I have created a forbidden glossary for Bureau Works. Nobody follows me, but I tried, it is my faint attempt to make the Internet and our work spaces better - please remember in the future, you saw it here first.
Whether you’re a small, blooming company or a big-time, multi-tiered company, with a name echoing to all corners of the Earth, your brand’s survival and stability will forever be susceptible to inevitable mistakes capable of crippling your stance on the commercial stage.
When your translation activities encompass multiple languages and a broad range of users, things can easily get chaotic—particularly when everyone is working in isolation. Translations are inconsistent, no one knows who is doing what, and graceful troubleshooting is next to impossible. However, you can bring people, technology, and expert strategy together in a single collaborative translation platform to benefit all users and avert errors and problems.
Language is beautiful, right? I speak Portuguese, I egotistically and egocentrically say it's a beautiful language, it sounds nice and musical. Like every other language, some sentences can be extremely complex, and sometimes they can be extremely simple.
When your startup decided to go global, how did you choose which markets to enter? Your team probably put a lot of effort into researching demographics, economic data, competitors in your industry, and legal information—the pillars of any good global marketing strategy. But most companies forget to consult the data on one crucial point: language.
The truth is, from the moment you put out a website, app, or software, your company already has a global presence. Online users all over the world are already examining your product and comparing it with alternatives in their own markets. The real question is where, how, and when to localize content for those markets. And localization has everything to do with language.
You can have a document translated into practically any language with a 24-hour turnaround, and there is a chance that the translation will be of at least acceptable quality. We can’t deny it: speed and simplicity are wonderful benefits for many businesses. But this model may not be so well suited when you have multiple files that have to be translated into multiple languages.
How do you know your localization software is good enough?
Most language service providers market themselves as having the best and latest technology. They all claim to be “the best localization solution on the market,” “the leading translation management platform,” or “the top provider of localization automation.” Marketing is marketing, you might say. Nobody takes those messages seriously.
The truth is, after using these big-box LSPs for a year, product managers realize their translation technology isn’t actually cutting edge. They’ve missed out on major functionality and crucial tools that would make the localization process easier, faster, and cheaper.
Globalization. Localization. Looking at the words alone, you might think they mean opposite things. This could be part of the reason why the terms are not often well understood. The real truth is that they work hand-in-hand. And if they’re not already working for you, it’s high time to put the wheels in motion.
Let’s look more closely at globalization vs localization—and particularly at their meaningful intersection points.
Localization is a goldilocks kind of business when done right. You need to localize just enough content but not too much. You need to localize quickly but not rush the process. When companies find those perfect sweet spots of what, when, and how to localize, they’re able to see real results and reap a much higher ROI.
If you’re new to the localization industry, it might be difficult to visualize how a great localization strategy might look. We recommend learning from what other companies have already done.