Taking your business into a global marketplace is a big commitment; knowing where to start, how to connect with new audiences, or how to overcome language barriers, all start with an effective localization strategy.
What is Localization?
Localization (or LN10, as it is also known) is the process of adapting content, a service, or product to fit with a specific market.
It is an advanced form of language translation which considers cultural aspects, regional dialects, local currency, and so on, adapting them to fit with new markets and audiences depending upon the people, place and language.
The following tips will help set you on the road to a successful localization strategy.
1. Comprehend the Culture
Top of the list (for good reason) is gaining a sound, and well-informed, understanding of the culture linked to your new market.
Consider aspects such as:
• Local dialect
• Culturally accepted norms
• Local customs/traditions
• Financial standards/expectations linked to pricing of goods or services
• Laws and regulations (affecting not only your business but the dominant culture)
• Employment differences
• Popular marketing methods
• Search Engine Optimization (it isn’t always Google!)
Once you have a clear understanding of the requirements for your chosen region you can then work towards creating a positive brand presence that fits into the market as if it was created for it originally.
Don’t be afraid to consider altering aspects of your brand that may have been popular with your home market as, chances are, it won’t fit a new market without some tweaking.
Even factors such as, colour, font and taglines don’t always translate well in other markets, so changes should be expected.
2. Understand the Translation and Localization Process
You don’t need to be a complete expert on translation and localization, but understanding the processes involved, how you can help the project, what will be required, and what to expect as the project progresses, will give you a chance to be better prepared.
A translation and localization project completed by professional language services provider will require you to have clear concepts regarding the following points:
• Scale and scope of your project (including timescale, budget and languages)
• Relevant files ready for translation/localization
• Existing content and Images for consistency and review
• Glossary of terms (especially industry linked or technical in nature) and style guides
• Brand guide including taglines, visions, packaging, and so on
Once these factors have been finalised you are ready for the translation and localization process to begin.
Working with a professional language service provider should give you access to a project manager who can oversea your requirements and liaise with you about any queries as they occur.
Your project manager should have a clear grasp of your expectations and will help you achieve your aims.
3. Choose Content
If you are on a tight budget for your translation and localization project it is worth considering what content requires localization and what your priorities are regarding other aspects such as marketing, packaging, and customer facing services.
For example, if you are working on a multilingual project which includes website localization and translation, is it necessary to localize customer service and sales as these are intimately linked to the website?
If so, plan for this in your budget and consider what supporting documentation and evidence your translation provider will require so that it is readily available.
4. Pick the Perfect Provider to Partner
Choosing the right Language Service Provider (LSP) to partner on your project is a must.
Look for a LSP that has experience in the language(s) you require, who can show evidence of previous work, offers client testimonials, and is happy to answer all your questions about the processes involved.
A professional LSP should give you a detailed plan for your localization project which should include price, timescales and priorities.
A professional LSP should:
• Use native-speaking linguists and translators
• Have experience in your industry/sector (especially if it is a highly technical field)
• Have cultural competence and expertise with your chosen region/languages
• Be competitively priced
• Use technology such as, translation memory software, translation glossaries, and computer-aided translation tools to help with speed, consistency and cost
• Quality standards verified (ISO 9001 accredited for project management)
• Offers editing, proofreading and quality checks before release
Your chosen LSP may be your partner for years to come, on multiple projects, so taking the time to find one that is the right fit for your business and requirements is worth the time and effort.
If you would like to find out how the Creative Word team can help with your translation and localization project, please contact us here.
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