Translation And Localization

Get closer to global customers with translation and localization

Did you have trouble understanding the text in any of the above languages? If yes, how long do you think you’d stay on this website if the entire website was offered only in that language? We’re guessing not very long. Now, imagine how your non-English-speaking customers feel when they happen to visit your English-only website? Not very welcome, of course. Despite the seeming prevalence of English, it’s just about a quarter of the world’s population that speaks English. For a company with truly global ambitions, it’d be a costly mistake to ignore the other three-fourth.Enter translation and localization, the enabler of global business. Translation and localization are all about eliminating the distance – cultural, social, linguistic – between your customers and your company. It enables access to new markets; in fact, it’s the law in some multilingual markets such as the European Union, because it’s recognized as a consumer right.

What is this service exactly?

Three reasons why translation and localization are critical to your business

Three reasons why translation and localization are critical to your business


What does translation and localization involve?

What does translation and localization involve?

Actually, there are more than three, but we have picked the critical ones:

Increase business reach with each language: Translation is a (comparatively) easy way of multiplying your customer base without having to come up with new products or marketing strategies. Basically, you take an existing asset – your content and website/app – and translate and localize it into other languages. So, you don’t have to start from scratch (except in cases where you need transcreation. More on that in the next section.) For instance, if you are selling in Asia, adding Simplified Chinese will let you take your product to China and make it instantaneously accessible to more than a billion people.

But it’s not always about selling overseas. Sometimes, even in your own country, there may be a fair-sized minority that predominantly speak a language other than that spoken by the majority of the population. Case in point: Hispanics in the US.

The other time when you would want to translate within a single country is of course when you are selling in a country like India. The country has 22 official languages and each language commands millions of speakers.

Provides a competitive edge: In this fast-paced word, where you are competing with many other companies who may be offering similar products and services, translation can become your differentiator. Again, this comes at a comparatively lower cost than having to spend on development to create new products. Even if your competitors have translated, you can try your hand at transcreated marketing (multilingual copywriting from scratch) and be sure to reap rich benefits.

It’s what customers want: In an oft-quoted study involving 10 countries, people said they want products and services to be in their language; and that they would not feel confident of buying them if they weren’t. It’s no rocket science: Is it not true for everyone that one would trust only what one understands? And, that one would not buy from a company that one does not trust? A Google study of Indian internet users a few years ago too came up with similar findings: 68% of the respondents [pdf] found local language digital content to be more reliable than that in English.

There’s one more thing about translation that deserves mention here: Bad translation is worse than no translation. While quality sensitivity varies around the world, your potential customers can be unforgiving if they perceive that no attention was paid to translation, resulting in substandard, erroneous content.

Translation and localization often involve a bouquet of services used in adapting content to audiences from different cultures and regions of the world.

Translation  itself refers to rendering written text from one language into another. It can be done by human translators, either professional or amateurs (“the crowd”), machines, or by a combination of both. Many tools and solutions such as website integrations are available in the marketplace to automate many tasks involved in the translation workflow.

Software localization  is more than just translation and results in a process where your company’s software application feels completely home-grown or local to the users of a particular region or country.

Internationalization  gets your website or mobile app code ready for translation and localization into any language. It makes room for different script orientations, text expansions, forms and fields that will not break in other languages, and a multitude of finer details.

You use transcreation  when merely translating content from one language into another may not serve the purpose. For instance, your homepage for the Japanese site needs to reflect the design ethos that Japanese users are used to. In this case, if you do a direct translation of the content and leave everything else as is, it’ll make for an incomplete experience for the Japanese user.

Managed continuous translation  allows you to focus on product development and other business priorities. Localization service providers (LSP) take care of keeping translation in step with development so that there is no delay in entering different markets.

With audio and video translation , you can reach more people faster as audio and video content have a stronger pull than text. You can choose from voice-over, dubbing, or subtitling to localize your multimedia content.

Data collection for AI  is a service that has newly found space in an LSP’s repertoire. AI runs on data and much of this data is multilingual. It has to be made sense of, categorized, and sometimes even created. An LSP has the organic abilities to handle this task as they have a huge network of freelancers, the linguistic abilities, and are tech-savvy to boot.

Mobile app translation  makes it possible for you to increase your user base which can in turn lead to increased revenue. The app description, user interface, and the software strings are translated with plugins as and when fresh content is available. The translations are then published over-the-air with direct integrations with app stores, so the app does not have to be updated.

Post-editing of machine translation  output is often required to ensure quality standards in client-facing documents. It may vary from light to full editing depending on how trained the engine is and the quality expectations.

E-learning localization  is used to translate training content for either customers or staff. Depending on the type of content and audience, this can sometimes involve a range of services, such as transcreation, multilingual voice-over, video translation, DTP and localization engineering.

Create attractive and easy-to-use user manuals, brochures, and other documents with multilingual desktop publishing (DTP) . As more people now prefer reading digital magazines and ebooks, this service has gained more demand.

Companies that are aware of the importance of localization and the benefits it brings never go to market without a localized product. Here’s why you too should localize the software UI of your product before entering a market and not after:

  • It’s often time-consuming and resource-intensive to localize software after it is released in a language. In fact, it’s almost impossible to do it without putting on hold a live product. This is because when a software solution is properly localized, the resource files which contain user interface elements like the menu and dialog boxes are not mixed up with other programming files. But in an un-localized product, it’s impossible to understand whether a particular word is part of the code or is a translatable. As a result, localization issues take a long time to fix.
  • Simultaneous shipping of products and services to different locales is impossible without localization. Not localizing will inevitably lead to bugs and issues being reported in some markets, which means that you either risk losing customers to the competition or you must pause marketing and sales in those locales and fix the bugs first. Some times, it may affect releases in other markets, too.

You may have heard of the term “globalization” often used with localization. Though it’s a related concept, globalization actually refers to the larger process of enabling market entry. It can refer to tailoring your product to meet different expectations of international customers or comply with the laws in a particular country; it can be about building teams internally as well as using external resources such as software localization companies to localize and internationalize your product; and so on.

Localization services, in contrast, adapt your product to a particular locale, whether it be the language, the script, user interfaces, or using colours and images that will find acceptance with your users.

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