Brazil is a huge market with plenty of potential for international companies, but do not just request for Portuguese localization. It has to be Brazilian Portuguese localization. Although Brazil is in Latin America, where Spanish is traditionally spoken, Brazil is the only country in the region that speaks Portuguese.
Marketers and international companies should be very careful to specify that they require Brazilian Portuguese when buying translation and localization because the Portuguese used in Brazil is different from the Portuguese language spoken in Europe.
Brazilian Portuguese is Brazil’s official language and the only one used in media, in schools, administration and business. The language gives the country its distinct culture, differentiating its people from the rest of the South American nations.
It developed differently from the Portuguese language used in Europe, due to the influences from African languages, Native American languages as well as Italian. The Portuguese spoken in Portugal was heavily influenced by the French.
The Brazilian market is very attractive to multinational companies. In terms of nominal GDP, it is the 8th largest in the world. It is ranked similarly in terms of purchasing power parity or PPP. The economy of Brazil is the second largest in the Western Hemisphere and the largest in Latin America.
Brazil is the largest coffee producer in the world and the World Bank classifies it as an upper-middle income economy. It’s a newly industrial country and analysts say it is on the road to becoming a superpower, as it is already an emerging global power right now. It is the right time to explore this exciting market.
The economy of Brazil is dynamic and it takes an aggressive company to fully realize and utilize its huge potential. For companies who want to enter the Brazilian market, it’s important to focus on how to localize you website and business.
Many things should be considered before you attempt to localize your business for the Brazilian market, as its unique culture and language present a variety of challenges.
Brazil’s cultural uniqueness
Despite its economic ups and downs, Brazil is still a very lucrative market to explore. It is home to 208 million people with over one-fourth of the population under the age of 29.
Developing business relationships with Brazilian companies is also different, as they prefer to deal with individuals rather than company to company. Brazilians are typically tactile and affectionate but require decorum for formal occasions. They place high value on personal contact, so establishing connections and networks could require several visits and meetings.
Brazilian consumers generally buy on impulse and prefer to use traditional methods when making a purchase. They do not care that much for e-commerce despite being updated in technology. They tend to pay in cash instead of using debit and credit cards. Exploring the market means being prepared to deal with physical money. But as the market continues to evolve, it is also important to consider the other forms of payment and payment methods for the localization project.
It is critical to consider the official language of Brazil for communication. Even if you do not need to learn the language, you have to ensure that you use Brazilian Portuguese for all communication. Have your documents translated into the language and prepare to localize your website, as this means that you carefully consider their culture as you get involved in the local economy.
You also have to consider their sense of humor. They love to make fun of each other for a good laugh, which can be puzzling to foreigners. Most of the time it is not serious as Brazilians are generally comfortable in expressing their feelings.
Preparing to localize
It is very important to tell your language services provider (LSP) that will do the localization project that the localization is for Brazil therefore Brazilian Portuguese is to be used instead of European Portuguese. Although there are similarities between the two, there are more differences.
English is also spoken in Brazil and it is possible for many Brazilian cyber citizens to understand your English language website. But there is more appeal in having the site localized and available in the language of the market you are targeting, as it is a means to reach more target audiences, have a fair standing with competition and get your site immersed in the local culture. Considering the ranking on search pages. It is likewise important to have a Brazilian domain or URL.
While phone numbers and emails are important, Brazilians companies still like to have face-to-face contacts and adding Skype contact numbers to your contact details increases your chances of attracting more business partners.
Advertising is important so you should consider transcreation. One thing to keep in mind is that innate sense of humor of the Brazilians. If you can afford it, it is better to use local advertising companies in the country, so your ad campaigns will truly have a local flavor.
Find an LSP with enough experience localizing for the Brazilian market to ensure that you are getting your money’s worth. Localization is a huge investment that requires careful planning. It pays to have a close relationship with your LSP starting from the planning stage of the localization project.
Your LSP can help you with the cultural and linguistic nuances. Your research should tell you the preferences of your target demographics. It is also critical to consider changing the name of your product or service so it does not appear too English sounding. Always keep in mind that localization in nor only about making yourself understood but about allowing your target audience to feel comfortable and at home.
Critical things to consider when localizing for the Brazilian market
Companies going global should not be swayed when someone says that you need internationalization to prepare for the Brazilian market. Internationalization is a translation process that prepares your products, services and websites for localization.
1. Accented words
Localization means being aware that accented characters exist in Brazilian Portuguese. It may be difficult to use them when chatting on social media sites but it is important to Brazilians when it comes to websites and other written documents. You want to ensure that your product appears trustworthy to your Brazilian audience by making sure that the proper accents are consistently used.
2. Length of texts
It is important to consider that Portuguese words are often longer than English words and at times beat the German language in word lengths. For example, job opportunities translate to ‘oportunidades de trabalho’ so you have to ensure that you content is written to accommodate contraction and expansion in the target language.
3. Hour and date format
In English, the date format is MM/DD/YYYY. In Brazilian Portuguese, it is DD/MM/YYYY. It this is not followed it could create confusion and errors in the reading of the day and month. It could be disastrous for products with expiration dates or even for expected product delivery dates. Another format that is common in the country is (day) de (month) de (year), for example 16 de Julho de 2018.
Brazilians are not familiar with AM and PM and prefer the 24-hour format.
4. Units of measure
Brazilians use kilometer, meter, centimeter and millimeter for length. Mass or weight is measure in grams and kilograms and electricity is measured in amperes, watts and volts. They use milliliter and liter for volume, degrees Celsius for temperature and kilometer per hour for speed.
5. Currency format
The Brazilian currency is called Brazilian Real (BRL). They adapt the European way of currency format, which means using periods as thousands separators and commas instead of decimal points. In English, you write $ 2,000.50 for example. In Brazilian Portuguese, you will use R$2.000,50 and in smaller amount, you’ll only see commas, such as R$14,50.
6. Address format
There are 27 states or Federative Units in Brazil and this is a mandatory field when writing addresses. When you are including a form on your site this field comes after the City Field. Another field that should not be missed is the CEP field, which is equivalent to the ZIP Code field in English. The code is longer, typically five numbers, a dash and another three numbers.
Localization is a huge undertaking and you should get it right the first time. You can ensure that you’ll have accurate localization when you partner with Day Translations, Inc. We have a full suite of language services to fit every translation need and budget. Our translators are all native speakers and we have teams of subject matter experts so you can specify your requirements.
We fully understand the linguistic differences in Brazilian Portuguese, the Portuguese spoken in Portugal and Portuguese language spoken in Mozambique and Angola. Ensure the success of your business in Brazil by ordering your localization request from Day Translations. We are open 24/7, every day of the year to serve you better. You can easily get in touch with us by calling 1-800-969-6853 or sending us an email at Contact us.
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