The global sports betting industry reached a market value of $231 billion in 2022 as one of the world’s fastest-growing industries. Online gambling has opened up huge opportunities for brands but managing a sports book across multiple languages is challenging. In this article, we discuss why accuracy is so important in sports book translation and why you can’t rely on direct translation to get your message across.
Accuracy is important in any translation project but managing a multilingual sports book raises some unique challenges. This is because it is more than just simply translating a user manual from one language to another. It is about operating in one of the most highly regulated industries in the world and targeting some of the most passionate target audiences at the same time.
Here are some of the biggest challenges companies will most likely face with sports book translation:
- Sport is highly emotional and translation needs to capture the right trigger words for each language.
- Betting is highly emotional as well, which means betting brands have to craft the perfect message for every language audience.
- Sport is embedded in culture and fans heavily identify with their teams, athletes and national identities.
- Sport culture varies across markets and you may need to adapt your messaging slightly to cater for these differences.
- Sport lexicon varies across languages so direct translation often fails to accurately capture the spirit of the intended meaning and inspire the intended emotion required.
- Betting regulations vary across markets, including what can and cannot be said in marketing messages.
- Direct translation may not be enough to convert a sports book into every language so a more advanced set of language services might be required, including localisation, transcreation and more.
With many translation projects, accuracy is simply a question of matching the language in the source content with the closest equivalent possible in each target language. However, the complications listed above mean this approach often fails with sports book translation. Instead of simply matching the original message as accurately as possible, it is important to ensure that each translation meets the needs of every language audience with 100% accuracy – even if this means adapting or changing the original message.
In some cases, this will involve adapting a message to adhere to local regulations, such as advertising and marketing rules in specific markets. In others, there might be the need to adapt a message for the more cultural and emotional aspects listed above.
As discussed in the previous section, translation alone normally isn’t enough to create a multilingual sports book. The first additional services that need to be considered are localisation, which adapts websites for translation (code, layouts, UI design, etc.), and adapting non-language elements for each audience.
An important example of this is the language selection interface that integrates into a website. Users should always have the ability to change languages in case the default language does not match their native tongue, location or if they simply visit the wrong URL or select the wrong language by mistake.
On these interfaces, the difference between language, nationality and location needs to be taken into account. For example, Spanish is spoken across many countries so the use of a Spanish flag to symbolise the entire Spanish language should be avoided in general.
Beyond language selection, localisation will adapt key aspects of marketing messages. For example, the best approach is to localise the homepage of each language version to showcase the most popular sports for each audience and the upcoming events that are most important across each market.
Taking things further, localising blog content, e-mails, special deals and other marketing messages to reflect the interests of each target audience is also highly recommended.
This article aims to illustrate how language accuracy alone is not enough to successfully translate a sports book website. The intent of each audience needs to be matched with perfect accuracy in sports companies’ messaging, as well as getting every detail spot on – down to the symbols used to indicate languages, locations and currencies.
To get your sports book translation strategy to reach this level of accuracy, get in touch with our Jackpot Translation consultants. Jackpot Translation is the gaming-specific brand of translate plus.