Localizing social media content is fairly straightforward. Each blurb, image, and video could easily be fed through a localization platform and translated into any number of languages. The challenge—for both established enterprises and startups that are just beginning to globalize—is to allocate resources efficiently so that social media localization doesn’t absorb all of your time and money.
So, you've got a killer website in English, and you're about ready to launch translated versions in a handful of markets around the world. You invested in a CMS that boasts handy automated solutions for multilingual versioning. But what you may not be anticipating is that the new pages with translated content will not be assigned a searchable URL. This is going to undermine the whole endeavor. It doesn't matter how great your site may be—even in translation. If there isn't a search-engine-optimized (SEO) way for people to find it, they won't. They can’t.
Many organizations reach a point in their development when they are ready to expand internationally but are hesitant to take the plunge. They may have little grasp of how to localize content for foreign markets—no idea where to start. Localization takes great time, money, and effort, and you’re right to proceed cautiously. Expert guidance can be a huge benefit as you become an international business, especially to tackle the intricacies of localization.
A startling number of translation companies advertise automation in their list of services. It’s perhaps the biggest buzzword in our industry right now. Language service providers (LSPs) of all sizes say that they’re applying AI to automate every step in the localization process—but few actually deliver on that promise. Automation is a layered and nuanced process that varies greatly from company to company.
There is a lot of confusion around what an automatic translation tool is and what we can reasonably expect it to accomplish. The most interesting question is not about machine translation engines such as Google Translate; the most interesting question is about what the latest localization tools can automate for the peak return on your investment and streamlining of time and resources.
Finding a good translation vendor is difficult for a number of reasons. For one, the language industry offers a wide array of services that aren’t differentiated very well in the way they’re advertised. Every company claims to provide exactly what you need. Yet, behind the scenes, they differ vastly in operational function, price, and quality. Without some insider knowledge, it’s difficult to determine which services you actually need.
If you’re translating a handful of web pages into a single target language, a basic SLV (single language vendor) might be enough. But if you’re translating software, a mobile app, or extensive elearning content, you’re actually looking for way more than a translation vendor.
Marketing can be a genuinely transformative experience, especially international marketing, as you face new demands and take new approaches to problem solving. Planning marketing strategies for international markets early in your campaign can save you immeasurable time, money, and effort by setting you on a sure course from the very beginning. Read more about these strategies that can help your company to know itself better, to be deliberate with localization, to be infinitely scalable, and to solidify expert support.
Globalization is the inevitable culmination of economic growth. Even though this phenomenon has been in full force for nearly five decades, there is no end in sight. According to data from the KOF globalization index, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Belgium were the most globalized nations in the world as of December 2018. Meanwhile, the United States measured at #23—meaning there’s compelling room for expansion.
As businesses are becoming more global, content is becoming more digital. The compounding of these two unstoppable trends means that global content is in your company’s future—and in the future of almost every other business. We’re entering the Wild West of global content expansion.
The software industry moves fast. That has always been the case, and with the advent of agile development, that pace has picked up even more. This increases the pressure to localize too, giving you more to do to keep up with your product’s development—never mind expanding your markets.
In this high-pressure environment, localization is at risk of being swept under the rug as developers concentrate intensively on the tasks immediately in front of them. While it’s understandable, this kind of procrastination will set you far behind the competition. To counterbalance this stagnation, there are software localization best practices that will help you build a firm foundation for manageable growth into global markets.
You’ve probably heard the saying, “It’s not the destination but the journey that matters.” As technology continues to shrink our world and expand our possibilities, the journey becomes more and more important. We can already reach the other side of the world in a virtual instant, but what are we going to do with that opportunity?
When you’re considering localization vs internationalization for your business, it’s a mistake to think of them as destinations along your global marketing trajectory. They are dynamic and integral elements of your ongoing round-the-world journey.
Let’s be honest. Alongside words like globalization, internationalization, and the ever-abbreviated l10n, “glocalization” sounds like yet another mashup term made up by money-hungry marketers.
The truth is actually far more interesting.
Due to its surprisingly deep history, “glocalization” may be the sole grandfather of all the other fabricated labels floating about in the localization industry today. This circa-1980s term defines a new way of thinking about global business. Companies of all sizes are still working to adopt a more “glocal” (global+local) mindset today.