One of the most important factors of going global is localization. It allows you to build your brand in foreign markets, build a global customer base, and increase your international sales. Only through localization can your new target market understand your product, get the message that you’ve been working on with your marketing team, and start to use your services.
However, the whole process is not that easy for the majority of businesses. First of all, the localization process requires proper planning and then, a significant amount of time, effort, and money to be conducted in a way that will bring about the desired results. Only in this way will targeting your new market give your product the strength that it has achieved in your home market. It’s no wonder that whoever faces the challenge of localization wants the results to be at least satisfactory, if not perfect.
If you want your localization goals to be fulfilled, you need to work on a strategy. This requires setting your goals and expectations, which can vary significantly depending on the business, scope, budget and time capacities. The easiest way to start this is to ask yourself (and your team) – what kind of results should I aim for? For every single business out there this answer will be different, but we know that there are some universal rules that will help you set your objectives, especially when it comes to the technical side of the process. If you want to find out about the localization results that you should be aiming for, just keep on reading.
#1. An accurate translation that should deliver the same overall meaning
This should be obvious for the majority of businesses entering the global market, but it still isn’t. Translation results reflect the effectiveness and effort that you’ve put into entering the new market, hence they should be more than accurate. The overall context and meaning of the material should be exactly the same as the source material when translated. This is achieved by using the right translators, skilled in the field of expertise relevant to your content.
The translator should also have a cultural understanding of the target region for which your product is being localized. Think about it in this way: users will not expect high-quality products when the translations of the product descriptions are far from satisfactory. With a high-quality translation, you are able to increase the awareness of your brand in other markets so that a larger audience can use your product in their native language. Translation quality also improves your brand’s reputation after you enter your new target market.
#2. Consistent terminology and QA check
For high-quality localization results, terminology management is simply a must. What can we say about this from our perspective? Clients always want consistent terminology to be used across all 500 pages of content, whether it’s digital content or printed material. It will be the same case for your clients, too. Once you create your terminology repository and define specific terms that are to be used in the translation project, these terms have to be used in future projects for coherence.
This is possible thanks to terminology proposals available in any advanced translation platform tools. After the project is translated, the project manager is able to check the translation consistency and use of the right terms in the project – in this way, you save yourself a lot of hassle, time and money. Any possible errors will show up in the generated QA report, and the translator or proofreader can then proceed to fix them. Consider a consistent terminology not only a part of the localization process but also a goal that will make it much easier to enter any new market in the future.
3#. Maintain the same look and feel of the original document
When it comes to file translation, printed materials, and marketing content, there is one telling sign that your localization efforts were sufficient – consistent design, both before and after the process. Let’s not be unrealistic about this: it usually involves a lot of manual DTP work because many aspects of the layout will be affected by the translation. Titles will not fit on one line but on two instead, text may expand in some places, and all of this will require additional adjustments regarding line spacing, text wrapping, and line breaks. Tables with lots of text and descriptions can be particularly tricky when a single word turns into two or three: they can even double in size when compared to the original!
When we start with the localization process, our customers always want a document to look exactly the same in the localized version. Our goal as an advanced translation platform is to provide the same look in a translated version of the file as in the original. It is the right for you as a customer to expect this because what you want to present to your customers is a perfectly localized product. The most common example? Font type and size can only be changed ever-so-slightly so that the difference is not noticeable. That’s why it’s necessary to change many other aspects of the text formatting to make the expanded text fit in the same way as in the source document, without changing the font size and type.
Another thing worth taking into consideration is hardcoded text from images. This needs to be extracted manually in order for it to be processed as translatable text by a CAT tool. After the extracted content is translated, the DTP specialist will still have to recreate the translated version of the image. Time-consuming? Maybe. But does it help to achieve the perfect results that you want? Absolutely!
We know that all of this sounds like a lot of work, and in the majority of the cases, it often is. However, to make the most of your business going global, you need to first set your goals to help you achieve the perfect localization results. We believe that if you work on a strategy that fits your needs, the localization results mentioned above will open the door to skyrocketing your business to a new, global level!