IIE Networker - Spring 2008 - (Page 42)
Knowledge Network Translation Translating your Message to Students By Peggy J. Printz What if you knew of a way to attract and keep the attention of prospective students? A marketing approach that would interest their parents and show respect for them and their culture? A technique that statistics show improves both the quality and quantity of your international inquiries? And what if you constantly found excuses for not using this recruitment tool? You may be experiencing this paradoxical situation right now, and you’re not even aware it’s happening. This effective outreach method is translation: translating your message into the native languages of your target markets. Why We Resist Translating It is quite understandable that you are reluctant to try translation. You may believe translation indicates that you welcome entr y-level applicants who don’t speak English. You may fear that if you promote your program in another language, students will inquire in that language. This would not only be inconvenient, it would be expensive – and, if you can’t answer them in their own language, embarrassing. You can solve this problem by indicating, “Please respond in English” and by requesting only simple information such as name, age and e-mail. You may also balk at the cost and challenges of translation. True, you will have to spend money to translate. Moreover, you may have to ﬁnd or hire someone to use other alphabets or characters. If you include time-sensitive material, you will have to update it periodically. For material that will be placed on your website, it is essential to include HTML formatting in your translation budget as well. This is especially important with languages that use other characters and accents. You probably realize that scanning printed documents into a PDF is not as user-friendly as you would like. PDF ﬁles are generally read-only and don’t allow students to request information electronically. Finding someone who can translate and format for the internet is a challenge, but it’s worth the effort. Statistics Show Why We Should Translate Have you ever had to peruse a website in a language other than English or your native tongue? If your response is “yes,” then you probably realize how much more comfortable it is to read material in your own language. The international students you want to reach feel the same way! On the www.studyusa.com admissions/ recruitment website, schools with translations receive signiﬁcantly more responses from students than schools whose proﬁles are in English only: CLICKTHROUGHS * INQUIRIES * at least 1 translation 3 or more 5 or more 7 or more +121 percent +143 percent +238 percent +415 percent +38 percent +43 percent +66 percent +119 percent After translating “Request Info” form on StudyUSA.com Increase in Inquiries 200% 165% 130% 95% 60% Japan Taiwan Korea Mexico Country Standards Now you will determine which languages to target. Do you start with regions from which you currently attract students, or do you venture into new areas that seem promising? It’s probably wise to begin with major languages, where you are sure to reach a large volume of readers. Spanish, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Brazilian Portuguese, Arabic and so forth yield the most response. Your research may indicate that students who read Vietnamese, Russian, Indonesian and Turkish might be studying abroad in larger numbers than previously. These are current “growth markets.” Major European languages will rank lower on your list because students in these countries are more familiar with English and do not “expect” to ﬁnd material in Dutch, Norwegian and so forth. Still, you may ﬁnd that French, German and even Italian offer conduits to a smaller but enthusiastic applicant pool. Moreover, educated families in developing countries may be inclined to read your information in these languages if they have studied, traveled or *Clickthroughs are visits from a school’s profile to its own site; inquiries are e-mails received directly via your profile on a recruiting site. Schools with foreign-language translation don’t just get more responses, though; they get a better quality of responses. On the same site, schools with Japanese translation get 410 percent more inquiries from Japan (than schools without Japanese translation), schools with Portuguese translation get 301 percent more inquiries from Brazil, and schools with Korean translation get 135 percent more inquiries from Korea. Having translated text also gives you a distinct advantage on foreign-language search engines, which is what your prospective students are probably using.
Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of IIE Networker - Spring 2008
IIE Networker - Spring 2008
Message from Allan E. Goodman
Up Front: The International Education Diary
Best Practices in International Education: 2008 Andrew Heiskell Awards
IIENetworker University Presidents Interview Series A Conversation with President M. W. Scogggins, Colorado School of Mines
Measuring Return on Investment in International Student Recruitment
Making Partnerships Work
The Browser: Index of Advertisers
IIE Networker - Spring 2008
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