Understanding the Process of Localization

Localization is the process of translating and adapting a product to another language or a specific country/region. This may include changes in pronunciation, spelling and grammatical patterns. It is essential that when you are choosing a localization company you do your research. Check with professional associations, such as the Globalization and Localization Association. There are literally hundreds of localization companies out there, and with the constant changing of technologies and players it may seem difficult to find a reliable one. Review their service offerings. While you may find similarities between companies with their service offerings, there are several differentiators you can use. Interview the project manager â€" match your personalities. Get a sample translation. This will allow you to understand better how they walk you through the localization process, which can be broken down into several phases.

Understand Customer’s Needs

 

In this phase all information regarding the project is gathered. This should include understanding the customer’s specifications and requirements. Here you should talk about the subject matter, type of document, format, target audience, purpose of translation, localization, cultural requirements, style, turnaround time, delivery medium and format requirements. During this phase a localization company may also gather materials essential to the document translation.

 

Make a Plan

 

In this phase all the technical and linguistic staff required for the project is assigned. Additionally, any resources needed for the project are prepared: this might include glossaries, style guides and translation memory. To ensure consistency in terminology, terminology management is applied throughout the entire project. All projects require close communication with the client at all times. As the project manager drives the project he/she will also ensure communication with all parties involved.

 

Make it Happen

 

This is the production phase. The main function of this phase is to confirm compliance with project specifications. Also the steps necessary for the translation project are addressed. This is going to vary based on the size, purpose and intended audience. A lot of stuff happens during this phase: specifications are confirmed, terminology management is put into place, translation is performed, formatting, editing, proofreading, verification and quality control.

 

Final Review

 

This is the opportunity for the localization company and the client to get together and discuss the process, what things worked and what things could have been improved. This is also the time when an evaluation might take place regarding the outcome of the project as a whole. It is essential that documents are translated correctly. Documents that are translated wrong could result in millions of dollars lost for a company. Understand the localization company you are working with, understand their processes and what they can offer you. With the rising need for document translation it is going to be even more important to look to a localization company that can provide you with accurate, efficient and timely translations.

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