Localization services: An overview

Localization services are vital for businesses and organizations that aim to expand their reach into international markets. Effective localization increases the likelihood of connecting with local customers, improves user satisfaction, and can lead to higher adoption rates of products and services.

Overview

What are localization services

Localization services are used to adapt products, content, and services to suit the cultural, linguistic, and functional requirements of a specific target audience or market. The localization process goes beyond simple translation and involves modifying various elements to ensure that the product or content resonates with the local audience, reflects their customs, preferences, and cultural nuances, and operates effectively within their specific region.

Localization services can encompass a wide range of areas:

  • Language translation;
  • Cultural Adaptation;
  • Date, time, and measurement format;
  • User Interface and User Experience (UI/UX) design;
  • Legal and regulatory compliance;
  • Content localization;
  • Voiceovers and dubbing;
  • SEO and keywords;
  • Testing and Quality Assurance;
  • Support and customer service.

Who uses localization services

Localization services are utilized by a wide range of individuals, businesses, organizations, and industries that seek to expand their reach and effectively engage with audiences in different regions or countries.

Multinational corporations and e-commerce businesses require localization to adapt their products, software, websites, and marketing materials for diverse markets. Manufacturers that export goods need to localize user manuals, labels, and packaging to comply with local regulations.

Video game developers localize games to provide gamers with immersive experiences in their native languages and to adapt gameplay elements to local cultures. Same goes for the media and entertainment industry.

Developers of software applications and mobile apps need to localize their products to ensure user interfaces, instructions, and content are comprehensible and culturally relevant to users around the world. Likewise, marketing and advertising agencies may localize advertising campaigns, slogans, and marketing materials to effectively target and engage local audiences.

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Other entities that utilize localization services include tech startups, financial institutions, government organizations, nonprofit organizations, publishing houses, healthcare and pharma industry, and the travel and hospitality industry.

Why you may want to contract localization services too

Contracting localization services offers numerous benefits for businesses and individuals looking to expand their reach and effectively communicate in diverse markets. The most obvious benefit is that you’d have access to to skilled translators and linguists who are fluent in the target language. You will want to look for a translation company (also called language service providerLSP in short) with a good track record of offering localization services, in order to ensure accurate translation and adaptation of content, considering cultural nuances, idioms, and local preferences.

However, localizing digital assets goes beyond translation. It involves adapting the message to resonate with the cultural norms, values, and sensitivities of the target audience, enhancing engagement and understanding. By tailoring your content to specific regions, you can effectively penetrate new markets, connect with local customers, and establish a strong presence in different geographical areas.

Localization service providers bring professionalism to the process, ensuring that your content maintains a high standard of quality and accuracy, which is crucial for making a positive impression on potential customers. In addition to linguistic skills, many localization services offer technical expertise to adapt digital content like websites, apps, and software for different languages and regions.

While there is a cost associated with localization services, it can be more cost-effective in the long run compared to attempting to localize content in-house. Professional localization avoids costly mistakes that could arise from inaccurate or culturally insensitive translations.

How to choose a localization service provider

Choosing a localization service provider is an important decision that can significantly impact the success of your international expansion efforts. Here are some steps to consider when selecting a localization service:

  • Define your needs. Before searching for a localization service, clearly define your requirements. Determine what aspects of your product, content, or service need to be localized, such as language translation, cultural adaptation, user interface design, and more.
  • Research potential providers. Look for reputable localization service providers with a track record of successfully helping businesses enter new markets. You can find providers through online searches, industry forums, referrals from colleagues, or by attending localization and international business events.
  • Assess expertise and experience. Check the provider’s experience in your industry and the specific regions you’re targeting. A provider with experience in your sector will likely have a better understanding of your audience and requirements.
  • Prioritize quality and accuracy. Quality is crucial in localization. Look for providers that have a rigorous quality assurance process, including multiple rounds of review, proofreading, and testing. Ask about their translation and adaptation methodologies.
  • Consider cultural sensitivity. Choose a provider that demonstrates a strong understanding of cultural nuances and local customs. They should be able to provide examples of how they’ve successfully adapted content to different cultures.
  • Research about technology and tools. Inquire about the tools and technology the provider uses for translation memory, terminology management, and project management. Efficient tools can streamline the localization process and maintain consistency across projects.
  • Get to know the localization team. Learn about the team members who will be working on your project. Experienced translators, linguists, and project managers with expertise in your target region and language are essential.
  • Ask for references and case studies. References or case studies showcase the provider’s successful localization projects. This can give you insight into their capabilities and the results they’ve achieved for other clients.
  • Consider scalability and flexibility. Look at whether the provider can accommodate your future needs as your business grows. Scalability and flexibility are important, especially if you plan to expand to multiple markets.
  • Assess the communication and collaboration. Effective communication is key to successful localization. Choose a provider that is responsive, open to feedback, and willing to collaborate closely with your team throughout the process.
  • Balance cost and value. While cost is a factor, prioritize value over the lowest price. High-quality localization can have a significant impact on your international success, so consider the provider’s expertise, experience, and the value they bring to your project.
  • Take into account confidentiality and data security. Ensure the provider has measures in place to protect your sensitive information and data throughout the localization process.
  • Start with a trial. Consider starting with a small project or a trial to assess the provider’s performance before committing to a larger engagement.
  • Look at client reviews and reputation. Read the reviews, testimonials, and feedback from other clients to gauge their satisfaction with the provider’s services.

Prominent localization services

To make your search for a localization service provider easier, we will list some of the more prominent ones, in no particular order.

Gengo

Gengo is a prominent language service provider (LSP) that offers localization services, that facilitates the seamless adaptation of content for global audiences. Through its innovative platform, Gengo connects businesses and individuals with a network of skilled translators and language experts working across 37 language pairs. As such, you get efficient and high-quality translation and localization of a wide array of content ranging from websites and apps to documents and multimedia materials.

TextMaster

TextMaster is a versatile LSP offering localization services, recognized for its comprehensive approach to adapting content for international audiences. Catering to businesses of all sizes, this provider employs a skilled network of proficient translators and linguists working with over 50 languages. You are thus delivered meticulous translation and localization solutions for diverse content types, such as websites, marketing materials, and technical documents.

Tomedes

Tomedes is a dynamic translation company that also provides localization services, renowned for its tailored approach to adapting content for global communication needs. Specializing in various industries, Tomedes harnesses a network of specialized translators and language experts to deliver meticulous translation and localization solutions in over 120+ languages and 950+ language pairs.

Taia

Taia is an innovative translation company that provides localization services, providing content adaptation for global audiences. Leveraging advanced AI-driven technology, it offers a unique blend of automation and human expertise to swiftly translate and localize various content types. Taia offers a variety of translation services into 97 languages, supports 64 different file types, and also provides an integration with the localization management platform POEditor.

Alconost

Alconost is a distinguished localization company specializing in bridging linguistic and cultural gaps for global communication. It offers expert translation, localization, and multimedia adaptation, catering to software, apps, games, websites, and other content types. With a diverse team of skilled linguists and subject matter experts, the service ensures accurate and contextually relevant translations into 100+ languages.

How to use POEditor to manage translations from localization service providers

POEditor is a popular online platform designed to streamline the process of managing and collaborating on software localization. It offers tools for translators, project managers, and developers to work together efficiently, in order to achieve continuous localization.

Integrated with some of the leading global LSPs, POEditor makes it easy to order translations for your digital assets with a few clicks, without you having to create any 3rd party accounts.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to use POEditor to order translations from integrated vendors:

  1. Go to the POEditor website and sign into your account (or sing up for one). You can choose a free plan or a paid plan depending on your needs.
  2. Create a New Project. Choose a name for your project and select the source language (the language of your original content).
  3. Import your source content (such as strings of text) that require translation. This could be through a variety of file formats like .po, .pot, .xls, .csv, etc.
  4. Add the languages you want to translate your content into. These will be the target languages.
  5. In the Project page, click on the Translation Orders button and create a new order. Select your desired values, then press Get Quote to find out what the translation price is for each vendor.
  6. Fill in the Payment Details, accept the terms and conditions, and submit the translation order for your software strings.
  7. After you get the translations from your chosen provider, you can approve them in bulk or send them back individually for revision.

In case you wish to use a localization service provider that is not integrated with POEditor, you have two options:

  • Assign localization professionals directly to your POEditor projects. You will likely want to add them as contributors, so that their access will be limited to adding or editing translations in specific languages. They will be able to leverage powerful tools such as Translation Memory, Glossary, real-time Quality Assurance checks, while you will have full transparency regarding the translation progress.
  • Ask for the localization professionals you contract to give you the translations you order in a format that is compatible with your POEditor project. This way, you will be able to upload translations to POEditor the moment you get them, so that they can be included in the wider localization workflow immediately. Popular file formats for this type of workflow are Excel and CSV. Find out more about how POEditor supports these formats here.

Conclusion

In the fast-evolving landscape of global business, coupling the power of localization services with the versatility of tools like POEditor emerges as a strategy that just makes sense. By combining the expertise of language professionals with the user-friendly features of POEditor, you’re not only on your way to ensuring your message hits the mark in different languages and regions, but you’re also making sure this is do without unnecessary delay, by speeding up the localization process. So, if you’re looking to expand internationally, this collaboration could be your secret sauce you were looking for.

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