Building your localization team

In today’s interconnected world, businesses of all sizes are expanding their reach beyond borders and into international markets. To thrive in this global landscape, companies must speak the language of their target audiences, both figuratively and literally. This is where a well-structured and skilled localization team steps into the spotlight.

In this article, we delve into the essential role that a localization team plays in the success of global businesses, exploring key members and their work.


What is a localization team

A localization team is a group of professionals responsible for adapting content, products, or services from one language or cultural context to another. The primary goal of a localization team is to ensure that the translated or adapted materials are culturally relevant, linguistically accurate, and functionally appropriate for the target audience in a specific region or locale.

Localization teams work together to ensure that the final product or content feels natural to the target audience and respects local customs, idioms, and cultural nuances. They also pay attention to technical and functional aspects to ensure that the localized version operates seamlessly in the target market. Effective communication and collaboration within the team are essential to delivering high-quality localized materials or products.

Why you need one

A localization team is essential for companies that want to thrive in a globalized world and effectively engage with diverse audiences. It helps businesses tailor their products and content to specific markets, leading to better communication, greater customer satisfaction, and increased market competitiveness.

Offering localized products or content can give a company a competitive edge in global markets. A localization team ensures that branding elements and core messaging remain intact across different languages and cultures. Furthermore, these specialists can also ensure that the content and products comply with local laws and standards, thus avoiding misunderstandings, legal issues, and reputational damage.

Different roles in a localization team

Localization involves more than just translation; it encompasses a broader range of tasks to make content or products culturally and contextually suitable. The size of a localization team can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the scale of localization needs, the number of target languages and regions, the complexity of the content or products, and the company’s resources. A typical localization team may consist of the following roles.

Project manager

A localization project manager plays a crucial role in overseeing and managing the entire localization process to ensure the successful adaptation of content, products, or services for different languages and regions. Their responsibilities encompass a wide range of tasks to ensure that the project is completed on time, within budget, and with high quality.

Localization project managers begin by defining project objectives, scope, and requirements. They identify and allocate the necessary resources, including translators, editors, engineers, and any external vendors or language service providers (LSPs). Other tasks include overseeing quality assurance processes, identifying potential risks and challenges, and finding solutions quickly and efficiently to keep the project on track.

Ultimately, their goal is to ensure client satisfaction by delivering high-quality localized materials or products that meet the company’s objectives and the needs of the target market.

Read more: Mastering localization projects: The role of a localization project manager

Localization specialist

A localization specialist is a professional that helps adapt products, content, or services to meet the cultural and linguistic preferences of specific target markets, ensuring a seamless and culturally relevant user experience.

As a localization specialist, the primary responsibility involves collaborating with cross-functional teams to facilitate the translation, adaptation, and implementation of diverse content, ensuring global consistency while respecting regional nuances.

The localization specialist combines linguistic expertise with a deep understanding of cultural sensitivities, employing specialized tools and methodologies to bridge language gaps and enhance the accessibility and acceptance of products on a global scale.

Read more: About the localization specialist role

Country localization manager

A country localization manager, also known as a country manager or localization lead, is a professional responsible for overseeing and managing the localization efforts of a company or organization in a specific country or region. Their role is essential for adapting products, services, and content to meet the unique cultural, linguistic, regulatory, and market-specific needs of that particular location.

Key responsibilities include market research, team management, supply chain management, regulatory compliance, marketing, crisis management, and revenue generation, with the overarching goal of building a strong presence and brand reputation in the target location.

Internationalization specialist

An internationalization specialist is a professional who specializes in preparing software, websites, or products for global markets. Their primary focus is on making these digital assets culturally and linguistically adaptable to different regions and languages.

They work closely with developers to internationalize the codebase. This involves implementing best practices for encoding, character sets, and handling of multilingual content. Internationalization specialists ensure that the software is capable of accommodating various languages, date formats, currencies, and other region-specific elements.

Suggested read: Localization vs internationalization: Decoding the differences

Localization software developer

A localization software developer or software localization engineer is someone who focuses on creating and maintaining software systems, applications, or platforms that are capable of being easily localized and adapted for different languages, regions, and cultures.

They ensure that the software correctly handles Unicode characters and uses proper character encoding standards, allowing for the display of various scripts and characters from different languages. It is also essential that their software can accommodate dynamic content changes, such as text expansion and contraction when switching between languages.

A localization software developer also creates and maintains localization APIs (Application Programming Interfaces), creates resource files or resource bundles that store localized content, implements date and time formatting functionality, develops content management features, and more.

Quality Assurance specialist

A localization Quality Assurance (QA) specialist is a professional responsible for ensuring the accuracy, quality, and functionality of localized content, products, or services before they are released to the target audience in different languages and regions. Their role is essential for delivering high-quality, culturally appropriate, and linguistically accurate materials.

Test planning, linguistic testing, functional testing, UI and layout testing, UX testing, locale-specific testing, test automation, regression testing, and bug reporting are just some of the tasks these localization specialists have on their hand. All in all, QA is an ongoing task for both testers and the whole localization team.

Read more: About the localization QA tester role


A localization designer is a professional who specializes in adapting visual elements and graphic design for international markets and different cultural contexts. Their role is to ensure that the design of products, websites, or marketing materials is culturally appropriate, visually appealing, and functional in various regions and languages.

As Spotify experts say, “designing for localization requires intentional thinking.” They work with linguists to ensure the scalability of the writing and design choices on a global scale. Design checks, localizability analyses, and general feedback are fundamental for localization designers in their work.

This can involve modifying visual elements such as graphics, images, icons, and symbols, but also adjusting typography and text layout to accommodate text expansion or contraction in different languages. In their job, localization designers utilize both design and graphics software as well as localization management platforms to streamline the localization design process and collaborate with other team members.

Data steward

A data steward is a professional responsible for managing and maintaining data related to localization and translation projects within an organization. Their role involves ensuring the accuracy, consistency, and integrity of data used in the localization process. This also involves establishing and enforcing data governance policies, standards, and best practices to maintain data quality and consistency across localization projects.


A localization translator is a specialized professional responsible for translating content from one language into another while considering cultural and linguistic nuances, regional preferences, and context to ensure that the translated content is culturally appropriate and resonates with the target audience.

They ensure the linguistic accuracy of the translation, including proper grammar, syntax, spelling, punctuation, and vocabulary usage in the target language. It is also important that they avoid idiomatic expressions, references, or content that may be inappropriate or offensive in the target culture.

According to Verified Market Research, the translation services market was valued at $39.37 Billion in 2020 and is expected to reach $46.22 Billion by 2028. In today’s world, to maintain competitiveness in the global marketplace, enterprises require top-notch translations. As such, it comes as no surprise that translators are indispensable professionals for any localization team.

Content writer

A localization content writer is a specialized writer who focuses on creating and adapting written content for international audiences and different linguistic and cultural contexts. Their primary role is to produce content that is culturally appropriate, linguistically accurate, and engaging for the target audience in various regions and languages.

Read more: About the localization writer role

Content editor

A localization content editor is a specialized editor who focuses on reviewing and editing written content that is being adapted or translated for different languages, cultures, and regions. Their role involves ensuring that localized content maintains accuracy, clarity, cultural appropriateness, and consistency while effectively communicating the intended message to the target audience in various linguistic and cultural contexts.

Marketing specialist

A localization marketing specialist is a professional responsible for planning, executing, and managing marketing campaigns and strategies for products or services in international markets. Their role involves adapting marketing materials, content, and strategies to effectively reach and engage with diverse audiences in different languages and cultures.

They oversee the adaptation of marketing content, engage in transcreation, optimize marketing content for search engines, coordinate and execute marketing campaigns in multiple languages and regions, manage and adapt social media profiles and accounts for different markets, and much more.

Localization team models

In-house centralized organization

The in-house centralized team model for a localization department is an organizational structure in which all localization activities and resources are managed and operated internally within a single, dedicated team within the company. This model is characterized by the consolidation of expertise, tools, and processes under one roof, allowing for greater control, consistency, and efficiency in localization efforts.

The in-house centralized team model offers advantages such as better control over quality, consistency, and communication, as well as the ability to build internal expertise. However, it also requires significant resource allocation and ongoing investment in talent, technology, and infrastructure.

In-house decentralized organization

An in-house decentralized team model for a localization department is an organizational structure where localization activities and resources are distributed across various departments or business units within a company. In this model, each department or business unit manages its own localization efforts independently, tailoring strategies and processes to its specific needs.

The in-house decentralized team model offers departments greater autonomy and flexibility in managing their localization efforts. However, it can lead to challenges related to consistency, coordination, and cost optimization. Effective communication and collaboration between departments and centralized oversight or governance are essential to ensure that localization aligns with the company’s global goals and maintains a consistent brand image.


Outsourcing localization needs to specialized localization agencies can be an efficient way for companies to manage their global content and expand their reach in international markets. A thorough research is needed to identify localization agencies with expertise in your industry and target languages/regions. Once you find the ideal agency, it is important to establish a feedback mechanism for revisions and quality control, and maintain open lines of communication to address questions or issues.


Working with freelance localization specialists can be a cost-effective and flexible way for companies to handle localization needs. To effectively collaborate with freelance professionals in localization, the company must be effective in defining their localization needs and providing detailed project briefs. Clear communication, well-defined processes, and professionalism are key to successful collaborations with freelancers in this field.

Tools used by localization teams

Localization teams use a variety of tools to help them translate and adapt content for different languages and regions. Some of the most common tools are localization management platforms (LMPs), such as POEditor, that centralize project management, automate workflows, and facilitate collaboration among team members. They serve as centralized hubs for managing all aspects of localization, from project planning and content translation to quality control and delivery.

Machine translation (MT) tools like Google Translate can be used to generate initial translations, which can then be post-edited by human translators for accuracy and context. Computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools, on the other hand, are designed to assist human translators in the process of translating text from one language to another. They utilize a translation memory, storing both the source and target text. If a similar segment reappears, the tool suggests previous translations, ensuring consistency and saving time.

Content Management Systems (CMS) like WordPress allow for easy content management and can be integrated with localization tools to facilitate translation and content updates. Localization automation and integration APIs can automate various aspects of the localization process, including extracting and importing content, updating translations, and integrating with other systems.

Translation Quality Assessment tools help assess the quality of translations by checking for inconsistencies, terminology errors, and adherence to style guides. It is also worth mentioning cultural sensitivity tools, as they provide insights into cultural norms and sensitivities to help ensure that localized content is respectful and appropriate for the target audience.

How POEditor can improve your team’s workflow

POEditor is a web-based localization management platform that offers a range of features to assist localization teams in their work. It serves as a centralized hub for managing all aspects of localization projects. It provides a unified workspace where team members can collaborate on translating, proofreading, and managing software strings.

The platform supports a wide range of file formats commonly used for localization, features a built-in translation memory system, as well as comments and user roles to facilitate communication and coordination among team members. Users can also create and manage glossaries, and perform QA checks for common localization errors. POEditor provides an API for integration with other tools, and automation of localization processes.

Overall, our localization management tool helps streamline and optimize the localization process by providing a comprehensive set of tools and features that enhance collaboration, consistency, and efficiency. It is a valuable resource for localization teams looking to manage their projects effectively and deliver high-quality translations to global audiences.

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