Queen’s Enlgish or American English?

Question

When developing a global strategy that focuses on English speaking markets worldwide, which English do you use for your web site, paperwork, documentation, and sales literature? What do you do when also targeting markets such as Portugal, Brazil and African countries whose main language is Portuguese? There are distinct differences. Any suggestions?

Answer

Sorry for the typo. No way of fixing it at this time…

Answer

Hi Jeanne-Elise,

Speaking for the United States market, we always recommend that companies translate their marketing materials into American English, to use imperial measurements rather than metric measurements (except for scientific products), and to have their literature and website checked for US spelling changes, grammar, and nuances.

For companies that rely on their websites, we suggest that they develop US websites (.com rather than .co.uk) with US pricing and shipping terms if appropriate.

Additionally, in the US, company literature is generally produced in 8.5-inch by 11-inch format, so we urge UK companies pursuing the US market to consider producing marketing literature in this size (rather than A4), so it will fit into US files.

Best regards,
Brittany Banta
researchusa@fco.gov.uk

Answer

Hi Jeanne-Elise

I’ve produced collateral for global markets for over almost 25 years, and the solution that has always satisfied the needs of all (apart from those in the UK) is American English, which is what Brittany has suggested in her earlier answer.

One more suggestion regarding printed collateral. Again, I have always done this for companies or clients who understand the issue. Print all documentation in ‘Mid-Atlantic size’. Mid-Atlantic refers to a sheet size that can be inserted in both C4 and American Quarto envelopes, allowing the same piece to be used in Europe and the USA. It is therefore cut in both directions to the maximum size for either envelope, which is 279mm x 210mm.

Hope this helps.

Nitin Dahad

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