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How to Prepare Your Ad or Listing for Foreign Markets (Translation and Localization)
August 01, 2022

Hi Everyone,

How to Prepare Your Ad or Listing for Foreign Markets (Translation and Localization)

In a couple of the last newsletters we've talked about the right online places for your property-for-sale international advertising, and let's say you've found one or two or more real estate portals in the country or countries suitable for your successful sale the best way.

Just watch at how these websites manage translations into the languages of their visitors, and run away from those portals that use machine or automatic translation (machine translations are poisoning for your marketing as sometimes they may sound misleading, funny, hard to understand or even offensive in the foreign languages - machines are not humans!)

Here's a little example: I've copied a short part of a condo-for-sale English description in Hallandale, Florida, just North of Miami (it's the East Coast!), and at first run it through an automatic online translator into Russian and then again through another translator back into English (for you to be able to read) - see the difference in what I've got afterwards!

Original: "Charming first floor unit with view of beautiful landscape and pool. 2/2 Co-op. Gated Co-op, owns the land and private lot on the Intracoastal Bay. Across newly updated park."

Automatically translated: "Charming room on the ground floor with a view of the beautiful landscape and the pool. 2/2 Cooperative. Closed cooperative, owns the land and a private plot on the Gulf Coast (but it's the West Coast!). Through the newly renovated park." (Apart of other discrepancies and strange things, how come that the condo has "moved" from one coast of Florida to the opposite one??? For an automat it doesn't matter... but how about your potential buyer???)

If the websites you've chosen, claim using human translators, then try to check their published property descriptions by asking a native speaker of this foreign language to evaluate the quality of the texts if possible. You have to know that the portals really employing human translators cannot be cheap.

Some foreign real estate portals would leave the translation up to you, and this is the best solution, as you are in control of how your description looks like in the foreign language (choosing the proper translator is very important!)

The best translator for your property-for-sale marketing in a foreign language/country would be bilingual and bicultural between your language/country and the language/country of your target buyers' market. The additional requirement would be the translator's extensive knowledge of real estate industry and terminology in both languages.

If you ever need help with English and Russian, please email me.

To your best business success,


Olga Kellen,
"Anything Russian",
English - Russian Translator,
Associate member of ATA,
Author of the e-books for realtors and property sellers
Selling to Russians

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