Is It Possible to Decentralize AND Centralize Localization?

Is It Possible to Decentralize AND Centralize Localization?

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Should everyone centralize localization? Let’s be honest – after you let the TMS manage your files and extract new content for translation, you now see how smooth the localization process can be. Now, all the tasks run through one system and the workflow is in perfect balance. Or is it?

Some of you might think that reaching people in different parts of the world cannot be more decentralized by definition. After all, you have different teams, in different countries, working on different language versions of your product.

What about decentralizing and centralizing localization at the same time? Can these two be merged into one large centralized-decentralized hybrid strategy? We are sure that they can!

Decentralize AND centralize localization

There are actually two major levels at which this strategy can be implemented. The first one is the one which you will likely look to decentralize. For example, when you have offices in different countries, you might want to hand the responsibility of localizing content to a certain team, that matches the targeted locale. After all, they know the market and they should be responsible for the localization. This thinking is understandable, which is why, in a certain respect, this is a valid approach.

However, there is another level above this one, which centralizes all the efforts into one place and workflow. Since localization efforts are really the attempt to reach a variety of people in different markets in a harmonized manner, it is important that different people participating in the localization process should be on the same page, for three reasons:

#1. Money

Having different offices handling the process in a different way is not exactly the most cost-effective way to manage translations in general. You should agree on a defined workflow that works best for you and try to standardize it for all the offices.

Like this, they can then run their own localization projects within the given framework and still be in-sync with the rest of the company and not waste time (and money).

#2. Speed

Speaking about time – while it may be useful to have different offices work on their own localized versions of your content, the success will depend on how quickly they can do it.

Imagine that your German office being ready on Friday, while your Swedish office hasn’t even begun with the localization. Handling everything from one place would set up the time frames and expectations, helping everyone to meet the desired deadlines. Here’s how you (de)centralize localization!


#3. Harmonization

Although the local offices will produce their own local versions of your products or services, it’s the name of the company which is at stake. Every mistake the local office makes will be reflected in the company’s brand and reputation.

Centralizing the localization process is the best way to make sure that all of the multilingual versions of your product information, website content and marketing message will represent your brand in an accurate way.

(De)Centralize localization with the right tools

This decentralized-centralized localization strategy can be achieved by using a proper Translation Management System that will allow you to have all the people who are working on various localization projects in one system. All of them can communicate, and you can share updated versions of files, immediately send them for localization, and re-use old translations, even across offices!

As you can see, there is no reason against having the decentralized and centralized approach to localization under one roof. If you want to learn more about how we can help you achieve the perfect balance, feel free to reach out – we will gladly answer any questions you might have!

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