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.

4 Top Tips for an Effective ASO Localization Campaign

Agata Jajszczyk, ASO Manager at Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, recently wrote an article on how to drive a successful app store optimization (ASO) localization campaign.

Any organization who wants to truly capitalize on the growing global app economy must have a robust localization strategy in place. An ASO localization strategy doesn’t just mean simply translating titles, descriptions and keywords using the fastest and most cost-effective method, often machine translation. While this can bring quick wins in less-competitive markets, for more popular markets this approach is not sustainable.

In the last couple of years, emerging app markets such as Brazil, Russia, India or Mexico have shown higher growth rates than developed markets. The top 5 countries spending the most time on Android apps are all located outside of North America and Europe.

Welocalize has dedicated ASO teams of experts who work with everyone from global brands to single market operators. Here are our top tips for a truly effective ASO localization campaign:

  1. Hire native speakers with good language skills – they will write correctly and will target relevant keywords

The only assets in which you are potentially allowed to make errors are keywords on iOS (they are not visible to users). All other ASO content (such as the title, screenshots and descriptions) is visible to your audience in the app stores and therefore has an impact on conversion. You simply cannot afford to have low-quality translations if you want your app to be a high-quality product.

  1. Hire native speakers who are marketers and understand ASO

Good copywriters may have excellent skills in the native language, but they must also be experienced in ASO and understand the principles of search in app stores. For example, a marketer experienced in ASO will know how to estimate traffic on keywords and base translations on their knowledge of how users look for apps. Knowledge about real volume on searches in the US

or UK (where Search Ads are available) should be considered when choosing keywords in local markets.

  1. Approach each market individually

But don’t hesitate to test successful tactics in other markets. An iOS Search Ads campaign, available only in the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand for now, may also help with establishing which keywords bring the highest conversion rates for your app or game and may be useful when entering new locales.

  1. Consider using a localized ASO services company to cut costs

If you outsource your ASO, make sure you only consider language providers with sufficient experience in multilingual ASO who have a network of to experienced native speakers.

To reach a global audience and extend your app’s presence worldwide:

Choose markets you want to localise in, based on knowledge about phone and app usage, competitors or monetization patterns in a particular country

Localize in-app content – you do not want to be selling an app in a local language if its content is not translated

Localize the app store listing, i.e. written content and other marketing materials (screenshots, video, feature graphic). Don’t forget to have the translations reviewed!

Test, analyse and optimize!

The article first appeared on Priori Data’s blog. Click here to read full article.

Agata Jajszczyk, is ASO Manager at Adapt Worldwide, Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency.

Click here for more information on Adapt Worldwide’s optimization services.

The Power of Face-to-Face Engagement in Global Business

By Erin Wynn, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize

In global business, the cost of physically attending a meeting is significantly higher than conducting a meeting using audio and video conferencing or email. We all know extensive business travel can be time consuming and frustrating, sacrificing time spent with family and loved ones. Although you save time and money using technology to communicate, the positive impact and rewards of face-to-face engagement with clients, employees and external stakeholders is priceless.

In this digital age, we have so many devices to enable communication, breaking down geographical borders and cutting through time-zones. With so many communication platforms, people can be over whelmed and constantly distracted. On a video or audio call, it’s difficult to be 100% focused when your email is constantly pinging and multiple instant messages are popping up.

This is where face-to-face really proves to be most important. It’s hard to build genuine relationships through devices. It is nearly impossible to engage in person for every interaction, but the only way to make a true connection and build a lasting business relationship is through face-to-face engagement. We need to see each other to be able to connect and engage. Professor Albert Mehrabian’s well-known communications model found that 55% of communication is body language, 38% is tone of voice and 7% is the actual words spoken. Some people’s communication skills don’t work as well over devices – whether writing emails or speaking over the phone. I know people who are amazing in face-to-face meetings, but put them on a phone and they come across uncomfortable and unnatural.

The benefit of face-to-face for all participants is the ability to be truly genuine. When you’re on email, or on the telephone, it’s hard to read body language and tone can be misinterpreted. With face-to-face expressions and body language, you can give time and thought to responses and most important, listen. There is no urgent need to fill the silence. Questions can be clarified without requiring hundreds of email exchanges. Challenges can be overcome in minutes. You can have spur of the moment brainstorming sessions. Relationships and friendships are formed. Knowledge transfer is so much easier when you are face-to-face.

At Welocalize, face-to-face is an important part of our culture and vital to delivering excellent customer service. The Welocalize culture is all about the people; connection and engagement. It’s a true differentiator. For any aspect of global business, you can go back and forth in email, exchange RFPs over the internet, but to connect and engage, you have to be able to develop a genuine connection. Until you get together in a room, or have a coffee or meal together, there is less of an opportunity for connection.

Many people find friends and partners over the internet and social media, but it’s not until they meet do they recognize the true potential and chemistry of the future. Successful global business is all about engagement and relationship building and that requires the commitment to meet in person, as well as using devices and digital communications.

It is unrealistic to expect everyone to be on a plane or train all the time. There aren’t enough hours in the day or dollars in the travel budget. What we must strive for is balance and in addition to face-to-face engagement, take the opportunity to create face-to-face interaction using technology. Whenever possible, switch on video to take part in a conference call – make a personal connection.

Everyone is a leader and leading by engagement is the solid path to successful global business. Ask yourself: who will I engage with today? Clients? Colleagues? Family? Make it count and if possible, shut down your email and devices and be present – meet face-to-face.

Erin Wynn is Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize.

Four Ways QA Technology Tools Can Save Time and Resource

By Mireia Vilalta, Lead Quality Controller at Welocalize

Before translation projects are delivered to the client, one of the final steps is Quality Assurance (QA). QA is essential as it ensures that what we are delivering outcomes that meet the highest standard of quality

To help in this last step, the use of QA technology, as part of the preferred computer-assisted translation (CAT) tool or as standalone specialized QA software, has become a staple for language service providers (LSPs). With the help of this technology, the QA process can be optimized by automating necessary checks that would be time-consuming and inefficient for a person to check manually. This results in more time and resources being spent on ensuring that the quality of the translated document that the client receives goes beyond expectations.

Here are four ways where QA technology can increase quality and save time and budget:

ONE: Numbers. As an example of how QA technology can save time and resource, we can look at numbers. Numbers always need to be checked in a translated document. Each number in the target language needs to match exactly the numbers in the source language, although sometimes with a different format. A number mismatch between source and target could potentially be huge problem for the client, particularly in financial, technical and life sciences documentation. Imagine the package insert for a drug instructing the patients who bought it to take the wrong dose. The consequences would be dire. Manually checking that each number in the translated document is the same as each number in the source document would take a very long time and we would be at risk of the human eye missing potential numerical differences. However, this is something that can be checked automatically and with complete certainty by QA technology, whether inside the CAT tool or as a separate QA tool. It would take a bilingual file containing source and translation and would check for mismatching numbers automatically, generating a report of any possible mismatch.

TWO: Grammar, Punctuation and Symbols. It’s not only numbers that benefit from QA technology. QA technology can check translation using many established metrics, such as inconsistent or missing translations, repeated words, mismatching symbols or units, punctuation and capitalization issues, double spaces, tags and terminology, among others. The results are presented in a QA report which can be used to tackle the relevant issues directly. Apart from being time-consuming and cost-ineffective, it would be almost impossible to check for all these issues manually, especially in larger files. The risk of missing something can be high.

THREE: Terminology. QA technology is also being improved to manage terminology and check for linguistic issues, using term bases (glossaries) and translation memories (TM). By checking the target text against these resources, QA tools give us reports of terms that have not been translated according to the client term base. Sentences that differ from the text we have in the client-specific translation memories. The term base checks can also be customized for the tool to recognize singular and plural forms of the terms, verb conjugation and declination.

FOUR: Customization. Most QA tools can also be customized to adapt the final product to the specific needs of our clients. They can be configured to focus the checks on specific issues that we have identified as important, making the process even more efficient. QA tools can be configured to identify all negative particles and sentences in a source document and check that the same sentences in the target language have the negative particles or meaning.

Properly configured QA technology tools help the localization process by improving the quality and accuracy of the translations by safely taking care of basic quality assurance checks and allowing linguists to focus on the language quality, readability and client-specific requirements. This layer of QA is valuable in many industries, especially those with content that require ongoing high levels of quality and accuracy.

Based in Barcelona, Mireia Vilalta is Lead Quality Controller at Welocalize.

 Click here for more information on Welocalize Quality Validation Services.

The Languages in Game of Thrones

HBO’s drama television series, Game of Thrones (GOT) continues to be a global phenomenon. Having just finished airing its seventh series, we look at the global triumph of this fictional story and how the different cultures and languages spoken are significant factors in shaping this incredible fable. Read on for some great facts regarding the many languages spoken in GOT and the interesting ways in which they were developed.

Unless you have been living on the moon for the past six years, you have watched, heard of, or know someone who watches Game of Thrones (GOT). Based on George R. R. Martin’s series of fantasy novels, the television series is set on the fictional continents of Westeros and Essos and follows a web of alliances and conflicts among the dynastic noble families, either vying to claim the throne or fighting for independence from the throne.

Here are five interesting facts regarding language and the hit TV series:

  • The TV series is translated into 21 languages to meet the demands of its global audiences. GOT has attracted record viewership on HBO and has a broad, active, international fan base. The show has won 38 Emmy awards since it premiered in 2011.
  • To create an authentic experience and to avoid any made-up gibberish to represent the specified languages within the books, HBO and the Language Creation Society held a contest to determine which of its members would develop the Dothraki and Valyrian languages. The winner of which was David J. Peterson, a linguist and co-founder of the Language Creation Society. His blueprint for the Dothraki language, was nearly 2,000 words and was complete with functional grammar. His High Valyrian that appears in the show is a classical language with daughter languages. Peterson says that he took Latin’s evolution into the Romance languages as an inspiration in the creation of this language. Dolthraki has a vocabulary of over 3,000 words.
  • GOT characters speak different languages such as Old Tongue, Common Tongue, Dothraki, High Valyrian, and Low Valyrian, to name just a few. The books and TV series go to great lengths to create an authentic world with characters who exist in the context of their cultures and a large part of culture is, of course, language.
  • The “Common Tongue” is most commonly heard throughout GOT and is the universal language of the aired host country – English in English-speaking countries, French in France or German in Germany.
  • There is such interest in Dothraki and Valyrian languages that Living Language, a respected language-textbook publisher, has already produced a volume for learning Dothraki, while an online language-learning platform, now offers a course in High Valyrian.

Here’s a guide to some of the languages spoken on the Game of Thrones along with the character(s) who are the most prominent speakers:

The Old Tongue of the First Men – The Wildlings
Mag Nuk, The Great Tongue –The Giants
Skroth –The White Walkers
High Valyrian – Daenerys Targaryen
Low Valyrian – Commander of the Unsullied, Grey Worm
Dolthaki – Khal Drogo and any Dothraki
Asshai’I – The chanted incantations of the maegi Mirri Maz Duur are in Asshai’i
Lhazar – The maegi Mirri Maz Duur
Qarth – Xaro Xhoan Daxos, the merchant prince of Qarth who tries to steal Daenerys’ dragons.

We would say “Thank you” for reading Welocalize’s GOT blog in the language of Doltharki but if you are a GOT super-fan, you will know there is no word for thank you in Doltharki.


Emma Cox is Global Digital Marketing Manager at Welocalize.

Operating a Smooth Linguistic Review with the Help of QA Technology

The use of software tools that assist during the translation process, such as computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools and Quality Assurance (QA) tools, have become essential enablers for global business. These tools optimize the entire process and enable localization programs to be significantly faster and more efficient – deadlines are met and translation quality can be improved.

Automation Creates Efficiency

Once a document has been translated, and enters the linguistic review stage, QA technology plays a very important role. It automates the necessary checks that would otherwise be time-consuming and inefficient if completed manually and errors could be missed. It is true that QA tools are software programs that work with metrics, so anything that falls out of the parameters will not be covered. Furthermore, software can’t read and analyze a text like a human, so no QA technology tool will be able to replace a professional when it comes to the linguistic review of a complicated translated document. However, automating parts of the QA process frees a lot of time so that the professional linguist performing the review can dedicate more time to other aspects of the program.

Preparation is Key

For an efficient and smooth linguistic review, we need to use QA tools to our advantage by going beyond the basic checks offered by them. The first step is the preparation before receiving the translated files. Preparing client-specific term bases and translation memories (TM) from previous translated documentation, as well as client feedback received, is essential. QA tools can be updated with this information and automatically check the translated documents against them. This ensures nothing is missed and the translation complies as much as possible with the expectations of the client and, ultimately, the brand expectations of their customers.

Update Style Guides

Once the project has been delivered to the client, the terminology databases and TM’s must be updated with the latest information from the translated documents. They must also be updated with client feedback and this feedback must also be used to develop and update the client-specific style guide. When new projects are received, the linguistic team can build on existing brand and product knowledge and the QA tools are properly configured to obtain the best result.

With the time that is saved by using QA technology, the language review team can focus on other important client requirements and preferences, updating client-specific style guides and confirming references and sources. This can be especially important for translation projects relating to the life sciences and pharmaceutical industry. Translation of clinical trial documentation can involve cross-referencing other studies and accuracy in line with the source is key.

QA technology tools can’t replace a professional, but the use of QA technology frees up more time to focus on improving the


text quality for the client. The goal is to keep adding value to the linguistic review by improving QA technology and customizing the available tools. This means more projects can be completed to the desired levels of quality.

Based in Barcelona, Mireia Vilalta is Lead Quality Controller at Welocalize

Click here for more information on Welocalize Quality Validation Services.

Quality Assurance Maintains Global Consistency

Linguistic review and quality assurance (QA) are essential in localization programs. Measuring and maintaining quality can be challenging in translation and localization; quality can mean different things to different people, both internal and external stakeholders.

A key goal for any QA program is to achieve consistency throughout all multilingual content, at every stop of the global journey. The common approach is to fix errors and quality issues at a task-level. It is important to view QA strategically, implementing agreed quality matrices and defining workflows, establishing service levels agreements (SLAs) and key performance indicators (KPIs) with language service providers (LSPs).

Measuring QA can be tricky, as quality levels will vary across product range, content type, country, language and overall localization objectives. For global social media listening programs, where multilingual social media content is translated to assess brand reputation in multiple online markets, quality will be linguistically lower than a corporate marketing brochure. User generated content (UGC) is typically translated through machine translation (MT) to enable the “gist” of content whereas marketing content often goes through a transcreation process, where content is not literally translated but culturally adapted to create a local experience. Quality levels for certain content types can be subjective and this means QA must be an area of continuous review and improvement for most enterprise localization programs.

Putting localization projects through rigorous QA programs guarantees consistency of branded content. If there are no quality measures in place, then output can vary dramatically across regions. QA programs allow teams to review content in context and identify any formatting, technical or performance issues. Ongoing work with the same linguistic and review team results in a growing knowledge base of how a brand should be represented and long-term, ideally reduces the number of errors or functionality issues. Many complex localization programs have dedicated teams with quality management and testing capabilities who drive linguistic reviews, language quality assurance and necessary testing practices – functional and linguistic – on multiple platforms to ensure quality is met across all devices.

As one of the leading LSPs in the world, Welocalize establishes strategic partnerships with clients and many teams are dedicated to individual clients. By investing in teams that work consistently and on a long-term basis with clients, testers, translators, linguists, interpreters and designers can all build a strong knowledge base about a client’s business and product range. This ultimately improves the overall quality of output, strengthening a brand’s presence, consistently, across all regions.

Click here for more information about Welocalize’s QA and Testing Services

Popular Multimedia and Localization Techniques Used for Global Learning

Multimedia technologies have impacted our daily lives, particularly in terms of how we learn. Providing training and development through virtual, online environments has made global learning possible. Multimedia offers different forms of media, which enable learners to control and adapt the knowledge they receive, often in a fun and entertaining way. Certain multimedia techniques are now being used more frequently for global learning programs:

Increased Use of Video

Cisco predicts that 80% of all internet traffic will be streaming video content by 2019, up from 64% in 2014. In a survey by research firm Demand Metric, 74% of B2B marketers reported that video converts better than other content types. Video can present learning content in motion and multimodal forms, so learners can visualize concepts easily. With interaction, viewers can control the learning process.

Social Media-Based Learning

Social media-based learning establishes groups and communities so information – articles, videos, blog posts, opinion pieces – can be shared and the social interaction supports learning wherever the learner is located. Humans learn better in groups and networks and social media platforms allow learners to collaborate, even if they aren’t located in the same place. Groups on Facebook and LinkedIn enable learning organizations to push out content and allow learners pursuing similar goals to discuss concepts.

Gaming + Interactive Learning

Use of games and interactive technology in learning, such as online quizzes, cartoons and tests, is very popular for many global brands and learning organizations. Use of entertainment makes learning fun, which for many increases the attention and retention rate of knowledge.

In our digital age, these techniques are increasingly popular ways to provide a deeper learning experience and to reach wider audiences across the world. A key challenge for many Chief Learning Officers and global organizations is to ensure any content pushed out on these platforms are in the right language and correctly targeted to the right groups.

Key to successful global multimedia is to consider localization when developing the source materials. When developing the original video or gaming files, consider some basic design principles that will enable learning content to reach wider, multilingual audiences. Good typography and layout of video text and graphics will accommodate any text expansion in localized versions. Apply basic color theory so prominent colors do not alienate certain cultures. If other target languages are already identified while the the source is being developed, it will save time and money. Translation and localization of multimedia must be part of the planning stage and not an afterthought.

For social media localization, groups set up by learners and learning organizations must be monitored and translated accordingly. Many social media accounts generate he volumes of digital content and therefore some form of translation automation or machine translation (MT) is a good solution. Read: Welocalize Guide for Multilingual User Generated Content (UGC)

There are many translation and localization techniques provided by Welocalize that deliver high quality multimedia learning content that suit a wide range of budgets and resources. Some of the latest techniques used by the multimedia team include: Text-to-speech, green screen live action shooting, at-home recording, automated transcription and transcription tools, subtitling and on-screen text.

For more information, take a look at Welocalize’s series of blogs, aimed at helping localization professionals working with multimedia learning content:

Valuable Techniques for Multimedia Localization

Video Localization + Breakthroughs in Welocalize Text-To-Speech

Use of On-Screen Text in Multimedia Localization at Welocalize

Multilingual QA + testing for Learning + Multimedia Content

Download White Paper: Welocalize Multimedia Localization

Learning for a Global Workforce – Choosing the Right LSP

For global brands, employees, dealers, agents and suppliers are geographically dispersed in multiple countries. This means training and regulatory information must be understandable in the right language and culturally appropriate for each audience. The rapid availability of online learning makes crucial training and development materials accessible to anyone who is connected to the internet.

Any growing global brand releasing new products and services in existing and emerging markets must have a learning strategy and in this global age, localization plays a key role. Organizations can easily make training materials accessible to US teams in New York, San Francisco, Boston, Chicago and Los Angeles, but when teams in South America, Europe, Africa and Asia require training on new products, materials have to be localized and adapted. It’s not a case of simply getting employees to login to the learning management system (LMS). Different cultures learn in different ways and certain compliance and regulatory standards will vary depending on geography. For instance, in the highly regulated oil and gas industry, staff working on oil rigs may speak different languages, but they all need to be aware of the health and safety information for that rig.

Developing learning materials to suit multilingual and multicultural needs is a significant part of any organization. Choosing a language service provider (LSP) to partner with is an important task for any Chief Learning Officer. Here are some important things to look out for:

USE OF LATEST TECHNIQUES: Innovation in learning localization is so important. Many learning resources and budget are limited, therefore varying levels of localization methods are used. For certain learning videos, the use of subtitling, on-screen text (OST) or text-to-speech (TTS) are preferred ways to develop learning materials in multiple languages, rather than having to completely reshoot new video and audio. Transcription is also a commonly used method in the learning industry to help develop learning materials in multiple languages.

FILES SUPPORTED: There are many different ways to share knowledge and information; games, quizzes, animation, cartoons, academic papers, technical drawings, charts, audio and music. Whatever the source, these files types must be supported by the LMS and language service provider.

RANGE OF LANGUAGES: Ensure your language service provider supports all existing and planned languages.

SCALABIITY: As the demand for learning materials increase, so too will the demand for multilingual versions. The right LSP has to be able to grow and scale to the localization needs of the client.

LOCAL + INDUSTRY EXPERTISE: Certain industry sectors, such as automotive and energy, require providers to have specific knowledge of compliance and regulatory guidelines. This ensures any language version meets local and central government regulations. The language provider has to speak the language of each industry.

KNOWLEDGE OF LEARNING STYLES: Certain cultures respond to different learning techniques. For example, Asian communities expect tests and examinations to conclude training whereas Americans prefer continuous assessment.

Welocalize works with many global brands and learning providers to deliver multilingual training materials that meet the requirements of a global workforce.

Click to read the Welocalize and Blackboard case study: Reimagining Localization Begins with the User

For more information about Welocalize solutions to the learning and education sector, click here


Diversity of Colors, Numbers, Holidays & Traditions Across Countries

Establishing a global brand takes time and investment and it really does pay to invest in localization, from product conception through to go-to market. Globalization and localization goes beyond just language and linguistic translation. To make products and services resonate with global audiences, any touch-point of the customer experience must be culturally adapted.  Research on consumer habits, values and customs can help ensure your local brand campaigns are prepared and developed with the target audiences in mind.

Here are six examples of where cultural preferences impact how global content is presented:

Lucky Numbers: In the US, UK, France and The Netherlands, the number 7 is considered lucky, for a variety of historical reasons; the bible stating God created the universe in seven days, there are seven wonders of the ancient world and seven planets. Three is also considered a “perfect” and lucky number in many western countries. In Japan, China and Korea, the number 8 represents wealth and prosperity with the number 4 signifying death.

China: Around the world, the way different cultures see and describe the meanings of colors varies dramatically. Colors may convey joy or prosperity in one culture, and doom or bad luck in another. In China, the color white is a color of mourning, while black is the color or mourning in many other countries. Red is a very important color in China — it symbolizes good luck, joy, prosperity, celebration, happiness and a long life. Because it’s such an auspicious color, brides often wear red on their wedding day, and red envelopes containing money are given out during holidays and special occasions.

Russia: Stay clear of the big 4-0 birthday for men. A common superstition in Russia is that when a man is 40 and celebrates it with a big party, it may attract the Death. If this birthday isn’t celebrated, there is less a chance that Death remembers there is a man somewhere to be soon taken.

Japan: One of the most important aspects in Japanese language is that there are different tones or voices depending on the speaker, the listener, level of formality and situation. Therefore, messages are written specific to the sender and the receiver. For example, in Japanese, it is a bit awkward to use expressions that are too casual or romantic with parents – you do not send “kisses” and “hugs” to your mother or father.

Greece: Sorry, Easter Bunny. In Greece, the Easter Bunny tradition does not exist. Bunnies can be used on cards but “Easter Bunny” itself is not considered a symbol of the holiday, e.g. the way Santa Claus represents Christmas in the US.

Spain: While finding a four-leaf clover and touching wood are considered good luck, Spaniards believe that Tuesday the 13th is a very unlucky day. If you live in Spain, or many other Spanish-speaking countries, it is the equivalent to Friday the 13th in the US and UK. “Martes,” which is Tuesday in Spanish, is a word derived from the name of Mars, the God of war. Therefore, the belief is that Tuesday is ruled by Mars, the god of destruction, blood and violence.

As companies become more global, it is beneficial to understand the potentially diverse cultural the meaning of colors, images, traditions and holidays. Find out more about transcreation services from Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency

Moving Beyond Content

Written by Erin Wynn, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize, the following article appeared in Multilingual Magazine, July/August 2017 issue. The article, Moving Beyond Content, is a thoughtful view on how client needs in the globalization industry have evolved from transactional translation conducted by multiple vendors to an end-to-end approach, with one provider servicing all localization requirements along the global journey.


I have worked in the globalization and localization industry for nearly 15 years, nine of those with Welocalize and we have seen some big changes over the past couple of decades. We’re in the midst of one of the most revolutionary times in our industry, witnessing a shift from a myopic view of transactional translated content, whether marketing, UI or technical manuals, to language service providers (LSPs) delivering business solutions that serve all the “stops” on the global journey. Solution-selling has been part of the industry for many years, but LSPs now have the resources to address the broader scope. Whether it be through acquisition or maturation of the industry, buyers of language services in any industry no longer have to work with multiple providers to cover the many different global services needs on their globalization journey.

Global language solution providers must service multiple stops on the global journey – from filing a patent application right through to software testing and driving global digital marketing campaigns. Moving away from content and becoming entrenched in a customer’s business and global brand is the evolution. LSPs are becoming an extension of their clients. Many of the stops along the journey don’t have anything to do with translation. We’re not just delivering translation or pure language services anymore. A global digital marketing campaign with targeted search engine optimization (SEO) activity goes through transcreation. The testing of a localized software product requires engineering skills and an in-depth understanding of a client’s product and brand, not just linguistic skills. The development of APIs to ensure a streamlined workflow across the technology tools may process translations, but the skills required from LSPs no longer reside only in translation. Our industry is moving beyond content and original niche of linguistics and translation. LSPs that will succeed in delivering world-class solutions will service clients across the board, at all the stops, with forward-thinking solution selling and an innovative value approach.

The globalization and localization industry is a consolidating and maturing industry. In May 2010, the Common Sense Advisory (CSA) calculated that the market for outsourced language services was worth US$26.327 billion. Last year, CSA valued the market at US$40.27 – nearly doubling in six years. Some of this consolidation is driven by acquisition, enabling the delivery of solutions across many stops on the journey. In 2016, Welocalize acquired Spanish-based NOVA and Californian-based Global Language Solutions (GLS), in addition to the successful acquisition in 2012 of leading legal solution provider, Park IP Translations. These acquisitions pointedly look to grow solutions into life sciences, healthcare, legal, regulatory and compliance, to help serve clients, from the research and development stage through go-to market and final clinical trials. This year we continued to see further consolidation in the life sciences industry when RWS acquired LUZ, a company with its roots firmly in life sciences and the medical device sector. In May 2017, Amplexor, #9 on CSA 2016 list of largest LSPs, acquired US-based Sajan to increase presence in North America.

To better serve clients, it is an intelligent move for global LSPs to gain entry to specialist areas like life sciences and legal. It completes the full life cycle – the global journey – of bringing products and services to global markets. Our continued growth and expansion mean we are better positioned to mirror the industries we serve.

As we progress and continue to mature and consolidate, the industry will become driven by managed service providers and less language service providers. It’s about creating the ultimate customer experience at a global and local level and that will transcend translation and content.

Erin Wynn is Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize.

2017 Internet Trends Report: Six Takeaways Impacting Localization

Mary Meeker’s 2017 Internet Trends Report is essential reading for anyone involved in global business. Mary Meeker is a partner at venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers and each year, this highly anticipated report gives insights into the digital world, aiming to influence global businesses and create new ideas. As global brands continue to capitalize on the digital industry to grow and generate new revenue streams, the importance of localization and publishing content in multiple languages will continue to grow too. The 2017 report was first released at The Code Convention held in Silicon Valley in May 2017. It looks at the latest technology trends including global internet penetration, voice data, smartphone sales, advertising spend and email usage.

Here are six of the key takeaways from the report that will impact localization and translation in global markets:

ONE. User generated content (UGC). UGC can generate nearly seven times more engagement than brands generating their own brand content on social media websites. UGC appears more natural to other consumers.

Ensuring UGC is understood by all target markets is crucial as many consumers embark on extensive online research before purchasing. If someone has said something good about your product or service, you want as many people as possible to know about it. The same applies for bad reviews – companies must embark on social media listening to fully understand all customer feedback, wherever it is posted. The business model for many leading brands are based on UGC, such as eBay, TripAdvisor and Facebook. Localization and translation plays an important role in the publishing of UGC to a global audience. For more information, read Welocalize Guide to UGC Localization.

TWO: Voice Recognition. Consumers are now speaking into their devices, rather than physically typing online queries. Google can now detect and understand human voices with up to 95% accuracy. From 2013, the accuracy has improved by 20%. 70% of requests are made in natural conversation, to which the devices can understand and answer the queries from voice recognition.

If consumers are typing less, global businesses should use localized voices and dialects to provide the best customer experience.

THREE: Growth of the Chinese Market. China remains one of the largest leading and growing markets for global businesses. People in China spend 55% of their media time on the Internet, surpassing TV consumption in 2016. With the rapidly growing mobile internet usage, it is no wonder that China’s e-commerce and mobile payment volume has seen massive growth in the recent years.

Many companies are keen to enter China but often fail because the message and brand attributes have not been culturally adapted for the unique and diverse Chinese market. It is important to use a language service provider (LSP) who has a strong presence and experience working with APAC economies.

FOUR: Growth of the Indian Economy. India represents the fastest growing large economy, with a 6.8% GDP growth rate in 2016, with online users and online penetration increasing each year since 2009. The number of internet users in India grew more than 28% in 2016 with online penetration of 27%.

This means there is growth opportunity for internet usage. In India, 45% of time spent on a mobile device is for entertainment purposes. Global businesses wishing to penetrate Indian markets must ensure that their entertainment content and apps are available for the right smartphone devices and mobile platforms, with culturally adapted content that meets local needs. Further reading: Understanding Future Gaps in Language Skills.

FIVE: A Booming Gaming Industry. The gaming industry has evolved rapidly since the 90’s. It is no longer about individual play, but global collaborative play. Global gaming is a large, broad, and growing business, with an estimated revenue of about $100 billion in 2016.

China is the leading market for interactive gaming. Given the massive increase in number of gamers from 100 million in 1995 to 2.6 billion in 2017, there is still growth potential from the global gaming industry. The growth in the global gaming industry is a good example of how demand for digital products can escalate rapidly. Localization and translation must be a part of the overall strategy to ensure new gamers are reached on the right platforms.

 SIX: Increased Adoption of Healthcare wearables. With an increasing global population, the healthcare industry is forever adapting and developing new innovations to keep us healthy and extend our life span. Fitness apps are a favorite, with the USA taking up 18% of the fitness app downloads.  Millennials represent 40% of consumers who purchase digital wearable technology, so a proportion of marketing should target this generation for businesses to increase sales.

Leading technology brands must ensure they are delivering the right online health and fitness experience to the right markets. How society and culture view health and fitness varies across the globe. This must be reflected in the app – not just publishing multilingual content, but adapting the online experience. Welocalize Life Sciences work with many leading healthcare and pharmaceutical organizations. Click here for more information.

Click to see slides and analysis: Mary Meeker’s Internet Trends Report 2017

Welocalize Update on Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation (NMT) is currently one of the most discussed topics in the globalization and localization industry. Born out of a shift towards artificial intelligence and deep learning, NMT is very much cited as a future technology that will be able to translate high volumes of quality content. Over the past few years, researchers and academic institutions have been shifting focus from statistical machine translation (SMT) towards developing neural networks to improve the speed and quality range of translation output.

Dave Landan, Senior Computational Linguist at Welocalize, works on the development of NMT solutions at Welocalize. His blog, Neural MT is the Next Big Thing, published in May 2016, gives an expert and comprehensive account of the history of MT and the emergence of SMT and NMT. In this latest blog, Dave provides expert insights into industry developments in NMT and how Welocalize continues to invest in NMT to bring it further into commercial use.

NMT is an emerging technology, and both academic institutions and MT organizations are still in the early stages of developing NMT offerings for commercial use. Investment and development of NMT by the large technology firms continues, with both Microsoft and Google now offering generic NMT systems, translating between English and a limited number of locales.  While most solutions continue to use Recurrent Neural Networks (RNNs), Facebook AI Research has released open-source code using Convolutional Neural Networks (CNNs), which offer the potential of faster training. The translation industry continues to be dominated by statistical machine translation (SMT) in production, with NMT only recently emerging from the lab.

At Welocalize, our goal is to provide the best value in quality-to-cost ratio for our clients’ requirements. We deliver that via translation or post-editing, whether NMT, SMT or a hybrid program through continuing both partner engagements and an investment in our own research and development.  We’ve expanded our own NMT research to three separate code bases, and we have contributed code to the OpenNMT project.  We’re also are using GPU compute clusters in the cloud and investing in more in-house hardware to expand our NMT training capabilities as well.

You may have read or heard of the “rare word problem” for NMT – because vocabulary size is fixed at training time, NMT systems aren’t as well-suited as SMT systems to handling rare or unseen words in production.  We’re making good progress on limiting the effects of the rare word problem using a variety of techniques, and we’ve carried out some very promising experiments with adapting generic models to client- and topic-specific data.

If you want to get started with NMT, we recommend you do so with one or two language pairs that are traditionally difficult for SMT systems, like English – Chinese, English – Japanese, or even English – German.  The truth is that in many cases, for well-established language pairs like English – Spanish or English – Portuguese, customized SMT systems do as well as (and often better than) the nascent NMT systems.

Developing customized MT engines, whether neural or statistical, will continue to be the most optimal approach to clients’ MT needs. There is room and demand for both methods. Every client has its own terminology, style, tone and voice, and we take these factors into consideration when developing new MT programs, just as we have done with the MT-driven solutions that many of our Fortune 500 clients enjoy.


Based in Dublin, Ireland, Dave Landan is Senior Computational Linguist at Welocalize.

New Welocalize LocLeaders Barcelona 2017 Newsletter

The LocLeaders Forum 2017 Barcelona newsletter is now available! This publication contains a quick-glance review of the activities and discussions that took place at the recent LocLeaders Forum at Camp Nou Stadium in Barcelona. The newsletter contains expert articles and insights from Welocalize as well as contributions by our special guest panelists and attendees.

Click here to access PDF of LocLeaders Newsletter

This newsletter is relevant for anyone involved in globalization and localization who is interested in real-life global business challenges and opportunities. The purpose of our LocLeaders Forums is to address and share knowledge surrounding the pressing issues of today’s global leaders and the objective of this newsletter is to summarize key discussion points and capture the LocLeaders experience.

Read article contributions from localization professionals at Somo, Vistaprint and AXELOS and hear insights from Welocalize CEO and CCO, Smith Yewell and Erin Wynn.

If you would like more information on forthcoming LocLeaders Forums, email

As global content becomes more bite-sized and content is consumed on-the-go, we decided to repackage the popular LocLeaders magazine into a briefer, snappier and mobile-friendly format. We hope you like the new format of this LocLeaders publication and welcome any feedback you have. Please read and share with your colleagues and networks!

Understanding Gaps in Future Language Skills

Common Sense Advisory (CSA) Research has recently released its latest report, The Language Services Market: 2017. The report delivers an excellent insight into the current and future trends and opportunities, valuing the global market for outsourced language services and technology at US$43.08 billion. CSA Research states that it takes 26 locales to support the top 10 trading nations and 14 languages to reach 90% of the most economically active people online.

Identifying current and future language opportunities and gaps is an important part of our industry. Promoting language learning and establishing partnerships with academic institutions will ensure global brands are supported in their future globalization activities.

As economies grow, so too will the demand for language services in the respective languages.

While more developed American and European markets continue to demand and supply language skills, the BRICS (Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa) countries are catching up at a rapid pace. As India and Africa go through massive economic growth, gaps in language skills will become more prominent.

Indian Languages

As India develops into a global powerhouse in commerce and technology, demand for Hindi language translation, both locally and abroad, will continue to increase. Over the last five years India has seen a rise in popularity of internet access via handheld devices, growth in medical tourism and a rise in government-led campaigns to drive growth in various industries, including manufacturing, information technology and research and development (Slator).

According to a report from the Internet and Mobile Association of India and market research firm IMRB International, the number of internet users in India is expected to reach 450-465 million by June 2017, a 4-6% increase since December 2016. While more than half of urban India’s population is already using the internet, there is much potential to expand the user base in rural India, with approximately 750 million users that are not yet internet users (Live Mint).

India is a huge multi-cultural consumer base, with Hindi being the language that serves as a bridge between the different regions. With such a large consumer base, coupled with the rising trend of internet usage, India is regarded as a market with great potential for the localization and translation industry.

African Languages

Similarly, the economic growth within African regional markets have seen growth in certain industries as well as an expansion of internet access and an increase in usage of about 146% between 2013 and 2014(State of the Internet Report). The International Monetary Fund (IMF) forecasts that Africa will be the second-fastest growing region in the world between 2016 and 2020 with annual growth of 4.3% and West African nations’ GDP expected to grow by over 8.5% in 2017.

Africa is the world’s second-largest and most populous continent, giving plenty of opportunities to U.S exporters. With the fastest-growing middle class population and accounting for nine of the top 15 fastest-growing economies in 2014 (African Development Bank), consumer spending will likely increase from US$860 billion in 2008 to US$1.4 trillion by 2020 (MarketWatch). By 2040, Africa is estimated to have the largest labor force in the world, exceeding even India and China. For all these reasons, Africa emerges as one of the most attractive markets for international investors and educators, which is contributing to the increasing demand for language skills.

There is a supply shortage for African language skills and evidence suggests that school children and graduates’ lack communication skills. Some educators do not have the necessary skills and knowledge to teach literacy skills across the entire curriculum (North-West University). Swahili is the most spoken language in Africa with over 100 million speakers. There are more than a dozen African countries where English is an official language including Zimbabwe, Uganda, Zambia and Botswana.

Although Africa’s current share of the global translation market is tiny, it is definitely growing (CSA) and will continue to contribute to the rising demand for African language skills.

European Languages

In Europe, there is still demand for language skills over and above English fluency. European languages are very highly valued and many businesses recruit staff with foreign language skills. German, French and Spanish being more in demand than ever. There is also continued demand for language skills in Mandarin Chinese and Arabic, reflecting the continued growth of these economies.

The study of any language opens the way to understanding a country’s politics, economics, culture and business opportunities. Growth in the demand for outsourced language services is a positive indicator for global business. Our industry must keep a close watch on the shifting patterns in language supply and demand to ensure our clients are fully supported in all their activities.


Cecilia Tang is a member of Welocalize’s global marketing team.

Building Talent Networks with Beijing Normal University

Interview with Jay Ge, Welocalize Talent Manager and Joy Hao-Qu, Welocalize intern

Based in Beijing, Jay Ge is the Talent + Community Manager for Asian Languages at Welocalize. Jay has developed a strong relationship with Beijing Normal University (BNU) to support and identify localization talent and he is a regular visitor to translator forums, held at universities across China.

In this special blog interview, Jay and Welocalize intern Joy Hao-Qu from Beijing Normal University discuss the importance of academic institutions forging relationships with the global business world and outline how Welocalize’s Intern Program is working to help prepare the next generation of translators and interpreters.

How is Welocalize involved with Beijing Normal University (BNU)?

Jay: Welocalize recently ran a session at the University, delivering a presentation on translation and project management best practices. We focused on building the bridge between university to industry and how translation and interpretation works in the business world. Since then, we’ve kept regular contact, providing updates on topics such as machine translation (MT) and other language technologies. We also ensure that Welocalize employees are aware of University events, so we can actively participate. I am also a regular attendee at the China Translation Forum in Beijing, which is a well-organized event that enables great networking opportunities.

Institutions such as BNU must educate students on the requirements of global business and the role that Language Service Providers (LSPs) take in supporting global business. Because Welocalize is one of the world’s leading LSPs, it is important for us to help shape the training of our future translators to ensure the right skills are learned.

As part of the BNU master’s program in translation and interpretation, there is a translation service unit (TSU), Askmuduo Consulting Ltd., a registered company through which students provide translation services to external clients. Many of the translation projects are longer term, such as the translation of books and academic papers. To give the students experience at working on “live” translation projects, we sometimes use the TSU service and provide detailed feedback.

Do BNU students come to work at Welocalize?

Jay: We have established internship opportunities with BNU recruiting students from the master’s program. The length of time the interns spend at Welocalize varies depending on their studies. If the opportunity is right, we hire graduates as full-time employees. Students don’t just gain experience as translators, but also in other areas like project management and quality testing.

The BNU students all have great potential. Every year between 70-100 students graduate, whether as translators or in other areas, so it is crucial to keep strong relationships.

We are in the process of developing relationships with other educational institutions in other Asian countries, such as Japan. It is vital that we provide input to the structure of educational programs to make sure students learn skills they can use in the global business world and have successful careers.

Joy Hao-Qu is currently working as an intern at Welocalize at the Beijing office as part of the Talent Community team. She is in the second year of her master’s degree, majoring in English Translation at BNU. Joy took part in one of the presentations at the China Translation Forums held by BNU and established connections with the team at Welocalize.

What skills are you learning as part of your internship at Welocalize?

Joy: Overall, I’ve had great insight into how the localization and translation industry works. I’ve learned how to use some of the technology tools and also had the chance to get involved in the translator recruitment process.

At University, you get little insights to the day-to-day operations of the localization industry and how the overall market works in practice. By working at Welocalize, I can get a closer look at all processes and technologies – real-time. Working with global brands also helps fine-tune my business English which helps my translation skills.

Jay: Welocalize global intern program is a great way for students to get crucial real-life experience, which helps get them onto the career ladder. We engage interns all over the world and will continue to work to empower the next-generation of localization and translation professionals.

Interview by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

To become part of Welocalize’s global team, click here

Moving Forward Globally with Localization

My LocLeaders Journey – Rachida Chekaf, Head of Translations at AXELOS and LocLeaders panelist

I was proud to be invited as a panellist to Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum 2017 in Barcelona. The event took place at the iconic Camp Nou Stadium. It was split into two panel discussions in the morning and an interactive IdeaLab session in the afternoon.

The first panel discussion focused on machine translation (MT). The panel comprised representatives from Dell, Harley Davidson, Somo and Ciena. MT is highly topical due to advances in artificial intelligence (AI), which have brought changes to the worldwide localization landscape. MT is a significant opportunity and this is something I want to explore further. It will provide linguists with an unprecedented opportunity to use the post-editing process to improve the quality of the localized content, instead of constantly trying to push things out of the door as quickly as possible. The translator can now become more creative again and their objective will be to make the content sound good and natural. They will, however, need to become editors and creative copywriters and further develop their command of the language and culture.

I was a guest panelist for the second discussion, ‘Innovation and the Customer Journey.’ My co-panellists were from Vistaprint, PONS IP and Avenade. Like AXELOS, these companies have internal localization functions that I was looking forward to hearing about. We each gave a short presentation about who we are and how we approach innovation in our respective localization functions. This was followed by a moderated Q+A and open-floor session, which is when things became interesting. It turned out we all have similar challenges which we approach in different ways. I learned a great deal from the work patterns my counterparts described. This is important to AXELOS, as we strive to make our content as accessible as possible for our end-users. We know the value of challenging our existing processes in order to keep complacency at bay and to improve the service we offer to our end-users.

Meeting other experts on the panel was an enriching experience. Firstly, it was reassuring to know that the processes we have in place are, in essence, fit for purpose. Secondly, it was pleasing to know that the people representing these organizations wanted to hear how we at AXELOS approach innovation in localization. We have made huge progress, but as with all things, as soon as you start, you realize there is still a lot to improve on. It was nice to know we’re on the right track and that we’re not alone.

We emphasize the value of simplifying the English text in our publications. This means the concepts and techniques described in our best practice guidance can be understood by English speakers around the world, whether English is their first language or not. English has an advantage over many languages in that it is spoken by so many people around the globe, whether that is as a second, third or even fourth language. However, it is a notoriously tricky language to get it right when the goal is to pin down exact meaning, which is what is required when conveying specific technical information, such as the AXELOS Best Practice guidance. We spend a great amount of time honing the text in order to ensure our guidance is as accurate and unambiguous as possible. We want to ensure non-native speakers are tested on their understanding of our best practices, rather than their expertise in deciphering the English language.

Pinning down the meaning in the source text also serves the purpose of preparing it for the localization process. If our language partners are confident that the text says what it is expected to say, the translation process is smoother and we can deliver quality content in the optimum time.

I really enjoyed LocLeaders Forum Barcelona, both as an attendee and a guest panellist. I was happy to share my experience and also learn from fellow localization professionals. A very inspiring day!


Rachida Chekaf is Head of Translations at AXELOS

Elevate Localization Teams

From Service Providers to Strategic Partners

Ulrika Fuchs, Localization Manager at Vistaprint, took part at LocLeaders Forum Barcelona 2017 as a guest panelist for the discussion, “Innovation and the Customer Journey”. In this special guest blog, Ulrika looks at the role of the in-house localization team and highlights the benefits of developing lasting relationships with internal clients.

No matter what your approach to localization looks like, whether you have an in-house team, outsource your translations or maybe work with a hybrid model, there is much to gain from building a strong partnership with your internal clients.

A lot of internal localization teams can sometimes feel like they are just completing tasks and taking orders according to a plan that they were not part of creating. Internal clients often look at localization and translation as a service that comes at the end of the line, and therefore there is no need to involve the localization team in important strategic decisions. There are many benefits to be had from engaging the localization team at an earlier stage – we’re experts in going global therefore have a lot to offer. Part of the role of the localization team is to educate the whole organization of the value of localization, share best practices and forge long-term partnerships to help reach global goals.

Achieve better results

Working as an internal service provider and often with an external language service provider (LSP), you have your own set of goals. These goals are probably developed to Service Level Agreements (SLAs), meeting certain quality standards and ensuring cost-efficiency. But where does the end customer come into the picture? Your internal clients are focused on delivering value to the end customer, so the localization team should be part of that vision too. By becoming more integrated into the overall global strategy, you will share the same goals and create a sense of ownership on both sides that will let you achieve far better results as an organization.

Mitigate risks

Some engineers may have experience in software localization and your global marketing colleagues may have worked across several markets and multiple countries before, but let’s face it – many things can go wrong when you want to go global with your digital content. Faulty assumptions, inaccurate estimates, lack of in-country knowledge and other risks can lead to delays, wasted resources and ultimately, a bad brand image and loss of revenue. By getting involved from the start, you can identify these types of risks and even educate your partners for smoother localization projects in the future.

Identify opportunities

Just as localization teams can help clients become aware of risks related to localization, they can also help them identify opportunities. Maybe there’s a specific demographic in a certain market that is worth recognizing in an online marketing campaign. Or perhaps there are ways to optimize processes and workflows. There may be technology and tools out there that could provide translation and process automation, helping to speed up the localization process and improve quality. By working closely together, the needs of the business will be better met and those opportunities can be identified that add great value.

How to get there

The benefits are pretty clear to any of us who work in globalization and localization, but how do you make the clients see their need to partner with us? In my experience, you simply have to be very persistent and never give up. You may have to invite yourself to meetings, insist on having those important conversations, and offer training to new-hires as well as long-time employees. Then start over and repeat, because this is a part of the role of a localization manager that is never fully done.

At Vistaprint, as an internal localization team, our journey from service providers to strategic partners has taken us as far as being involved in decisions around content strategy, participating in local trade shows and providing real time input at shoots for TV commercials. Making the localization team key stakeholders in the global strategy has added tremendous value to our business. It has also increased engagement and created a series of exciting opportunities for the localization professionals on our team. Let’s forge partnerships with everyone involved in the localization process and work as a truly global team.


Ulrika Fuchs is Localization Manager at Vistaprint.

Digital Content – The Mobile Revolution is Upon Us

Insights from LocLeaders Barcelona 2017

Stephanie Emmanouel is General Manager, Connected Customer Marketing at Somo. Stephanie took part as a guest panelist at LocLeaders Forum 2017 Barcelona. In this blog, she summarizes some of her key insights from the event, including the rapidly-changing face of content, speech-to-speech translation and the importance of localization for mobile platforms.

The world is changing at a faster pace than ever before. Every year around the same time, the digital industry as a whole, eagerly awaits the latest Internet Trends Report by Mary Meeker. The 355 slide document provides deep insight into the latest industry trends, and according to the 2017 report, 3.4 billion people are now connected to the internet. This equates to almost 50% of the world’s population. At the same time, there are 5 billion unique mobile users (71% penetration) and 2.8 billion smartphones globally.

With such available access, brands have the opportunity to engage with global audiences. It means that anyone, at anytime, anywhere in the world can create and publish content. So where are users actually spending their time online? On average, US consumers spend 5.6 hours per day online – 3.1 hours on mobile devices alone. There are more than 2.7 billion people accessing social media and 2.6 billion gamers.

Content is no longer limited to the written word, but includes pictures, voice, video, emoticons and much more. This adds another layer of complexity when developing culturally relevant content for multiple audiences, all using a variety of devices and platforms.

What do brands need to consider when creating content for a mobile first world? Depending on the device and context there are a number of things to consider:

  • Smaller screen space = potentially very small text size.
  • Vertical or landscape formats, mean no keyboard. It’s all touch or scroll based.
  • Finger tapping – not mouse or trackpad usage for selection.
  • Inconsistency between desktop and mobile User Interfaces.
  • Visibility of just a single window.
  • Intermittent and potentially slow internet connectivity.
  • Visual and voice content opposed to text.

In addition, the internet is now “always on” – especially due to mobile device usage. This means that we can create LIVE content. Facebook, Twitter, Twitch and Snapchat are prime examples of LIVE content. Today, a global community can watch the inauguration of a new president or the World Cup final live and comment, real-time, in their native language.

How can the language services industry meet the requirements of such a demanding real-time audience at a global level? At Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum event in Barcelona, we discussed the role of machine translation (MT) with a panel of experts from Harley-Davidson, Dell, Ciena and Somo. It is self-evident that MT will build the foundation of translating LIVE content.

Looking into the future, we can already catch a glimpse of the new world; a world of zero user interface, mixed reality, augmented reality and virtual reality. In the US, 20% of all Google search queries, originating from a mobile device, are voice triggered. Companies such as Facebook, Google, Snapchat and Blippar are leading the way in making these concepts of the future a reality for brands.

In the context of localization, we can already experiment with fun early stage implementations of speech-to-speech translation in mainstream consumer applications. At LocLeaders, I was able to demonstrate speech-to-speech translation using Hostelworld. Hostelworld is a global travel brand targeting a younger demographic and recently launched its ‘Speak the World’ feature in its mobile application. This enables users to immediately translate speech into up to 43 languages. It uses Google Cloud translation capabilities and helps travelers to go even further off the beaten track and fully immerse themselves in the local culture by eliminating language barriers. The demo was fun to give all LocLeaders attendees insights into the future of localization and how global brands will communicate with their multilingual audiences in the future.

Beyond the real world, we will be challenged by having to differentiate between an actual “human conversation” and a conversation between non humans. Listen to Vladimir and Estragon – two bots – having a “conversation” with each other: to have some insight in what the future of MT could hold.


Stephanie Emmanouel is General Manager, Connected Customer Marketing at Somo. Stephanie took part in LocLeaders Forum Barcelona 2017 as a guest panelist for the session, Implementing MT: Leading with Innovation.

Click here for more information on Welocalize machine translation-driven solutions.

Highlights from LocLeaders and LocWorld 2017 Barcelona

Knowledge Sharing, Networking and Global Teamwork in Barcelona

One of the busiest weeks in the localization industry diary is officially over and what an amazing week it was! Localization professionals and global business leaders flocked to both Welocalize LocLeaders Forum and LocWorld in Barcelona, Spain to take part in the latest industry discussions and network with like-minded professionals.

The week started with Welocalize LocLeaders Forum, held at Camp Nou Stadium. Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell and CCO Erin Wynn welcomed attendees to LocLeaders peer-to-peer global think tank and encouraged the exchange of powerful ideas. Embracing the theme “The Global Journey: Leading the Way with Innovation,” LocLeaders Barcelona attendees shared opportunities and struggles, all under the same stadium roof that has witnessed the rise of global footballing icons, Alves, Hernández, Ronaldinho, Zubizarreta, Amor, Suarez, Messi and more.

Smith also officially announced Welocalize’s 20th Anniversary, and launched the 20th Anniversary Video, charting the company’s success since 1997, when Smith and his wife, Julia set up Welocalize in the basement of their home.

Localization World 2017 followed LocLeaders and took place at the very beautiful Palau de Congressos de Catalunya Barcelona. The theme of #LocWorld34 was “Continuous Delivery” and true to form, there was a continuous stream of excellent presentations, networking and business opportunities for very like-minded people. The Welocalize team hung out at our central booth in the exhibition hall and we hardly paused for breath. This year, there were a lot of language services buyers, and suppliers, seeking advice and guidance on how to go global and scale up their international operations. We were only too happy to help.

Top Five Highlights of LocLeaders and LocWorld Barcelona

There were many highs and not many lows – apart wishing I’d booked a later flight and maybe sore feet. Here are my five highlights from both events:

ONE: MT Session at LocLeaders. This was moderated by Welocalize VP of Technology Solutions and renowned MT expert, Olga Beregovaya. Panelists, including Wayne Bourland, Director of Translation at, shared their own MT journeys. Experts discussed the growth of AI and evolution of MT from rule-based systems through statistical and then to neural MT (NMT).

Panelist Stephanie Emmanouel from SoMo Global highlighted that MT is very important as everything digital is real-time and speed is crucial – there are 3.4 billion people online everyday with live content.

With heavy and light MT post-editing, users are able to adjust quality programs, depending on how the content will be used. High impact content, such as compliance and legal materials, still need heavy post-editing and human translation. Low impact content, such as user generated content (UGC), can be published providing the MT output is in line with the brand, and conveys the jist of the information.

And, as Ms. Beregovaya pointed out, “MT accelerates production of global content and is necessary to maintain global presence and extend user experience.”

TWO: LocLeaders Interactive IdeaLab. This afternoon session, run by Welocalize Chief Innovation Officer, Chris Grebisz, took a fresh approach, focusing on creating a culture of innovation within a global organization. We split into teams and went through a series of idea generating exercises and brain-stormed localization challenges and solutions, using innovation as the foundation – how to look at things differently to succeed in the future. The output was fascinating and people had fun too, helping everyone to break the ice and make new contacts.

THREE: Increase of Global Scale. At #LocWorld34, we had so many conversations that started with “We’re looking to expand into new markets and want to scale up to more languages…” This was my seventh LocWorld conference and this year, many conversations were about strategy, service, consulting – having a complete end-to-end knowledge of taking a product to global markets. It wasn’t just about linguistics, language, TM or word count – we talked global business and how to support companies from a wide range of industries, from life sciences through to manufacturing, from product conception to digital go-to market campaigns.

FOUR: Real-life Client Stories. One of the standout presentations was “A Delicious Tale of Localization: How Localization Helped Turn Candy Crush Saga into a Global Phenomenon,” delivered by Miguel Sepulveda and Debra Karneman from social games development company, King. I don’t play Candy Crush, but I know how popular it is – with 45 million monthly active users, it is played in 231 countries. After starting in April 2012, within 15 months Candy Crush had reached 100 million users worldwide. It’s a great example of today’s demands for rapid global scale and just how important agile localization is. An excellent story of how the localization team rapidly became key enablers to King’s global success.

FIVE: Global Teamwork. Successfully going global involves many people, technology, talent and a lot of moving parts. Without global teamwork, international business isn’t possible. At both #LocLeaders and #LocWorld34, there were examples of global teams everywhere. Clients and language service providers, technology partners and service providers, non-profit organizations and industry colleagues, vendors and freelancers. Old teams were meeting and new teams were forming.

One of Welocalize’s four foundational pillars is global teamwork and without it, we wouldn’t have reached the age of 20 and wouldn’t be the seventh largest LSP in the world. By its very nature, the globalization and localization industry brings together people from different parts of the world. If there’s no global teamwork, there’s no global business.

I gained great value from attending each localization event in Barcelona, not just #LocLeaders and #LocWorld34, but also the excellent TAUS Industry Leaders Forum and Quality Summit. I look forward to continuing the discussion and meeting new friends at the next LocLeaders and LocWorld events in Silicon Valley in the fall.

Thanks to the Welocalize team and the organizers at LocWorld.


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize

Welocalize Best Practices for Successful Software Localization

Welocalize works with many of the world’s leading technology and innovation brands such as Dell, F-Secure and NetApp. We support the entire software localization journey from research and development, patent and trademark application through to social media, digital go-to market strategies and online customer support.

Over the years we’ve accumulated some of the best software localization practices. Click here to register + download Welocalize Best Practices for Successful Software Localization



For more information on Welocalize solutions for the Technology Industry, click here

5 Defining Moments from Welocalize LocLeaders London 2017

Welocalize recently held its first LocLeaders Forum event in London, welcoming localization, global business, content and marketing professionals from all over Europe. The theme was ‘Scaling to Meet Global Needs’ and the venue was the suitably glamorous BAFTA 195 building in the heart of London’s West End. Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO opened the evening and Welocalize VP of EMEA, Garry Levitt moderated the event with Business Development Director colleague, Steve Maule. In this blog, Garry highlights his five defining moments from the event.

One of the most rewarding things about Welocalize LocLeaders Forums is that the success and value of each event lies with the attendees. We can provide a great venue, but it is the open discussion amongst attendees that has earned LocLeaders its reputation as one of the “must-attend” events in the globalization and localization industry. At the Forum in London, we hosted two panel discussions of which clients and colleagues were panelists to drive the discussion by sharing experiences and knowledge.

There were many defining moments so it is hard to highlight just five. But here are five standout moments that stayed with me after the event:


We had a really diverse group at LocLeaders in London – small startups through to established global brands in multiple sectors including retail, travel, technology, manufacturing and legal services. Although they serve many customers and each have diverse content needs, some common discussion points resonated across the room. Our guest panelists Robert Shaw and Claire Ingram summed this up very well:

“It’s always encouraging to find out that localization managers at other organizations are often undergoing the same growing pains that you are. I’m grateful to Welocalize for continuing to host LocLeaders Forums and for its efforts in helping to build this community.”

Robert Shaw, OpenTable, Content Manager + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017

“It was a really good event and we all took away a lot. In particular, it was interesting that all different kinds of industries with translation and localization requirements face the same challenges.”

Claire Ingram, Epson, Implementation Manager + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017


In our first panel discussion, ‘Managing Content Complexity and Diversity’, we discussed centralization of the translation process across the organization. There was collective agreement that centralization of localization and translation activity has many benefits. Centralization is an important long-term model, reaping multiple benefits in terms of budget, efficiency, technology, terminology, translation memory, quality and overall, maintaining a consistent global brand voice. With global organizations under constant change and growth, whether through emerging markets or acquisition, a centralized program creates localization consistency across all parts of an organization.


Our second panel discussion, ‘Hyper relevant and right first time’ looked at the different approaches to content localization for different use cases. Achieving the goal of ‘Right first time’ can be unrealistic, particularly if content is complex or very specialized, such as legal, patent, life sciences, compliance and regulatory content. For certain use cases like user generated content (UGC), multilingual content can be good, but it doesn’t need to be perfect. Certain global business models require content to be constantly published to meet the demands of customers. Setting the right levels of quality is crucial to identifying translation processes and workflows.

“I found it very interesting to have panel members from different industries, for example logistics and patents. I guess the biggest take away for me was ‘We are not alone with our challenges, others have them too’ and that this is ok. Statements such as ‘Don’t let perfect get in the way of good’ still resonate with me. We hope we have another opportunity to attend one of these [LocLeaders] events in the future.”

Ulrike Helck, Citrix (Europe), Senior Translation Project Manager


With some organizations still relatively immature in their localization practices and at the early stages of their global journey, collaboration is key. Not just collaborating with approved vendors and suppliers of language services, but also collaborating with other internal divisions and raising awareness of people, processes and technology. Many organizations are expanding through acquisition and this can pose more challenges as more brands join a company portfolio and require localization. Constant communication and collaboration helps educate teams on the importance of localization.

“[LocLeaders London] was a great event, with interesting insights and knowledge sharing. And also a lot of fun!”

Nancy Ferreira da Rocha, Senior Localization Program Manager, TNT + guest panelist at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017

“LocLeaders London 2017 was extremely informative. It is a great forum to discuss common challenges and share successes with other localization specialists doing what we do here. It helps to put things in perspective and share good and best practice around translating and localizing content in a non-sales focused environment.”

Rachida Chekaf, Translations Manager, AXELOS Global Best Practice

“Insightful and fun panel discussions, interesting people, top venue–a great evening overall!”

Eugenia Neumann, Localization Supervisor, Houzz


Welocalize has been a major player in the globalization and localization industry for 20 years and we consistently change our approach and redirect to meet the needs of our clients. Anyone working in the constantly shifting landscape of global business must celebrate their success and wins, whilst acknowledging mistakes and moving quickly on to make the most of today’s opportunities. Many LocLeaders London participants work tirelessly to bring important content to multilingual audiences and we’d like acknowledge that we think they are all winners!

I’d like to sincerely thank everyone who attended and took part in LocLeaders London Forum 2017. Our next LocLeaders Forum takes place in Barcelona on Wednesday June 14, 2017. Click here to reserve a place.


Garry Levitt is VP of EMEA at Welocalize.

The Culturalization of Global Content: Translation and SEO

When Two Worlds Collide

by Huw Aveston and Andrea Barp, Adapt Worldwide

Worlds CollideIn today’s global and digital economy, visibility is crucial for success, on a local, national and global scale. This process of localization consists of three parts: translation, culturalization and visibility optimization. Content must be readable, targeted, accessible and searchable.

This is where nuanced multilingual digital marketing comes in. A key component of digital marketing is SEM (Search Engine Marketing), which can be split into two primary areas: SEO (organic search) and PPC (paid search). While the organic links are “free,” meaning at least no direct costs, the sponsored PPC links are much like any other marketing campaign. Every time a sponsored link is followed by a user, a fee is paid to the host search engine: pay-per-click.

For years, even some of the world’s largest companies have straight-translated PPC campaigns. Although only three short lines of content are visible within the search results, there is a major discrepancy in click-through rate (CTR) when comparing these straight-translations with a digital marketer’s culturally optimized content. Clicks equal visits, visits equal conversions and conversions equal positive ROIs.

SEO is all about visibility and getting your site on that all-important first page of search results for your key phrases. There are innumerable factors that affect organic search and rankings. On-page SEO on the other hand is, and will always be, the cornerstone of the practice. As many companies are learning, this cannot be provided by translation of pre-existing sites alone. The culturalization element is a necessity. People might be searching for cheap hotels in Dublin, but do not assume they are searching for lētas viesnīcas in Riga (that’s “cheap hotels” in Latvian).

It is also important to note that the whole world does not revolve around Google search engine. Translation agencies are now working hand-in-hand with expert SEM teams to target market-specific search engines, such as Chinese web search engine, Baidu and South Korean search portal, Naver, to provide Western brands with a fast-road into the East. This revolves around the perfect storm of translation, culturalization and search market expertise.

In today’s world, traditional marketing techniques are becoming increasingly less effective, and content marketing is becoming more and more popular. In essence, content marketing is about attracting customers with valuable and interesting content to provide knowledge and create brand empathy. The notion of brand as thought leader and sector confidant has proven incredibly successful within the new digital world. It’s an ongoing process very different from traditional one-off sale pitches.

In the modern search landscape, content marketing is one of the most important tools for search engine marketers. Content marketing is a democratic discipline and if you have good visible content, people will vote for you. As a result of this, culturalization has also become an increasingly important tool for those serious about profitably entering into foreign markets. Creating content that appeals to the widest audience while simultaneously providing a personal voice, through tone and excellent culturalization, provides an excellent opportunity for incredibly positive ROIs. Making content accessible across markets through this process is no longer take-it-or-leave-it but a clear necessity.

The newest form of SEM is App Store Optimization – SEO for mobile apps. Brands and developers have for years been creating one global version of their app, usually in English in-app and in the app store listings. We’re constantly surprised when we see major brands making such elementary errors, even though the costs are low and the benefits are gargantuan. This is poor practice, both from a user (conversion optimization) and search (visibility) perspective. All of the major app stores, from Google Play and iOS to Windows Phone and Amazon, allow developers to highly optimize and target their app’s listing (inclusive of keywords) within markets. It’s a two-part process:

  1. The user has to be able to discover the app in the first place (ideally through branded and non-branded search).
  2. The SEO must then engage the user enough to get them to download, through culturally and personally relevant content.

Apps, like any other content, should always be culturally optimized for every target market: the only way to strengthen brand engagement and recognition.

The days of SEM and translation existing in two separate worlds is coming to a natural end. Companies looking to venture into new markets or operate more effectively in markets they’re already in, are realizing that culturalization is no longer a luxury – it’s fast becoming a quick win. Global brands need to include SEM and SEO as an integral part of their localization strategy. The culturalization of content via experts represents the future of multilingual digital marketing.

Huw & Andrea

Huw AvestonAndrea Barp
Adapt Worldwide is a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency and experts in the cultural adaptation of content across multiple digital channels. Huw Aveston is Co-Founder and Managing Director at Adapt Worldwide. Andrea Barp is Translation Director at Adapt Worldwide.