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Articles for Translators and Translation Companies
Localization




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The Booming Localization Industry in the People’s Republic of China
In recent years, Chinese localizers have been strengthening their exchanges with their foreign counterparts as well as the publicity of their services. The free and chaotic state of the sector has been replaced by the standardized and orderly development pattern. Although the worldwide financial crisis of two years ago crippled the flourishing tendency of localizing enterprises, it offered them precious opportunities in the accelerated globalization. China has gradually become one of the major centers for multilingual localization services…
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Funny but Costly Localization Mistakes
You want to increase your market share, profits, and presence, so you decide to expand into a new market. Your team spends an incredible amount of time and money determining which market to enter. Your brand is molded to fit into your prospective market while maintaining its integrity, and the research backs that it is relevant, appropriate, and remarkable…
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Blunders Made by Cross-Cultural Businesses
We often get many emails from visitors to our sites saying how much they enjoy the article on cross cultural blunders - Results of Poor Cross Cultural Awareness. We are constantly asked for more. Bowing to pressure we have therefore complied some more examples of how cultural ignorance can and does lead to negative (and much of the time humorous) consequences…
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How to Localize Your Software Products in Order to Go Global
Localizing software is a great way to rapidly expand your business and grow profits. A 2007 paper by the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) reported that $25 dollars was returned for every $1 invested in localization
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Five Localization Myths
For many years now, advances in internet technologies, development tools, authoring tools and platforms, have expanded the use of different file formats and build environments. Software applications and manuals are no longer based only on Microsoft resource files or Word documents. Java, XML, ASP, HTML, as well as many other formats, have become standard in many applications and products...
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LSPs during recession: by Larry Gould, thebigword
At thebigword, during 2009, we have seen a significant increase in the volume of work from clients who, in the past, were mainly focused on their home markets. In the present situation these markets have let them down and are expected to take some time to recover...
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The importance of accurately globalizing your message for new markets
At some point you may have wondered or asked yourself: what does the term localization really mean? If you have, don’t feel bad. Few people outside the industry can describe what is actually involved in the localization process. And it seems like even fewer realize how complex and potentially time-consuming the process of producing accurate, superior-quality localizations truly can be...
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The growth and evolution of audio and video localization
The increase in demand for localization of multimedia content is nothing new to most translation providers, but these past few years, in addition to an increase in volume, we have also seen a diversification of the content, from mostly voice over for phone prompts, e-learning, and corporate videos, to web based Flash marketing animations, streaming web videos, multilingual green screen production, internal webinars, software tutorials and much more...
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LinkedIn - the Localization Industry’s Favorite Network?
Facebook, Twitter, Flixster, LinkedIn: They make up the fastest growing segment of the Internet. In fact, two-thirds of online users access "member communities," which include social networks and blogs, according to research conducted this year by The Nielsen Company. They have even overtaken e-mail as the fourth most popular online category, and they are growing twice as fast as any other category...
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Work Breakdown Structure (WBS) of Localization Projects
It happened when my interlocutor spoiled a perfectly fine discussion about localization and project management by throwing in “Work Breakdown Structure,” which instantly froze me in my tracks. I sprinkled a few “WBS” acronyms in my response, and then suddenly remembered an important meeting I had to attend…
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Localization - the art and science
According to LISA ( Localization Industry Standards Association ), “Localization ... involves more than just making the product readily available in the form and language of the target market. It must speak to the target audience, based upon its cultural norms and worldview…
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Internationalization and localization
In computing, internationalization and localization (also spelled internationalisation and localisation, see spelling differences) are means of adapting computer software to different languages and regional differences. Internationalization is the process of designing a software application so that it can be adapted to various languages and regions without engineering changes. Localization is the process of adapting software for a specific region or language by adding locale-specific components and translating text…
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Localization and Translation Best Practices: Successfully Marketing Your Brand to a Global Audience
As Marketing Manager at an innovative, mid-sized localization company, I always look for opportunities to provide our existing and prospective customers with useful information about the sometimes-mysterious world of translation and localization. To de-mystify this perplexing world, ENLASO conducts complimentary Webinars on a bi-monthly basis…
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Can You Translate PMI-Speak?
Does your next localization project involve working with a PMP (Project Management Professional) or with someone from a PMO (Project Management Office)? If so, you just might need some translation help for project management-speak…
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Internationalization tips
There are two kinds of software internationalization you can refer to – built in to the product from the start, and performed on existing code. The kind of internationalization (i18n) this article invokes isn’t the sort that’s designed into a product right from conception…
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Best Practices for Software Internationalization
Before moving a software project to the localization phase, there are a few things that can save time and money by addressing the issues ahead of time. Depending on your software, there may be existing behaviors that are inappropriate for localized versions. Data entry involving proper names, addresses, phone numbers and currency are all areas that could cause problems during the localization phase…
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Using XML For Localization
XML is one of the safest, most powerful and flexible ways to store, manipulate, localize and present data in different languages. With the vast array of internationalization features and companion technologies, XML provides many advantages in translation and localization projects…
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Preparing for Translation - Part II of Series. The Localization Kit
I would like to expand on last month's article about how to create a translation kit and move into the technical world of creating a localization kit. A localization kit differs in that it deals with issues associated with localizing web sites, CBT systems and software…
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Maturity Levels for Localization Suppliers
In the software publishing and testing industries, CMM (Capability Maturity Model) levels give a clear indication of how well defined and robust the processes are in a given company. In a recent white paper, Common Sense Advisory (CSA) for the first time provides a maturity assessment proposal for the localization industry…
English Portuguese

Do's and Don'ts in Software Development Before Localization
Given the constant competitive pressure on executives to expedite product time-to-market, many developers are given tight deadlines to deliver functional software. This software is often geared for localization once the source language version is ready for release…
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Translation Kits – Roadmaps for Your Language Services Provider
Translation kits range from the very simple to the very complex. In either case, translation kits provide your vendor with vital information about every project you award them. The purpose of a translation kit is to provide us with your expectations: the subject matter and target audience, files and format to be translated, delivery expectations, special considerations and any other relevant information all in one place…
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Localizing Online Help: Robohelp vs. Flare
Successful companies know that the effort of translating content from one language to another does not lie solely on the localization teams. The right selection of authoring tools, as well as the content development methodology, plays a crucial role in global technical publication…
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Resources in Microsoft .NET
Sometime around the year 2000, Microsoft Corporation released its .NET (read as “dot net”) integrated programming environment to consolidate and simplify the disparate set of tools (COM, database operations, Win32 programming, code pages verses Unicode, etc.) that had emerged over a period of 20+ years of Windows development. Indeed, .NET was most welcome to those of us with a strong interest in internationalization, localization, and a transparent approach to Unicode…
English Portuguese

The Basics of Software Internationalization
Software internationalization builds support for multiple locales in an application, where a locale is “[a] subset of a user’s environment that defines conventions for a specified culture,” typically including language. Supporting multiple locales lets the user choose the most appropriate one, allowing for easier use of the given application. It is best to complete the internationalization process as the application is being built, since adding in such support after the fact can be expensive and complicated…
English Portuguese

Translation is NOT enough - localization makes the difference
Marketing executives and web designers spend lots of time worrying about why, when, and where visitors leave their websites. As such, Common Sense Advisory sought to uncover the reasons visitors leave across the buying experience as visitors transitioned from casual visitor to browser to shopper to buyer to customer…
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The Open Global Web Architecture
Many techniques exist for creating and maintaining websites and applications that support multiple languages. The most established sites use Unicode for text, use proper date, currency, and numeric formats, and they store error messages in resource files. All of these practices are thoroughly documented and supported by modern web implementation platforms, such as Java and .NET, which makes it possible for web teams with limited prior knowledge of these practices to get up to speed…
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Building a Localization Kit
This document was created to address a typical common problem afflicting localization managers, localization vendors, and project managers.
This document is intended for readers with years of experience in the localization industry, as well as for newcomers. However, it is not intended to be comprehensive…
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Mainstreaming L10n Purchasing
Why is localization sourcing and procurement not recognized more as a strategic and critical business activity within client-side organizations? Which aspect of the universal business construct—people, processes, or technology—can we point to for this failure? Do localization buyers lack the esteemed higher education pedigree that managers of other cost centers seem to have?…
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“Con mala escoba mal se barre”: los problemas de la localización de productos informáticos no internacionalizados
En este artículo estudiamos los graves problemas a los que se enfrenta la traductora-localizadora a la hora de traducir-localizar un producto informático mal internacionalizado. Tras definir los conceptos claves de internacionalización y localización, se hace un repaso de los mencionados problemas, haciendo uso de ejemplos reales. Se proponen tres posibles orígenes de los problemas…
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What the future of localization holds
As I write this, two piles of paper overflow the left corner of my desk. One stack contains notes, articles and case studies about the best practices for buying services online. The other mound — much bigger — is an eclectic assortment of consumer, business, cultural, automotive, sports and other news items about globalization and its positive, humorous and surprising consequences. This second pile will feed my idea factory for a future report…
English Portuguese

What Do We Want From Localization Tools?
A few years ago, the preparation of certain files for translation was a task that took hours. Depending on the lot of files being prepared, it could take days! Even with a good deal of time allotted to the pre-production process, the hours spent did not always result in a project that would be free of problems during the actual production phrase or the phases to follow…
English Portuguese

Website Localization Tips
Continuing with our tips on the types of website programming and the ways to deal with these types for later localization, we will examine in this edition what can be done and how to do it…
English Portuguese

Localization of Content Management System (CMS) Websites
In this edition, we will be wrapping up our series on website localization with a discussion of Content Management System, better known as CSM. However, before we go into the localization process itself, allow me to provide a brief introduction of how this type of system works…
English Portuguese

Volumizing: Good for Hair, Bad for Content
Life in the 21st Century centers around information. In practically every waking moment, we create it, we receive it, we process it, we pass it on, we ignore it, but most of all, we need it. Those who process information for a living have developed a relentless informational imperative: If it can be written, it must be written. So, content developers fall into "volumizing" their content instead of preparing if for the global workflow and end users. In this article, I'll examine why content volumization occurs, what its effects are, and what you can do about it…
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Customer Elements within Glocalization
Despite international initiatives on global branding, advertisement campaigns, and product features, the linchpin that transforms a "call to action" into resulting customer purchases is an understanding of the Customer Elements: the combined discipline encompassing online site usability, focus groups, controlled surveys, market metrics, etc…
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Evolving Localization and its Brand Extension
"Frog at the bottom of a well" is an old Asian proverb which states that a frog at the bottom of a well steadfastly believes heaven is only the size of a small circle. Only when one climbs out of the well can heaven's true vastness and magnitude be comprehended. Ageless as this proverb may be, it is also an appropriate description of the current commoditization challenge within the localization industry…
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Wikipedia: Localization in a Free Content Community
Wikipedia is now the second most visited reference web site on the internet. Run by volunteers, its goal is to create and maintain a free encyclopedia with a neutral point of view in every language on the internet. Gerard Meijssen, an active volunteer with the Dutch Wiktionary and Initiator of the Ultimate Wiktionary, explains how the Wikimedia Foundation works and describes some of its latest projects…
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May Flowers
OSCAR Releases a New Crop of Standards

The work of standards bodies is usually characterized by slow and steady work on standards that take years to define. This slowness is caused partially by the fact that companies have vested interests in making sure that the standards reflect their ways of doing business, and when there are conflicts between contributors, hammering out compromises can take years. Recent work by the OSCAR group, however, has been decidedly different from the slow progress we normally expect from standards bodies…
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Designing for a Non-English Audience
Having worked as a digital publishing specialist at a large corporation at my previous job, I did not think being in charge of foreign language typesetting would be too difficult. After all, the layout and the images are already prepared and I only need to flow in the text - how hard could that be? I was sure that a simple Copy and Paste, or text importation, would do everything. This was my point of view when I initially began managing DTP projects in different languages…
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The “Good Ol’ Days” Are Gone
You can be sure that the current economic slowdown in Silicon Valley is definitely different than past ones, when you hear engineers complain about it. I have been working in the hi-tech industry in Silicon Valley since 1988, and I’ve never heard of a lack of jobs for technical people. As a matter of fact, this area has always been considered “nirvana” by anyone with a scientific background and entrepreneurial spirit…
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Discovering the Joys of Internationalization in Australia
My perspective is that of the academic computer scientist, a member of a department that produces remarkably good software developers who, up until recently, wouldn’t have known “Unicode” from “Unilateral.” Their complacency has been shared for many years by a software industry that has drawn adequate sustenance from local development work…
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Risky Business: Risk Management for Localization Project Managers
In his first article on localization (L10n) project management, The Life, or Lack Thereof, of a Localization Project Manager, Willem Stoeller provided five critical success factors for localization project management and placed them in context for the overall project lifecycle. In this second article in the series, Stoeller presents the case of incorporating the “kittens, puppies, alligators and tigers” of risk management into the L10n Project Manager’s “toolkit.” A simple spreadsheet is enough to get started; and the payoff in retaining long-term customers will far outweigh the initial effort required…
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The Digital Divide - Why Localization Matters More Than We Know
In a recent article in Scientific American entitled “Demystifying the Digital Divide,” Mark Warschauer of the University of California, Irvine reports on the failure of attempts to eliminate the “Digital Divide,” the differential rates in access to high-technology products and services between groups and locations around the world…
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An Update on the EU’s In-Vitro Diagnostic (IVD) Directive
New European Union legislation completing the Medical Device Directive is due to come into force at year’s end, which is bringing added challenges to product compliance in this field. This article looks at the implications of this complex Directive for the multilingual information management of product labeling in different countries and recommends relevant strategies…
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With a Clear Vision and His Feet on the Ground
You’re known for having a rather astute and unique perspective on the GILT industry. Where does this come from?
There’s really no magic to it... I’m now an old hand at this business, if not according to my age, at least in terms of when I started in 1984. If you look at the other CEOs in our industry now, most, if not all, have been in the business probably half of my time. Also, I’m free to say what I want since SimulTrans continues to be independent and privately owned…
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What Planet Are They On?
"I firmly believe that programming language (PL) developers are very intelligent people, who, for some reason, have not yet noticed that we now live on such a small planet. They should have already realized that successful applications must be multilingual to be easily translated and localized…"
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Return on Investment in Multilingual Websites from a Marketing Perspective
It is critical for global companies to build long-term trust with their customers worldwide. One of the most effective ways to do this is to address audiences in their local languages. By nature, the Internet is a truly international and multicultural engine that crosses global barriers. Effective content localization enables companies to leverage corporate assets in ways that reduce overall costs, accelerate revenues and build better relationships with customers and employees all around the world. The effectiveness of this localization effort can be measured by the development and analysis of metrics…
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Global to the Core
At a time when the GILT industry is fighting for visibility this sounds like bad news. Is this a return to the "bad old days" when localization was so chaotic that no one knew what they were spending, or what they were getting for their money? As it turns out, IBM's inability to say how much money it spends on GILT may herald the start of a new era of globalization…
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Making Sim Ship Work
Simultaneous shipment ("sim ship") of all language versions of a product is an ideal that few companies actually achieve. In this article Tony Gray of Oracle describes the results of a project to improve Oracle's sim ship capabilities that has allowed Oracle to consistently deliver products in thirty languages at the same time. The key? Support from senior management and building the right team…
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Minority Report on Localization 2003
It is always a risky business to try to predict the future, particularly in view of erratic human behavior and rapid technological changes. Then again, we are not totally clueless; the future is built on the present and affected by the actions we take today. Looking back at the language industry in 2002, one may conclude that there were no dramatic developments…
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Localization Solved?
Is localization "solved"? If so, what does that mean for internationally-active businesses? Are they then "in the market"? Arle Lommel argues that localization is only part of the picture and that post-localization issues will become increasingly important for companies doing business around the world…
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Localization2: Selling the 21st Century Across the Digital Divide
Most of us live in a 21st century society with easy access to information and entertainment when we want it, where we want it. We grumble when we go to a conference hotel and have to use a modem to get our e-mail (how archaic is that?), and we complain when our cell phones don’t work on the “wrong” side of the Atlantic (I won’t give my opinion as to which side that might be). Our clients want the impossible done yesterday, and they want to pay less for it than they paid for the merely possible a few years back…
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Quality Assurance – The Client Perspective
Quality GILT results depend on balancing quality desires and requirements with real-world constraints. Clients often have unrealistic or unstated expectations for quality and are then disappointed with the results. Making expectations explicit and understanding how they will/will not be met (and at what cost) can help clients make appropriate decisions and investments…
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Time-to-Market: It’s Standards or Die!
F-Secure was an early supporter of the TMX standard and continues to be an extremely strong advocate on the customer side for encouraging language tools vendors to play to their individual strengths, rather than investing in proprietary tools and processes. The company depends on an open environment to meet its critical time-to-market goals in the extremely competitive security market. Mika Pehk onen describes how the Localization and Development Teams are integrated at F-Secure to produce a security service that ideally responds to threats even before they materialize…
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Mission Impossible: Improve Quality, Time and Speed At the Same Time
It is the accepted wisdom of the translation world that translation quality, speed and cost are all locked in some sort of zero sum game. Any improvement in one comes at the expense of one or both of the others. If you need to improve quality, translation takes longer and is more expensive due to extra quality assurance steps…
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A Passage to Localization Down Under
New Zealand is not just all scenery. It is gearing up for a full-fledged localization industry to emerge. What does it take for a translation company to become a one-stop localization shop in a country where there is no existing localization industry? Evelyn Olsen, who works for a local translation company, insists that New Zealand is ready for localization and draws attention to its urgent need for the training of localization professionals…
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The GILT Industry and the Cultural Gap
The theme for this Asia-Pacific edition of the Globalization Insider is cultural gaps — not only between countries, but also within the GILT industry itself. At a recent international screen translation conference I attended, DVD subtitling was a hot topic, and it became quite clear to me that the emergence of global DVD markets will necessitate the convergence of screen translation (subtitling and dubbing) and localization if multilingual digital content is to be delivered efficiently …
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Is Localization a Mouse or a Rat?
Many of us know Umberto Eco for books such as The Name of the Rose and Foucalt’s Pendulum, both of which were international best sellers, translated into dozens of languages. Aside from his career as an author of best sellers, Eco is professor of semiotics at the University of Bologna and one of the best-known thinkers about language and literature…
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Spotlight: Hanspeter Siegrist
Globalization Insider: What are the two most critical issues facing the language technology industry right now?
The interoperability between technologies and enabling true collaboration among all players.
The interoperability between technologies (including competing technologies). For example, if a telephone is incompatible with another telephone, it is useless…
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Culture and Website Localization
With the rise in ownership of computers and internet usage growing daily, the internet is fast becoming the primary port of call for information, shopping and services. In addition, those computer and internet users are increasingly from non-English speaking countries. At the end of 2002, it was estimated that 32% of internet users were non-native English speakers. This figure is constantly rising. In response, businesses have quickly become aware of the benefits of website localization…
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The Translation of Advertisements: from Adaptation to Localization
The translation of advertisements has evolved during the last decade towards what is now called “Advertising Localization”. It is not a mere change of designation stemming from computer science vocabulary but a radical change of perspective concerning the real nature and modes of linguistic and cultural transfer from one language into an other. The present article explains, in detail, the evolution that took place, its expressions and its stakes in the profession and training of translators in the field of localization…
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Why Foreignizing Translation Is Seldom Used in Anglo-American World in Information Age
This thesis mainly looks at the issue of foreignization and domestication of translation from a perspective of information transfer. In a literary translation process two kinds of information can be classified: direct information and aesthetic information. The reasons behind the dominant domestication method in the Anglo-American world are that the translators focus on the transfer of direct information not aesthetic information of the source text and that the reader doesnt possess enough backup information to understand a translation of foreignization…
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Stylistic Features of the Advertising Slogan
A slogan is a form of verbal logo. In a print ad, it usually appears just beneath or beside the brand name or logo. A slogan sums up what one stand for, ones specialty, the benefit, and ones marketing position, and ones commitment. It is especially useful to reinforce ones identity. A slogan can prove to be more powerful than a logo. People can remember and recite your slogan while they are unlikely to doodle your logo…
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