If you’re aiming to tap into the Portuguese market and you’ve been toying with the idea of having your fashion brand’s content translated into European Portuguese, you’ll have been doing the sums and trying to figure out if it’ll really be worth the investment.
Granted, as a professional Portuguese language expert, I’m hardly impartial, but I’m also the very best person to tell you all about exactly why translating your content into Portuguese could be the best thing you’ve ever done for your business.
- People are more likely to buy from you if you speak their language
Whilst some people like to hide behind English as the ‘international language’, when it comes to buying online, it’s been shown multiple times over that whether people can understand content in another language or not, they’re more likely to place their trust in a website that they can access in their native language. It’s basic psychology, but it rings true, and I’m sure we can all understand why.
In fact, according to a study by the European Commission, 43% of Europeans would only purchase something online if the website was in their native language. That means that websites that are left untranslated miss out on nearly half of potential customers!
- Only one-third of Portugal’s population speaks a foreign language
Never mind whether or not they’d feel comfortable buying from a website in another language, two-thirds of the population only speak Portuguese, and so can only be reached through content translated for and tailored to them.
- Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language on the internet
This may come as a surprise to some, but Portuguese is the fifth most spoken language on the internet, coming in just behind Arabic, and also beaten by Spanish, Chinese and, of course, English.
Interestingly, it far outstrips its fellow European languages, French and German, partly due to the huge population of one of the countries that Portugal shares a language with, Brazil.
- Portugal is up and coming in the world of high fashion
Textiles and clothing have long been a cornerstone of the Portuguese economy, but for much of the 20th century, the dictatorship it was ruled by meant Portugal wasn’t able to make a name for itself on the world stage.
These days, however, the country has shaken off the constraints of the past and has started to make a name for itself on the catwalks, producing some top talent. Vogue Portugal was relaunched in 2017, and ‘Moda Lisboa’, Lisbon’s answer to Fashion Week, is ever-more influential.
The Portuguese themselves have always prided themselves on their sense of style, so any brand that wants to commit to expanding into the Portuguese market will find an eager public awaiting them.
- The Portuguese economy is growing
Companies have long been a little reluctant to invest in Portugal, with good reason, as the country has experienced some very tricky periods in recent decades. In 2019, however, Portugal’s economy is on the up, and unemployment is falling, and has been doing so consistently for several consecutive years.
That means it’s a great time to reach out to the country’s residents, who have increasing disposable income, and are keen to spend it with brands who make the effort to interact with them in their language.
- It’s the law
Essentially, if you want to sell your products to the Portuguese market, there are laws in force that require any documentation related to use, guarantees and security translated into Portuguese.
It’s all part of consumer protection, so if you’re going to be selling In Portugal then it’s best to have everything translated, lock stock and barrel, to avoid any complicated situations, and even potential legal cases.
- It’s a small, but powerful market
Although Portugal’s population is only just over 10 million people, which may seem small, especially compared to the over 200 million Brazilians, time and time again brands have come to realise that Portugal should be ignored at their peril.
Giants such as Microsoft and Vodafone can attest to the importance of creating content specifically tailored to Portugal, rather than in Brazilian Portuguese, which is a very different thing.
If you have your fashion content translated into Brazilian Portuguese with the aim of targeting Brazil, that’s wonderful, but if you’re aiming to keep things in Europe and have Portugal in your sights then don’t be fooled by thinking that one thing is much the same as the other.
It might be hard for speakers of other languages to understand this, as, for example, the difference between American and UK English aren’t quite as obvious. For natives of Portugal, however, Brazilian Portuguese is to all intents and purposes a foreign language. They might understand it, but content written with Brazilians in mind would be viewed with as much distrust as content written in English or Spanish.
Portugal may be comparatively small compared to Brazil or its European neighbours, but it sure is mighty, and if your fashion brand translates its content into Portuguese it’s an investment that will pay dividends.