino vote is not a single bloc.  In addition, the candidate will personally campaign in those areas and learn about their concerns and priorities.  Most strategists agree that candidates fail when they treat Latinos as a single voter block and that simple English to Spanish translation of campaign advertisements will suffice.

Translators Warn About Overdoing Localization

Though the benefits of embracing and developing a localization strategy to a foreign lifestyle are clear, it can be overdone. A firm should realize that there are actually boundaries that a localization strategy should not step outside in order to accommodate a foreign market.

Base on the opinions of a few some Chicago Russian Translation professionals in localization organizations, there are good reasons to avoid localization tactics all together. For one thing, it is imperative that you recognize that when a country is prepared for change, an alternative way of life could very well be desirable. This is easiest to see in the formerly Soviet Union. Russians want real Americans, not tailored editions. They can undertake the adaptation on their own and count on the “genuine thing.” The politically ordered adjustments in these countries have worn away the old norms and have established new ways. Here, seeking to conform will be an error, because the market wants a product from a profitable international culture. Thus, it is important that the strategic planning team manager to understand the historical and human perspective in which the organization’s promotional transactions are taking place.

Yet Houston French Translation workers suggest that in many cases, localization and adaptation strategies for other cultures can easily seem shallow and lack substance and sincerity. Essentially, it creates the same effect as flattery, by being vulnerable to misinterpretation and suspicion. Conversely, a business that wants to be successful in foreign must present a genuine appearance. Yet, companies that become too concerned with localization can often find it hard to be transparent, trustworthy, and spontaneous. For these companies, it becomes simple lose their bearings.

In the long run, adaptation to the customer’s culture, while a fine touch, should never interfere with the innate merits of the proposition. The thought that one should let personal likes and dislikes influence a business partnership, so popular in the very first discussions of European, Japanese, and even American trade, has been deemed inefficient in the open competition in international markets.