Successful Website Localization – Interview with Andrea Barp

Website localization can make the difference between global success and failure. Get it right and new revenue streams will rapidly open up in new markets. Get it wrong and you risk harming your brand and losing customers. Andrea Barp is Translation Director at  Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency and is actively involved in some of Welocalize’s leading web localization projects. In this special Welocalize interview, Andrea shares expert insights and experience into what makes a web localization project successful.

How are you involved in website localization projects?

We have many clients and leading global brands who engage customers online, to sell products and services online and have websites that need to be in multiple languages to reach audiences in countries all over the world. They want a localization solution for their web and e-commerce content that effectively markets their products and is also efficient and cost-effective. We help them achieve that.

How do you achieve efficiency when working with so many languages and different content types?

There are many factors to take into account, from project management to team selection and quality program, but also technology and integration of systems plays a major role. It is important to connect the content management systems (CMS) with the translation management system (TMS) to efficiently manage the translation flow of content. If content is automatically pushed from the CMS to the TMS (and back to the CMS when translated), this lends itself to reduced turnaround times (TATs), the freeing up of internal capacity and the elimination of manual, repetitive, error-prone copy and paste tasks. For many clients we have developed or supported integrations to streamline the end-to-end translation lifecycle.

There a many different types of content on websites. Do you have a different approach for each type of content?

Our approach depends on each website and what the client is marketing and selling. Where there is call-to-action or marketing and promotional copy, this type of content is more suited to transcreation work, which culturally adapts the source content rather than directly translating it. For more informative content, such as terms and conditions and user instructions on how to fill your shopping cart, where accuracy of information is priority, translation is suitable. Most websites require a combination of translation and transcreation, depending on the subject area and where the content is displayed on the website.

What is fundamental to a successful website localization project?

It’s important both on the client and vendor side to get the right teams involved that understand how the website works. For example, starting from the initial engagement, often localization providers are being asked to provide a quick “ballpark” website localization quote by simply analyzing all the HTML pages of the entire site. Depending on the size of the site, this tends to yield very high word counts and can be quite misleading for customers. A lot of website content is often repeated and some content may not even be visible to customers. Some sections, such as blogs, may not be applicable to all markets. Such content doesn’t need to be included in the scope of the website localization. The best approach is to get the key stakeholders involved, who understand the scope of the project, including the CMS expert. This way, it’s possible to have a more accurate idea of the content in scope, improve the accuracy of the quote, streamline production and ultimately serve the customer better.

A lot of websites and e-commerce sites are image-heavy. How does this affect localization?

Many of our clients’ sites have low word counts and a high number of images. If you’re localizing a retail operation into 50 languages, some images will not be suitable for all cultural markets. For many projects, heavy image localization has to take place which can involve engaging more DTP expertise than translators.

What is your best piece of advice for anyone embarking on a website localization project?

To get the best results, combine SEO best practices and website localization best practices. For example, when localizing a site into 50 languages if you take into account SEO best practices, the website will be more visible, and your ROI more optimized.

Based in London, Andrea Barp is Translation Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency. For more information on Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize’s digital marketing services, click here.

Interview conducted by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

My Internship at Welocalize in Portland, USA

Christopher Hu recently completed an internship at Welocalize. Christopher was based at the Welocalize office in Portland, Oregon, supporting project managers in their day-to-day activities as part of the Intern Program. After a successful nine months, Christopher will now be joining the Welocalize team permanently as a full-time project manager. In this blog, Christopher shares some of his experiences from the placement.

What was your role at Welocalize?

My role at Welocalize primarily involved providing support to the project management team based at the Portland office. I focused on vendor communication as well as ensuring on-time deliveries of translation tasks and helping with quarterly business reports. During my time at Welocalize, I also had the opportunity to work on projects within different departments of the company such as engineering and testing. Portland is home to one of Welocalize’s largest quality assurance and testing laboratories and they deliver thousands of testing hours every week. It was a great opportunity to see some of the large testing projects in action.

Why did you want an internship with Welocalize?

Welocalize was a really attractive company for me to intern at and I was delighted when my application was successful. I felt that it would be personally rewarding to work in a field that dealt with two passions of mine – communication and technology. As the 7th largest language service provider in the world, Welocalize provided many opportunities for me to gain the right experience at this stage of my career. Whilst at Welocalize, I wanted to fully utilize my international experience and in turn develop my knowledge and understanding of management techniques in practice.

What was your main goal from your internship?

My main goal was to develop my understanding of the localization industry. I was totally unaware this industry existed until I was introduced to it at a career fair! Global business relies on localization and translation. I also wanted to gain overall experience at working for a global organization with clients all over the world in every sector.

What did you learn during your internship?

I learnt effective business communication styles and I also gained good time management skills. I improved my project management skills by focusing on each task separately, instead of trying to juggle. The internship gave me great insight into the various operations, processes and technologies involved in localization project management.

Did anything surprise you?

What continues to surprise me is how substantial Welocalize’s ongoing footprint is! Our work is everywhere.  Every day, I communicate with hundreds of translators, whose work is in turn seen by millions of people around the world. The pleasure I got from collaborating with so many people from different countries was also great surprise.

What did you learn about Welocalize’s culture?

Everyone I met at Welocalize understands that projects and workloads are challenging, especially working across every time zone, but there is a really good life-work balance. We want every project to deliver excellence. There is ongoing evidence of Welocalize’s 4-pillars – customer service, quality, global teamwork and innovation – in everything that the Welocalize teams do. Working together and helping each other to succeed makes work so rewarding.

What would you say about your experience overall?

I had a great experience interning for Welocalize because of the people I work with and the clients we serve. I look forward to beginning my Welocalize journey as a permanent member of the team! I would highly recommend the Welocalize Intern Program.

Interview by Jack Rainey, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support Team.

Ten Facts About St Patrick’s Day and the Irish Language

Sona Lá Fhéile Pádraig! Happy St Patrick’s Day! St Patrick’s Day is celebrated annually around the world on March 17.  The day honors the patron saint of Ireland, St Patrick and it is known as one of the more raucous national holidays of the year with over 33 million people participating in parties and festivities all over the world. One of Welocalize’s main global offices is located in Dublin, at the heart of the European localization industry. Our lively Dublin office supports many global Welocalize clients and provides a central meeting point for many localization events.

To mark this national and international day, here are some facts about St Patrick’s day and the Irish language:

#1: Irish Gaelic is recognized as the official first language of the Republic of Ireland. Irish Gaelic is a Celtic language, spoken by over 140,000 people as a first language and 1 million as a second language. It is an Indo-European language and evolved from the earliest languages spoken in the middle east.

#2: Irish is a language without words for ‘Yes’ and ‘No.’ Questions are answered with the verb. For example:
An dtuigeann tú? – Do you understand?
Tuigim – I understand
Ni thuigim – I don’t understand

#3: St Patrick is the Patron Saint of Ireland, although he was born in Britain around 385AD.

#4: As a boy of 14, he was captured and taken to Ireland where he spent six years in slavery, herding sheep. In his 30s, he returned to Ireland as a missionary and is believed to be the founder of Christianity in Ireland. It is believed he died on
March 17 in 461AD.

#5: The Irish language uses the Latin alphabet but it doesn’t use all the letters. J, k, q, v, w, x, y and z are left out. However, you will see these letters appear in modern Irish words as spelling rules change as new words emerge.

#6: Ireland is known as the Emerald Isle and many people wear green and eat green food on March 17. Cabbage shipments to the U.S. increase by 70% during the week of March 17!

#7: In Irish, words for numbers depend on whether you’re counting humans or non-humans. For example, ‘seven men’ is ‘seachtar fear’ but ‘seven dogs’ is ‘seacht madrai.’

#8: For word order, Irish is a verb/subject/object language. English is a subject/verb/object language. For example, in this simple English sentence, ‘Emma buys bread,’ the word order in Irish would be ‘Buys Emma bread.’

#9: St Patrick’s Day has always been a time when many Americans acknowledge their Irish roots, celebrating Irish culture in a variety of ways. Over 34 million modern Americans claim Irish ancestry.

One of the most popular Irish toasts on St Patrick’s day that will accompany the many raised glasses of Guinness and beer consumed on March 17 includes “May the roof above us never fall in and may we friends beneath it never fall out.”

Friday, March 17 2017 is a national holiday in Ireland and the Welocalize Dublin offices will be closed on that day. It is also a national holiday on the Island of Montserrat in Caribbean and a provincial holiday in the Canadian province of Newfoundland.

We would like to wish health and happiness to all our staff, colleagues and clients celebrating St Patrick’s Day this year!

Eight Steps to Successful Localization in Technical Communication

Welocalize’s Louise Law recently contributed a feature article to tcworld print and e-magazine, March 2017 issue. The article, titled “Eight Steps to Successful Localization” looks at some best practices and techniques for the successful localization of technical communications. tcworld GmbH is a global services company, which organizes business conferences including tekom, Europe’s largest professional association for technical communication.

Here are some excerpts from the article:

Many global brands and organizations embark on a global journey, with the intention of creating value, equity and, ultimately, revenue. Content is developed at many stages along this journey. It may start with protecting intellectual property by registering an innovative patent in multiple locales and continue through to creating user manuals and marketing material.

In a global organization everyone is affected by content and localization. Whether your job is in legal services, finance, engineering, technical writing, marketing, sales, customer support, human resources or product development, you are dealing with content that needs to be written, engineered and translated to reach multiple audiences.

Translation of technical communication

Specific priorities apply when it comes to translating and localizing technical content. Translated technical documents, or any complex or regulated content, must be as accurate, relevant and as concise as its source. Technical documents are high impact content requiring both linguistically and culturally accurate translations. Other information, like user generated content (UGC), has a lower impact.  UGC translation can reflect the message or concept, but does not necessarily need to stay linguistically faithful to the source.

The full article featured in tcworld magazine outlines eight best practices and techniques to ensure the successful localization of technical documents in today’s content-rich world. These include:

One: Use consistent style and tone

Localized technical documents not only need to achieve a high level of quality and accuracy, but also maintain a consistent style and tone of voice across multiple languages, content types, file formats and platforms.

Two: Garbage in, garbage out

Poor, nonsensical input will produce undesired output, regardless of the target language or the quality of the translation. If, on the other hand, the source meets required levels of quality and business objectives, then any translations or transcreations will meet set standards.

Three: Help localization teams to get to know the product

Many global organizations send teams of translators to product trainings so they can truly experience the product or service. As global business evolves, providing in-context information to localization teams is crucial to gain commitment to a brand.

Four: Be open to transcreation

Translation of technical documents requires high quality and accuracy. However, developing content that is linguistically and culturally appropriate may require some transcreation work. This means tweaking the translation whilst retaining key concepts, messages and facts. Transcreated content and illustrations may not linguistically represent the source 100 percent, but it is better received by the end-user, which is the ultimate goal.

Five: Prepare graphics well

Technical manuals and documents contain many complex graphics which may require the insertion of [translated] text. Including original graphics in translated documents is important, but not always possible. Providing access to text layers in the original graphic files will increase cost savings and reduce turnaround times.

Six: Consider text expansion

When you translate from English into another language, the translated text will take up more space. Most languages are longer than English by about 15 percent. Languages, such as Russian, can be up to 40 percent longer than the English version. Once the text in the graphic is translated, text expansion can cause problems with the original layout of the graphic.

Seven: Consider the use of CAT tools

Graphics are usually localized with the use of computer assisted translation (CAT) tools. There is software available that allows translators and DTP engineers to automate the extraction and insertion of text from graphics created in software such as Illustrator or CorelDraw into rtf files.

Eight: Consider multimedia content

As content volumes grow, content types will continue to evolve. Multimedia, video especially, will continue to drive communication. According to YouTube statistics, 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube each month. Consumers all over the world are spending increased amounts of time viewing multimedia, using a wide variety of devices. Technical information is no exception.

Technical communication requires high levels of quality and accuracy, both at the source and in translation. With increasing digitalization, evolving content types and consumer habits, there are a number of emerging best practices and techniques that can be applied to the preparation and successful translation of technical content. A strategic approach to localization enables global business growth and ensures products and services are safely distributed around the world, driving revenue and creating value on the globalization journey.

YOU CAN READ THE FULL PUBLISHED ARTICLE HERE: Eight Steps to Successful Localization, By Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager,

For more information on managing the translation of technical communications, email

Five Reasons Why Website Localization Creates Global Reach

Creating the best online experience lies at the heart of many global marketing strategies. According to, consumers are buying more online than in stores, which is driving brands to target and serve emerging global markets. Developing a targeted local web experience that accurately reflects a global brand can be a challenge but is crucial for the success of any digital marketing strategy.

Here are five reasons why developing culturally adapted web content creates global reach:

ONE: Around 30 percent of website users come from search engines. Searches will be conducted in the native language of the searcher. If your site is only in one language, it won’t get ranked in search results in other languages.

TIP: Localize SEO and digital marketing activities as well as website content.

TWO: Even if you think your target country speaks one unified language, check. In Germany, 15 million people don’t speak German as their mother tongue. According to the United States Census Bureau, 230 million people in the U.S. speak English as their first language and 38 million speak Spanish. Nearly three million people in the U.S. speak a Chinese dialect such as Mandarin or Cantonese. Only 27% of Internet users speak English as their first language.

TIP: Know the demographics of all online communities you wish to reach and localize digital content accordingly.

THREE: Although many people speak a second or third language, most people stick with their native language to surf and shop online. According to Common Sense Advisory, 55% of consumers prefer to only buy in their native language, 72% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language and 90% choose a native language website when available. If you’re selling your product or service online, then language and cultural adaptation is a crucial part of the overall digital strategy and website design process.

TIP: If you want consumers to buy your product online, sell to them in their local language.

FOUR: In addition to language, cultural differences impact website usage. Choice and preference of color, image, navigation and site structure can vary from region to region. The design of the user interface can affect a user’s experience and greatly affects the ability to keep users engaged and the site bounce rate. Websites and landing pages for well-known global brands can significantly differ across geography. For example, if you visit the McDonald’s website in each country, it maintains the global brand look and feel but each local site has subtle differences to cater to each market.

TIP: It’s not just about language and words, but every aspect of the online journey including visuals and navigation.

FIVE: To protect you and your customers in every region, translating the Terms and Conditions page will set the rules of your website and also help limit liability. If you’re collecting customer information, you must have a privacy policy and this must be understood by all potential customers. For every website and e-commerce operation, there may be content that will fall under the scrutiny of local government and agencies. This content must be expertly translated to high levels of linguistic accuracy and also to meet local and national legal requirements.

TIP: Remember any website content that may be subject to local regulations. Engage a language provider who has experience in translating compliance and regulatory content.

Contact us at for expert web localization solutions. For expert guidance and tips to localize your website and expand your global reach, read Welocalize White Paper: A Guide to Web Localization

Importance of English as a Global Business Language

English is considered the most widely spoken language worldwide. With approximately 330 to 360 million native English speakers and 1.5 billion total speakers, English is often referred to as a global language.

In the report by Miniwatt Marketing Group, June 2016, “Internet World Users by Language,” English is ranked as the number one language of Internet users with 948,608,782 (26.3%) English speakers online, followed by Chinese at 20.8%. While there is an increasing need for localization and translation services to ensure the accessibility of English digital content in non-English speaking countries, the opposite is also true. It is important for firms in non-Anglophone markets to offer English in order to appeal to the dominant web population.

Although English is spoken by millions of people, it varies greatly. From dialect and cultural references through colloquialisms. As such, English content may need to be culturally adapted for other English-speaking audiences depending on the locale of the intended audience. This adaptation of content is known as transcreation. Welocalize provides more insights into transcreation in the blog post The Phenomenon of Transcreation in Localization.

As global marketers and localization professionals set out to market products and services to English speakers all over the world, here are three factors that impact your global brand’s communication outreach strategy:

One: American and British English

Although American English and British English are mostly mutually intelligible, there are some main differences between the two in terms of grammar, vocabulary and spelling.

Grammar: British English speakers use present perfect tense more than Americans do. (i.e. I’ve already eaten vs. I already ate)

Vocabulary: There are many examples of different words being used for the same thing (i.e. lift vs. elevator, trousers vs. pants). There are also some words that exist in both American and British English, but they may have very different meanings.

Spelling: Some words in British English end with ‘-our’ instead of American English ‘-or’, and ‘-tre’ instead of ‘-ter’. For example, ‘favour’ and ‘favour’, ‘color’ and ‘colour’ and ‘center’ and ‘centre’. Some words in American English are also shorter (i.e. catalogue vs. catalog, programme vs. program). American spellings often use ‘z’ and not ‘s’ in certain words, for example, localization and localisation.

Two: Regional Accents

English accents differ greatly within different countries and within different regions. Attention to accents is very important for audio and video work. Certain accents have positive and negative associations, depending on the product or service. For example, in England, many customer support centers are based in North East, as the region’s predominant Geordie accent is perceived as trusting and gentle.

The most general classifications in America includes General American, Eastern New England English, New York City English, Mid-Atlantic English, Coastal/Lowland Southern English, Inland/Mountain Southern English, Great Lakes English and Upper Midwestern English.

The few main accents from Britain includes the Received Pronunciation, Cockney, Estuary English, West Country, Midlands English, Northern England English, Geordie, Welsh English and Scottish English.

Despite speaking the same language, heavier accents in some regions may become a minor language barrier between English speakers who are used to different accents.

Three: Website Lingua Franca is still English

According to research conducted by Common Sense Advisory, most people prefer to buy in their own language. However, there has been an increasing percentage of consumers, especially millennials, being more tolerant of and visiting English websites, even if English is not their native language. Many modern words and phrases have been developed in English and remain in English, even when used in non-English speaking countries. Certain technology terms (and social media acronyms) remain in English and do not translate. Many young people and students are familiar and accepting of this and therefore do not expect certain words to be translated.

Despite the increase in amount of content and users on the non-English web, a large majority of firms make content on their websites available in English. To ensure the engagement of digital content by a worldwide audience, it is important for organizations to be aware of the demographics of the target audience to determine whether they expect content to be translated or whether they are happy with it remaining in English. For many global organizations, deciding what to translate and what not to translate are two important considerations. You can read more about this topic in the Welocalize blog post: What Not to Translate: Is it ok to Leave Content in the Source Language?

Language enables global businesses to connect with audiences worldwide. With the right localization, translation, transcription, transcreation and interpretation, people are able to communicate across cultural and geographical boundaries. For more information on transcreation of digital marketing, email


Cecilia Tang is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support team.

Supporting Ciena on the Global Journey with Translation, Transcription and Interpretation

A Welocalize Case Study

Ciena® Corporation is a network strategy and technology company, supporting more than 1,300 of the world’s largest, most reliable networks. Since 2011, Welocalize has delivered a wide range of language services to Ciena, including the localization of marketing datasheets, e-learning, legal and compliance content.

READ MORE: Ciena and Welocalize Case Study

Ciena publishes a wide and diverse range of content to support the global distribution of their products. Continuous innovation and product development to deliver next-generation networks results in high volumes of multiple content types, from digital marketing and datasheets through to compliance and in-depth e-learning materials. Ciena has an internal global localization team to manage translation, but when demand increases, it relies on Welocalize as the go-to localization partner to quickly scale up to support the program.

Welocalize provides excellent support for Ciena’s globalization and localization strategy. Whatever the content type or requirement, the Welocalize team has the skill, scale, agility, experience and talent to meet our requirements and help us deliver localized materials across the whole business.” said Julio Leal, Head of Localization at Ciena

Due to the long-term nature of the partnership, Welocalize teams fully understand the Ciena brand, tone of voice and product range, which enables full cultural adaptation as well as linguistic translation, including:

  • Translation of legal and compliance content including “for information purposes only” documentation for internal stakeholders and employees
  • Transcription and translation of product marketing datasheets + digital marketing assets
  • Multimedia localization including voiceover work
  • Simultaneous interpretation services

Clients Benefits

  • Balance of in-house & outsourced localization model
  • Global teamwork
  • Cultural adaptation of Ciena brand
  • Consistency of talent
  • Full range of localization services across all content types
  • Trusted, collaborative relationship
  • Flexible, scalable approach


Your global journey is our purpose. Welocalize seamlessly supports all globalization and localization initiatives. From protecting intellectual property and registering innovative patents in multiple geographies, right through to supporting go-to-market digital marketing strategies containing SEO, high impact brand materials and user generated content. For more information on how we can help you on your global journey, email

Translation at the Oscars 2017

A round of applause to the transcribers, translators and voice actors

The world of entertainment recently turned their attention to the Academy Awards or “Oscars” which are awarded to recognize cinematic achievement in the United States. The iconic gold statuette is coveted by anyone involved in the production and distribution of film. Whatever your favorite film, be it the 2017 best picture winner, Moonlight or other nominees La La Land, Lion, Fences, Hell or High Water, Arrival, Hidden Figures, Manchester by the Sea, or Hacksaw Ridge, film remains one of the most popular entertainment form that reaches and impacts international audiences. Among the hairspray, the couture dresses, sharp tuxedos, champagne and tears, give a round of applause to the armies of language and localization experts who help the film and entertainment industry bring content to international, multilingual audiences.

Film can bring countries, communities and cultures together and language plays an important role. Successful translation significantly impacts the global reach and distribution of film, whether through great subtitling and dubbing or powerful international marketing campaigns. The Star Wars films have been translated into over 50 different languages. Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope film was the first major motion picture to be dubbed into a Native American Language. Five translators worked for 36 hours to translate the 90-page script to Navajo. Outside of mainstream blockbusters, there are also many important documentaries that raise awareness of certain world issues.

It is not just film that continues to draw growing audiences but the steady growth in movie streaming services and continued use of DVD and Blue Ray. Constant fresh content and 24/7 availability of existing content delivered by services like Netflix and Amazon Prime, now means entertainment and all the associated advertising and sponsorship opportunities can cast their net wider and target emerging markets. Most content streaming services are available in multiple languages including website content, OS and user navigation. Content delivered by these subscription services can be browsed and viewed (whether dubbed or subtitled) in many languages. In fact, Netflix is available in more than 190 countries and in over 20 languages.

Behind the scenes, the media and entertainment industry engages the expertise of an army of language and localization specialists to help reach audiences all over the world. Source content must go through a number of processes before the final multilingual product can be distributed to a new audience. Language services often involved in the localization of entertainment content include transcription, translation, transcreation, dubbing subtitling, multimedia engineering and much more. Outside of the actual creative content, there are also masses of legal and compliance content that must be understood by multilingual stakeholders, such as local film distributors and certification boards. Many blockbusters include significant licensing and sponsorship deals for brands, such as agreements facilitating product placement. All parties must consider where the film will be viewed to ascertain the effectiveness and legality of any sponsoring or advertising activity.

With a creative medium like film, getting entertainment to resonate across diverse cultures is a big challenge. How audiences react to comedy, tragedy or sexual references varies across regions. Even the way we behave in cinemas varies. For example, when a film finishes in Germany at a cinema, the audience will stay seated as the credits roll and then clap. Whereas in other countries, the credits have barely started while people fight their way down the stairs to exit the theater. It takes extensive expertise and local knowledge to ensure content is localized in a way that delights the audience, without diluting the overall global brand and concept of the film.
Localization and translation affects everything we do. When you settle down to enjoy your next film or television series, as well as when admiring the Oscar-winning performance, admire the work of the linguists and language specialists all over the world who brought you an evening’s entertainment in your language.

Contact Welocalize about our multimedia, subtitling and transcreation services. Email for more information.

Maintaining Tone of Voice in Multilingual Technical Documentation

Everyone within a growing, international organization is on a global journey. At each stage of this journey, there are volumes of content produced, from patent applications to user generated content on social media, that communicate to a variety of audiences and stakeholders, many with different requirements. Although many content types have different levels of impact, regardless of language, they must consistently represent the company and its brand portfolio.

In the 2016 Welocalize Client Survey, we asked our clients what their anticipated localization needs were for 2017 and approximately 47% of respondents included localization of technical documentation. Technical documentation is #2 in Welocalize’s list of Top 10 Needs for Localization and Translation Being Outsourced to LSP’s in 2017.

While the main objective in the translation and localization of technical documentation is a high level of accuracy and quality, consistency of style and tone of voice are also important and a deciding factor in selecting a strategic localization partner. At the Welocalize LocLeaders Local Germany 2016 event in Stuttgart, many attendees who are heavily involved in the production and translation of technical documentation were keen to discuss how to strike a balance between content accuracy and keeping a consistent, culturally appropriate brand voice. The traditional approach of pure translation for technical documentation is relevant, but there is a growing emphasis on content transformation to ensure consistency of brand and a cultural relevancy in each local market.

To accomplish this, many global brands are embracing techniques like transcreation. Transcreation is where facts are directly translated, but concepts and brand messages are culturally adapted to meet local market requirements. This results in a consistent style and tone of voice across all content produced by a global organization.

The e-book by Acrolinx, Watch Your Tone! outlines the importance of tone of voice and the different types and elements of tone. The ebook states “…even purely informative content, such as technical documentation, may suffer if translated literally, because motivations and attitudes differ so much across cultures. For example, while US training tends to be interactive and hands-on, French people tend to prefer more information, less participation…”

How is style and tone of voice integrated?

For any language team working on technical documentation, they must be fluent, native linguists and hold a good level of subject matter expertise. To be able to hit the right tone of voice, it is important for teams to be familiar with the company, brand portfolio, and, also, know more about the product or service experience to ensure proper context in any translation work. Putting translators, linguists, and reviewers into the shoes of the customer creates a deeper understanding of overall objectives which is delivered into all locales. This approach is applied across products within one brand portfolio, but also for the different content types throughout the globalization journey.

Welocalize runs product and brand immersion workshops, where translators and reviewers receive training, with the client, to ensure they understand the product and the context of the content with which they’re working. This reduces review cycles and forges good working relationships with open lines of communication. As a result, there is more retention and less churn on productive working groups.

Sharing tools like translation memory (TM), terminology management, style guides, glossaries, and product training documents across the organization creates good interaction between internal teams, as well as between the client and the language services provider. Seeing localization and translation strategically as a whole, rather than in silos of individual translation tasks, is a big step towards delivering consistent brand value in multiple markets.

In a report conducted by Acrolinx, Terminology Management, How Companies Use Their Words & Phrases That Matter Most to Their Business, maintaining the integrity of the source content and translation are the main reasons why companies manage their words and phrases. Almost half of content professionals surveyed said that the top reason they maintain a list of words and phrases is to either ensure correct usage or enforce the company’s style and tone of voice.

It holds great value and benefit to any global business to forge a long-term partnership with a strategic language services provider who can localize across all content and achieve a consistent tone of voice, for both source and translated content. Having content teams that are invested in the brand long-term ensures style, terminology, technical facts, jargon, and engineering detail are 100% accurate in every target locale.


Garry Levitt is Welocalize Vice President, Europe.

In November 2016, localization and content professionals gathered in Stuttgart to attend the first Welocalize LocLeaders Local event held in Germany. Style and tone of voice in the localization of technical documentation was one of many topics we discussed. At any Welocalize LocLeaders event, there is always a boundless enthusiasm for industry peer-to-peer networking and collaboration. People love hearing from other people who share the same challenges and opportunities. It’s a great form of therapy. By sharing real, concrete experiences and scenarios, the discussion flows naturally. LocLeaders is about open engagement and participation.  In 2017, we’re hoping to run more LocLeaders Local events across Europe and North America so if content transformation is your business, then please join us or email for more information.

Eight Ways to Optimize Efficiency and Cost in Technical Translations

As global organizations publish and manage higher volumes of content, optimizing efficiency is a key element to any successful localization program. Companies are continuously looking to manage translation budgets, including the area of technical documentation. There is little compromise when it comes to quality and accuracy for technical content, but there are still many ways to streamline translation activities to optimize cost and efficiency.

Welocalize works with many leading global organizations that publish technical documentation and, as a result, has identified a number of areas where organizations can get more out of their budget without impacting overall quality.

ONE: Check Language Selection. For every target locale, check the relevancy. If products don’t sell in certain markets and English is acceptable, then stop translating into languages that aren’t working. Certain languages that in the past have always been included on the list may no longer be relevant. Challenge the comment “But we’ve always done it that way.”

TWO: Is Content Being Used? Identify certain technical and marketing documentation that may not be currently in use. Bringing together technical authoring and marketing teams helps to identify content that adds and does not add value to the overall strategy. If a piece of documentation is not adding value, don’t waste translation resources on it.

THREE: Don’t Re-Write Source Technical Documents Unless You Have To. Style is often subjective. Therefore, try to limit any changes in the source content to hard facts and data. Reuse existing content if possible and only make necessary changes. The fewer changes made in the source, the fewer subsequent changes are required in translated versions. This reduces time, costs and resources.

FOUR: Use Simplified English. For more factual content like technical documentation, if the source content has been developed using simplified English, then translations will be quicker and will require fewer revisions. If the source content is simple and to the point, this will reduce translation efforts without impacting the final quality.

FIVE: Translate After Sale. Certain products that require a large amount of technical documentation, such as heavy equipment and specialist engineering supplies, are often low in volume sales. In certain markets, translation can take place after the sale. Initial brand and product marketing may be acceptable in English and once the sale is complete, technical manuals can then be produced in the target language while the product is being manufactured.

SIX: Use MT. More and more organizations in traditional sectors typically associated with technical documentation rely on machine translation (MT) to translate higher volumes within the translation budget. MT and post-edited MT are rapidly becoming part of many localization programs.

SEVEN: Give Freelancers In-Context Information. If freelance translators receive the text, without any sense of layout or context, then there is a strong chance the review process will be lengthy and costly. If translators have access to InDesign files, they are able to gauge the amount of white space and potential for text expansion, which will save time and money at the DTP and review stages.

EIGHT: Leverage TM + Glossaries. Share your authoring and translation assets. Many technical authoring and marketing teams work separately and this means translation activities are often conducted separately, too. Chances are, each team will build their own translation memory (TM), glossary, style guide and terminology database. Sharing these assets not only helps streamline translation activities, but also achieves a greater consistency and accuracy across all company communications.


Rachel Barakat is an Enterprise Program Manager at Welocalize. She is a localization veteran and has spent over 11 years working with multilingual technical documentation.

For more information on managing the translation of technical documentation, email

Further reading: Technology Tools in the Localization of Technical Documentation

Three Reasons Why Technical Documentation is a Perfect Match for MT

Welocalize manages a variety of localization and translation programs for global brands that produce large volumes of technical documentation, including online help, user guides, admin guides, operating manuals and data sheets.

The Technology Solutions team at Welocalize is heavily involved in the evaluation and onboarding of machine translation (MT) for new localization programs.  Technical documentation is one of our favorite content types to work with when we are customizing MT engines for our clients. Here is why:

#1: Source Authoring

Technical documentation is frequently authored by technical writers, who are trained to write with clarity, simplicity and consistency. Additionally, they often use authoring tools that help avoid difficult constructions; long sentences, passive voice, ambiguous words or phrases and gerunds (-ing forms). As a result, the source text is simple and easy to read and is processed well by the MT system.

#2: Terminology Management

Terminology management is an important part of the localization process for technical documentation to ensure consistent and correct translation of key terms and hardware, and software references to the product. Any glossaries established as part of the terminology process are an extra bonus during MT engine training, since they can be used to customize the engines further and directly enforce the translations of specific terms and phrases.

#3: Style Expectations

Technical documentation is not usually designed for cover-to-cover consumption and rarely requires a stylistically polished translation. Consistency, correct terminology and technical accuracy are the top priorities.  In comparison, higher stylistic standards are expected for a marketing brochure, which is designed to sell a product or for an e-learning course that is required to be read word-for-word, cover-to-cover. The result is technical documentation requires lower post-editing efforts, compared with content types such as marketing brochures that require a high level of stylistic polishing.

These three characteristics make technical documentation a perfect match for MT and post-edited MT. The carefully authored source content and the availability of extensive glossaries increase the quality of the MT output while the simple style requirements allow the post-editors to reuse more of the MT output.

The end result is that the translators post-edit less, which means a reduction in client costs and an increase in productivity—and a higher return on investment for MT.

Click here for more information on Welocalize MT-driven solutions.


Based in Boston, Elaine O’Curran is an MT Program Manager on Welocalize Technology Solutions team.

Technology Tools in the Localization of Technical Documentation

In this interview, Nicole McColgan, Senior Project Manager and Team Leader at Welocalize, shares her knowledge and experience from over 10 years of working with clients who produce high volumes of technical documentation. She talks about the growing importance of technology in the translation of technical and engineering content to help manage efficiency and costs.

What role does technology play in the translation of technical documentation?

For the translation of technical documentation, ensuring consistency, correct terminology, and technical accuracy of translated content are top priorities. Technology and translation automation can be overlooked in the translation of highly complex content and diagrams.

Technology plays a significant role in all localization and translation activities, including technical documentation. Due to the complex nature of technical communications and diagrams, there is an assumption that only human translation is allowed. However, there are several tools that can automate translation and still deliver high quality content while managing deadlines and budgets. Many global brands in sectors that produce a lot of technical content, such as manufacturing and heavy equipment, are using more technology in the translation process, especially with so much more content being published and updated digitally.

Are organizations more open to using machine translation (MT) in their localization programs for more complex content?

There is definitely growing openness towards the use of MT for technical documentation. Clients are more aware that MT can increase productivity and reduce costs. MT, with post-editing, can produce the same level of accuracy and quality as a human translator and enable organizations to translate more. While MT is not a standalone tool, it works well together with post-editing to speed up the translation cycle.

How does cultural adaptation affect translation quality?

For technical detail, such as measurements or numbers, it is important to keep the translated content aligned with the source content. There is no room for error. However, it remains important to adapt the content to resonate with local audiences, both culturally and linguistically.

Cultural and linguistic accuracy in translated technical documentation is no longer limited to 100% human translators. MT engines learn and build up knowledge as more content is translated. The more content put through MT engines, the more accurate and consistent the output will be. Teaming MT activities with post-editing can check the facts and details, while ensuring that tone of voice is also culturally appropriate. It is beneficial if consistent language teams are used as they become familiar with the product range and brand style.

What are the most important tools when localizing technical documentation?

Any technologies that automate the process, making the translation cycle quicker and more cost-effective, are important. Given the increasing volume of digital content being published at a quicker pace, technology supports quick turnarounds. Updates and changes are happening all the time, even in technical documentation, and the translation process must reflect this.

In addition, content management systems (CMS), translation management systems (TMS), glossaries, and terminology databases—all tools that help efficiency and accuracy in the production and translation of technical communications—remain important.

Welocalize manages a variety of localization and translation programs for global brands who produce volumes of highly technical communications and documentation, including user manuals, operating manuals, data sheets, and supporting marketing materials. Innovation is one of Welocalize’s 4-Pillars so we’re continually looking for ways to automate and introduce technology to make the process even more efficient and cost-effective.

Based in the UK, Nicole McColgan is Senior Project Manager and Team Leader at Welocalize.

Interview by Cecilia Tang, Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support Team.

Celebrating Love and Affection Around the World

In many countries, February 14 is Valentine’s Day, the Feast of Saint Valentine and a significant cultural and commercial celebration. Although Valentine’s Day originated from the Western countries, this romantic day is widely celebrated around the world. It is a much commercialized event, with an average annual spending of $13 billion for Valentine’s Day and about 180 million Valentine’s Day cards being exchanged annually!

Love is a global language and although it is celebrated and expressed in many different ways around the world, the message is the same. Commercial events such as Valentine’s Day see a variety of cultural traditions. In honor of Valentine’s Day, here are examples of the similarities and differences of the celebration from country to country:


On Valentine’s Day in 2007, Philippines broke Hungary’s world record of having a total of 6,124 couples kissing simultaneously for at least 10 seconds. This popular day of affection prompts the local governments to organize mass weddings in the Philippines under the Civil Registrar Offices. It is mostly for couples who wish to formalize their relationships, but do not have the financial means to do so. In 2016, about 350 Filipino couples took their wedding vows in the joyous occasion held in Manila.


Valentine’s Day celebrations in Japan originate from Western culture and was introduced for commercial purposes. It became widely popular among the Japanese after a successful campaign by Isetan department stores.

It is customary for women to give chocolates to men on Valentine’s Day. Giri-choco, obligatory chocolate, are given without any romantic interest. Honmei-choco, which are usually home-made, are given to the woman’s romantic interest. Men in Japan are to return the favor by giving back a gift, at least two or three times more valuable than what they received, one month later on White Day, March 14.

South Korea

South Koreans follow similar Valentine’s Day traditions as the Japanese, but with their own twist. In addition to the celebrations on February 14 and March 14, single people in South Korea also observe Black Day on April 14. On Black Day, single people who did not receive presents on Valentine’s Day or White Day get together to eat noodles covered in black bean paste, a dish known as jjajang myeon. Although not as widely celebrated, South Korea has roughly 11 other holidays devoted to love!


Traditionally, men write poems or rhymes and decorate the letter by cutting beautiful patterns into the paper. The anonymous letter, Gaekkebrev, is signed with dots, with each dot representing a letter of the man’s name. The lady receives an egg at Easter if she was able to guess who the sender was. Otherwise, she has to gift the sender an Easter egg instead.

South Africa

Like in many other countries, couples in South African celebrate the special day by spending time with their loved ones and exchanging Valentine’s Day gifts. Young women in South Africa have the tradition of pinning their lover’s’ name on their sleeves. In some regions, men follow the same custom.


Instead of celebrating Valentine’s Day on February 14, the Welsh celebrate St. Dwynwen’s Day on January 25. Couples exchange intricately carved wooden spoons, also known as lovespoons, on this special occasion. It is a tradition that dates from the 16th century, which is still observed today.


China’s version of Valentine’s Day is the Qixi Festival, which falls on the 7th day of the 7th month in the Chinese lunar calendar. Whenever this day falls, it is a popular wedding date for Chinese couples.

Commercial celebrations such as Valentine’s Day demonstrate the diversity of our world and how people express emotions like love and affection. For anyone interacting with customers at a global level, communication has to be culturally adapted to accommodate the similarities and differences. Globalization and localization helps you to get your message to new markets in a way they understand.

Regardless of where and how you are celebrating this day of love and affection, Welocalize wishes you a Happy St Valentine’s Day!

For more information about how Welocalize can you on your global journey, email

Read Welocalize Blog: How to Say Love in 30 Different Languages

2017 Global Manufacturing Trends and Localization Tips

As global populations and economies grow and evolve, manufacturers are constantly faced with challenges and opportunities to progress product development and expand operations into new markets. Manufacturers in all sectors, including heavy equipment, industrial, machinery, automation, components and electronics, innovate processes, systems and technology to stay ahead of world demand for the many products that affect our everyday lives. Innovation impacts the way in which manufacturing organizations develop and localize content to support their products and brands. Manufacturers produce volumes of content, often highly technical and destined for a multilingual audience, to ensure their products can be safely operated and implemented by users all over the world.

In this blog, we examine some of the forecasted trends that will impact the manufacturing sector and what role content and translation will play in the future.

‘Green’ or Sustainable Manufacturing

As manufacturing has remained a driving force in many economies, the environmental effects have caused many companies to consider alternative methods of production, whilst remaining competitive and keeping up with demand. Green manufacturing is not new in the industry, but will continue to grow as consumers demand products that have been sustainably sourced and created. With factors including waste pollution, cost reduction, and renewable energy, manufacturers must find new ways to sustainably expand; and with the advancement of new technologies within the industry, lean manufacturing cuts down on material costs and are more marketable and well-received. It is important for manufacturers and consumers to consider that new products will not always be necessary when introducing this new process – updates or additions to existing goods can reduce the carbon footprint.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Localization and translation providers must work to expertly publish more regulated content that is updated according to health and safety codes, and culturally adapted in native language markets to ensure comprehension by companies and their employees. Many local governments and government agencies have their own regulations and laws for increasing “green” awareness. Any technical or marketing documentation that has been produced to support these activities must be understood by all stakeholders, including employees and customers.


Robotics have been part of the automotive industry for years. According to the World Robotics Report 2016, the number of industrial robots deployed worldwide will increase to around 2.6 million units by 2019 – that’s about one million units more than in the record-breaking year of 2015. As we progress into 2017, the use of machines to streamline processes will continue to increase. While some might view the use of robotic machines to takeover human jobs, advances in ‘cobotics’ prove to be a complementary addition to the workforce via monitoring systems and production techniques. The United States is at the forefront of this movement right now with a majority of big factories implementing new technology to safeguard and insure a solid product from start to finish – with alerts in machinery being addressed before a breakdown can even happen.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Any user interface, display panel or robotic operating instructions will require some element of globalization. Many large manufacturers produce and distribute products all over the world therefore workers and employees in all target markets must be able to safely operate products, including robotics and cobotics.

In 2017, watch for the aerospace and automotive industries to pioneer the relationship between human and robot.

Additive Manufacturing (3D Printing)

Additive manufacturing includes a number of individual processes which vary in their method of layer manufacturing. Often referred to as 3D printing, additive manufacturing impacts many Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) in high-end markets like aerospace, automotive and medical systems tooling. 3D printing is another trend that has grown over the past years. Gartner analysts said worldwide 3D printer shipments are set to double, year-over-year with 455,772 3D printing units shipped in 2016, more than doubling shipments in 2015. Using 3D printing for prototypes enables manufacturers to go to market faster with significantly lower costs. The technology allows innovated design and advanced research to create new products. No longer a niche market, 3D printing is experiencing a widespread acceptance beyond its application in specialist industries.

LOCALIZATION TIP: Advances in additive manufacturing technology indicate a growth in small, local production units, providing on-demand 3D printing which means increased demand for localization of technical user manuals and training materials. 3D printing is experiencing many new discoveries all the time and is being adopted by more and more countries and manufacturing populations. It is important to consider the endless possibilities that this trend can create and where it can take the industry in the future.

In 2017, be on the lookout for what materials global manufacturers may print with ideally, low cost, easily recyclable and easy to source. Researchers have dubbed graphene as the new super material because of its strength and flexibility.

With new and emerging trends in the manufacturing industries, technical and marketing content creators must be adept at localizing several diverse categories of documents, from technical data-sheets to catalogs and operator manuals to global marketing materials.

While the global manufacturing industry is continuously faced with challenges, Welocalize is excited to see the progress and innovation in manufacturing and supports many global brands in a manufacturing.

What do you think will impact global manufacturing and localization in 2017? We’d love to hear your thoughts!


Jordan Ockleberry is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support team at Welocalize.

The Role of Language, Translation and Interpretation in Global Sport

Sport is an area that unites many countries and cultures and is quite simply a universal language that everyone understands, whether your team wins or not. International sporting events bring millions of people together from all over the world to enjoy matches and tournaments. We also spend countless hours watching sports coverage, broadcast on various global media platforms. Behind the scenes at many events and training sessions, there are translators and interpreters helping players, athletes and spectators to get the most out of their sporting experience.

The World Cup, Soccer and Football

Soccer and Association Football is listed as number one of the Internet’s most popular sports, with an estimated 3.5 billion fans. In 2026, the FIFA World Cup football tournament will be the biggest to date. From 2026 onwards, the global sporting competition will grow from 32 teams to 48 teams. Most likely to be hosted in the United States, Canada, Mexico or Columbia, we will see a celebration of football over in the Americas which last happened in the states in 1994. Not only will the teams increase, but also the number of languages spoken by the players and their management.

Many teams and sporting councils will use interpreters and translators to ensure all participants are aware of the various rules and regulations, not to mention making sure teams know the logistics of the event. For many officials and referees, the ability to be able to speak multiple languages fluently will be important if they want to take part and officiate matches where there is more than one language spoken.

At the 2014 World Cup hosted in Brazil, the 32 countries that attended spoke 15 languages between them including Bosnian and Farsi. This could be set to increase to even more languages when the competition grows to 48 teams in 2026. This increase in teams makes the tournament more accessible for countries to qualify who haven’t had chance to play before, such as central African nations and East Asian teams.

Global Broadcasting

The UK Premier League is broadcasted all over the world and commentated on in a whole multitude of different languages. The majority of La Liga’s Spanish football is shown on Sky Sports and commentated on in English with English pundits. The demand is set to increase to translate football content and commentary from global media and entertainment organization foreign football translated in huge at the moment. We could even see a huge rise in demand for Chinese football broadcast around the world, as the new ‘Chinese Super League’ is signing more and more big stars in the football world.

Many sports fans take to social media to express their opinion and to share experiences. As sports coverage reaches more nations, these user generated posts need to be translated so they can be read and understood by multilingual audiences. Major sporting brands have to stay fresh and in touch with their audiences through all channels.

Multilingual Athletes

As the world of sport becomes even more international, there is not only a demand for the fans to have translation and interpretation services but it is also needed for the athletes. In most footballer’s contracts that come to the Premier League from abroad, they have to take English lessons if their English isn’t proficient. Someone who managed to pick up another language almost fluently and quickly was Johnny Wilkinson, former British rugby union player and acknowledged as one of the world’s best Rugby Union players. In 2009, when Johnny signed for the French club Toulon, he committed to speaking French. This meant he could speak with his teammates and coaches and could converse with French journalists and media.

Many international sports stars speak more than one language. Swiss tennis player Roger Federer holds 17 Grand Slam titles and also speaks French, English and German. He is known to switch effortlessly between languages in interviews and press conferences. Fellow tennis star Novak Djokovic speaks five languages – Serbian, English, German, Italian and French.

World Olympics

The Olympics is a shining light in terms of interpretation and translation services for spectators and athletes. At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, 207 nations attended the games with 500,000 spectators attending the events. Teams are provided with interpreters to help with logistics and timing. For any host country, building the stadiums and camps for the athletes is a huge task and one where language and communication plays an important role. To host teams and spectators from all over the world requires good global communications to ensure everyone understands.

Whatever your language or culture, enjoy sport.


Rob Davies is a member of the Global Marketing and Sales Support Team at Welocalize.

Importance of Chatbots in Global Marketing

Chatbots are gaining popularity and are becoming a useful tool for global marketers. They deliver an interactive messaging service, driven by computer programs or sometimes artificial intelligence (AI) and can conduct online conversations by messaging or “speaking” to users. Instead of browsing a website or having to go through a frustrating “phone tree”, users simply engage in a conversation with a chatbot. For the first time ever, people are using messenger apps more than they are using social networks. As the usage of messenger apps increases, chatbots provide a huge business opportunity to deliver more value and give competitive advantage for many products and services.

“Chatbots are the new apps,” said Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella.

There are primarily two ways a chatbot can function: based on a set of rules, or through using machine learning, which is a more advanced version. A chatbot that operates based on a set of rules has very limited functions, it can only respond to specific, pre-set commands. On the other hand, one that functions using machine learning has AI. AI versions are not limited to commands, as they continuously get more intelligent with the more interactions they have with people.

Here are some reasons as to why chatbots may be the next big thing in global marketing:

Chatbots can be more accessible to a wider range of people.
Chatbots are able to reach people who may not be tech-savvy. For the audiences who are unable to handle complex user experiences and want to feel that they are receiving a personal service, chatbots provide a good solution. They are straight forward and easy to use as they resemble normal text messaging which most people are familiar with.

Today’s consumers are more demanding than ever.
As cited in The Guardian, a study suggests that about 90% of messages from customers to companies on social networks are not responded to, and it takes an average of 10 hours for them to reply to the other 10%. Today’s customers have become accustomed to instant gratification and expect a reply within a couple of hours. Chatbots increase consumer interaction, and are able to assist straightaway. Backed by machine learning technology, chatbots will be able to learn from past conversations and with new ones. They build up data over time, which enables them to respond to a wider variety of queries. Machine-learning technology will gradually improve the chatbots’ ability to interact better, enhancing the customers’ experiences.

They are excellent tools for data collection and analysis.
They can gather important data about consumer behaviors, habits, and purchasing patterns. Therefore, Chatbots play an important role in global digital marketing campaigns, especially when global marketers are planning to cater their campaigns to different segments of a market.

As chatbots become more significant, it is time for businesses to look into utilizing this tool to reach global markets and gain competitive advantage.

Chatbots and Localization
Global businesses need to ensure that chatbots are able to interact as naturally as possible, like that of a real person. This is where language and localization will play an increasing key role in their development. Chatbots who serve multiple language markets must be able to understand the language and any relevant cultural references and colloquialisms. For chatbots that use a synthetic voice, accent will also play a key role. Localization of their software and design will become an important aspect to ensure a truly local experience for any global brand.


Cecilia Tang is a member of the Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support team.

2017 Year of the Rooster

The Chinese New Year of 2017, which is the Year of the Rooster, begins on the January 28. The date of the Chinese New Year differs year over year, as it is marked by the lunisolar Chinese calendar. The Chinese New Year is one of the most important festivals in the year, where family members gather for the celebration.

Here are some interesting Chinese New Year traditions:

#1 Fish is an essential dish during the Chinese New Year celebration.

The Chinese word for fish (魚/鱼), pronounced as yú, has the same pronunciation as the Chinese word 餘/余, which means having extra or a surplus. The phrase loosely defined as “there are more than one year” (年年有餘/年年有余) is commonly used during the Chinese New Year to wish for surplus and remainders year after year, so that one would never experience shortage in different aspects of one’s life such as financial matters, health, and relationships. It became a tradition for Chinese families to serve fish dishes, making sure that there is leftover (餘/余) for the next day.

#2 Do not lend or borrow anything.

Owing someone something from the past Chinese New Year, especially money, is an unlucky omen. It is believed that people would be in debt throughout the year if they are to borrow anything from others on the last and first day of the Chinese New Year. People typically return everything they owe before the New Year comes around.

#3 Red is the color for the Chinese New Year. Black and white are to be avoided this year.

It is a tradition to wear new red clothes during the Chinese New Year celebration. According to the Chinese folklore, a mythical beast named Nian (年) would come out each spring to attack the villagers. The only known way to defeat Nian was to create noises, hence the traditions of firecrackers, and using the color red, which explains the preference for red clothes and decorations. The colors black and white are avoided at all costs, as they symbolize death, which would be considered bad luck especially during the Chinese New Year celebrations.

#4 It is a tradition to paste Spring Festival Couplets, Chunlian (春聯 / ) at the entrance and indoors as decoration.

It is an important aspect of the Chinese New Year culture. They are Chinese poems, which generally consist of Shanglian (上聯 / 上联), Xialian (下聯 / 下联), and Hengpi (横批). It is also common for families to paste the paper calligraphy of an inverted Chinese character 福, pronounced as Fu, on doors or walls. It is a play on words as Fu (福) means good fortune, and dao (倒) means inverted. When put together, fu dao (福倒), it implies that “good fortune is pouring out,” or that “good fortune has arrived,” as 倒 has the same pronunciation as 到, which means arrive.

#5 It is a tradition to spring clean before the start of Chinese New Year.

Spring cleaning before Chinese New Year is believed to drive bad luck and old things away from the house to welcome a new start. It is also common for people to go shopping for new clothes for the festival as it symbolizes welcoming new things and starting anew with positivity.

Many of the traditions, not limited to the list above, are derived from word plays. It is truly interesting how the Chinese language itself plays a role in forming some of the Chinese New Year traditions that people follow, even today. Wherever you are celebrating the festival, Welocalize wishes you a healthy and prosperous New Year..


Based in the UK, Cecilia is a member of the global marketing and sales support team.

Welocalize Highlights Top Globalization and Localization Events of 2016

Welocalize takes part in a number of globalization and localization events around the world in North America, Europe, as well as Asia. We have provided highlights of some of the best industry conferences, forums and exhibitions in 2016 that we took part in, with recommendations for 2017 events that benefit anyone involved in globalization and localization activities.


Welocalize proudly sponsored and exhibited at all the Localization World 2016 conferences which took place in Tokyo in April, Dublin in June, and Montreal in October.

As we look forward into 2017, the Welocalize teams will be meeting up with clients and colleagues in Shenzhen in February, Barcelona in June and Silicon Valley in October.

For more information about these events, visit

To coincide with the Localization World events, Welocalize hosted LocLeaders Forums in the same locations. LocLeaders Forums are exclusive events for global brands and localization leaders to participate in an exchange of ideas about trending topics and challenges in the industry. They are highly regarded in the globalization industry and recognized as trusted, open forums that stimulate and generate ideas to help increase global business activities. Take a look at our popular Welocalize LocLeaders Magazines, which contains collective words and experiences from LocLeaders participants.



If you would like to learn more about the 2017 LocLeaders events, please contact


Welocalize hosted six LocLeaders Local Forums in 2016, which took place in Houston, Boston, New York City, Portland, Silicon Valley and Stuttgart, Germany. LocLeaders Local are special hosted dinners and peer panel discussions that focus on challenges faced by global brands in particular regions and sectors. This past year, we used the events as an opportunity to introduce Adapt Worldwide to attendees.  Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency under the theme of “Bridging the Digital Divide between Marketing and Localization.”

The LocLeaders Local format always encourages open, transparent conversation about language services and processes between industry professionals.  The local events proved incredibly successful, with client and industry experts demanding more regular events at a local level. We are excited to roll out more LocLeaders events in 2017. Please watch for our upcoming event announcements.

Find out more about what LocLeaders Germany panellist and SFDC Sales Director, Christian Weih has to say about Welocalize LocLeaders Local 2016 Germany – Technically Speaking

READ MORE: LocLeaders Local Forum 2016 – Stuttgart, Germany

WATCH: Bridging the Digital Divide between Marketing and Localization



Welocalize attended key events organized by TAUS in Europe and North America in 2016. Program Manager, Lena Marg from Welocalize participated as a panel speaker at the TAUS Roundtable in Vienna. Welocalize VP of Language Technology Solutions Olga Beregovaya hosted a session and panel discussion at the TAUS Industry Leaders Forum in Dublin, focusing on the topic of innovative business and pricing models in translation. Olga, together with Welocalize Director of Client Solutions Darin Goble, contributed to the discussion in TAUS Annual Conference and QE Summit held in Portland in October 2016.

READ MORE: Welocalize Discusses MT and Quality at 2016 TAUS Events in Dublin

READ MORE: Welocalize Presents at Localization Game Changers 2016 TAUS Events in Portland

For more information, visit


Experts from Welocalize came together at the GALA 2016 Conference, hosting a series of meets to share some insights into one of our 2016 acquisitions, Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, as well two Welocalize Life Sciences acquisitions, Nova and Global Language Solutions. Park IP Translations contributed to the discussion on topics related to regulated industries and interpretation. Tuyen Ho, Vice President of Corporate Development at Welocalize, presented “Abolish the Per Word Pricing Model” as part of the corporate strategy section of the GALA 2016 conference program held in March.

READ MORE: Welocalize to Present at GALA 2016


Held in May 2016 in Berkeley, California, Welocalize shared industry expertise and lead discussions at The Localization Institute’s Localization Project Managers Round Table. Samantha Henderson, Welocalize Enterprise Program Senior Director, led and moderated the session “PM Responsibilities,” as part of the agenda for the event. The event gathered attendees with extensive experience in localization project management, sparking discussions on advanced topics such as stakeholder management, metrics and KPIs, agile content development, automation and quality management.

READ MORE: Welocalize Discusses Project Management Responsibilities at Localization Institute Round Table Event


Welocalize sponsored The European Association for Machine Translation (EAMT) 2016. Olga Beregovaya, Welocalize’s VP of Language Technology Solutions, attended the European Association of Machine Translations (EAMT) Conference in May. Olga shared some insights on trending topics such as neural linguistic processing, machine learning, language automation tools and the latest findings in new projects and innovation studies taking place at Welocalize.

READ MORE: Welocalize at EAMT 2016


Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, exhibited alongside Welocalize at the Content Marketing World 2016, which  took place in Cleveland, Ohio. Together, teams from Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize met with leading global brand and content marketers. Our team of experts shared best practices and tips for creating next generation content, as well as deploying successful multilingual strategies with transcreation, digital content, SEO, mobile marketing and cultural adaption programs. General Manager and Co-Founder of Adapt Worldwide Huw Aveston, together with Ann Rockley and Charles Cooper, shared his knowledge on the language of digital marketing.

READ MORE: Welocalize’s Global Force Shares Next Generation Multilingual Content Solutions at Content Marketing World 2016


Welocalize sponsored and presented at the School of Advanced Technologies for Translators (SATT) 2016 that took place in Trento, Italy. This event is a two-day educational program for professional translators to stay up to date with the latest technologies and how they can be utilized in commercial solutions. Tanja Schmidt, Welocalize MT program manager and member of Welocalize Technology Solutions Team, shares some of her highlights from the event in this follow-up blog.

READ MORE: School of Advanced Technologies for Translators 2016


Brand2Global 2016 took place in Menlo Park, California. Leading global brand experts and professionals gathered to discuss trending topics in global marketing. Senior representatives from Welocalize and Adapt Worldwide participated in the event to help brand managers and leaders learn more about driving global digital strategies. Huw Aveston presented “Speaking the Same Language”, sharing some insights on bridging the divide between localization and marketing.

READ MORE: Welocalize and Adapt Worldwide Sponsor and Present at Brand2Global 2016 in Silicon Valley

AMTA 2016

The 12th biennial conference of the Association for Machine Translation in the America (AMTA) took place in Austin, Texas. AMTA have appointed Welocalize’s Olga Beregovaya as the new AMTA President and Welocalize Program Manager, Elaine O’Curran as Treasurer. The conference benefits everyone involved in machine translation, such as researchers, commercial users, and government users. Alex Yanishevsky, Welocalize Senior Manager, Globalization Technology Strategists, presented “I Ate Too Much Cake Beyond Domain-Specific MT Engines” at the AMTA 2016 conference.

Read more about the event highlights in a post by Elaine O’Curran, Welocalize Highlights From AMTA 2016 Conference.

The Welocalize team will be on the road again throughout 2017 and we hope to see you at the various events we’re participating in this year. Keep watch of our events posts, so we can connect. Come and say hello and let’s keep the conversation going!

Transcreation Transforms Digital Marketing in All Industry Sectors

As the Internet grows global businesses and shrinks physical boundaries, there is increasing demand for transcreation as part of localization programs. Transcreation’s rapid growth is made essential because it satisfies a hunger for content in markets outside of the English speaking digital space.

Through transcreation, global brands can establish owned media as a marketing strategy for international distribution of good quality content and start to nurture new leads into future customers.

It is a common perception that transcreation is a technique used only for highly creative marketing and advertising materials. Taglines, advertising straplines, clever online banners, logos, imaging and other digital promotional activities, all of these marketing content types require transcreation in the localization process to effectively reach multicultural audiences.

Many global content and brand marketers are fully aware that some marketing content does not work when linguistically translated and requires “recreating” to meet language and cultural needs in multiple markets. However, transcreation is not just those involved in marketing localization. Customers and stakeholders interact with many different types of branded content across the whole globalization journey, from legal content through to online customer support. Even the most logical and technical content may require transcreation.

Transcreation in Software Localization

In the localization process for software and UI, there are many techniques that can help successfully and accurately create software for local markets. Menu commands and strings do need translation by a native speaking translator; however, consideration must be taken into other components. Is the color of the interface appropriate for the audience? Is the tone of the customer support appropriate? Do users in every market recognize a “thumbs up” icon? Do Western software users scan the screen in the same way as those in Asian markets? Even though software localization may be seen to be more technical and straightforward, cultural habits and traits play a key role; therefore, transcreation techniques must be applied in the process.

Transcreation in Compliance and Regulatory Materials

Another area where transcreation is required to interpret content for multiple audiences is compliance and regulatory materials. In some legal or employee communications, there may be local terms used to describe scenarios that will not translate. For example, the term “whistle blower” is often used in certain English legal documents; however, the term does not correctly translate. Another phrase must be used that conveys the same message outlined in the source material. Similar scenarios apply for employee and health and safety communications. Facts may remain the same, yet the overall message and context will vary between local markets.

Transcreation in Technical Communications

Many technical documents, especially those used in manufacturing, require high levels of accuracy. This is especially true for scientific detail, product instructions and measurements. These facts must be translated to 100% accuracy to ensure full, safe operation of equipment.

Context and the tone of voice will need to vary across markets to make sure communications resonate with local users. For many products in manufacturing and automotive sectors, the product itself is often physically adapted, with different features targeting different geographical markets. The same approach applies to any supporting content, whether marketing or otherwise.

Simply translating the source technical or product manual is no longer enough. The content for each market must communicate and instruct the local user experience. This involves engaging a translator who is a native speaker and has subject matter expertise, as well as someone who is familiar with the culture of the target market and helps create the desired customer experience in getting the facts and the message right.

Transcreation in Learning Materials

Learning and educational techniques vary across countries and markets. Some learning content must be transcreated to allow for different habits and styles, including examinations and tests. Asian markets prefer continuous assessment and exams; whereas, US students prefer online coursework.

In the wider context, the overall learning experience may require overall transcreation to hit the right tone of voice and style of the local student. With the right transcreation service, you can access global audiences by outputting high quality localized content.

In order for any global content to be effective, it needs to be made relevant and developed with the end user in mind. This related to text and images being placed in the correct context. In a multilingual marketing arena, transcreation is the ultimate leveraging tool for all types of content in every industry.


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Four Best Practices for Managing Successful Localization Programs

For the localization of digital content, whether software UI or online marketing content, there are a number of best practices that can be followed to ensure multilingual content gives the intended audience the best user experience.

Having worked in project management in the global localization industry for more than ten years, there are a number of common challenges that arise in localization programs involving translation of digital content for online businesses. Here are four pieces of advice to improve the success of your digital localization program:

#1: Provide Context Information Wherever Possible

Translating strings or online advertising banners out of context can be difficult for linguists and translators. They don’t know the full picture and have to simply rely on direct, linguistic translation. This can lead to many queries and reworks once translations have been seen in-context. Anyone involved in the process must be able to get into the mindset of the user to properly adapt the content.

For the localization of UI strings, allow developers to add comments to keys. These comments can travel through the workflow with that key and be visible to a linguist and a reviewer. It’s almost like allowing the developer to talk to the linguist and reviewer. Providing information such as string length limitations, which is crucial for mobile apps, or information about variables and potential content that may appear on the live site, will help the overall localization process.

For marketing emails, provide the source language version of the email in full layout and template for reference during translation. The same applies for web and landing pages. Provide the link to the EN or source landing page if it is already live on the website or a draft offline html version. Seeing the content in-context can often influence the translator during translation or transcreation.

#2: Define a Query Management Process

It is good practice to use a query management tool, such as JIRA and to define a strict process for everyone to follow. A simple, formal query process can help linguists and project managers quickly identify and resolve relevant queries. This can avoid duplicate queries being logged or queries being overlooked. Agree on standard turnaround times with your client for queries that require their input and have an agreement in place on the process to follow, should unanswered queries still exist as you approach your delivery deadline.

#3: Agree to SLAs

Ensure that service level agreements (SLAs) are discussed and agreed upon at the start for each of the content types. Each content type has different levels of impact and urgency. For example, translation of software UI may require a 24-hour turnaround, marketing emails require 48-hour turnaround and banner adverts may have a more flexible turnaround time of four days. If all teams are clear on the SLAs, this will avoid unnecessary back and forth emails and also allows localization teams to prioritize unexpected urgent translation requests.

#4: Define a Supporting Digital Marketing Strategy

For any online business that relies on the Internet to engage customers and lead them to purchase, websites, URLs, SEO and other digital marketing activities are a crucial part of the overall business model. It is very important to consider these activities, at the start, including defining target markets, languages and registering URLs in the right domains. SEO is not simply a case of defining keywords in English, then translating into multiple languages.

To successfully enter new markets online, you have to develop a multilingual SEO strategy and understand how people search and on which search engines to ensure digital sites are found.  These activities are now central to most localization programs. It is important that discussions start early between clients and localization service providers (LSPs) to establish whether the LSP has the right skills to drive online marketing strategies in multiple countries.


Based in Dublin, Paula Carey is a Senior Project Manager at Welocalize.

For information about Welocalize’s specialized digital marketing solutions and multilingual SEO services, visit

Welocalize Language Spotlight on Spanish

Spanish is a romance language that originates from the Castile region of Spain; and today is spoken by an estimated 500 million people around the world. Spanish is the second most spoken language in the world today behind Chinese.  It is the official language in 21 countries including Mexico, Colombia, Spain, Argentina and Chile and, also, widely spoken in many African countries.

Mexico contains the largest population of Spanish speakers with over 122 million followed by the United States with 50 million (41 million are native Spanish speakers). By 2050, the US is estimated to become the largest Spanish-speaking country in the world.

In 1492, Christopher Columbus sailed across the Atlantic with the Spanish Conquistadores and landed in the Americas. As well as spreading Christianity, and Spanish rule, the Spanish language swept through the area. After three centuries, a total of 18.6 million Spaniards settled in the Americas. As a result, Spanish became the national language of so many South American and Central American countries.

Welocalize understands how important Spanish is in terms of business and industry. The language holds the second highest place, after English, as a working language for international business and politics. The use of Spanish on the web has increased over 1100% between 2000 and 2013; and now Spanish is the second most read language on social media platforms Facebook and Twitter.

Did you know? Spanish is the second most studied language in the world.

Modern Spanish evolved into what it is today because of the second Punic war in 210 BC. The Romans brought over Latin to the Iberian Peninsula (Spain as we know it today) and this mixed with several pre-Roman languages that existed in Spain at the time, including Basque, Iberian and Celtic. This evolved into what we know as Spanish. It is believed that although there were many different dialects and languages used in Spain the first written word dates back to the 9th century.

Spanish speakers have one of the most transcreated experiences on the planet. Due to most television shows and movies coming from the US and UK, Spanish speakers are used to listening to dubbed TV with Spanish speech over the top and watching English speaking TV and film with Spanish subtitles. This is the case in Spain and lots of South American countries. However, in Spain, more and more people are growing up learning English.

Some Spaniards can find learning English challenging as Spanish words are spelled exactly how they sound and don’t have any “silent letters” commonly found in English.

In Spain, most of the population has to speak different languages, especially English, in the work environment, more so than other nations do. The most effected industry is tourism; Spain is the 3rd most visited country in the world attracting 68.2 million international tourists in 2015. This creates a huge demand for international speakers working in the hospitality industry.

Spaniards are also expected to be competent in speaking another language in certain vertical sectors such as the Spanish manufacturing industry. The automotive industry in Spain is the second largest in Europe behind Germany. Ford, General Motors, Iveco, Nissan, Peugeot, Citroen, Renault, and also Volkswagen all produce cars in Spain.

These international business operations require translation and interpretation for multiple types of content to ensure all internal and external stakeholders fully understand. For example, Iveco is Italian and Nissan is a Japanese company, requiring bilingual speakers to work on production lines. All factory health and safety information must be in the native language of all workers, product manuals and marketing materials must be linguistically and culturally appropriate for each audience.

Language enables global business in all areas and impacts everyone. Regardless of the language, localization, translation, transcription, transcreation and interpretation helps people communicate across cultural and geographic boundaries.


Based in the UK, Robert Davies is a member of the Welocalize Global Marketing and Sales Support Team.

Four Tips to Successful Localization for Global Travel Brands

The online travel and hospitality industry is highly competitive and there is an imperative need for compelling content to reach international audiences, using the latest digital technologies and platforms. Global travel brands need to rely on a robust, scalable, cost-effective, quality-driven and worry-free globalization and localization services. Once this has been established, clients can focus their attention on succeeding in a crowded market and focus on what’s coming up next in this ever-evolving industry.

Understanding a client’s travel brand and product range is of utmost importance. Translators need to translate linguistically and culturally adapt content and adopt the appropriate tone of voice. This ensures the right message reaches and engages the target audience, whether the audience is business-to-business (B2B) or business-to-consumer (B2C).

Providing on-demand and rapid turnaround of translations is key for Welocalize clients in this sector, so that regular content and marketing updates reach international audiences as quickly as possible.

Regardless of industry sector, the key to a successful localization solution is partnership. By forging a trusted relationship between client and vendor, brands can build a mature localization model, transparent to all parties, which is driven by the top business objectives and priorities.

A true example of a successful localization partnership is Welocalize’s relationship with low-cost airline, Wizz Air. We developed a scalable localization solution that would deliver to Wizz Air’s growing international objectives. In 2016, with a robust localization process now in place, Wizz Air accomplished their goal to launch their rebranded website on all platforms in 23 languages across 38 markets.

Download Welocalize case study – Wizz Air: Culturally Adapting Web Content to Reach 38 Markets and Enhance User Experience

Having worked for many years overseeing localization programs for clients in the online travel and hospitality sector, there are a couple of key pieces of advice.

#1: Hold a Discovery Session

Rather than rushing straight into translation and localization, it is advisable for global travel brands to engage in a discovery session with their localization service provider (LSP). During this session, clients can share valuable and relevant information so that their LSP can build a customized localization program. This involves developing a sequence of events that will lay the foundations for a robust, cost-effective, quality driven and most importantly scalable localization solution.

A discovery session should be an open and frank discussion to address questions and related topics, such as:

  • What are the key business and localization objectives?
  • What are the immediate challenges?
  • Who are the key stakeholders?
  • Brand and product overview
  • Overview of content types (legal, UI, emails, SEO, marketing)
  • Overview of technologies (CMS, connectors, client portal, file types)
  • Review language assets, including the status of existing language assets such as glossaries, style guides, translation memories, SEO, and keywords
  • International and SEO strategy
  • Localization budget, contracts and invoicing process

#2: Develop Localization Program Plan and Sequence of Events

Once the discovery process has been completed, a localization program plan and sequence of events can be built using expert insights from localization specialists in technology, quality, talent and project management.

This team are accountable for the successful rollout of the localization solution. Further in-depth and often on-site discovery sessions may be required in order to build a technology driven automated workflow that will interface with the client’s CMS and relevant translation management system (TMS).

#3: Perform Program Maintenance

Once a localization program has started to be rolled out, it is vital to perform regular maintenance to ensure new locales, file formats and technology changes are fully supported. The ongoing update and maintenance of the language assets, including translation memory, glossaries, style guides are crucial.

#4: Look Ahead

Regular communication between client and LSP is highly recommended. The online travel and hospitality sector is a very fast-paced industry and demands are evolving all of the time. If LSP’s are in tune with client’s short and long term plans, then more preparation and resource allocation can take place.

For ongoing success in the travel and hospitality sector, it is important to fully understand this market and the importance of quick turnaround of content in every target language. I hope this advice will help global brands enter new and emerging markets with their travel products and services.


Based in Dublin, Paula Carey is a Senior Project Manager at Welocalize



State of the Internet Effect on Global Brand Marketing

To establish global digital brands and gain international growth through targeting new and emerging markets, we need to ask the following questions:

  • Is targeting one language enough?
  • What languages do we target to achieve growth?
  • How do you choose the most valuable languages to develop digital brand materials in?
  • Does the state of the Internet add any additional challenge to the process?
  • If so, what opportunities does this present?

These are essential considerations for anyone involved in content creation and global marketing, who are responsible for adapting global brands and digital marketing materials to reach worldwide audiences.

If someone asks us to picture the Internet, it often generates a vague and hazy image. In the English-speaking world, we are often encouraged to think of the World Wide Web as an endless ocean of information that seamlessly connects the planet. With an ever growing infrastructure, the potential is certainly there. However, you may be surprised to learn that your experience surfing the web differs greatly depending on the language you use online.

For example, a recent w3techs survey revealed that 53.2% of websites use English in their content production activities. The next most prevalent language in use scored only 6.4%. The difference between positions one and two alone is in itself food for thought. When you think of how many more results an English language search will return, compared with any other language, it makes our hazy picture clearer.

We can also look at the Internet from the reverse angle. Let’s consider how many users there are in each language group online. A June 2016 survey showed that with nearly 950 million users, the English language user group is by far the largest online. Naturally, the Chinese-speaking group follows with more than 750 million users. There are many people speaking other languages like French, Chinese and Spanish, to name a few, to conduct business and buy products online, as well as conduct other daily activities. Despite this, it remains easier to surf the web in English.

In fact, these results describe a content language chasm that has been labelled the digital language divide’ by some. Certain ideas, topics and solutions are heavily represented in English and distinctly less so by articles in other languages. From a commercial perspective, a perfectly suitable product or service that features at the top of the SERP in an English language search may be invisible to an equivalent buyer persona searching in another country.

This disparity in user experience across the world is certainly a problem. What opportunity does the current language gap present at the same time? Well, for companies wanting to expand their international reach and make their brand identity known worldwide, now is the time.

Global brands have to pay close attention to the changing geographic and demographic makeup of online audiences for brand marketing and product development purposes. In terms of economic opportunity, English still reigns and is the most valuable language according to Common Sense Advisory 2015 Report, The Rise and Fall of Top 100 Languages.

Brand marketers have to look at the 14 languages that reach 90% of the world’s online population – English, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Spanish, German, Japanese, French, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Italian, Dutch and Swedish. Other languages like Bengali, Hindi, Indonesian and Turkish also rank highly in terms of growing numbers of online users. Therefore, it makes sense for global brands to seek to enter and support these emerging markets.

Driving global brand marketing across these multiple markets requires content to be published in native languages and also culturally adapted for each local market. Establishing brands in France will require different concepts than a French-Canadian market.

In addition, Internet access and audience traits, such as age, will affect global content marketing strategies. Culture aside, the state of the Internet will always be an influencing factor in brand marketing. There’s no point in developing a mobile advertising campaign with a B2B banner targeted at Russian 16-25-year-olds, if the intended demographic has no access to smartphones. Your banner will be invisible. In simple terms, if your targeting is off, you will miss the mark and waste significant budget in the process.

Changing economic and political factors can affect global brand decisions too. Global marketers have to keep ahead of the changing tides if they truly wish to harness the power of the Internet, digital marketing and cultural adaptation to open up these essential new revenue streams.


Nathaneal Campbell is a digital copywriter at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize digital multilingual digital marketing agency.

If you would like to learn more about Welocalize, Adapt Worldwide and transcreation, contact us at

Further reading: The Phenomenon of Transcreation in Localization


Digital Transformation Influences Growth for Global Brands

How do global brands take advantage of today’s digital influence in achieving their growth objectives? Whether expanding in existing markets or reaching into new territories, digital is transforming today’s customer experience.

Much of a buyer’s journey today takes place online, making it imperative for any global brand to manage each digital interaction in every market in a personalized way. In order to capitalize on this trend, it requires the experience to be positive and that starts with localization!

The term digital transformation can be used to describe anything from automating internal processes, creating a fully responsive mobile website or even developing a customer feedback strategy via social media. It spans the whole business.

Digital is also driving continuous change in customer behavior. To succeed in the digital age, global brands must focus more on the customer’s online journey through the user experience, data analytics and targeted marketing campaigns. Brands are now using the online customer experience to gain feedback through user generated content (UGC) and develop new products and service.

One example of this is the recent comment made to Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk in social media about an owner’s experience at a charging station.  The customer’s complaint on Twitter led the CEO to make a change in their supercharger stations.  His not only responded, “You’re right, this is becoming an issue. Supercharger spots are meant for charging, not parking. Will take action.” He took action and instituted a change within six days.  This is truly what is referred to as digital transformation. Online content leads to a process change, which is then communicated via digital channels.

The question that needs to be addressed to CEOs and marketers, would this change taken place if the “tweet” was in another language or in another social medium that dominates a particular region or market?

Back in the 1990s when the Internet and digital content really took off, marketers started the digital process by registering a domain and creating a website, moving forward with e-commerce. Now technology dominates our lives, especially with the prolific growth of mobile devices. There are  a multitude of digital touch points in the customer journey. The main website may still be the digital mast head for a lot of global brands; however, digital marketers have to manage all the other interactions, in every target market and language.

For content marketers, there are three key areas that are influencing digital transformation and driving growth strategies:

The Customer Journey

Good global brand marketing must support every single interaction a customer may have with a brand. Map out the whole digital customer journey. Many of these interactions are now digital, which has created new challenges for brand marketers.  Most branded content can be found and viewed by online users all over the world. This means content must be searchable and linguistically correct for the local audience and culturally adapted to have the right impact.

Every digital touch point must be managed from a brand perspective.  This includes online search, website, white papers, e-books, articles, blogs, customer reviews, banner advertising, UI, customer support, payment process, shipping and delivery and customer feedback.  Global brand marketers have to be aware that someone searching for products in Spain may have a totally different approach to someone in Canada. It isn’t just language that makes them different but cultural habits and preferences. This is why any content that creates a digital touch point must be carefully created and positioned to meet the requirements of the local customer, while still delivering the overall look and feel of the global brand.

Transcreation is a key technique used by many global marketers and localization professionals to culturally adapt content. Local versions may not be 100% faithful to the source; however, the overall message and branding is still the same. Read: The Phenomenon of Transcreation in Localization

As brands establish digital customer experiences, this builds valuable behavior-based customer data that can be analyzed to develop future sales and marketing activities. 

Develop Global and Local Brand Strategies

Core brand values are often set centrally, driven by teams based at a company’s headquarters. The main logos, taglines and brand values are developed by creative and business teams, in the source language, then subsequent marketing materials for local markets are localized and translated accordingly. This can lead to problems with the localization process as a lot of major brands and branded content does not translate into other markets. It is important to have local knowledge not just of the language, but also local buyer behavior. Key to success considering localization right at the start.

For many digital marketing strategies, a local campaign must be developed to get the best reach. This applies to all activities from keyword search, banner targeting and SEO work. Each language and cultural market searches and reacts to different content. It is important to partner with a specialist who has expertise in driving multilingual digital marketing strategies.

If a brand is destined to be global and and influencing buyers in all continents, then localization of the brand must be considered at the beginning of the creative discussions.

Embrace Social and Real-Time Marketing

Social ad spending has doubled over the past two years as channels like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become increasingly effective at delivering a targeted reach and frequency. This puts real-time marketing and social channels at the center of digital transformation for many global brands.

Immediate feedback for many digital-centric product and services mean that marketing promotions can be rapidly adapted based on performance and results. This has a big impact on the overall customer experience.

For global brand marketers, this is one of the biggest challenges for developing central and local marketing strategies. The sheer volume of UGC posted through social media channels can make real-time marketing a challenge, especially when data is coming in from multiple language and target markets. This is where digital transformation can have a disruptive effect on marketing and localization strategies.

How much do you translate? What levels of quality do you translate? How do you monitor all digital content to ensure nothing is detrimental to the brand? There are a growing number of techniques, using automated and machine-based translation that can help global marketers harness the power of UGC to help build more brand equity and reach new markets. Read: Welocalize Guide for Global Content Marketers to User Generated Content (UGC)

Embracing digital transformation to drive global brand strategies is a challenge for most businesses. There are so many potential new markets and areas that customers can be reached with brand marketing through digital channels.

To achieve successful global brand marketing and maximize your influence in growing your business, partnering with language and digital marketing experts is essential.

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


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.