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Business translation services and Popdance

How business translation services and localisation helped a dance company expand into global markets.

Rolling out an established brand in new countries needs careful planning, so Popdance’s founder and chief leg warmer-wearer Sue Wybrow contacted Atlas for some cultural and localisation advice.

Popdance teach adults, teens, children and tots, fun dance routines to pop music from the 80s, 90s, 00s and current tracks. A chance to let your hair down, get active, and have some fun.

The original brand has expanded to include Popdance Fit,  Popdance Kids, and Popdance Parties, among others. And it looks like they’ll be going worldwide.

“When I first contacted Atlas Translations, I thought we’d just translate the whole website into all the languages needed. Atlas recommended that we look carefully to see exactly which pages we needed, and to bear in mind that we may want to re-write it a bit so that it is more “local” – what Atlas calls localisation – so that the reader in Hong Kong or whichever country sees text that is meaningful for them.”


We recommended only translating small, key sections of the English website in order to keep costs down and ensure that the content could be controlled and updated more easily.

We also suggested it would be a good idea to complete some research into the cultural context of target markets, to find out what life is like for children in these countries. Key questions that needed to be answered included: Is there a similar or comparable kids’ party culture? Do children do after school clubs? Are there organisations like Brownies, Beavers and Scouts?

We were delighted to help Sue with her plans for Popdance world domination!

These are some of the things we will consider when localising any texts:

  • Spelling, eg. American/Australian English versus UK English
  • Meaningful cultural references; what works well in the UK may need a different reference for another country
  • Colloquialisms and idioms, which may have different translations in other languages
  • Cultural and social differences of individual countries that use the same language, e.g. European versus Latin American Spanish
  • Units of measurement, weight, currency, and date formats will be converted to those used in the country involved
  • Pictorial representations, icons, symbols and colours that may have different connotations in your target country
  • Relevant photos – any market likes to see photos of people like them

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