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Content Localization Best Practices: 5 Tips for Global Enterprises

Mar 21, '19 by Luciana Passos

Your localization best practices need to embrace both the art and the science of this global leap

It’s easier said than done: when in Rome, do as Romans do. And what about when in Japan? Or in China? Or in South America? Or all of these places at the same time? Implementing localization strategies has the potential to bog an enterprise down or to elevate it to the next level in global business. Your next steps may mean the difference between stagnation and success.

Connecting with audiences takes more than getting literal translations right. Finessing a translation into messaging that resonates with native speakers and, ultimately, promotes your brand or product is both an art and a logistical process. Your localization best practices need to embrace both the art and the science of this global leap. Uncover how to move forward deliberately and with the right tools in hand before your company gets too far ahead of itself.

 

Avoid Serious Obstacles with Localization Best Practices for Your Content

Right now is the time to anticipate issues you may face as your enterprise moves forward with an ambitious localization plan. And, really, you may not yet have a window into all the possible complications. It’s best to look to localization specialists who can offer that foresight based on experience. They can anticipate potential obstacles, recommend appropriate resources and solutions, and help you implement key best practices, including:

  1. Centralize Your Translation Memory
  2. Leverage API Integration
  3. Define Market-Approved Terminology
  4. Implement Quality Management
  5. Choose a Meticulous Localization Service Partner

 

Take your content to a global level by navigating these best practices with a specialist’s support.

 

1 – Centralize Your Translation Memory

You can expect that successful localization will be complicated. But localization specialists have determined that certain systems and best practices can mitigate those complications and ensure content quality in the process. Software that leverages a centralized translation memory (TM) can save time and costs—now and in the long term. This automated, yet sophisticated, system can fill in the gaps in translation updates immediately. Based on its understanding of the phrases and terms that have comprised approved content in the past, it can boost the baseline quality of machine translation output and provide human translators with a reliable foundation of high-quality legacy translations before they even sit down to finesse them.

This wealth of reference material speeds up the translation process overall, and it supports the critical nuances of localization by frontloading existing approved content that is uniquely meaningful across local markets. Plus, this working record is continuously updated alongside your term bases and style guides, ensuring consistency and authenticity. Making use of TMs in a centralized platform makes it easier to manage demanding delivery schedules, setting you up for simultaneous release (or simship) of all language resources, no matter how many diverse languages and locales you may be targeting.

 

2 – Leverage API Integration

You don’t want your users or customers to feel the impact of your intensive localization efforts behind the scenes. Hence, you need to get as close as possible to simship in your localization management. While certain phases of the translation process may still require careful human input along the way, meaningful automation will be critical to ensuring continuous localization that is fast and efficient.

Ideally, your API integrations are custom built to respond to your particular needs. Plug-and-play rarely is as easy as it sounds when it comes to localization integrations. It’s important to have a partner who can customize integrations to fit your particular configurations. More importantly, your partner should work closely with your internal teams to ensure that the roundtrip process enabled by integration works as expected before putting it into active production. In regular practice, the automated capture of all new and edited content will minimize the non-essential human efforts and the back and forth. It will save significant time with exporting content, importing translations, and finalizing updates across all languages. All in all, custom API integrations make localization less intrusive on your collaborators’ workloads—so they can focus their attention where it makes a progressive difference.

 

3 – Define Market-Approved Terminology

Before launching your localization operations, build a strong base of market-approved terminology across all languages. In this way, you will establish a system for consistency. And make sure your message will be accurate and credible within specific market segments. Every localization best practice is critical in its own way, but fortifying the integrity of your terms could bridge the gap for users to trust your content and authority above that of the competition.

For example, say you are localizing content for the travel industry in Spanish-speaking markets. You would add “temporada baja” and “temporada alta” to your dictionary of terms to specify volumes of low- or high-travel seasons; “viaje de ida y vuelta” for referring to a round-trip flight; and “cadena de hoteles” to refer to a hotel chain. This ensures that—no matter who may be translating or reviewing updates—important terms are consistent throughout published content, giving your brand authenticity, accuracy, and local authority. And a healthy localization system facilitates a term base that continues to evolve with the expansion of content and markets.

 

4 – Implement Quality Management

Good quality management happens when a trained eye is able to spot any inconsistencies or translation errors. But the best quality management happens when translations are strong the first time. With the right system of accountability, your enterprise can get to this point of confident localization no matter how many languages are involved at once.

When a quality management tool measures on a granular level the types of changes reviewers are making, you can glean patterns and pinpoint red flags. Considering the health of a particular language workflow, you’ll have the data necessary to evaluate and improve the quality of translations for the long term. A robust quality management tool puts you in control so you can be confident that published content is correct, no matter what language it’s in. It paves the way for localizing content precisely the first time.

 

5 – Choose a Meticulous Localization Service Partner

With a fully equipped localization service partner, you could be assured of all of these best practices and experienced execution. In one careful strategy, you can avoid the mistakes that so many enterprises have had to wade through on the way to seamless and timely localization.

As you look for a localization management platform, prioritize transparency and accountability. It’s possible to find a provider committed to being your partner and caring about the integrity of your content—as more than just variables in a translation equation. You should never have to worry about the quality of a translation or the value any given translator is adding to your local content. You should never have to pay for more integrations than you need or to find that the integrations you do need don’t actually work.

 

Secure Your Enterprise’s Global Future

You know the worst-case scenario: Content has been translated, word for word, but it hasn’t made an impact on your audience. Something critical has been lost in translation. Multi-language business opportunities may be the key to your global future; don’t let language barriers be a frustrating obstacle to quality assurance and timely delivery to your markets. It’s possible to trust that localization is working even when you can’t verify cultural and translation accuracy for every update and for all markets involved.

Pay attention to the details when choosing your localization service partner. Applying best practices with a dependable management platform can build brand consistency and an agile content ecosystem in every international market. You can then focus on what’s next, rather than on the tiny details that hold your global business together.

 

Bureau Works is a translation platform with integrated services designed to help your business optimize, consolidate, and manage all of its translated content from a single access point. Request a demo to witness these tools and best practices firsthand. To learn more about Bureau Works, contact our team.

 

 

Luciana Passos

Written by Luciana Passos

Luciana is Bureau Work’s COO. She is known as a gap bridger and a heart follower.

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