Don’t Let your Message Get Lost in Translation – Key Insights on Localization
Successful communication between people is a delicate and quite complex process. Not only does it require some charisma, but a balanced level of empathy as well. What do I mean exactly when saying “successful communication?” In terms of marketing, it really boils down to one key point: to encourage the recipient of your message to answer positively to it, e.g. buy the product you’re offering them. Getting a positive response from consumers from your own language and cultural background may be relatively easy, but what about going global?
How will you present your offer to potential clients from other countries in an appealing way? After you’ve created the foundation – e.g. the product plus the marketing content – and you want to expand your business’ market range, there are a number of points you want to check on your list. That’s where the localization team comes in.
No, I’m Not a Construction Worker
(though being a crane operator would be kind of cool.)
When asked about my job, I always follow the same pattern. First, I say that I work in a (content managers, IT, etc.) Why? The more information your linguists have, the fewer corrections will be necessary for your project to be successful. There’s one more thing: encourage those in your vicinity to work on the same software, if possible. Nowadays, there is plenty of software that supports the same file extensions, however it often happens that different programs have difficulties (ergo: you have difficulties) when working with or even opening those files. That is why I advise you to specify what kind of software your coworkers and subcontractors are to work with, be that software for website contents, newsletters, or digital product brochures. Speaking of extensions…
Rule 4: Cats Are Localization’s Best Friends
Not to be confused with the domestic cat or construction machinery! CATs (computer-assisted translation programs) are the most amazing software that have ever appeared on the localization/translation market. In the past, one had to wait for nearly two months in order to have given content translated, reviewed, and tested. The texts for localization had to be either compiled and sent as packages (and I mean packages, literally) to linguists, or one had to employ translators and reviewers full-time in order to be sure everything is going smoothly. Nowadays, with the usage of CAT tools, the localization team can:
- prepare almost all file extensions for translation,
- be sure that the translation is consistent (thanks to technology used in CAT tools),
- receive files that are ready-to-use by you and/or your team,
- conduct tests or have the files proofread after the translation has been implemented.
Thanks to this advanced software one saves time, money, and effort, no matter if you’ve created an internal localization team or if you are outsourcing services.
Rule 5: Double- and Triple-Check
The better the quality of your work, the better the chances you’ll sell your product. That is why it is crucial to ensure the quality of the texts you are publishing. Having a given text reviewed by another linguist is one thing (so-called QA, quality assurance) – there is plenty of free software that makes a localization worker’s life easier, such as terminology management programs which allow one to check the coherence of translated texts without knowing the language in question. Also, after implementing a given text to, say, a website, you want it to be checked in terms of layout, since each language abides by its own rules.
To Sum Up…
As you may see now, presenting your product to a broader audience in a successful way requires a considerable amount of effort, especially in the beginning of the process. It may seem daunting as first, but it does pay off tenfold in the long run. As a company owner or a specialist in a given field, you may not have enough time to manage the process of going global in terms of language. There are, thankfully, people who are passionate specialists in the field of localization – an area of expertise that incorporates both the beauty of humanities and the thoroughness of exact sciences – and who would be happy to take some weight off your shoulders. Now with the basic know-how about what to do and what to expect, your business may be presented on the foreign markets in the best way possible.
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