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Copywriting for the Non-English-Speaking Audience

The power of the Internet lies in its global pervasiveness. It is practically everywhere. People of all languages access the Net from all over the globe. Just think of it as an infinite vastness for your business and marketing possibilities. Your marketing potential is directly proportional to the number of people who can understand your message.

Keep the following points in your mind while writing the copy for a non-English-speaking audience:


Keep your sentences short. Keep the language simple. Don't use phrases that depend on the previous knowledge of English, such as "leapfrogging".


Heavy or slangish words intimidate people who do not speak much English. If the language becomes hard to understand, it draws the attention away from the intended message. Use words that are very common and require no endeavor on the part of the reader. But don't use them in a way that people who have sufficient knowledge of English end up feeling offended. Be simple, sound natural, but do not condescend.


Regional nuances play an important part in brand awareness. Try to stir up feelings intrinsic to the local populace. For instance, if you are preparing a copy for the Chinese audience, use some Chinese anecdote while explaining something. I remember when Pepsi came to India they tried to associate themselves with many local products and occasions. Most of their products couldn't compete with the local brands (with the exception of the soft-drink), but the localization surely helped. The same happens with your copy.


Our unique culture gives us our roots. It is sacred to us, it gives us a sense of belonging, and it always invokes strong feelings. Use it. Make your copy as familiar sounding as possible. A person reading your copy in France probably wouldn't understand if you write, "Howdy, buddy!"

If you have to use names, use the local names. If you have to talk about some city, talk about some local or national city. If you have to mention an animal, mention an indigenous animal. If you are demonstrating an emotion, demonstrate it in a local manner.


It may not sound apparent at the outset, but the more you know about the target-audience you are preparing your copy for, the more confident you feel while writing for it. You may never use most the information you gather, but it helps you in the long run, and you develop a good habit.

Read about them. Read about what they eat, how they greet, what they wear, what they avoid, what are their social values and their religious beliefs. Eventually you'll discover you are talking exactly what they want to hear.

About the Author

Amrit Hallan is a freelance copywriter, copy editor and a writer.
He also optimizes web page content for higher Search Engine
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