In this blog, we are taking another stab at the localization process – namely, how to localize AND scale your business the easy way and how companies should approach this.
Many businesses are afraid of the challenges and obstacles, which is completely normal. We are not here today to say that if you choose our TMS, things will just magically happen themselves, as this would be downplaying the importance of planning and execution of such a task. In order to localize and scale your business, the best way is to take it step-by-step.
Do you have an audience in other markets? Track the visits to your website -where is your product popular? How many of your current customers come from certain markets, even though your website is not translated into their languages?
All these questions can help you define the initial audience. You may end up localizing your content into 200 languages on your way to becoming a global company, but the best is to choose a couple of languages to start with, and you can scale the whole process once these couple of languages are ready for publishing.
Most companies have either a subsidiary, partner companies, or simply friends and loyal customers in other markets. You may want to check with all of them if they would be interested in localizing your services into their languages. If so, perhaps they can also lend a helping hand, and actually, translate or review at least part of the content. This way, you will be saving money, and also help them get the localized version they trust.
If you don’t have anyone in the markets you want to tackle, it might also be reasonable to find someone who is providing language services. Our network of tested and trusted translators is 4.000 translators strong, and we can provide translations from/to most languages in the world.
#3. Content type
What type of content do you want to localize? Do you want to localize your website, or do you also have web apps, mobile apps, marketing materials, and legal content you need to take care off?
After defining the type of content, define the scale of the content. Clients usually don’t translate the whole website immediately. After all, you first want people to learn about your product, and they can move on to your blog posts in a couple of months.
To localize and scale your business, use the right tools
Having defined the initial parameters, you will have an easier time finding the tool which suits your needs. Getting your fellowship to use a new tool is difficult enough and people generally don’t really like learning how to use new tools for their everyday work.
The Translation Management System should be the centerpiece of your localization efforts, and the place where the magic happens. It’s meant to be a tool which replaces a lot of your current ones, optimizing the localization workflow in one central hub. Let us cover some of the specifics:
The goal of a TMS is to automate as many tasks as possible. This does not mean that the TMS will be a tool to machine-translate (MT) all your content, although MT is a possible application within the automated workflow.
It means that the TMS should make your life easier in terms of repetitive tasks which take up a lot of your time. This could be anything, from preparing the files for translation to sending out notification e-mails to all the people working on the projects.
Automation is usually followed by centralization, as all the tasks run through one system which keeps all things in balance, as they should be. This also means that all your users, from Project Managers, freelancers, and internal reviewers can work on the tasks assigned to them within one system.
In our case, this also means that the users don’t need any specialized software, which increases the chances of them rejecting the new tool. Everything is done within a cloud-based system which can be accessed from any browser.
Integrations help you create the automated workflow. If you are using software repositories, such as GitHub and BitBucket, you can set up continuous projects in which content is sent for translation at certain times. If you are using a custom CMS, our API methods can help you create a fully customized UI and workflow in terms of both content and users.
#4. Localization tools
The users translating the content also need tools. Besides the Translation Memories showing them proposals from previous translations and the Terminology Repositories showing them the terms as defined by the client, machine translation can also help you lower costs for different types of content.
The main thing is that you can decide yourself how you want to approach translations. Sometimes, you will need a document translated and checked by humans, and sometimes you will want to keep costs down for a test project.
Localize AND scale your business with TMS, the easy way
With the actions and tools mentioned above, you can ease the localization tasks for everyone involved. Of course, another best practice is to discuss next steps.
If you are on the fence about localization and how you want to approach it, reach out for a talk. There are no strings attached, but it might help you put things into perspective and decide on next steps.