Interesting Facts on Translating Literature and Fiction

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

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

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

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

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

  1. The Little Prince

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

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

  1. Pinocchio

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

  1. Pilgrim’s Progress

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

  1. My Book of Bible Stories

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

  1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

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

  1. Andersen’s Fairy Tales

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

  1. The Ingenious Nobleman Mister Quixote of La Mancha

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

 “The Adventures of Asterix”

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

  1. The Book of Mormon

Published in America in 1830, translated into 110 languages.

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

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

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


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

Welocalize White Paper – Machine Translation: Neural or Neutral?

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

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

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

In this white paper, key NMT considerations include:

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

Register and download PDF here

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

Further Reading on Innovators Blog:

Welocalize Update on Neural Machine Translation

Neural Machine Translation is the Next Big Thing

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

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

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

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

US + UK: No to ‘Number 16 Bus Shelter

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

DENMARK: Monkey is a No-Go

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

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

FRANCE: No Chocolate Spread or Car Names!

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

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

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

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

 GERMANY: Nein Matti

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

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

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

ICELAND: No ‘C’, ‘Q’ or ‘W

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

NEW ZEALAND: Super-long names are banned

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

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

PORTUGAL: Ban on Vikings

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

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

SWEDEN: Say hi to little Lego Google….

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

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

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

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

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


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

Building a Business Case for Localization

Your 2018 Localization and Translation Roadmap – Part One

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

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

Why localization matters

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

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

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

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

Build a Business Case

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

How Transcreation is Different from Translation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

Welocalize Guide to the iOS 11 App Store

App Store Optimization (ASO) is important to enable your global app to be found in the millions of other online apps, by users all over the world. The visibility of your app to potential users in app store search results depend on its ranking. The higher the ranking, the more traffic will be attracted to click through to your app page so any changes to the largest app store in the world will have an impact on global sales.

Helping German Organizations Take the Global Opportunity

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

Click here to read the German version.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sonja Brass,

Andre Klose,

Stefan Weniger,

Read 10 Reasons Why LocLeaders Forums are So Popular

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s special about the office?

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

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

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

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

How to maintain consistent branding across the 22 Welocalize offices?

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

Do you manage to visit all 22 offices each year?

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

What is your favorite thing to do in Frederick?

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

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

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

Interview by Lauren Verdon, Welocalize Global Marketing

Eight Ways to Transform Global Digital Campaigns with Transcreation

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Louise Law, Global Communication Manager at Welocalize

Further Reading: Welocalize Guide for Content Marketers

Welocalize Thanks Global Translators All Over the World

Happy International Translation Day!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by Adriana Martín, Welocalize Global Marketing Team

Five Events Not to Miss During La Mercè in Barcelona

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

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

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

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


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

Creating a Culture of Innovation – Welocalize IdeaLab Talks

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thanks to everyone who took part in IdeaLab in Barcelona!

Click to read the full LocLeaders Barcelona Newsletter 2017

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

Welocalize Office Exchange Program: From San Francisco to China

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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