Today’s global marketplace means that firms must create localized web content, product information, packaging, and so on, that is available in multiple languages.
Digital products such as, Apps or customer service software, must also be localized so that formats for currencies, language, weights and measures, date and time, or even numbers are all available to the end user in a way that is familiar and accessible to them.
Regardless of what type of business you operate, what you’re selling, or where you are based, the chances are you’ll need to localize at some point if you are planning to market overseas.
Localization goes beyond translation – it uses local standards for language, culture, legal requirements, and design concepts, so that individual target audiences feel it has been specifically created with them in mind.
It has the power to boost your sales, expand your market reach, generate brand awareness and improve customer satisfaction.
So now you know why you need localization, but how do you actually set about achieving a successful localization project?
Read our step-by-step guide below and you’ll find out…
1. Professional Localization
Professional localization offers high accuracy, quality assurance and a sophisticated final product.
If you are aiming to create a multilingual project that will be suitable for many different languages and locations then it is definitely worth talking to a professional Language Services Provider (LSP) who can advise you on all aspects of the localization process.
They can help with the following points:
• Selecting the right language/dialect for the region(s) you are targeting
• Linguistic accuracy
• Use of images and colour
• Design aspects
• Font selection
• Legal requirements
• Search Engine Optimization, linked keywords and country specific preferences
• Creation of multilingual Apps
• Product packaging translation, video localization, software localization, and more.
There are ways to help your chosen LSP, ensuring that your project progresses smoothly and some decisions that need to be made before localization commences. These are outlined below and create the step-by-step guide to localization.
2. Select your Language/Region
If you already have a clear idea of where you plan to market your product or service, that’s great. If not, it is worth giving this some serious consideration before engaging a LSP to help.
Think through questions such as:
• Where are my competitors successful?
• Is there demand for my product/service?
• Are there any links to the region that already exist? For example, do you have suppliers in the region?
• Does market research support your choice?
• Are there any major legal implications?
Once these questions have been answered, and you are happy with the results of your independent research, consider which localization provider is best placed to help your project succeed by selecting one that deals primarily with the language/region you plan to target.
3. Assess the Scope of your Localization Project
Expanding internationally can be a costly venture overall so understanding your priorities for the localization part of the project will ensure you make the right choices during the process.
For example, will it be necessary to translate and localise all your existing marketing materials (from your national marketing) or would it be more cost effective to use local copywriters to create a new materials?
Consider the extent of your localization requirements for areas such as:
• Product packaging and labels
• Customer service software
• Staff/employee training
• Brand (logo, taglines, images)
• Social media
This list isn’t comprehensive, each industry has varying needs, so select your requirements based on your business.
4. Localization Time Scale and Planning
Early planning for your localization project will give the best results.
Establish a schedule for each element, within an overall timeline for your overseas operation, and check with your LSP that it is realistic.
A professional language services provider will know how long marketing translation takes, if there are any specific legal obligations that may affect the project, or what quality checks will need performing before launching your localized website.
5. Localization and Translation Glossary
You know your business better than anyone which means you will also know what technical terminology is frequently used, which industry abbreviations, slogans, product ingredients, or standard terms are commonly required by your firm and from this knowledge you can create a glossary for your LSP which will become an important resource for this, and future, translation or localization projects.
This glossary can be used time and again which will ensure parity and accuracy throughout the localization process.
6. Localization Documents
Give your LSP as much information as you can and send all supporting documents as early as possible.
Items such as, company logos, ingredient lists, product images, style guides, glossaries, and so on, should be forwarded to your LSP at the earliest opportunity.
This gives them a chance to go over the documents in advance and check any disparities or resolve any issues.
Your localized project should be a huge asset to your business, so selecting the best language services provider to partner with is important.
If you would like to speak to one of the experts at Creative Word about your project please call +44 (0)20 8408 2268, or contact us here.
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