Localization and Translation the Zen Way
Localization is not just translation
The first thing to understand is that localization is more complicated process than a simple translation. Localization services are very popular and are provided by many individuals, agencies or even by software!
When you have a project that needs to be translated into many target languages in the shortest possible time, you need someone who will help you to avoid possible pitfalls.
As a project manager for these kinds of tasks, you must be equipped with a basic knowledge of the process and how it works, dependent on the language. It is important to adapt it to the functional, linguistic, and cultural requirements of the target market.
For the resulting product to be genuine and perceived as original and native, it must involve a real cultural understanding of the potential clients, whether you are trying to reach Portuguese speakers in Portugal, Brazil or Mozambique. So we are talking about more than just a translation.
Our project managers work with a variety of specialists all over the world, ensuring a high-quality final product and localized entities that can be understood wherever your potential customer may be located.
So this is the point at which you have arrived – you know how challenging it is, and you are dreading any complications that may occur. You are looking for a way to internationalize your product: be it your website, software, game or anything else.
Let's discuss how to make your product Localized VS LOCAlized :
Companies are often unaware of the localization process: what it involves, how much it costs, how long it takes...
Centralize your translation
If you are planning to launch your product in multiple countries simultaneously, make sure to centralize it as much as possible in order to save energy and resources. Don't pay again for words that you have already paid for.
Prioritize your content; not all of your content needs to be translated. The key elements are usually:
• marketing and legal materials
• user and support documentation
• user interface
For example, a simple board near a restaurant in Spain aimed at tourists from the USA may have a sign: "Real Spanish wine". At the same time, at a restaurant for Spanish locals the same board could advertise "Red wines from Rioja".
Your particular project might contain some other important parts, but the idea is to stagger your translation expenditures and test the market without unnecessary burnouts for yourself or your localization team.
When you decide to enter new markets it is important to set priorities and to pick languages carefully. Localization is a gradual process and it makes sense to divide it into several stages.
Don't add rare languages too quickly; usually they are more expensive and a little harder to work with, although they can be a part of your global strategy.
The numbers show that you will need:
11 extra languages in order to access to 88.7% of the total online GDP.
If you are after 95% GDP, you will need 21 languages.
For 98% you will need 35 languages.
And if you are pursuing 99%, you will need 48 languages.
That means 13 additional languages for the final 1%.
So when first operating in a new market that uses a longer-tail language, sometimes immediate translation is unnecessary. It could be enough simply to offer a better payment option that is more convenient in that particular region, or some other option that will make your product more easily available.
There are a few things to bear in mind regarding website localization:
You must define the core content for all the markets you have chosen, and the content that is going to be specific to each location. Localization of these two types of content will have a different workflow.
If necessary, change the structure before translation, as this can cause major localization problems when it comes to linking, references, updating information and so on.
It seems like a lot of effort, but according to one of the biggest global providers of market intelligence, up to four times as many people are willing to make a purchase from a website that communicates in their own language than their non-localized friends.
The latest research also shows that the English language gives you access to 36.5% of the potential 54.9 trillion US dollars of the online economy, so for global businesses, the localization process is essential.