Companies that understand the true value of localization services and what those services can do for ROI opt for the best localization service providers around. We at Rubric strive to ensure that we are constantly delivering work of the highest standard – within the framework offered by Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model (LMM) and educating our clients on the importance of such a solid system. As well as the fact that localization plays a huge part in their business goals. (more…)
Companies take many factors into consideration when setting budgets. More often than not, localization is seen as an additional cost, making it extremely difficult to do business across borders. If you take a different approach though and look at localization in relation to the volume of additional sales it generates, the picture looks quite different. In many companies localization generates $1,000 for every dollar spent on a localization. That puts it into perspective, doesn’t it? Which is why it’s so vital for you to ensure that localization is being implemented correctly. (more…)
As the global marketplace expands and becomes digitized, it’s important to ensure that your services are localized. There are no two ways about it, you need to speak directly to your customers in a language they understand. But localization is not merely a matter of translating products into various languages. It’s about creating a strategy that is understood and consistent across all of your company’s departments.
The great news, is that these days, localization is easier than ever – and this is thanks to the Common Sense Advisory’s Localization Maturity Model (LMM). In simple terms, the LMM is in place to ensure that your requirements for localization are carried out by the best teams and processes and are based specifically on your unique needs and market.
Not sure if the LMM would be right for your company? Then take a look at what incorporating it could mean for you:
The LMM takes the localization journey to a new level
The LMM is structured according to nine levels or stages of localization maturity. Each level has a strategic process in place in order to propel a company to the next level – until full localization (stage nine) is reached. Technically, the nine levels are divided into two categories: mature and immature. While localization should always be on a trajectory towards growth and improvement, there are companies that can be deemed as ‘localization immature’. In essence, there are five maturity phases and four immaturity phases. They are as follows:
1 – Reactive – At this phase, workflows are kept relatively ad hoc, things are done as they need to be done and there is a lot of uncertainty around roles and responsibility. There aren’t proper plans or strategies in place.
2 – Repeatable – At this level, there are a few processes in place and some of them are updated and used regularly.
3 – Managed – There are signs of things being much more formal and documented at this stage. Localization is actively being managed and various vendors are used.
4 – Optimized – In this phase, there is an optimized and managed system of localization. It’s a priority for the company, standards and processes are adhered to, and tools are shared internally.
5 – Transparent – In this phase, there are well-implemented systems, processes, and tools in place. They are constantly being improved upon and scaled. Localization is an integral part of the company and all products and release planning are based on it.
0 – Negligent – This is the categorization for companies that do not see the need for localization. They, therefore, have not even thought about implementing any processes or applying it to any of their products.
1 – Obstructive – This is the phase for companies that let things such as budget get in the way of localization. It’s the category for operations that have something ‘standing in their way’.
2 – Scornful – This often happens when people have tried the process before and it didn’t work. Disillusioned from their experience, and thinking it’s bound to fail, they feel that implementing any localization processes is futile.
3 – Discouraging – People who categorically are anti-localization. It’s a very negative phase where people are often under pressure due to strict budgets that need very thorough reports and information to justify any costs.
The LMM is designed to help companies progress from whichever stage they already are into a more optimized stage using strong strategies and processes to move through the levels. It also helps them to understand where they have come from, where they are currently, and what they need to work towards.
The LMM can give you a better return on investment
The reality is that with the LMM implemented you are empowered to select the best vendors, create solid and successful strategies, implement streamlined processes, utilize the ideal tools and set up the most important KPIs. This in the long term will ensure that you are able to achieve the lowest total cost of ownership and increase your ROI.
In a personal capacity, using the LMM in conjunction with a localization service provider to achieve everything we just mentioned also gives you better access to the key decision makers within your organization. This will allow you to achieve more in less time and show your value to the right people.
The steps to implementing the LMM are simple
Each core element of implementing the LMM is essential to the success of the process, and the steps to incorporate them are simple:
Governance is the process of ensuring that everything that is done is tracked and is in accordance with agreed-upon policies. This can be done by looking at KPIs that can be monitored and tracked.
It’s vital that a firm strategy is created to achieve localization. This is where companies will set long-term goals and budgets for expansion and growth. This is where a conversation about localization needs to be opened throughout the company and filter through to all departments so that it can form part of the company strategy and in order for people to see the value of localization. This requires a content audit in order to see which markets are your biggest and smallest, and what content you currently have in order to see what can be leveraged. This is a process that will take some time to fully integrate.
For localization to be successful, there needs to be a set and defined process, or set of processes, in place. It’s crucial that this process is documented so that everyone in the internal team can all be on the same page. This document can be agile and can be added to as the processes evolve. You can kick this off by listing any processes you might already have in place.
- Organizational structure
This links to the point above. It’s crucial that once you have implemented localization processes, they are clearly communicated to the rest of the team. Make sure that the concept of localization, best practices, style guides, and glossaries are shared, explained and discussed. Ensure that your upper management understands the importance of the Center of Excellence.
The wonderful thing about localization is that operations can be automated, this doesn’t necessarily impact every department, but it’s a vital part of the process and worth understanding.
Your exact steps will be dictated by your current position in the localization journey. If you would like to find out more information about the LMM or are looking for help in implementing the right processes for your business, then contact us at Rubric.
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How does a multinational company – one that operates in more than 100 countries – ensure that all staff are on the same page? With a strategic localization plan, of course. While the answer may be simple in theory, orchestrating the accurate and timely localization of internal training collateral requires a little help from localization experts. Here’s how we assisted Amway in conducting a localization process that was streamlined, efficient and ultimately, effective.
In order to upskill their staff around the globe, Amway turned to Rubric to localize their multi-media training collateral.
Amway needed to localize internal training collateral that consisted of web and video-based content. This called for the translation, subtitling, engineering and testing of various assets, totaling a massive 250, 000 words. With staff working in multiple time zones and offices, the project required a water-tight, strategic localization strategy that emphasized collaboration with all stakeholders, regardless of where they were located around the world.
Effective communication played a pivotal role in the project’s success.
Regular communication between Rubric project managers, translators, engineers and Amway staff and stakeholders played a crucial role in the success of the project. We sought to find the most effective methods of communication between all involved and then prioritized frequent calls, meetings and updates with all concerned.
Proactive project management allowed us to plan for all eventualities and create schedules based on each market’s specific needs.
In order to ensure that we were able to provide Amway with a superior localized end result, we first sought to understand exactly what they expected from the project. Once we had identified these goals, we then worked together to determine the most efficient (and effective) processes and technology. By identifying potential issues before we began, we were able to streamline the localization process as we were aware of the red flags and bottlenecks that might be encountered along the way right from the get-go. Specific localization schedules were planned around market-dependent, pre-determined launch dates as well as the current workload and capacity of Amway staff. Rubric project managers ensured that everyone was on the same page at all times.
A resounding success, our partnership with Amway enabled the company to effectively upskill staff in their UK, US, China, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, Japan and Russia branches.
For the full run-down of what this project entailed, you can download our Case Study, here.
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How Rubric’s translation and localization service helped AccuWeather localize in over 100 languages.
Translation and localization are all about improving people’s lives. That may sound like a sweeping statement, but when you get down to the crux of the matter, localization is about tailoring your content, whether it’s a mobile app, technical manual or soundtrack to the end user. AccuWeather, the world’s leading provider of weather information, has a mission that’s very much like ours: to serve the end user with the best possible experience.
If you’re anything like me, you probably take the fact that you can get live weather information via your mobile or laptop whenever you want it for granted. But for those living in far-flung corners of the globe, access to this vital data hasn’t always been as easy as opening an app. AccuWeather wanted to make it just as easy for someone in San Jose to access accurate weather reports as it is for someone in Sacramento. And that’s where we came in.
AccuWeather’s requirements were twofold: they needed to localize their offering and gain an in-depth understanding of their users’ preferences and needs.
To do this, our translators and developers worked alongside their project managers to customize and localize their digital assets. This entailed the translation and localization of source code, copy and interfaces to ensure that they were built accurately across different markets, consisting of over 100 languages and dialects. Also known as hyper-localization, our goal was to help AccuWeather tailor real-time weather data to the user’s device, location, language and dialect.
Cultural preferences and the unique needs of users dictated how we approached the translation and localization of raw data.
It’s not just the weather that differs by region, but the way we describe it too. In order for AccuWeather to provide every single user with detailed forecasts, it was crucial that all copy was crystal-clear, and UX-friendly. Achieving this required an in-depth understanding of the unique ways a culture uses language to understand the weather, while bearing in mind that the wording of this had to easily display on any screen – mobile or PC. For example, English speaking users easily understand the phrase “chance for a flurry”. Translate this into Polish, and you get “Prawdopodobieństwo lekkich opadów śniegu” – a massive 40 characters compared to 17, rendering the phrase too long for mobile display and convenient consumption.
Another factor that required careful consideration when localizing AccuWeather’s digital assets is that fact that there’s not always an equivalent term or phrase for its English counterpart.
This is where cultural context plays a massive role in the translation and localization process. For example, when it comes to an affinity for describing snow, the Eskimo languages Inuit and Yupik (as well as their various dialects) have it down to a fine art; they have over a dozen terms to describe snow. Some mean powdery snow, some mean wet snow, and others mean heavy snow. It’s these tiny but oh-so-important details that can complicate translation and localization efforts for many a business if they’re not addressed with in-depth and extensive knowledge of the cultural context at hand.
Transforming weather data into actionable information requires a myriad of considerations and importantly, the combination of skills and expertise.
AccuWeather specialize in weather, while we specialize in localization. By partnering with them, we were able to combine our relative areas of expertise and achieve their goal of providing accurate weather information on demand to all. This ongoing collaboration will see even more innovation to come, as we continue to work together to personalize the weather in the most effective and impactful way possible.
Read more about our partnership with AccuWeather by downloading our case study here.
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When briefing in any project, the first question should always be: how long will it take? And when that project has a localization component, understanding the project timeframe is even more important.
The key is to plan early. As soon as you’re aware that translation is required, your starting point should be sitting down with a localization service provider (LSP) so that they can help you plan effectively. Good project management from your LSP can help you scope your project thoroughly, assess risks, provide a clear schedule so tasks are done in the right order and help you move tasks off the critical path. This helps reduce stress and time to market.
Having a gauge of the number of words you need translated is essential. A good rule of thumb for translation is 2 000 words per day, on average, once translation is in progress. For small volumes there’s a ramp up time for the LSP, so the earlier you start to plan with the LSP, the smoother the project will run. And if you’re looking to send English content and your target market content together, then you need to plan extra carefully. One also needs to factor in the time needed to create glossaries and style guides.
When planning any translation project, you should ask yourself a few simple questions:
- When do I need to have the content ready?
- Is there a need for a pre-final content stage?
- When is the source content final and ready for translation?
- Have I clearly identified the content for translation?
- In what format will I provide the content to be translated and are all source files available?
- What languages do I need this content in and which countries are being targeted?
- What other tasks need to be done for this to be ready for market?
- Will we have reviewers look at the content?
When it comes to localization different things take longer than others, of course.
With video localization, translating the script is often the smallest part of the project because scripts are generally quite short. It’s the other tasks that can prove complicated. Your LSP needs a clear idea of the project schedule to ensure that voice samples can be recorded and provided on the correct dates. If your LSP is creating videos, they need the source videos and should know the software that these were created in; they’ll also need information around output formats, video quality and screen resolution to ensure you get the correct deliverables back.
Here are a few questions you should be asking:
- Do I have the source video?
- Do I want a voice-over for this video? If so, what sort of voice?
- Do I need subtitles?
- What should the subtitles look like?
- Are subtitles already used in English?
- Is there on-screen text which requires localization or will this remain in English?
- Who is going to create the videos for the target markets?
With website localization, it’s important to involve your web team early to plan effectively.
Often the translation of web content is the simplest part of the process, but planning how that content will be exported/imported can take a lot longer. Discuss with your web team and your LSP how best to export content for translation. For smaller projects, you can copy and paste from Word or Excel. However, this probably won’t work for larger scale projects.
A few website localization questions to consider:
- Which pages need to be localized?
- Is there localized content already on your website?
- How will you set up the local pages?
- Will people access these pages via the main site or will there be country-specific URLs?
- How will you map the local content within your CMS?
- Are there graphics which require localization?
- How am I going to keep localized content in sync with US content going forward?
- Will content be regularly updated?
- Who will be responsible for getting the content back into the CMS?
Looking for an LSP to make your content translation easier? We offer all the localization services you need to make your project a success. Click below to find out more.
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