Top Brands and Technology Leaders Discuss Global Content Strategies

Read Welocalize’s latest LocLeaders newsletter!

This newsletter summarizes key discussion topics and insights from LocLeaders forum Silicon Valley 2017 and features articles and contributions from our guest panelists and participants. Cisco, Dell Technologies and VMWare shared different spotlights to speak about their approaches to modernizing the globalization systems infrastructure and the quantum leap promise of neural MT. No doubt technology will continue to rapidly evolve so how are organizational structures keeping pace? Guest panelists and content experts from Content Rules, Pinterest, Saatchi & Saatchi and WhatsApp also weighed in on the imperative to break barriers and build content creation ecosystems that deliver a superior and consistent global customer experience (CX).

 Click here to view the latest LocLeaders 2017 Silicon Valley Newsletter. 

 For more information on LocLeaders Forums 2018 in your region, email

What’s New in Localization QA and Testing?

Interview with Sven Werner, Head of QA + Testing Facility, Portland

Welocalize provides comprehensive quality assurance (QA) and localization testing services to some of the world’s leading product and software companies. We have two secure testing labs located in Portland, Oregon and Jinan, China. Sven Werner, who heads up the testing facility in Portland, shares how Welocalize QA and testing services have matured and advanced to enable our clients to deliver a superior customer service and experience.

How has the approach to localization testing changed over the past 5-10 years?

In the past, testing was seen as part of the overall production stack as opposed to a service. Testing wasn’t necessarily an integral and strategic part of the overall localization plan. How we use, purchase and update our technology has advanced significantly over the past two decades, when Welocalize was founded in 1997. New software, features and updates are downloaded every second, all over the world, onto a variety of platforms. This has resulted in localization testing, both functional and linguistic, becoming a crucial part of any software development lifecycle (SDLC). Localization itself, and testing as well, is no longer an afterthought or part of an ISO check box, but a service that clients actively seek to ensure their products are ready for global markets and well received.

The rapid growth of technology globalization over the past decade has resulted in a different approach to production and testing, for both clients and service providers. Clients develop their products in an agile environment, going from one sprint to another very rapidly. Products need to be ready for global markets and simultaneous shipping. In addition, it is no longer sufficient if the translated content appears correctly. The focus is far more on the experience of the user in each market. To get a good read on how well a product will be received, traditional test cases have had to make room for story-based test cases. A story-based approach truly tests the experience of an app or piece of software.

Some of our most mature clients won’t even allow an application to be integrated into their software unless all the right internationalization, globalization and localization tests have been carried out and properly documented. Testing features such as dates, measures, extensions, file names, string handling, text expansion buffers and generally ensuring a positive local user experience – these are all integral parts of a global product strategy, not an afterthought.

How has this impacted Welocalize?

We have built many partnerships with our clients and integrated testing into their software production cycles. Our testing operations have matured and Welocalize testing teams are led by a new generation of experienced testing managers, bringing a new way of thinking and testing to their teams. We deliver meaningful results to clients all over the world, providing feedback to ensure localized software products appear truly local and not simply a translated version of the source content. It must be a natural user experience, which will vary across countries and cultures.

At our facilities in Portland, we have over 250 test seats which are dynamically assigned based on the testing needs.

How are test seats dynamically assigned?

It’s a sophisticated system that assigns testers with projects to available seats in the lab. A tester checks in, sees which machine and seat is associated with their name and target language and they are booked in for the duration of the project. This allows the testing managers to create testing squads based on the project specific testing needs.  Once complete, the seat is automatically assigned to the next tester and project.

It is a fast-paced world?

Absolutely. We’re an agile organization and support short-notice requests, often delivering back within 24-48 hours. We support 72 locales on a regular basis on all the main platforms – there are very few platforms we don’t support. Our testers are highly qualified and immerse themselves in the client’s technology. Client-server testing, web and mobile app testing, e-learning, multimedia and website review to name a few – we cover a wide range of testing. We also work closely with Welocalize colleagues over in China and Europe to share best practices and support clients.

Where next?

We will continue to grow and serve our clients with world-class QA and testing services. We want to be even more innovative and sophisticated in our approach to help agile clients create and distribute products and updates globally and in local markets.

Interview by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

For more information on Welocalize QA + Testing services, click here

Behind the Scenes at Welocalize – Spotlight on Portland Office

It ALL goes on at Welocalize’s office in Portland, Oregon, USA. Teams include QA and testing, product engineering, multimedia localization, transcription, and account and project management.  The office plays an integral part in delivering global ready content for Welocalize’s clients all over the world.

Welocalize moved into the current office location in Portland in 2014.  Expanding from 7,000 square feet to 20,000 square feet, the office has over 200 employees on site on any given day.

Working at Welocalize Portland

Senior Project Manager, Kara Tsuruta-Alvarez shares insights about her experience:

“Portland is a unique location for Welocalize as there is so much diverse talent within the building! You can always find someone to help for just about any need. From executive management, engineering and multimedia specialists, product and software development to experts in QA and testing, you can always find the answer you are looking for. Talent runs very deep here in Portland with very diverse backgrounds and experience.

“The building is in the middle of a neighborhood in transformation and is occupied with some of Portland’s most innovative companies. Most of the time it is exciting to be in the middle of one of the city’s hottest redevelopment areas. As for the cool factor, we have a bar that’s always filled with beer and cider from Portland’s very best breweries. Also, there are lots of great restaurants, bars and coffee shops nearby with more on the way!

 “Portland is a city with a vibrant downtown, beautiful neighborhoods and ultra-green ambitions. We are proud of our incredible food scene and craft beer and coffee! There are so many things to do, but I’d say favorites include exploring all the great food and dining spots, as well as taking in anything outdoor with all the trails and parks that surround us. We are known for our work-hard/ play-hard lifestyle and maintaining our city motto, ‘Keep Portland Weird.’”

Portland Testing Facility

The site houses one of our two primary quality assurance (QA) and testing laboratories, with the other main testing facility located in Jinan, China. The secure testing labs support multilingual linguistic and functional QA and testing for software, web and mobile applications across multiple platforms, devices and operating systems.

Our lab services continue to evolve as globalization needs expand to solve new business challenges, including content moderation and validation, speech and text analysis, and machine learning data annotation. The Portland testing facility continues to grow significantly and expand its capabilities to meet the changing demands of global clients embracing digital transformation.

Click here to find out more and to view Welocalize video, Get to Know our Team in Portland

What is GDPR and How Will It Impact Global Business?

As we look ahead to 2018, one of the challenges to businesses is the enforcement of the European General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which was adopted in April 2016 and comes into full effect on May 25, 2018.

GDPR will overhaul how businesses process and handle personal data on behalf of EU citizens, regardless of where they or the data is located and aims to harmonize data privacy laws across Europe. If the data is stored in the US, then the US company must comply with the laws.

GDPR will impact the way companies handle personal data, including having the latest documentation and communication on data protection. It is the biggest change in Europe’s data protection rules for two decades, replacing the previous 1995 Data Protection Directive. Since the 90s, we’ve seen big changes in the way businesses and individuals use information. The rapid growth of the internet, digital content and increase in digitally held personal data has driven the need for the update of data protection regulation. The introduction of GDPR is welcomed and makes sense. GDPR gives individuals more power to access and control the information that is held on them.

GDPR places more accountability on organizations for the handling and storing of personal information.

How will GDPR impact organizations?

GDPR will have a varying effect on organizations – there are 99 articles contained in the GDPR and impact depends on size, operations and how data is managed and stored for business purposes. For companies with more than 250 employees, they must have documentation that outlines why and how people’s information is being collected and stored, including how long the data will be stored and what security measures are in place to protect data. Some organizations that have “regular and systematic monitoring” of individuals’ data or process a lot of personal data must employ a data protection officer (DPO). GDPR also means individuals must be more aware as to why their data is being collected and held. This could impact many parts of an organization in different ways, from marketing through to the legal and compliance teams.

When it comes into effect, organizations covered by GDPR that are not complying or are not processing data in the correct way could be subject to high fines from regulators. Regulators can impose fines for breaches which law makers have deemed to be the most important for data security of up to €20m or 4% of annual worldwide turnover – whichever is higher.

Addressing GDPR in Multiple Language Markets

Many organizations and charities operate in more than one EU member state, therefore must ensure GDPR compliance applies in all relevant local operations and markets. A key stipulation is that senior managers and key decision makers must have full awareness of GDPR so they can identify any areas that could cause compliance problems. These communications must be developed in multiple languages, to reach multilingual audiences. This may mean additional content development for internal compliance purposes and in product and company marketing materials, promoting a brand’s adherence to GDPR.

GDPR will also generate new policy documents and new procedures. All new GDPR content must be made available to the relevant internal and external audiences, in each local market.

Welocalize can support GDPR compliance across multiple geographies by providing expert translators who can culturally adapt GDPR-related content such as technical and compliance documentation.

EU GDPR is the European Union’s official website for the regulation and there is a 12-Step Guide by ICO to help senior business leaders to navigate the changes and determine what they need to do.

Welocalize provides many companies with multilingual regulatory and compliance solutions. We offer high quality services with the right experts, technology and processes needed to maintain compliance on a global scale. For more information email

Discussions from TAUS Annual Conference 2017

By Olga Beregovaya, VP of Language Services at Welocalize and Tuyen Ho, VP of Corporate Development at Welocalize

The TAUS Annual Conference 2017 took place October 30-31 in San Jose, CA USA. Members of Welocalize’s senior management team attended to participate in discussions on industry strategies and drive collaboration and partnership within the localization and translation sector.

Olga Beregovaya, VP of Language Services at Welocalize and Tuyen Ho, VP of Corporate Development at Welocalize, both took part in this year’s TAUS Annual Conference. In this joint blog, Olga and Tuyen have teamed up to share their thoughts and highlight some of the key discussion points from the conference.

 ONE: Crossing over to Artificial Intelligence (AI)

“Many conversations at localization and translation industry events often cover similar subjects. We’ve been talking about these subjects for many years, such as machine translation (MT), data, reporting, quality and ROI. However, how we talk about these subjects has changed dramatically. Instead of just talking about MT, we now talk about MT in the context of deep learning and neural networks, crossing over to artificial intelligence (AI). At the TAUS conference, there were two very promising products presented by Lilt and ModernMT, both combining the advantages of neural MT and adaptive MT, thus allowing translators to benefit from both the most advanced MT technology and the engines’ ability to learn on the fly as the translator progresses through the job. We now also talk about MT as it is used for real-time automated speech translation, a rapidly evolving field that is now getting a lot of well-deserved attention. Data is now discussed in the context of utilizing it for training machine learning algorithms that evaluate and predict the quality of translation job outcomes, and the emphasis in the value of data for reporting is yet again put on the data harmonization in order for machines to be able to learn.” – Olga

TWO: Evolution of translators’ profession

“The other interesting new trend in this year’s TAUS discussions is the opposite of ‘automation’ of translation – the newly discovered creative aspect of the translators’ profession. With machines and technology taking on more day-to-day work, translators are becoming brand ambassadors and cultural consultants focusing on producing transcreated content.” – Olga

“How is our industry preparing global talent to adapt, as the pace of automation continues to impact the complexity and velocity of the content development life cycle? With MT, linguists already enhance their skills to include post-editing.  With AI, project managers who can effectively apply AI to the right business questions will be in high demand.” – Tuyen

THREE: Emphasis on Content Not Translation

“As an industry, our default choice of how we describe a process or anchor a solution pivots around ‘translation’. For corporate stakeholders outside of the localization team, a discussion about translation will often result in a big gaping yawn. Instead, if we shift the context to talk about content, business stakeholders are keen to understand how content relates to digital transformation, e-commerce strategy and the total customer experience.  For product companies, translation shouldn’t be an afterthought activity at the end of the software development life cycle (SDLC), but should be considered as a core product feature critical to the overall user experience.” – Tuyen


FOUR – A New Approach to Content Creation

“The practice of relying on a conventional translation process to achieve quality was also challenged at the TAUS conference. More content is already being professionally produced directly in the target language. Content creators now include contributors from the core and far-flung edges of a brand’s community. The content includes videos, GIFs and images. How many brands are envisioning an end-to-end content development sprint that places the linguists further upstream alongside the marketing agencies? Are we and the technology we rely on ready to support visual and audio content at scale?  How does language stay relevant in a non-text based world? – Tuyen


 “The industry continues to change and evolve and many of these key points were captured in every aspect of the TAUS Annual Conference 2017 – presentations, panel discussions and great disruptive products presented in the innovation contests.” – Olga

Click here for more information on TAUS

Further reading on MT + NMT:

Welocalize White Paper – MT: Neural or Neutral?

Welocalize Update on Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation is the Next Big Thing

Welocalize Machine Translation (MT) Solutions

Top Three Features at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley 2017

By Matt Gaitan, Welocalize Customer Success Manager, West Coast USA

At Welocalize LocLeaders Forums, the magic happens when the audience contributes and openly participates in the discussions. Part of the attraction of taking part in one our LocLeaders events is the opportunity to hear perspectives from industry experts as well as meeting like-minded professionals.

LocLeaders continues to be one of the leading event series in our industry and the recent 2017 forum in Silicon Valley did not disappoint. There were many features that stood out for me and resonated with the day-to-day conversations I have with clients and colleagues.

ONE: Localizing the User Experience Discussion

Our CEO, Smith Yewell, hosted an excellent talk at the beginning of the day on looking at localization from a totally new perspective. He referred to the term ‘localizing the user experience’. Both service providers and clients need to place a magnifying glass on how their content flows from inception until it reaches the internal or external customer. Gone are the days when a marketing manager should demand a marketing slick to be translated into Spanish within two business days when it took three months to finish the English version.  Companies need to be more proactive and less reactive with their content workflows. There is simply a lack of localization understanding and people typically look at the act of translation itself, focusing on the linguistic aspects. It is in everyone’s interest to keep the user experience at the forefront when it comes to the evolution of content. Users speak different languages but they also interact with products and services in different ways, depending on age, culture, religion and other socio-demographic factors. Localization must look at the overall experience in the context of the user.

TWO: Looking at Fixed and Variable Costs

Another discussion point that stood out for me was the need to investigate, understand and compare fixed costs against variable costs in terms of budgeting for localization programs. In many cases, companies will own fixed costs that can be made variable by off-loading the work to a language service provider (LSP). Alternatively, the same analyses can be made to create a stronger justification to turn a variable cost into a fixed cost. Functional and linguistic testing services are a good example of this. Both services deeply impact the perception that the end user has on a company’s product or service, regardless of language or country. Rather than hire full-time testers as fixed costs, companies can look to LSPs to own localization testing. The company can then decide how long those testing services are needed on a service by service or product by product basis. This decision can be based on the expected revenue increase of dispatching any new local service


or product. This is one of many examples of how benefits can be derived from leveraging the power of variable costs in a localization program.

THREE: Great Networking Opportunities

A lot of the positive feedback from LocLeaders attendees focused on the connections people made. People enjoy networking with their peers. It helps reaffirm that the challenges they face within their own localization programs are common and shared. Through networking and open conversation in a trusted environment, LocLeaders enables attendees to realize they are not alone. I’ve heard one participant liken LocLeaders Forums to therapy sessions, where you can be honest, open and get genuine advice and value through connecting with peers. The sessions are intimate enough to allow extroverts and introverts alike to speak up and help drive the discussions.


We will continue to develop and expand the Welocalize LocLeaders program to ensure anyone attending has a unique experience that adds great value, both individually and as a team.



Based in Portland, Oregon, Matt Gaitan is a Customer Success Manager at Welocalize

Thought Leadership Discussions at LocLeaders Silicon Valley 2017

Insights from guest panelist, Mimi Hills, Director of Product Globalization, VMware

Every year I look forward to the fall conferences on globalization and I relish the chance to participate in Welocalize LocLeaders Forum. It requires that I take stock of what I’ve experienced over the year, analyze what I’ve learned and organize my thoughts into coherent statements.

I jumped at the opportunity to join Olga Beregovaya’s panel at LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley 2017, “The Impact of Technology: How cutting-edge technology is shaping the way we do business and deliver global content.” Olga is pretty cutting edge herself, widely admired for her wisdom on the latest in Machine Translation (MT). With my fellow panelists, Wayne Bourland from Dell, Fernando Caros from Dell EMC and Michael Milos from Agilent Technologies, all industry experts, I enjoyed working through Olga’s tough questions.

One of Olga’s more complex questions was about what we thought was slowing down the adoption of new technology in the localization industry. For this discussion, we mentioned big investments in major translation management systems (TMS), whether home-built or bought; a tendency to stick to tried-and-true processes; and companies where localization is an afterthought and you must fight for every investment. As much as we might enjoy following each exciting new development in globalization technology, we don’t always have the opportunity to implement it in our daily jobs.

We also talked about a concept discussed at the TAUS Annual Conference 2017, of how MT technology is considered to be on the cusp of a “quantum leap” forward in quality, with neural MT (NMT). Some are waiting for that leap to prove itself, but I am glad that VMware has already piloted MT for our documentation so that we’ll be able to hit the ground running when customizable NMT hits the market. I’m grateful for my co-panelist Wayne Bourland; he’s a pioneer in putting MT to work for Dell (VMware’s parent company) and has willingly shared his industry learnings for a long time.

Another concept initially discussed at the TAUS conference and brought forward to our LocLeaders Silicon Valley 2017 panel discussion was the idea that NMT can be “deceptively fluent.” NMT can get the grammar correct but there are certain things it misses, such as negatives and double negatives. Our post-editors may get bored reading segment after perfect segment, but we don’t want them to mess up just because it looks good, but is incorrect. For example, saying “there is danger of electrocution” instead of “there is no danger of electrocution.”

The discussions escalated as the audience contributed on how they were utilizing MT for different content types and how certain types of content needed a more customized approach. Clearly, no one felt that a “one size fits all” approach would work for anyone. Each person who contributed to the discussion specified why their approach worked for their company’s product or service type, content type, need for speed, quality, cost savings, or customer perception.

Many global business leaders and industry professionals attend Welocalize LocLeaders Forums for the lively audience interaction. LocLeaders gives us a chance to exchange ideas, meet peers with shared concerns who we can continue to network with and benchmark ourselves against others’ best practices. I’m sure many of us returned to work the following week and changed at least one process, asked their vendor a new question, or investigated an approach we hadn’t thought about before. It’s also great to come to a fun venue like the Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara for a day to get out of the office, but the real luxury is the time we’re given to take a step back and think about how we do our jobs and organize the work in our teams.

I’m thankful for Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell’s opening words about strategy. He encouraged us to take a step back and see the big picture. What are our executives thinking? How does globalization fit in with the company strategy and how can we use the ideas that are important at the “C level” to show that what we are doing in our teams fits with the company strategy?

Finally, with the new ideas garnered during LocLeaders, how can we make changes in what we do to help drive that company strategy? If we show we are making strategic decisions, next time we won’t be discussing the slowing down of adoption of new technology, but instead the wild speed of adoption.


Mimi Hills is Director of Product Globalization at VMware. Mimi took part as a guest panelist at LocLeaders Silicon Valley 2017.

Thanksgiving Holiday Traditions in the United States

Every fourth Thursday of November in the United States, an important holiday is celebrated: Thanksgiving. Thanksgiving week is one of the busiest travel holidays during the year. Nearly 51 million people will travel 50 miles or more this holiday weekend to be with family and friends, according to data from the American Automobile Association (AAA).

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, Welocalize would like to send thanks and best wishes to all our clients, employees, colleagues and partners all over the world! As part of this year’s celebrations, here are some Thanksgiving facts and traditions:

  1. Thanksgiving Day was officially proclaimed by President Abraham Lincoln in 1863 and in 1941 it was officially declared by the United States Congress as a holiday.
  1. At Thanksgiving, families get together for a celebration meal. It is often traditional to offer a prayer of thanks for the good things that happen before the meal. The main dish in this dinner is typically turkey, accompanied by side dishes such as sweet potatoes, breadcrumb stuffing and cranberry sauce. Let’s not forget the desserts, like pecan pie, apple pie and the famous pumpkin pie!
  1. Macy’s department store in New York City organizes a huge parade through the streets of Manhattan, attracting millions of people each year to see the enormous giant balloons and watch performances by guest artists. It is billed as the world’s largest parade. Other parades also take place in different cities throughout the United States.
  1. Another Thanksgiving Day tradition is football—whether playing catch with friends and family or watching the top National Football League (NFL) teams on television.
  1. Thanksgiving is also celebrated throughout the year in other parts of the world. In Canada, it is celebrated every second Monday of October. Similar festivities are also celebrated in Germany, Japan, Liberia and Vietnam.

Some Little-Known Facts About Thanksgiving Turkey….

According to the National Turkey Federation, 88% of Americans eat turkey on Thanksgiving Day. In the United States alone, around 46 million turkeys are eaten on Thanksgiving Day, which equates to one-fifth of the total number of turkeys consumed every year in the United States (254 million in total).

For more than 30 years, the turkey experts that make up the Turkey Talk-Line at Butterball® have been answering turkey-related questions during the holiday season. Open every November and December, 50+ experts answer more than 100,000 questions. For the past few years, the talk-line has offered Spanish-speaking experts, social media support and live online chats. You can send them texts, too.

Each year, a few hours before Thanksgiving dinner, the President of the United States pardons a turkey. This lucky turkey is guaranteed to spend its life living freely and never to end up on a dinner plate. This ceremony dates back to 1963 when President John F. Kennedy was the first to organize an event to pardon the life of a turkey. But it wasn’t until 1987 that President Ronald Reagan instituted the turkey pardon as a custom and since then it has continued. 

For Welocalize, as a multinational company, some holidays are “local” and some are global. On November 23 and 24, our U.S. offices will be closed as employees spend time with their friends and families.


Welocalize would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving!

Highlights from LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley 2017

Welocalize LocLeaders Silicon Valley 2017 provided an exclusive and unique program of expert discussions for global business leaders and localization professionals. In this blog, California-based Peter Koh, Welocalize Regional Sales Director, shares his highlights from the event.

HIGHLIGHT ONE: Localization as part of the overall content workflow

Some of the discussion for the first-panel session, It’s Not Just About Marketing Anymore, focused on abolishing the term “Localization”. This was said in the context of talking about how localization, content, marketing, product development and other related areas are not working as one content workflow. Many enterprises have these areas working independently of each other and this creates silos that are always difficult to reconcile.

The main takeaway on this point is that localization shouldn’t be a separate offering and something that one specific internal group manages. It must be a feature that is part of the overall content workflow that all stakeholders have access to.

HIGHLIGHT TWO: Localization is a globalization process – not just translation, not just words

The impact localization has on a brand can vary based on so many factors, not just linguistically but other factors including culture and generation. One of the key points here is that we must start paying close attention to how the next generation is responding to content and how they are being exposed to it. Generations Y and Z have grown up with digital content being available 24/7, on a variety of devices. This is an important factor for many organizations, especially those targeting younger generations. We are now being exposed to so much content and that content is more visual, with audio and text. This is something that must be taken into consideration when putting together a localization strategy. 

The key takeaway here is that we must localize all aspects, seeing products and services through the eyes of the user to make the experience flawless and natural. Simply localizing and translating content will not create a truly local experience. Globalization must get into the mindset of targeted users and address all factors, not just text.

HIGHLIGHT THREE: Advances in neural MT and language technology

For the session hosted by Welocalize VP of Language Services, Olga Beregovaya, The Impact of Technology, many discussions centered around neural machine translation (NMT) and how machine translation (MT) overall is improving in commercial settings. There is some discussion that NMT can be “deceivingly fluent”. It might read better with fluency, but in some cases, the engines will get the meaning wrong. This is something we must be aware of during the post editing processes. Commercial providers and academic organizations all continue to work to improve the use of NMT in practice. The best solution often depends on the individual needs of the client and striking a balance between NMT and statistical MT solutions.

The bigger conversation for this session was about language technology replacing the localization and translation industry. The consensus was that technology will never replace the human element, but the discussions proved that the growing need to communicate across languages, cultures and generations is becoming more and more mainstream.

Innovative language technology is essential to global business and we need to embrace it, not fight or limit it. We need to continue to leverage technology to create efficiencies and enable growth for global brands.

I’d like to thank everyone who took part in LocLeaders Forum Silicon Valley 2017 for their excellent, open and honest contributions.


Based in Los Angeles, Peter Koh is Regional Sales Director at Welocalize.


Highlights from LocLeaders Forum Stuttgart 2017

To read the German version click here

We want to share some of the key highlights and photos from LocLeaders Forum Stuttgart 2017 and thank all guest panelists and attendees. The exclusive event was held in parallel with tekom 2017 and was designed to help DACH-based companies to go global and develop and manage better localization and translation strategies, across all content types.

LocLeaders hosts included Welocalize VP of EMEA, Garry Levitt and Germany-based Welocalize Business Development Directors Andre Klose, Stefan Weniger and Sonja Brass, who moderated the evening. In this blog, Andre, Stefan and Sonja share their key takeaways from the event, giving expert insights to any DACH-based company who want to grow globally and reach wider international markets.


Once the event started, it wasn’t long before the popular topic of quality came into the discussions. There were some excellent questions to the panel from attendees including “If I pay someone more money, how do I guarantee better quality?” and “How do you measure quality?” It was agreed that there is a lack of quality definition across organizations. People aren’t satisfied with some translation quality, but often haven’t specified what quality means to them. If you can’t define quality, then you can’t measure it. Clients and language service provider must work together to identify quality goals across all content types to ensure it can be measured and priced appropriately.



Many attendees and panelists agreed that it is important to either centralize or at least have a central person who combines all translation activities in an organization. This reaps multiple benefits and cost-savings such as terminology management and translation memory. A single, central unit for localization and translation can also solve issues that may arise across the various departments in terms of consistency, accuracy and quality. Quality expectations will vary across content types and therefore localization needs will vary internally. For example, for legal and technical content, accuracy is key. For digital marketing activities such as SEO, this is more reliant on creatively developing local strategies, often using transcreation.


At LocLeaders Stuttgart 2017, Welocalize BDD, Andre Klose summarizing some of the content from the evening’s discussions. He reiterated a point made by one of the guest panelists that even dry, complex projects such as patents have a heart and a certain beauty and that you sometimes have to be a nerd to truly feel passionate about them. This makes it tough to find the right people for these projects. However, teaming up with the right people who have the knowledge and passion produces the best results. As the seventh largest LSP in the world, Welocalize can find the right people, the specialist nerds who have passion, to deliver commitment for all content types, across the global journey.


Buyers of localization and translation services can vary significantly across organizations. For some, it is driven entirely by procurement who often don’t know much about localization and translation and aren’t aware of the impact and benefits. Quite often, their decision making is based on company policy which often comes down to price. If you go for cheap, short-term translation projects, organizations often end up paying double, because somewhere down the line, mistakes must be fixed. For buyers of translation services who are experienced and knowledgeable about translation, they can be faced with a Jekyll and Hyde situation because they know they have to push the price down to suit company policy, but are fully aware this will create negative impact further down the line. There are many factors influencing the strategy and budget for translation.

“The whole evening was a great learning opportunity for all attendees. Once we’d introduced each panelist and asked the first few questions, the floodgates opened and people were able to think about how topics related to them and ask related questions. They learnt what could be important to them.” Stefan Weniger, Germany-based Welocalize Business Development Director.

Our special thanks to guest panelists Christoph Angerhausen, European Patent Attorney at Boehmert & Boehmert, Michael Knapp, Manager of EMEA Field Marketing at Autodesk GmbH, Katja Dittus, Localization Manager at Villeroy & Boch AG and Lena Odell, Head of Translations Team at Bardehle Pagenberg.

For details of upcoming Welocalize events, visit our events page here.

6 Reasons Why Localization QA + Testing is So Important

It is the role of the localization quality assurance (QA) and testing teams to assure the suitability of a localized software product for local markets. Good localization testing ensures global products are of high quality in all target markets, correcting “bugs” or errors that may have been introduced in the localization process. The testing process linguistically, functionally and culturally validates each localized product.

Many leading technology firms see localization as a competitive advantage. In a crowded market, global software users have access to a wide range of products. If something doesn’t work or the user experience is not flawless, they’ll quickly switch to a product that meets their needs. In today’s world of social sharing, users are very vocal about having a bad user experience, which can negatively impact a brand.

Localization QA and testing teams must ensure users have the same accurate and enjoyable experience in all markets, whilst retaining what is central and core to the product and brand. A good software localization QA and testing program will understand world readiness scenarios and have regional and cultural insights into all targeted users.

Here are six reasons why good localization QA and testing is so important:

  • Internationalization, translation and localization occurs before testing takes place. Testing identifies any bugs or errors that may have been introduced in these processes.
  • Testing guarantees locale-specific characters appear correctly including dates, holidays, numbers, currencies, names and salutations. Software products being localized for Asian markets must be able to handle complex characters that could impact factors like text expansion, cut off words and misaligned menus.
  • Specialized testing teams consider cultural factors such as color and representation of ethnicity to ensure the user experience feels local and not too generic. Culture impacts how people think and therefore how they use software.
  • Elements of software products or updates will vary across multiple geographies but the objective is to retain and deliver a global concept. Testing ensures localized versions are consistent with the source product and stay true to the original brand promise.
  • Linguistic translators may work with strings in an isolated source file. Testers can then ensure that the context and flow of each localized product works for each user. In-context review focuses more on quality and experience, rather than functionality.
  • Many software products are released to world markets simultaneously, for every feature and fix. Good testing and validation must mirror that speed and agility to ensure high quality products are launched on time in every country.

Welocalize supports many leading technology brands with high quality multilingual quality validation and testing services. Our global QA and testing teams are located in secure testing labs located in Portland, Oregon and Jinan, China.

For more information on Welocalize QA and Testing services, click here.

Interesting Facts on Translating Literature and Fiction

Thanks to the work of translators, throughout history we have had the privilege of being able to read books and fictional literature from other countries. Literary translators play a vital role in making books accessible to a wider audience, opening a new literary world of global authors, stories and characters.

Books have been translated for thousands of years and in 1932, the League of Nations established a record of translations called the Index Translationum, which UNESCO started managing in 1946. The Index Translationum is a database of book translations and thanks to this record, we have access to statistics and information relating to literary translation. Each year the database is updated with approximately 100,000 new entries, covering over 450,000 authors and 1,100 languages.

Here are some interesting facts and statistics relating to global literature:

  • The top three most translated individual authors are Agatha Christie, with 7,236 translations, Jules Verne, with 4,751 translations and William Shakespeare, with 4,296 translations. 
  • The top five languages that books have been translated into:
  1. German – 301,935 translations
  2. French – 240,045 translations
  3. Spanish – 228,559 translations
  4. English – 164,509 translations
  5. Japanese – 130,649 translations
  • The top 10 most translated books:
  1. The Bible

Translated into 554 languages, the Bible is the most translated book. The New Testament has been translated into 1,333 languages, and parts of the Bible have been translated into 2,932 languages.

  1. The Little Prince

If we leave books of a religious nature to one side, The Little Prince, written by French author Antoine de Saint Exupéry in 1943, is the most translated book. As of today, it has been translated into 300 languages.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of its publication and it is expected to be translated into even more.

  1. Pinocchio

In third place is Pinocchio, a children’s book written by Carlo Collodi in 1883 in Italian, which has been translated into over 260 languages.

  1. Pilgrim’s Progress

A book written by British author John Bunyan in 1678, which has been translated into 200 languages.

  1. My Book of Bible Stories

In fifth place is the Watchtower Society’s book, which was written in English and has been translated into 194 languages.

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

A fantasy novel written by British mathematician, logician and writer Lewis Carroll, published in 1865 and translated into 174 languages.

  1. Andersen’s Fairy Tales

The famous children’s tale written in Danish by Hans Christian Andersen, published between 1835 and 1852 and translated into 153 languages.

  1. The Ingenious Nobleman Mister Quixote of La Mancha

The famous work of Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra, written in Spanish and published in 1615. Now translated into more than 140 languages.

 “The Adventures of Asterix”

A comic book series created by French authors René Goscinny and Albert Uderzo, published in 1959. Currently translated into 112 languages.

  1. The Book of Mormon

Published in America in 1830, translated into 110 languages.

Did You Know? This year, Welocalize celebrates its 20th anniversary. Harry Potter, the series of fantasy novels written by British author J.K. Rowling, also celebrates 20 years since its first publication in 1997.

Harry Potter has been translated into 80 languages, sitting 13th in the world ranking of most translated books. This doesn’t account for regional adaptations, such as American English, or the transliterations of translations into different scripts such as English Braille and Serbian Cyrillic.

With so many books being translated, the literary translator is almost as important as the author. As well as translating the text they also need to culturally adapt the content, whilst staying true to the original text and the style of the author. We want to thank the great and brilliant literary translators all over the world, connecting readers everywhere!


Based in Barcelona, Adriana Martin is a member of Welocalize Global Marketing Team. Email

Welocalize White Paper – Machine Translation: Neural or Neutral?

MultiLingual Magazine recently published the Welocalize White Paper, Machine Translation: Neural or Neutral? This paper gives fascinating insight into the MT landscape and explores neural machine translation (NMT) considering the notion that NMT should be put into production immediately.

Authored by leading language technology and MT experts at Welocalize, one of the key arguments highlighted in this piece is that the approach should be measured, citing that in the commercial world of MT, neural, statistical and rules-based engines all have a role to play.

Click here to register and download Welocalize White Paper, Machine Translation: Neural or Neutral?

In this white paper, key NMT considerations include:

  • Infrastructure and Cost 
  • Training and Maintenance 
  • Quality 
  • Data 
  • Key Players

Register and download PDF here

If you would like further information about Welocalize MT, visit Welocalize Machine Translation (MT) Solutions or email

Further Reading on Innovators Blog:

Welocalize Update on Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation is the Next Big Thing

Thinking of Naming Your Child Monkey? Don’t Move to Denmark

Zoe is Banned in Iceland, Monkey in Denmark, Jimmy in Portugal. And you’ll never meet a ‘Talula-Does-The-Hula-From-Hawaii’ in New Zealand. Welcome to the weird and wonderful world of baby naming rules and habits around the globe.

Naming your child is a big decision. Your name stays with you for life. There are the usual emotional and practical pitfalls of deciding which name to go for, including the avoidance of dodgy initials, weird spellings and mispronunciations. Then, on top of that, many countries have set rules and regulations, including lists of banned names. There was an article in Time featuring a German couple who wanted to name their child Lucifer. Courts intervened and the child was called Lucian. Some people have very creative ideas when it comes to naming their offspring!

Welocalize works with over 175+ languages and many cultures and we thought it would be fun and interesting to dig a bit deeper to see how naming varies in countries around the world. We found out some surprising rules and regulations when it comes to naming babies.

US + UK: No to ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter

The US and UK are quite liberal about this subject and children can be named pretty much anything that their parents desire. The only restrictions within the UK is the length of the child’s name and that it must fit within the space provided on the registration page and must not be deemed offensive. However, there are countries that have allowed children to be named ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter’, and ‘Legolas’ and let’s not forget about the child, ‘Post Office’ (Source: BBC News).

DENMARK: Monkey is a No-Go

In Denmark, there is an official list of 7,000 approved baby names that a parent can choose from when naming their child; the names must be gender-specific.  If a parent wishes to have a name that is not on the list, permission must be reviewed and granted at Copenhagen University’s Names Investigation Department and at the Ministry of Ecclesiastical Affairs.

Banned names in Denmark include Pluto, Monkey and Jakobp. (Source: Business Insider)

FRANCE: No Chocolate Spread or Car Names!

The nation of France once had to choose from a list of acceptable first names, but this list was removed in 1993 when a new President came into power. A new law states that the courts can still ban a child’s name if they believe it is against the child’s best interests (Source: Business Insider).

A Mr. and Mrs. Renault once tried to name their daughter Mégane. This was declined by authorities as the daughters full name would then resemble the full name of the French car, the Mégane Renault Sport.

As well as children’s names being banned, there have been cases where owners of dogs have been forced to change their pets’ names, as they were deemed offensive. (Source: The Local, FR).

Banned names in France include Nutella, Strawberry, Manhattan, Mini Cooper and Prince William. (Source: Business Insider). Imagine attending the christening of little Nutella?!

 GERMANY: Nein Matti

In Germany, a child’s gender must be able to be determined by their first name, meaning that a child cannot have a gender-neutral name. Surnames, product names or names of objects are also prohibited as being a child’s first name (Source: First Names Germany).

If a parent wishes to name their child an unusual name, they must contact the registry office in advance of the child’s birth, to gain permission for this to be allowed. The registry office has the final say in this matter.

Banned names in Germany include Stompie, Kohl and Matti. (Source: Business Insider)

ICELAND: No ‘C’, ‘Q’ or ‘W

Iceland has quite a strict naming process. Around half of the potential first names submitted get rejected. Iceland has a list of approved baby names, in which the child’s name must come from, unless both of the parents are foreign (Source: Nordic Names).

If the name is not on the approved list, parents must go to the Icelandic Naming Committee for approval. For example, in the UK many girls are called Zoe, Harriet and Abigail; many boys are called Alex and Chris, but these names are banned in Iceland. Names that include the letters ‘C’, ‘Q’ and ‘W’ are also all banned.

There was a case in Iceland where a son and daughter were named Duncan Cardew and Harriet Cardew, both of which are not approved by the Naming Committee. Therefore, their passports said ‘Drengur’ and ‘Stúlka’ Cardew, meaning Boy and Girl Cardew, instead of the first-names that their parents hoped for (Source: The Guardian).

Did You Know? In Iceland, there is not just a strict naming process for children’s first-names, but also for horses. The International Federation of Icelandic Horse Association (FIEF) has recently created a rule that a horse’s name must be of Icelandic Heritage for it to be listed on the official database to be sold or for breeding purposes. Otherwise, the owners can choose to names their horses how they wish (Source: BBC News)

MEXICO: Not surprisingly, no Robocops, Emails or Burger Kings

Mexico has a history of parents naming their children with odd first-names. Therefore, the country has a list of banned names that are lacking in meaning and are derogatory or mockable. This list is adapted monthly, as parents try to adjust the already-banned names into ones with similar meaning (Source: The Guardian).

Mexican parents have tried, and failed, at naming their child ‘Burger King’, ‘Robocop’, ‘Email’, ‘Facebook’, ‘Hermione’ and ‘Christmas Day’ (Source: Latin Times)

NEW ZEALAND: Super-long names are banned

New Zealand have prohibited parents from naming their child anything offensive, anything that resembles an official title or rank, or a name that is more than 100 characters.  Nearly 500 first-names have been declined since 1995.

Banned names in New Zealand include Talula-Does-The-Hula-From-Hawaii, Lucifer, Queen Victoria and Fat Boy. (Source: NZ Herald)

PORTUGAL: Ban on Vikings

In Portugal, names must be gender-specific, traditionally Portuguese and not a nick-name. Parents can get inspiration for naming their child from an official 82-page document of names. Some unacceptable names consist of Aaron, Mel and Robin (Source: Institute of Registries and Notaries Portugal).

Banned names in Portugal include Nirvana, Jimmy, Viking and Sayonara. (Source: Business Insider)

SWEDEN: Say hi to little Lego Google….

There is a ban on first names that could cause offence to others or the child themselves. Therefore, parents must submit their proposed name of the child within three months of birth, to the Swedish Tax Agency.

‘Brfxxccxxmnpcccclllmmnprxvclmnckssqlbb11116’ was a name that was rejected in 1996 (Source: Telegraph). This was a name that tried to get approved in Sweden, claiming that their child’s name was pronounced as ‘Albin’. Albin’s parents were not a fan of the naming law that came into force and wanted to name their child Albin, but with the spelling of the B-1116. The parents were fined and carried on to have multiple failed attempts at naming their child with other (unsuitable) first names. The name of the child is currently unknown.

In Sweden, Lego is an approved first name and ‘Google’ is an approved middle name.

Banned names in Sweden include Metallica, Superman and Ikea. (Source: Business Insider)

The overall objective of banning names is, understandably, to protect the country’s heritage and the child’s wellbeing and future. What is most interesting are some of the unusual naming ideas that parents and guardians have for their charges! Would you thank you parents if they named you ‘Fat Boy’ or ‘Post Office’?? It is certainly interesting to read about the some of the weird and wonderful stories of baby naming around the world, whether banned or otherwise!


Based in the UK, Lauren Verdon is a member of the Welocalize Global Marketing Team.

Building a Business Case for Localization

Your 2018 Localization and Translation Roadmap – Part One

In this new blog series, Californian-based Welocalize Business Development Director, Matthew Flannery, shares insights into some of the trends that buyers of localization products and services must focus on and build into their 2018 plans and roadmap. This week’s topic is Building a Business Case for Localization.

Building a business case for localization across the entire global journey and customer experience can be a challenge when budgets are swiftly allocated into other areas and there can be a lack of knowledge and education on the scope and importance of localization. More and more global brands are realizing that localization is applicable to every department across the whole global journey including legal, marketing, product development and testing, corporate communications, learning, post-sales support and much more. To allocate resource and budget, organizations and localization teams must build a business case.

Why localization matters

Common Sense Advisory (CSA) Research surveyed some 2,400 consumers in their report, Can’t Read, Won’t Buy: Why Language Matters on Global Websites, to understand the correlation between language and shopping behavior. Here’s what they found:

  • 72.1% of consumers spend most or all of their time on content written in their own language.
  • 72.4% of consumers mentioned that they would rather purchase a product with information available in their own language.
  • 56.2% of respondents mentioned that being able to obtain information in their own language is more important than price.

Globalization empowers people and brands, and makes a local marketplace global.

In CSA’s report, The Language Services Market 2017, it states that the market for outsourced language services and supporting technology grew 6.97% to US$43.08 billion from 2016 to 2017. The market will grow an average of 2.45% over the next four years, at a cumulative growth rate of 9.82%.

Build a Business Case

Building a business case for a localization program can be a tricky proposition and in some sectors, it is still an afterthought where content can simply “just be translated” to reach new markets. The first step in calculating return on investment for localization is to decide what market you want to expand into. Next step is to estimate sales revenue for your target language markets. Data including:

  • Population size and/or number of web or mobile device users in the target market.
  • Comparison of the market you’re targeting with the market you already know. For example, if the new market has twice the number of smartphone users as your home market, a correctly localized version of your app might attract twice as many customers compared to your home market.
  • Gather data from online tools like Google Global Market Finder and Google Trends to see how popular relevant keywords are in different languages. You may want to check out different versions of such tools for different regions where Google is not the main player. For example, Baidu is the primary search engine in China. Welocalize digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide has specialist teams dedicated to all the major international search engines. We recently added Baidu to our SEO global ranking capabilities.
  • Specific market or country regulations concerning online communications. In sectors such as healthcare and finance, you may find that regulations effectively prevent you from launching a localized version of your product unless you meet certain legal criteria. Welocalize has a dedicated Life Sciences division to help navigate the complexities of this sector and Park IP to assist with any legal language requirements and foreign filing.

To help provide expert insights and data, one of the most important aspects of the role of a localization manager is to partner with a specialist language service provider who can provide expert insights and deliver professional language services aligned to specific requirements and business objectives. Many organizations today turn to one provider who can address multiple localization needs and support their brand across the entire global journey. Organizations must focus on their core competences to serve their customers, therefore partnering with localization and translation experts to support global strategies and objectives makes sense.

If you require any support to build out your Localization Strategy 2018, then send me an email at

Based in Irvine and San Francisco, Matt Flannery is Business Development Director at Welocalize.

Understanding China: SEO Success in the World’s Largest Online Market

For many Western business across a multitude of industries, the sheer scale of digital opportunities presented in China are impossible to ignore.

How Transcreation is Different from Translation

Developing content that suits multiple markets, languages and cultures involves several techniques and skills. Many people don’t realize that launching a product globally is not simply a case of translating content from one language to another. Behind every global brand, there’s a team of translators, interpreters, transcribers, testers, linguistic copywriters and SME experts making sure that every piece of content, at every stop of the global journey, is relevant and culturally appropriate.

One area that often requires further explanation is the difference between translation and transcreation. Both techniques are integral to the overall localization process but there are fundamental differences between the two. Here are some of the main areas where the two differ:

CONTENT TYPE: There is so much content involved in bringing a brand to market. From patent documentation through to digital marketing content, each content type suits different localization techniques, often depending on impact. For content requiring high levels of accuracy, professional translation is used, which is supported by the relevant QA and review process. Content types such as compliance and regulatory information and technical manuals are suited to human translation. Translated output must remain close and true to the source content. For content types, such as digital marketing materials and high visibility marketing copy, such slogans, taglines, and adverts etc., linguistically translating from one language to another is not enough. The source content must be recreated to suit a local market and culture using transcreation. The overall brand concept is retained, but actual words and design features are changed and adapted.

THE TALENT: Translation is carried out by qualified and certified translators. For transcreation projects, this involves the talent of a linguistic copywriter who not only has in-depth knowledge of the target language and culture, but is also a skilled creative writer. The background and qualifications of a translators and linguistic copywriter will differ. The right translator or copywriter will depend on the content and the product itself. Translators often need subject matter expertise (SME) and copywriter will often have specialist experience in certain vertical sectors.

BRIEF VERSUS SOURCE: For translation projects, translators receive the source documents, with instruction, access to the relevant translation memory and terminology management and sometimes, in-context information. For transcreation, the team receives a creative brief which outlines the desired outcomes including target market, demographics and any relevant branding and style guidelines they need to adhere to.

HOURS NOT WORDS: Translation projects are typically priced based on word count. Transcreation projects are billed by the hour, and costs vary depending on the skill and experience of the linguistic copywriter and designer assigned to the project.

CONCEPTS AND DESIGNWORK: Translators work with words. Linguistic copywriters work with concepts which may involve words and design elements. Translation projects often go through a DTP checking process if there are diagrams or tables in the source content that may have altered during the translation process. For transcreation projects, certain visual elements may have to be recreated to suit a new market.

REVIEW PROCESS: For many translation projects, there is a defined review process involving in-country and third-party reviewers. Any reviewer will be a native speaker, with access to the source and will review the translated output against the source and agreed Service Language Agreements (SLAs). For transcreation, much of the output is subjective therefore reviewers will often be stakeholders who are close to the product itself and the creation of the source campaign.

SEO CONSIDERATIONS: Transcreation is often used to develop multilingual digital marketing campaigns. There is no point developing a creatively brilliant campaign if no one can find it. Transcreation doesn’t just apply to the actual campaign content, but is also the technique used to develop SEO strategies. The transcreation team must put themselves in the shoes of the local user and consider how they would search for certain products and services. SEO is an integral part of transcreation.

For more information on Welocalize multilingual digital marketing services, click here.

Written by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

Welocalize Guide to the iOS 11 App Store

App Store Optimization (ASO) is important to enable your global app to be found in the millions of other online apps, by users all over the world. The visibility of your app to potential users in app store search results depend on its ranking.

Helping German Organizations Take the Global Opportunity

Global growth can be challenging for organizations all over the world. Reaching new markets and customers is a daunting task but can open new revenue streams and deliver multiple rewards. Learning to take advantage of the global opportunity and compete in international markets can be a journey full of challenges. Many German companies look overseas to expand revenue streams, often seeking expansion into North America, China and other parts of Europe. German services and products are highly regarded and hold a strong reputation for quality and innovation, providing good opportunity for global expansion.

Click here to read the German version.

Welocalize has an established presence in Germany, having delivered quality localization and translation services to Germany-based organizations for 20 years. Welocalize currently supports over 120 clients who are based in the DACH-region, in traditional and emerging industries, including manufacturing, engineering, financial services, travel, life sciences and medical devices, consumer products and advertising and marketing. Welocalize’s central German operations are based in Saarbrücken and house a wide range of in-house production capabilities, supported by experienced professionals and subject matter experts.

Welocalize holds international standards ISO 9001:2015, which focuses on all aspects of quality throughout our services and ISO 17100:2015, which is specific to translation service providers.

Germany-based team members, Sonja Brass, Stefan Weniger and Andre Klose will be joining Welocalize VP of Europe, Garry Levitt, in Stuttgart on Tuesday October 24 for LocLeaders Forum 2017 Stuttgart, taking place at Mövenpick Hotel near Stuttgart Airport. Click here for more details.

The theme for this year’s LocLeaders event in Stuttgart is The Global Journey. This hosted-dinner and professional discussion forum is designed to help inform and educate DACH-based organizations on leading globalization challenges. Having supported many organizations on all stops on the global journey – from product conception and patent prosecution through to digital go-to market and SEO strategies – we recognize that every organization experiences a different path to globalization. There are several factors that we recognize as being critical to successful globalization:

Work with One Global Provider: A key strategy for Welocalize is our ability to serve all the “stops” on the global journey. Whether patent prosecution, digital marketing, technical communications, SEO or regulatory content, language service providers

(LSPs) must deliver business solutions that can support a global organization, from start to finish. When expanding, and launching overseas, there are many content types that must be culturally adapted consistently with the necessary high levels of quality throughout. Having one global provider who can support all content enables an agile and efficient system of globalization.

Avoid Multiple Suppliers: If companies are having to work with multiple translation suppliers, then this can be expensive and detrimental to the brand because of inconsistent quality. The localization and translation industry has seen a shift over recent years towards a consolidation of translation suppliers. Many organizations commit to globalization in the long-term, therefore any localization provider must be viewed as a strategic, long-term partner.  This shift away from multiple translation providers is crucial for successful expansion. Benefits include terminology management, translation memory, improved quality assurance process and management of all brand and content assets.

LSPs must prove they are truly global: Germany is heavily populated with smaller translation vendors, many of whom claim to be global. LSPs must live up to their claims and prove they are global and can support German organizations across the whole global journey. Identify one truly global provider who has regional presence in the DACH-region and can address common issues such as quality assurance, third-party linguistic review and terminology management will be reduced. German organizations may find that in-country staff may not speak the language of the new market. For example, those entering China may find only a small percentage of Germany-based employees speak the relevant Chinese dialects. A truly global provider can support staff in the review process to ensure the right levels of quality have been met, without requiring in-house fluency.

Cultural Adaptation for ALL Content Types: Every interaction and customer touch-point must reflect the new target language and culture. German content, including marketing, regulatory and legal documentation, can be quite specific and have a certain tone that does not translate to other cultures such as North America or China. Many subjective content types, such as marketing and brand materials must go through a transcreation process to recreate content but whilst retaining key concepts and messages of high quality and excellence. Content such as technical documentation must stay closer to the source to retain accuracy and consistent terminology.

Would you like to join the LocLeaders discussion? Are you interested in attending LocLeaders Forum 2017 Stuttgart? To learn more about this Welocalize-hosted dinner and discussion forum and meet with like-minded global business leaders, click here.

Alternatively, you can email one of our Germany-based Business Development Directors:

Sonja Brass,

Andre Klose,

Stefan Weniger,

Read 10 Reasons Why LocLeaders Forums are So Popular

Behind the Scenes at Welocalize – Our Headquarters, Frederick, Maryland

As part of Welocalize’s 20th Anniversary celebrations, we are launching a new blog series which shines a light on each of our 22 offices located around the world.

For our first blog in this series, we thought it was only right that we focus on our headquarters in Frederick, Maryland, US, where the company was founded by husband and wife team, Smith and Julia Yewell in 1997. We spoke with Smith and he gave us some insights into why Frederick is home to Welocalize’s global headquarters.

Why are Welocalize’s headquarters based in Frederick, Maryland?

We had our first child at the same time we started the business in 1997, so we were looking for a great community to raise both! Our office, home and daughter’s school were all within walking distance, so it made it easier to juggle the demands of home and work. We also wanted to be near the three major airports in the Washington, DC area.

Did you and Julia choose the office location when you founded Welocalize in 1997?

Yes. Our office in Frederick gave us a unique opportunity to design and brand our own space. The conference room wall is in the shape of the tilde that is the bottom part of our logo. There is a school of fish mounted on that wall which is a symbol of good luck in Chinese culture.

How would you describe the people based at the Frederick office?

Fantastic! People in the Frederick office are fun, friendly and talented.

What’s special about the office?

The office is in a converted factory building. It has exposed brick walls and the original wood floor. You can tell who is walking around just by the sound of their steps on the old floor. There is a lot of cool art in the office from around the world, giving it a very global feel.

We have a lot of happy hours with wine tastings. We even have wine glasses with the Welocalize logo. It is lots of fun!

If you could set up an office anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?

I have always really enjoyed London, and now we have a fantastic office centrally located there. A large section of our Adapt Worldwide team is based there, driving multilingual digital marketing strategies for clients all over the world. I find the history, architecture and diverse nature of London really appealing.

How to maintain consistent branding across the 22 Welocalize offices?

We are in the process of developing and moving some offices so that staff and visitors experience the Welocalize brand and guiding principles in a consistent way. Over time, our goal is to have all offices reflect the true feel and promise of the Welocalize brand. We also want them to be cool and enjoyable places to work.

Do you manage to visit all 22 offices each year?

Unfortunately, it is too challenging to visit all within a year, but I am working on visiting all within a 2-year period.

What is your favorite thing to do in Frederick?

Frederick is known for its great festivals. There are a variety for each season. You might even see Fuzzy Match playing at one. Fuzzy Match is the band we started at a Frederick office Christmas party, and I play guitar in the band.

Did you Know? The city of Frederick is the county seat of Frederick County in the US state of Maryland. It is the 2nd most populated city in the State and is located less than an hour from Washington, D.C., Baltimore and Gettysburg. It is well-known for the Great Frederick Fair.

Where next? Welocalize offices, Portland, Oregon – home to one of Welocalize’s secure QA + Testing Laboratories

Interview by Lauren Verdon, Welocalize Global Marketing

Eight Ways to Transform Global Digital Campaigns with Transcreation

Global organizations are seeing billions of users searching and accessing branded content and information online. More than 3 billion people are now using the internet – nearly half the world’s population. Many users are moving through the full e-commerce cycle to purchase online. This makes the provision of online targeted marketing material crucially important for any global business.

Culturally adapting and translating content is one of the most important and growing considerations for CMOs, product managers and high-level marketing strategists. Every stop of the global journey contains content and information from legal and patent information, health and safety compliance information through to digital marketing campaigns. Different localization techniques are used across the entire journey: translation, transcription, interpretation, multilingual SEO and social amplification, localization testing and transcreation.

To read the German version click here.

Transcreation is a content creation technique used in globalization and localization. It involves highly skilled linguistic copywriters transforming content from one culture to another. Transcreation takes the main theme and concept from the source content and recreates copy and information adapted for target language markets. It is an integral part of the overall global digital marketing process because what captures one cultures attention can be off-putting to another.

Transcreation does not just involve re-writing content, but also considers SEO localization and other online marketing campaign techniques to ensure the right message reaches the right people and achieves the desired result.

Here are eight tips from Welocalize on how to achieve successful transcreation:

  • CULTURAL ADAPTATION: Many people see translation as the way to communicate and reach global markets. But each local market not only speaks a different language, they will also have different traditions, religions, customs, social and purchasing behavior and many more traits that vary. For certain content, such as user generated content (UGC), it is enough to just translate, send through machine translation (MT) to simply understand the overall gist of the content. For high-level marketing and advertising campaigns, content must be tailored for each target market. A translator can translate from one language to another, but a linguistic copywriter can transform content from one culture to another. 
  • GET TO KNOW THE BRAND + GOALS: It is so important for the language service provider and client to understand each other, align and work towards a common goal. This involves investment from both parties at the start of the relationship and ongoing communication to achieve global teamwork. Welocalize takes part in many educational and training courses with clients to ensure teams are familiar with marketing objectives, desired user experience, creative components, existing marketing assets and quality expectations. 
  • SELECT APPROPRIATE CONTENT: Not all content is created equal. Certain content must be polished requiring intense quality checks due to the expected high impact, other types of content simply need translating so the overall message can be understood, for example, social listening. Deciding which content will go through a transcreation process is important for planning and budgeting. Regulatory content types such as technical, legal and compliance information require subject matter expertise and accuracy and must stay true to the source. Global marketing and advertising campaigns are suited to transcreation – content must retain key brand and product attributes, but specific copy detail can be changed to suit local preferences. Deciding the right techniques for the various content types is an important part of a localization strategy.
  • DELIVERY PLATFORMS: How and where will the content be read? On a mobile? In a printed manual? On a desktop? Knowing how and where you expect users to consume your content is also a key consideration for transcreation. Developing multilingual banner adverts for a desktop will have different spacing considerations than those intended for a mobile device. It will also affect the way keywords are used for SEO purposes.
  • MULTLINGUAL SEO: Transforming content from one culture to another is one step of the transcreation process. Making sure that content is found is next. Different countries and cultures have different search engines and search habits. Someone in America will have different search terms to someone searching in Germany or China. 1.17 billion people use Google Search but leading Chinese search engine, Baidu answers more search queries in China than any other search engine in any other market, including Goggle in the US.
  • IMAGES + GRAPHICS: Advertising and creative agencies often use graphics and images to convey brand messages. A skilled linguistic copywriter can adapt content, but if the image is seen as offensive in certain markets, then a campaign will fail. Many global marketing blunders can be avoided by considering localization right at the planning stage – when the source is being developed. It is important for marketers and creative agencies to consider future markets when establishing a brand and campaign. The same applies for the use of color – certain colors represent different meanings for different cultures.
  • HUMOR: It is very hard to drive a humorous digital marketing campaign across multiple markets and cultures. Humor is one of the main characteristic that differ across cultures. It is best avoided if content is being used for a global campaign.
  • LINGUISTIC COPYWRITERS: Using qualified and experienced linguistic copywriters is crucial for global marketing success. A professional translator may be able to produce 100% accuracy for certain content types, but for content such as digital marketing, in addition to native language skills and knowledge, the writer needs a level of creativity and marketing acumen for transcreation to ensure content is transformed, not just adapted.

Welocalize and Adapt Worldwide works with many Fortune 500 brands to develop online digital marketing strategies and campaigns in over 175 languages. Click here for more information.

Written by Louise Law, Global Communication Manager at Welocalize

Further Reading: Welocalize Guide for Content Marketers

Welocalize Thanks Global Translators All Over the World

Happy International Translation Day!

September 30 is officially International Translation Day and a day that Welocalize celebrates, sending good wishes to all translators around the world. In 2016, Welocalize translators and linguists processed over 1.16 billion words into 175 languages and 400+ language pairs for global organizations all over the world.

International Translation Day is a day which has been celebrated since 1991, in honor of Jerome of Stridon, translator of the Bible from Greek and Hebrew into Latin and patron saint of translators. This celebration has been promoted by the International Federation of Translators (FIT) to show the solidarity of the translator community across the world, and to promote this profession which is crucial for globalization and communication between different cultures.

The idea was conceived in 1953 by FIT and in 1991, FIT launched a plan for the day to be officially recognized. On May 24, 2017, the United Nations General Assembly declared September 30 as International Translation Day. It recognized that the role of professional translation is fundamental in defending the purposes and principles of the United Nations Charter, connecting and bringing together nations, facilitating dialogue, understanding and cooperation and promoting peace and safety among all peoples of the world.

As the seventh largest language service provider in the world*, Welocalize is proud to honor and celebrate this day with the brilliant translators and linguists all over the world that we have the pleasure of working with. Welocalize was founded in 1997 and started with the translation of a single word, “Pathfinder”. Twenty years have passed since then, and this year, Welocalize is celebrating its 20th Anniversary. Welocalize would like to wish all translators a happy International Translation Day 2017!

We want to thank you for your great work and for supporting brands on their global journey, connecting people in all corners of the world.

*Welocalize is ranked 7th largest language service provider in the world and 4th largest in North America, Common Sense Advisory Research, “Who’s Who in Language Services and Technology: 2017 Rankings”

Written by Adriana Martín, Welocalize Global Marketing Team

Five Events Not to Miss During La Mercè in Barcelona

Every year, around September 24, the city of Barcelona celebrates its festa major (annual celebrations) known as La Mercè, in honor of the co-patron saint of Barcelona, la Mare de Déu de la Mercè, meaning “Mother of God of Mercy.” La Mercè has been celebrated since 1902 and offers fun activities for the whole family over the weekend, filling the streets of Barcelona with popular Catalan traditions.

Here are five events not to be missed around this time in Barcelona:

  1. The eagle and the city’s giants. The most symbolic moment of the La
    Mercè festivities is when the eagle and the city’s giants go into thePlaça de Sant Jaume to perform traditional dances, accompanied by the Barcelona Municipal Band. In the morning, the giants go out into the streets and each pair of giants perform a dance with their own music and choreography. Six o’clock in the afternoon marks the start of the la Mercè procession, an event which stretches back to the first decades of the twentieth century, in which the giants take the leading role in this parade through the city center.
  1. Castellers exhibitions. During the la Mercè festivities, groups of castellers (human towers) invited from Barcelona and around Catalonia meet in the Plaça de Sant Jaume, the most important square in Barcelona and home to the City Hall, to build human towers which can reach 10 stories high. 
  1. Traditional dances. The sardana dance is prominently featured during Barcelona’s festa major, with both exhibitions and competitions among the city’s Sardana groups. There is also the ball de bastons, a popular Catalan dance involving sticks. Throughout the morning, all of Barcelona’s bastoner groups give an exhibition of their dance and then encourage you to follow them in a procession which leads to another point in the city. If you are interested in learning traditional Catalan dances, this is your chance! 
  1. The correfoc. One of the most highly-anticipated acts of the la Mercè festivities is the correfoc, one of the most spectacular pyrotechnic displays in the province. This event begins with the arrival of the Mascle Cabró, who, according to legend, heard the devils leaving the Gates of Hell and was able to make them go back to where they came from. The climax of the correfoc is when the Gates of Hell are set alight and opened for the devils, dragons and fire beasts, who embark on a route around the Old Town. The correfoc of La Mercè is composed of over 40 “devil groups” from Barcelona and surrounding areas. If you want to go and see this spectacle, we suggest that you wear suitable clothing to protect you from fire. 
  1. The pyro-musical. The grand finale of la Mercè takes place at the Magic Fountain of Montjuic. The pyro-musical consists of a wonderful spectacle of music, water, lights and fireworks which you will be able to see live or on television. There is no better way to round off the festivities!

Welocalize has offices based in the heart of Barcelona and the team will be joining in with the celebrations. We wish everyone fun and happiness during La Mercè!


Based in Barcelona, Adriana Martín is a member of Welocalize Global Marketing Team

Creating a Culture of Innovation – Welocalize IdeaLab Talks

IdeaLab is a framework founded by Welocalize Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Grebisz, designed to inspire innovation and foster creativity. IdeaLab sessions and tools can be found throughout the company to help staff and clients generate ideas put into practice. At LocLeaders Forum Barcelona in June, part of the day was dedicated to an interactive IdeaLab session to drive the attendees, comprised of localization professionals and business leaders, to think freely and come up with innovative ideas to improve their global business activities. In this blog, Chris shares some of his thoughts behind innovation and the IdeaLab concept, including output from the session at LocLeaders Barcelona.

Striving for global growth and reaching new markets is driven by change and a key enabler to change is innovation. As organizations expand to serve new and existing markets, Welocalize’s role as a language service provider is to help transform an organization from local to global. One of the ways Welocalize continues to deliver excellence to its clients is by creating a culture where innovation thrives, not just internally but externally to all clients and stakeholders. Excellence in leading and driving innovation is not necessarily measured by the size and budget of the research and development laboratory. Creating a culture of innovation is driven by stimulating creativity and ideas in every corner of the company and aspect of the business.

During the interactive IdeaLab session at LocLeaders Barcelona 2017, all attendees were placed into teams to consider two thought-provoking statements. We had an excellent mix of professionals including localization and translation directors, digital marketing managers, global IP attorneys and professionals involved in running global drug and clinical trials, all from a variety of sectors, from travel and automotive through to legal and manufacturing. The aim of the session was to encourage free-flowing ideas and creativity to address existing and future challenges faced by the team, with each statement giving focus:

STATEMENT ONE: “If my team offered……………, we could impact the customer by……….”

Most discussions central to this statement focused on VALUE. How to continue to deliver value to existing and new customers? For many localization professionals present at LocLeaders, they expressed a belief that value is often measured by loyalty and trust, because customer’s needs are being met. One way to advance this through the work of the localization division is to listen to customers, to know what they want now and in the future.

Many buyers make purchasing decisions based on feedback and review and identifying creative ways to gather and understand feedback from customers all over the world is a challenge. Using this user generated feedback and feeding it into a constant feedback loop is a huge task, especially when faced with growing volumes of multilingual content. Many global organizations gather digital feedback and must first understand the feedback to ensure they really are listening, then act on this information, across all local markets. The demand for social media listening tools is increasing because global organizations need to continuously assess its brand and reputation, in all markets. This lead to subsequent discussions centered around translation automation, including machine translation (MT). MT allows large volumes of content to be translated and understood quickly and cost-effectively, without having to meet high levels of quality. For instance, social media is harvested and then run through MT using sentiment analysis to establish whether feedback is positive or negative.

One other key discussion was the concept of localization teams offering a dashboard to share key performance indicators (KPIs) from localization programs, which could be aligned to business objectives, measuring the performance of translation and localization and then communicated to key shareholders within an organization. Simply having an innovative way to share how many people are reading published multilingual web pages can help an organization’s globalization strategy now and in the future.

STATEMENT TWO: “Our most pressing challenge two years from now is……. We are solving it by……”

At the IdeaLab session, CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE was the most pressing challenge. How do we keep improving the customer experience in multiple markets and produce engaging content on a global scale? How do we predict future quality? Can we reduce the costs of translation using MT and neural MT? How do we get to know our customers in future markets? Some excellent free-flowing ideas resulted from this discussion, including how to better measure translation quality and adapt workflows, often overlapping with some of the key points from statement one.

Innovation doesn’t always mean driving a technological break-through. It can be any concept or idea, from anyone, that helps an organization transform itself and align for a successful future.

Welocalize helps clients to transform every day. Creating and maintaining a culture of innovation is a critical success factor in global business. Innovation must be present in every aspect of the business and that includes our interactions with clients and prospects at every level of engagement.

Thanks to everyone who took part in IdeaLab in Barcelona!

Click to read the full LocLeaders Barcelona Newsletter 2017

The next LocLeaders Forum events will be held in Germany, Stuttgart, October 24 and Silicon Valley, November 1, 2017. For more information, email

Welocalize Office Exchange Program: From San Francisco to China

Based in San Francisco, Marta Mozin is a Staffing Account Manager at Welocalize. She recently spent a week at the Welocalize office in Beijing, China as part of our Office Exchange Program. We asked Marta to recap her 11,000-mile round trip journey.

My career journey with Welocalize started back in October 2011 when I was contracted to work on a three-month voice recognition project in Cupertino, California. This turned into a three-year opportunity for me and in January of 2015, I was asked to join Welocalize as a recruiter. One year later, I moved into my current role as a Staffing Account Manager with Welocalize.

My participation in the Welocalize Office Exchange Program took me 5,910 miles from San Francisco to our offices in Beijing and Jinan, China. I became interested in visiting our offices in China when we had a sudden spike in requests for various Chinese dialects. I wanted to gain a better understanding of how one Chinese dialect varies from another and how to best go about finding requested resources.

I arrived in Beijing on July 17th, in the heat of summer where it was hot and humid. My whole conception of the words “large city” changed upon arriving to China as about 22 million people call Beijing home.

My week in Beijing began with an introduction to the senior staff members at the Welocalize office, who orientated me with the key Welocalize enterprise and Park IP Translations activities and projects. I delivered a presentation to the Beijing team to give them an overview of my role as a Staffing Manager in Silicon Valley, which gave me an opportunity to meet with numerous Beijing staff members. The following discussions helped me learn about the key differences in dialects, to help future client requests. I also visited the Welocalize office in Jinan, located 400km away from Beijing and met the Talent Community team to learn more about sourcing talent in China.

On my trip, I also fulfilled a life-long dream and visited the impressive Mutianyu section of the Great Wall.  The following day, I boarded my flight back to the United States. Oddly enough, stepping off the plane in San Francisco, I felt like I had returned to a small village.

One week in Beijing is not enough time to fully understand a language or a culture, but this opportunity allowed me to build my knowledge and forge relationships in China, paving the way for future collaborative efforts.


Based in San Francisco, Marta Mozin is a Staffing Account Manager at Welocalize.