Markets everywhere are becoming ever more interconnected and moving at faster paces. As these changes occur, how companies do business must, in turn, change, or we risk being left behind and perhaps unable to meet customer expectations. Something that we are intimately connected with being a part of the translation industry is the rate and methods at which international industry is globalizing and how the methods of globalization itself is changing.
Even during the pandemic, we have seen the rate of globalization continue to grow. In fact, the push towards remote work that Covid-19 caused may have only enhanced the pace at which our working relationships make traditional borders obsolete.
Simultaneously, the continuing digitization of our lives is leading to dramatic shifts in how companies effectively speak to customers and are able to expand their market share. A significant trend, and the one I want to focus on here today, is the shift towards continuous localization and how it is affecting the globalization strategies of today.
What is Continuous Localization?
For many businesses in our increasingly globalizing world, the question isn't whether they plan to localize their content for a new audience but when they will do it. By planning ahead and making content for a broader audience at the outset, you can avoid many of the hiccups and hang-ups that can plague after-the-fact localization efforts. Sometimes it is only after a company has invested heavily into one direction that they learn it won't have legs for a global market.
Continuous localization is the idea that rather than attempting to globalize and relocalize content after it is created, you instead make translation and localization efforts integral to your everyday workflow. Translating the documents becomes an assumed and regular step of the process.
The way in which software and products are released today also enhances the need for smaller and more regular translation needs. Rather than releasing products in one giant package, many companies will now release a smaller product early, upon which they will release updates and increase features over time. This method of product release (for example, a minimum viable product strategy) lends itself perfectly to the growing need for continuous localized translations.
Continuous localization happens in tandem with modern agile development cycles rather than as a separate workflow. To make continuous localization work for you, you need to evaluate your current workflow and where you can best work localization teams in.
At The Spanish Group, we specialize in helping companies develop and produce top-of-the-line location results. We saw firsthand how hard it was to juggle creating content in many languages, and we have spent years refining the process. Let us help you create globally effective and relevant content quickly and easily.
To implement continuous localization and keep it working properly as you grow and expand your services, you need to get the right people and technologies in place. You either need to expand your in-house staff to accommodate multiple language experts, translating documents for each area you hope to penetrate, or find a language partner like us at The Spanish Group with years of experience creating advanced localization strategies.
How is Localization Different From Translation?
Localization goes well beyond simply translating documents into alternative languages. In fact, extensive localization can occur within the same language when you account for regional dialects, speech patterns, idioms, metaphors, and cliches. This also demonstrated how localization is more than word replacement; localization requires you to recreate a message into the context of a new culture. In many cases, simply translating the words will fail to properly convey the meaning or intention of the message, given the new cultural context.
Localization requires the translator to 'transcreate'; this means that they are updating the word choice and style when they are translating documents. For example, rather than translate a metaphor that won't make sense for the reader in another culture, the translator will either choose a new culturally relevant metaphor or find a new way to convey the same original meaning.
Translating documents can be as much an art form as a science given the context, audience, and purpose of the translation.
How Is Continuous Localization Key to Brand Globalization?
By being responsible for internationalization at the outset of project or content creation means making sure that all aspects of what is being made can be easily exported for translation and merged back again.
Rather than go into a whole other topic, suffice to say the art of translation is generally more complex than many first assume (especially when many languages may be involved), and it may take some time before you are able to build the expertise required to intuitively understand how to create content geared for multiple translations.
Modern marketing requires you to only be clever in your messaging, but also timely and relevant if you want to get noticed. In order to actively compete in markets across the globe, you need to put out effective messaging quickly. By putting together the right teams and finding the right language partners, this process is not nearly as complicated as it may first sound.
Competing globally in 2022 means creating a continuous localization apparatus that allows you to quickly and effectively communicate with your target audiences around the world.
Once localization has become an integral part of your workflow, you will have transitioned towards creating content for a truly global audience. Planning around translating documents and working between cultures will eventually become second nature and will influence a large part of how you plan out your future endeavors.
Need Localization Work?
At The Spanish Group we specialize in translating documents quickly and effectively for over ninety global languages. We have helped tiny Mom and Pop shops, as well as major Fortune 500 companies expand their day-to-today operations and communicate with new customers. There has never been a better time to expand your market base, and our friendly and helpful staff will make every step of the process easy and painless.