What’s New in Localization QA and Testing?

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

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

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

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

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

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

How has this impacted Welocalize?

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

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

How are test seats dynamically assigned?

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

It is a fast-paced world?

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

Where next?

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

Interview by Louise Law, Welocalize Global Communications Manager

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

Building a Business Case for Localization

Your 2018 Localization and Translation Roadmap – Part One

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

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

Why localization matters

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

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

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

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

Build a Business Case

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

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

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

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

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

2017 Internet Trends Report: Six Takeaways Impacting Localization

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Elevate Localization Teams

From Service Providers to Strategic Partners

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

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

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

Achieve better results

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

Mitigate risks

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

Identify opportunities

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

How to get there

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

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


Ulrika Fuchs is Localization Manager at Vistaprint.

Grow your Localization Program without Losing the Local Touch

LocLeaders Forum 2017 London – Scaling to Meet Global Needs

Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG. Celia is taking part as a guest panellist at the upcoming Welocalize LocLeaders Forum London 2017 on Thursday, May 18. The theme of the event is “Scaling to Meet Global Needs” and expert discussions will be led by a team of Welocalize executives and guest panellists. In this blog, Celia looks at the challenges and opportunities of driving localization programs to meet global brand business objectives and the needs of local consumer expectations.

Localization can hold a magnifying glass up to the tensions between the globalization of big brands and local consumer demands and expectations. Organizations deliver increasingly personalized products and services and localization teams are often tasked with balancing these demands and supporting expansion strategies, while remaining cost-effective.

Satisfying the need for economies of scale, while producing relevant local content can present a number of challenges:

  • Budget: Managing translation and marketing budgets effectively to enable emerging markets and new languages to receive sufficient investment. New locales and markets typically take longer to produce returns.
  • Resource: Imbalanced resources across regions, languages or technical teams can make the simultaneous global release of products and campaigns difficult.
  • Stakeholder Buy-In: Lack of awareness or recognition of the importance of localization teams working closely with product owners, marketing and content teams can detrimentally affect quality and time to market.
  • Lack of Integration: Using multiple request systems, content management systems (CMS) and translation tools across different departments and with external vendors, can significantly increase project management effort and time spent handling files.
  • SMEs and Regulatory Sign-off: Finding skilled subject matter experts (SMEs), quality assurance (QA) and compliance teams is very important in highly regulated industries. Disengaged or overwhelmed SMEs and QAs can create blockers in review feedback loops that can slow time to market. Insufficient rounds of quality control and sign off, on the other hand, can jeopardise a brand’s message and its relationship with consumers.

Although there can be challenges with any translation and localization program, there are ways to overcome these challenges and create opportunities:


Engage other departments internally to align processes and to raise awareness and build recognition for localization teams. This helps teams across all functions to better understand the various stages involved in bringing products and services to multiple markets. 


Connect localization programs to the wider business strategy and use consumer insight and research teams to find areas of competitive advantage in different target markets and languages. Using data to back strategic decisions makes it easier to prioritise product releases, and to identify the most successful content and channels to converts prospects to clients in different markets. 


Create standardized brand and localization guidelines for various product lines and content types. Agree workflows that are as straight forward as possible, while accommodating local cultural and regulatory differences. This ensures consistency in processes and language quality when growing the range of languages offered or entering new markets. 


Draw from the depth of expertise and resource of your language service provider to help you adapt to change at a pace that is not always possible internally. We experienced this in October 2016 when IG acquired DailyFX. DailyFX is a news website targeting financially savvy consumers and traders. By working with our translation partner and a localization consultant, IG was able to tackle an aggressive timeframe to:

  • Find a scalable pool of language resource to deliver a new content type, across multiple languages and to manage fluctuating volumes of daily news articles.
  • Integrate a custom CMS and Translation Management System (TMS) to reduce manual workload and aid faster time to market, which is crucial for timely news content.
  • Reduce manual file handling at SME review stage and automate article publication.
  • Maximise the use of CAT tools to improve Translation Memory (TM) leverage and drive cost savings.

Do Not Be Afraid to Share Ideas!

Looking externally can also be hugely beneficial to developing your localization program. Sharing information with fellow localization leaders provides insights into the challenges and solutions others have faced and put into action. Getting inspiration from peers and companies at different stages of localization maturity can bring a fresh viewpoint on how to scale up your globalization and localization program, in order to achieve the sweet spot of a strong global brand with a truly local offering in every market and language.

LocLeaders Forums are great events for localization professionals and global business leaders, facilitating free flowing discussion. I attended Welocalize LocLeaders Forum Dublin 2016 and obtained great insight and inspiration and I look forward to driving some of the discussions as a panelist at LocLeaders London on May 18.


Based in the UK, Celia Plowright is Localization Operations Manager at IG.

For more information on LocLeaders Forum 2017 London click here

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

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.

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.

Welocalize Launches Dedicated Life Sciences Division

Frederick, Maryland – January 31, 2017 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, announces the formation of Welocalize Life Sciences, a division that brings together the recent Welocalize acquisitions of Global Language Solutions (GLS) and Nova Language Services (Nova). The merged entities represent more than two decades of experience in specialized language services for clinical research, biotechnology, healthcare, medical devices, pharmaceutical companies and animal health.

“Translation and localization play a vital role in clinical trials, patient recruitment and regulatory affairs material and documentation,” said Erin Wynn, chief customer officer and head of regulated industries at Welocalize. “Welocalize Life Sciences has an established network of subject matter experts with a track record of more than 20-years proven success in
ensuring translations are accurate and submission-ready. Our success is derived from partnering with global brands and institutions in life sciences and regulated industries to reduce time-to-market and effectively communicate with their communities and patients in more than 175 global languages.”

Welocalize Life Sciences is the convergence of GLS and Nova, which were both acquired in 2016 by Welocalize. GLS and Nova each have decades of established experience in delivering language services to their extensive client portfolios of life sciences companies. The combined teams into a single organization, Welocalize Life Sciences, will continue to service these and new clients under the Welocalize Life Sciences brand.

“Welocalize is focused on helping our clients with inclusive and wide-ranging language solutions across their entire life sciences global journey, from product creation and patent translation to patient recruitment and testing, as well as localization for market launch, sales and marketing,” said Smith Yewell, CEO and co-founder of Welocalize.

The combined entities of these acquisitions under a single brand, Welocalize Life Sciences, follows a successful integration of two industry leaders in life science localization and translation services into the Welocalize brand family. The combination leverages more than 20 plus years of exceptional talent, quality management, language experience and outstanding customer service dedicated to pharma, biotech, med devices, clinical research, healthcare and animal health.

For more information about Welocalize Life Sciences, visit its website

Welocalize Life Sciences provides specialized language solutions for highly regulated industries. Our solutions include industry expert localization and translation services for regulatory and compliance content, document translation, linguistic validation, interpreting, website and marketing localization, eLearning and multimedia services. Welocalize Life Sciences is an industry leader with proven translation and localization proficiency required for global clinical trials, pharmaceuticals, biotech companies, medical devices, healthcare brands, medical providers and government agencies. Welocalize is ISO 9001:2015, ISO 17100 and ISO 13485 certified. @Welocalize_LS

Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative language services to help global brands reach audiences around the world in more than 175 languages. We provide translation and localization services, talent management, language tools, automation and technology, quality and program management. Our range of managed language services include machine translation, digital marketing, validation and testing, interpretation, staffing and enterprise translation management technologies. We specialize in consumer, technology, manufacturing, learning, oil and gas, travel and hospitality, marketing and advertising, finance, legal and life sciences industry language solutions. With more than 1,000 full-time employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Spain, Italy, Romania, Poland, Japan and China. @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.

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.

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.

Ten Reasons Why Companies Need Multilingual User Generated Content

iStock_000067799459_MediumUser generated content (UGC), also referenced as as network generated content, is everywhere. On social media, blogs, comments section, web forums, travel and restaurant sites, product review sites and many more outlets consumers and marketers are sharing content. Today’s consumer are reading large volumes of UGC to research the best products and services, then sharing information on performance, post-purchase.  The growing content type has shifted priorities for organizations to include UGC in the mix of marketing localization programs.

According to BazaarVoice, 64% of millennials and 53% of baby boomers want more options to share their opinions about brands.

Global brands benefit from encouraging UGC and localization of that content to reach a broader audience. Here are ten reasons why it is important to encourage and use UGC, in all your target languages:

  1. Positive UGC can help you sell more. Many online search results are linked to UGC. If a consumer search for a product type, you want your good reviews to be ranked highly in the search results.
  2. B2B buyers make considered purchases and tend to conduct a lot of online research by viewing online reviews and other digital customer feedback. If there is no UGC content posted on your brand, you won’t be considered and your competitors will be top choice.
  3. UGC content is more trusted than other media. For certain purchases, consumers will trust the views of other consumers rather than content shown in an advertising campaign.
  4. Having UGC posted on your website means fresh, unique content appears regularly. This is great for your visitors and also for SEO purposes.
  5. UGC demonstrates transparency in your marketing. It shows you value the opinion of your customers and have utmost confidence in your product offering.
  6. Collating and monitoring UGC helps organization’s better understand target audiences and product performance. The power of the crowd can quickly point out if a feature or functionality is not working.
  7. UGC is relatively cost-effective. As long as you invest in the right infrastructure on your site and are active on key social media channels, you’re inviting your potential consumers into the conversation.
  8. You can use UGC in other forms of digital marketing activities. For example, to drive a social media campaign. Inviting consumers to take part in a social media campaign generates UGC and could cause a positive viral effect, building brand awareness and engagement.
  9. Collating and analyzing UGC can help to make business and marketing decisions. Ranking positive, negative and neutral reviews can help generate market intelligence for certain areas and demographics to indicate how a product is performing.
  10. Translating UGC into multiple languages can help companies expand into local and emerging markets and spot opportunities for global growth.

Next time you make a purchase online, take some time to think about how much UGC versus advertising copy you read before making a decision. By translating that UGC copy into multiple languages, you’ll be expanding your reach to more consumers in wider global markets, multiplying the benefits of UGC for your brand.


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

For more information on how Welocalize can help you manage and translate your global UGC email



15 Localization Tips to Support Global Growth

When your company starts gaining traction in international markets, it’s time to celebrate. It is also a time to drive forward your globalization strategy to ensure you maximize every available market opportunity. If your products and services are reaching international markets, there are a number of localization considerations related to various content types that can help you increase your sustained growth around the world.

Localization tips to help you keep growing:

  • LEGAL CONTENT: Patent and copyright translations need to be filed globally to be recognized at a local level and meet local regulations. You will need to protect your intellectual property everywhere in the world where you do business. Be sure you work with experts who specialize in legal patent translation and foreign filings, like Park IP Translations.
  • PRODUCT DOCUMENTATION: Localize your product and support documentation. Your customers need to be able to install, operate, fix and deploy that product in their own language as if it was created for them. They need to understand your brand and experience usability in whatever language they speak.
  • LEARNING MATERIALS: Localize learning and educational videos and online courses for your service or product for all stakeholders in your value chain and supporting your product lifecycle. If you’re are trading internationally, you will need to train internationally too.
  • GLOBAL BRAND AND DIGITAL MARKETING: Raise the profile of your brand and company profile in more one country by driving multilingual digital marketing strategies. Your marketing and sales teams have to “talk” to your customers in a language they understand and create a natural customer experience. This may involve “transcreating” key brand messages for local markets.
  • INTERNATIONAL SEO: There are millions of potential customers who are searching the Internet in hundreds of languages, using a wide variety of keywords. Culturally adapting online marketing activities, for example SEO and keywords, will help you be discovered in your “local” markets.
  • LOCALIZE WEBSITES: Your website traffic needs to grow internationally and you need to understand what drives local customers in your target markets. Similar to SEO and app localization, specialized localization skills are required to successfully reach global digital markets.
  • INTERNATIONAL TRADESHOWS: If you’re attending events and tradeshows, prepare awareness campaigns and appropriate regional sales activities in the right language. If you’re participating in a conference, make sure your company representatives can discuss client and business development opportunities in the native language.
  • POINT-OF-SALE MATERIALS: If you’re displaying your product, service or brand at tradeshows or in-store, your point-of-sales materials need to speak to each culture and region as if uniquely created for them.
  • USE OF INTERPRETERS: If you’re going setting up face-to-face meetings or conference calls with international suppliers and customers, communications can be enhanced using trained interpreters.
  • HR AND EMPLOYEE MATERIALS: If you’re expanding your global footprint and staff, internal training materials, HR procedures, company guidelines, legal and financial compliance documentation will all need to be translated for each global office.
  • FINANCIAL INFORMATION: Doing business internationally will generate volumes of financial information that will need to be understood by all stakeholders in more than one languages. Annual reports, tax reports, mergers and acquisition documentation, stock market analysis and more. You’ll also need all potential international investors to be able to read and comprehend how your company is performing.
  • MANAGE LOCALIZATION BUDGETS: Your globalization and localization needs are growing so localization budgets must be managed if you expect to show your impact in using localization to grow and support the business.
  • LOCALIZE APPS: Your apps have to be localized and go through rigorous linguistic and QA testing for each local market, to ensure a great user experience. Getting your app found in the main app stores can be tough but app localization can help gain more visibility online.
  • CORPORATE COMMUNICATIONS: You need to communicate with your staff and ensure your company vision, brand values and guidelines are understood across the world by every member of your team – wherever they are located.
  • REGULATED INDUSTRIES STANDARDS: If you do business in a regulated industry, life sciences or finance for example, you must ensure all your procedures and practices meet the local standards and regulations to minimize risks for you and your clients. Each country has different auditing and taxation requirements and this means certain documents will have to be translated and culturally adapted to meet local requirements.

Globalization and localization touches every part of an organization. Developing a long term relationship with a global localization partner is important to help you develop a mature globalization strategy and manage localization activities across the entire organization. If you would like to discuss any aspect of localization and any of our specialized language services, drop me an email


Based in Dublin, Barbara Frawley is a Business Development Director at Welocalize.


The Power of Smarketing in Localization

IMG_0380At our recent LocLeaders event in Dublin, I shared some of the globalization program approaches I have seen which have generated the most successful outcomes.  Welocalize is fortunate to work with many great companies and we have seen many different ways of tackling challenges.  Here is one the most successful approaches I have seen.


This is a combination of a global sales and marketing approach that is not centered solely on a revenue KPI, instead it centers on customer retention and customer experience.

This sounds straightforward enough; however, it significantly changes the approach to localization quality assurance (Loc QA).  Loc QA is typically a translation quality measurement exercise completed by linguists.  This exercise has merit, thought it misses the more important aspect of the quality of the user experience. Translation quality scores are of little use in making strategic business decisions.

The more successful programs I have seen build quality validation around use case scenarios and business KPIs rather than translation quality scores.  These types of programs garner a greater translation budget by aligning with user experience and digital marketing objectives.  Instead of cost per word, they measure cost per click. Instead of turn around time, they measure time on the site. Instead of translation quality, they measure how well and how quickly the user achieved their desired result. Instead of total words translated, they measure total conversions on the site.

Localization becomes much more strategic in the realm of digital marketing, because the social media costs of getting the message and user experience wrong are so high.  As the saying goes, “follow the money.” Align your program with the quality of the user experience, and increased budget for localization will follow.

DSC01290I would like to extend my thanks to everyone who participated at LocLeaders 2016 in Dublin, attendees and panelists. I look forward to meeting with you again in Montreal, Canada, where we will hold our next LocLeaders event on October 26.





Ten Insightful Tips for Good Web Content Localization

Creative abstract global computer communication and internet business telecommunication concept: macro view of crystal Earth globe on laptop or notebook keyboard with selective focus effect

For every web user, it’s all about content and experience. Regardless of where a user is based, the “quality of translation” will mean nothing to them. Web users simply want good content that gives them a natural online experience. Translated web content should not be considered an extension of the original source content. Each language website is a separate and valuable digital asset. Web content must be tailored to target, multilingual and multicultural audiences.

Here are some industry expert tips for website localization:

  • Know Your Audience. First and foremost, know who will be reading and engaging with your web content. This must include definitions by country, language, demographics, cultural preferences, access to technology, dominant payments systems, legal and financial regulations and much more. You may need more than one language variant for each country. For example, in Switzerland, there are four language spoken with varying cultures. Giving the user the option to choose a language rather than country allows better targeting.
  • Cultural Adaptation. Local language web content must be developed for that specific audience. This process will involve a combination of localization, translation, internationalization and transcreation. Some technical content, for example product support FAQs, must be accurately translated and stay close to the source. For more subjective marketing content, linguistic copywriters can provide content, which retains the overall concept and brand values, utilizing marketing copy that is written specifically for the target, local audience.
  • Teamwork is Global. Work with cross-functional teams. This means many internal teams working towards similar goals and objectives. Localization and language service buyers, as well as marketing, IT, web design, development all play an important role in developing web content and must establish good communication and teamwork. Sharing the same goals and objectives at a cross-functional level will help working relationships and produce effective multilingual web content.
  • Be Discovered. Having an awesome multilingual web experience is a waste of time if no one can find you. Multilingual SEO and SEM are keys to success. It’s not a case of translating key words used for the source web content. Unique key words for SEO purposes that are specific to the target audience must be identified in advance of publishing our web content.
  • Support Local Payment Systems. Not everyone uses PayPal. In China, Alipay is the most widely used online payment method. In the Netherlands, people are used to paying through the secure e-commerce payment system, iDEAL. If e-commerce is part of your web experience, understand the security and global restrictions in currency and payment methods.
  • Listen to Users. Once you have launched multilingual web content, pay attention to what users are saying about you in social media and online forums. If there is a glitch or cultural error in web content, you can guarantee it will be openly discussed. Understanding user generated content (UGC) in all languages can help stay aligned to users and customers.
  • Reading Styles Matter. People consume web content in different ways. In the west, many people read a web page in an F-shaped pattern. Arabic countries read right to left therefore F-shape approach will not work. The same layout for every language version will not work.
  • Text Expansion Rules. Allow for text expansion in spacing. Russian is 40% longer than English! How much character room do you need on a web page for it to be consumed and adherent to your style guidelines?  Prepare and plan for all languages or you will need to create customized sites per language.
  • Use Internationalization Standards. The process of adapting software to different languages to meet national standards. Elements can include UI, date displays, calendars, currencies, public holidays, address layout, telephone number format and much more. Good internationalization not only meets the needs of users, but also may be a legal requirement for local regulatory standards.
  • Accommodate Mobile Platforms. If users are accessing web content via mobile devices, then your web content has to be adapted for mobile too. Reading content from a mobile device is totally different from reading content on a laptop. Mobile users tend to look at images more than text – remember they could be on the move. The same applies for scrolling. Key messages have to stand out at the top with concise messaging to avoid scrolling.

One final word of advice is remember to keep refreshing and developing new content for all websites. This will keep online users engaged and also keep sites ranked high in the relevant search engines, whether it is for Google, Baidu, Qihoo 360, Naver, Yandex or Yahoo! Japan.  When you need expertise in web localization, give us a shout!  Our web experts can help guide you through the right questions based on best practices and proven digital marketing industry leadership.

Good luck!


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Digital is the Primary Global Media Channel

By Huw Aveston, Digital Media Expert, Co-Founder and Co-Managing Director of Adapt Worldwide, Welocalize Multilingual Digital Agency

pieces of puzzle showing internet concept

How we reach our global customers has changed significantly. Most of our content is now published and distributed digitally, impacting our overall global and multilingual content strategies. The growth in digital is probably one of the most key disruptors in the language services industry today.

Most consumers around the world, both business and personal, now go online to research and purchase products and services.  To accommodate the demands, most product and services related content is now only published and distributed digitally. Having a strong global digital marketing strategy is key to success and to reach global markets, marketing and localization must work together, understand each other’s business to achieve a successful overall international growth strategy.

DSC01311At Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum 2016 in Dublin, I spoke about a number of factors relating to today’s buyers and the impact on marketing, content and localization strategy.  Here are a few highlights from this presentation:

  • B2B buyers typically make “considered purchases,” as they don’t make quick decisions and they tend to conduct online research, investigate and deliberate on many platforms.
  • Watching videos online is a key part of the research phase of a buyer’s journey. People don’t just go onto YouTube to look at kittens. They’re watching reviews, instructional videos and carefully orchestrated online brand campaigns.
  • Buyers will interchangeably use desktop and smartphones to consume content and especially, watch online videos.
  • Most consumers, business and personal, are now super social. They want to know what others are buying, how they feel about their products and services and they also want to share their product and brand experiences. It is estimated that 65% of B2C marketers named Facebook as the platform single most important to their business, with 41% of B2B marketers naming LinkedIn.*
  • A buyer’s journey is not a simple, straightforward one anymore. With so much information and user generated content (UGC) in the form of social media, reviews, blogs and online forums, B2B buyers will make 12 queries before engaging directly with the seller.** That is potentially 12 pieces of digital content consumed before contact has been made with the seller Some content is in the control of the seller, some of the UGC digital content is out of their control and influence. It is what Welocalize calls, “network generated content.”
  • Once a buyer starts their journey, they’ll be aware of a number of branded products that they feel will meet their needs and budget. Then when they jump online and start researching, that number of brands can double before the buyer eventually makes a shortlist and finally, a purchase. Access to online information has made the digital marketplace even more competitive.
  • The exponential growth in next generation content, created by users and networks, means communication and customer loyalty is a continuous loop. A buyer’s experience continues way beyond the point of sale. Many buyers rush to social media and online forums to share their reviews and feedback.

DSC01309So what does this all mean for marketing, content and localization professionals? One key takeaway is the fact that buyers have more control due to the access they have to volumes of research and data. Marketing and localization must converge to ensure this content is powerful, understandable, and culturally appropriate, generating the desired result – around the world! Teams and agencies have to work together and understand each other’s business and objectives, both locally and globally. Digital content cannot be developed without taking localization and globalization into consideration, as the Internet is everywhere.

It is time to bridge the gap between localization and marketing to best provide a meaningful customer experience. Questions like, how to get online promotional videos understood in more than one language market? What keywords will be used to search for a particular product in a local market? Will certain images and colors be appropriate for global banner campaign? Should I be listening to what’s being said about my brand on global social media? All these considerations and more must involve a interdisciplinary and functional team made up of marketing, content, creative and localization experts.  These are questions to address at a business level, with a business impact.

Understanding global digital marketing and the role localization and translation plays is key to future success of company today, particularly when it is dependent on sales from a global consumer.  Whether marketing and selling to an individual consumer or multinational business conglomerate, digital content will continue to play a huge role in every transaction. Our lives are digitally connected and that provides many organizations with a perfect opportunity to reach wider audiences when the value their digital assets and the global potential.


DSC01322DSC01320Huw Aveston is co-founder and co-managing director of Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital agency.  He was a featured presenter at Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum 2016 in Dublin in June 2016.  His presentation, “The Digital Challenge” featured a collaborative experience of a pub quiz on digital marketing topics. After a very vigorous competition, the winners were able to select from a digital champion prize.

*Source: Statistica Social Media Examiner

** Source: Google Millward Brown Digital B2B Path to Purchase Study

Optimizing Localization Quality for Global Marketing Content

By Julio Leal, Head of Localization, Ciena Corporation

Julio LealThe localization of marketing content differs from other content types like technical, multimedia, legal and customer support and this affects how we measure quality. All those dealing with marketing translations know content marketing is considered a “special beast.”

Marketing content has to be culturally adapted to service many different local and regional markets. To produce high quality marketing translations, translators and linguists need a deep understanding of the overall brand and how this brand is to be portrayed in its global markets.

Approaching marketing translations in a purely linguistic way could damage the brand and potentially lose you customers. Marketing translators must focus on different aspects, such as brand values, concepts and tone. They need to transcreate content unlike, for example, technical documentation, which requires in-depth subject matter knowledge, high levels of accuracy and must remain true to the source.

Due to the creative nature of many marketing campaigns, quality can be difficult to measure. You’re not making a straight comparison to the source and it can be subjective.

The quality of any marketing content is defined by customer action and satisfaction.

DSC01295As long as the content is used, consumed and we get good feedback and response, then that’s a good measure of quality. This will surface in leads generated or increased revenue levels in certain markets. Having set KPIs on linguistic errors does not guarantee quality for marketing content. Even more importantly, keep any quality measurement system simple. If a quality system is too complex, you are not likely to get the engagement you need and it won’t probably add any value to the localization program.

Giving your translation teams the right environment plays an important role in achieving desired quality levels. For marketing translations, it’s not great if you’re getting a bad response at the in-country review stage. Getting the initial translation drafts right first-time is key to the final quality output. This means creating a good environment for all translation teams.

Tip #1: Give Translators Time

For all types of content, translation and transcreation is not about word counts and number of words translated per minute. You want the best output for your customers that meets your business and marketing objectives. Allow your translation teams the necessary time and be realistic about the time they need to produce quality output. If you’re rushing your translation teams and putting them under unnecessary pressure, then the output quality will be poor, however you manage it.

Tip #2: Supply Relevant In-Context Information

Good time planning also allows translation teams to receive the necessary product information to get a better picture on how their translated content will be used. The fact they have in-context knowledge will automatically translate into better outputs. Sharing central marketing information about product, brand and style will also help translators be better prepared before they start working on the localized materials.

Tip #3: Give Creative License

Translators working on marketing content are effectively linguistic copywriters. They need freedom to adapt marketing copy. Creative licence allows them to focus on concepts and brands rather than actual individual words. This takes time so be patient and engage with the in-country teams as much as possible at the initial stage.

Tip #4: Treat Translation Teams with Respect

Needless to say, respectful communication, realistic time frames and appropriate pay will create a happier working environment, which will result in better translations. This applies to any team, not just those working in marketing translations!


Julio Leal is Head of Localization at Ciena Corporation. Julio recently took part as a panelist for the session, Ensuring Optimum Localization Quality at Welocalize’s LocLeaders Forum 2016 in Dublin.

Get the Source Content Right for Best Localization Quality

iStock_000080747649_MediumQuality of source content was one of the topics discussed at Welocalize LocLeaders Forum 2016 and Localization World in Dublin. What is the impact of source content creation and quality on localization? The language services industry and global brands agree that GIGO reigns – garbage in, garbage out.

Clearly bad source content will always result in bad localization. Poor, nonsensical input will produce undesired output, frustrating everyone in the process. Irrespective of content type or target language, if the source meets required levels of quality and business objectives, then any subsequent translations or cultural adaptation will meet set standards.

A common complaint from in-country reviewers is that a delivered translation project may be “accurate” and because of errors and bad copywriting in the source it doesn’t “translate.” The brand and customer experience are at risk.  No matter how good the linguist or translator is, any localized versions will never be great when source content is poor.

What Factors Impacts Source Content Quality?

  • Structure of internal central and product marketing and content creation teams
  • Use of third party agencies for content creation
  • Access to central brand guidelines and style guides
  • Sharing of business and localization objectives during content creation
  • Inclusion of language service provider (LSP) at early stages of content creation
  • Content ownership by many different parts of an organization both centrally and locally and different functional business units
  • Budgets for content creation and localization

Many of these factors are best managed with content strategies and advanced planning, backed by solid internal communications. A close working relationship with a partner language service provider (LSPs) will also provide value-add to the content creation process and quality. If local divisions are aware of the importance and skills offered by a localization team, then they can work together at the early stages of content creation. An experienced LSP like Welocalize can input best practices for creating content with localization in mind and prevent time-consuming review cycles and frustrating quality meetings.

LSP’s Create Source Content

For many Welocalize clients, we actually create source content and localize content.  This is common for digital marketing activities that require full transcreation and cultural adaptation. If you have copywriters and creatives who are internationally savvy and aware that they’re working on content for global appeal, this can be factored into the source. For digital marketing content, transcreation and linguistic copywriting is used more than traditional direct translation. This also involves developing multilingual key word programs for search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM) purposes.

10 Tips for Improving Source Copy

There are a couple of tips for improving source content in the overall copywriting and creative process:

  • Know your audience and content objects. Anyone writing content must know who they’re writing for and why the content matters. Part of the process must include reviewing other content that the target audience reads and consumes.
  • What’s your message? The specific words and linguistics may not be identical across all target languages but if the message is consistent, then content will work in all languages.
  • Make use of any central brand guidelines and style guides. Directing your resources to standards will eliminate subjective interpretation.
  • Gain input from key internal divisions before sign-off. Good content takes a team and collaborating on the strategy, plan and approval process will keep people engaged through the creation and localization process.
  • Use experts with global market experience. Don’t use local references unless you know the content will go through a transcreation process by a specialist copywriter.
  • Avoid humor and specific cultural references. They will often be misunderstood or lack cultural identity that expands geographies.
  • Create with global in mind. Nostalgia can work very well for certain marketing copy; however, it does not translate well.
  • Plan for your media. Be aware of any images, colors and graphics that could potentially offend or simply not work in certain markets.
  • Basic copywriting rules always apply!  Check spelling and grammar, vary sentence length, use fewer words and read copy out loud before finalizing.
  • Remember text expansion. Many languages take up more space than English so allow spacing for translation.

Focusing on source content can save time and money in the long-term. QIQO is by far the best strategy – quality in, quality out. It makes common and content sense.


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.



What Localization Buyers Really Really Want

stevem_dublin2016by Steve Maule

Traveling back from Dublin after attending another great Welocalize LocLeaders event and Localization World conference, I thought about some key content I gathered from the various presentations, discussions and meetings. Simply listening and talking with localization colleagues and clients, I learned so much more about key topics within the globalization and localization industry and what keeps localization leaders up at night.

At LocLeaders Forum 2016 Dublin and LocWorld31, I spent time with many of Welocalize’s valued new and long-term clients and there were a number of thoughts that circulated before, during and after the event. In addition to the main discussion points that took place at LocLeaders Dublin, here are some of the main questions that cropped up and that we addressed in our conversations last week. I added some of my own insights. Sharing these will help other organizations to understand the latest common localization issues.

Questions from Localization Buyers at LocWorld and LocLeaders:

I would like to learn from other companies and localization managers what their biggest challenges are in trying to mature the localization process within their organization.”

LocLeaders 2016 Dublin SmithAttend industry events like LocLeaders and LocWorld! You will get open, transparent discussion and shared experience from colleagues and experts. Follow language service buyers and industry thought leaders on social media, including @Welocalize @Adaptww and @ParkIPTrans.  Read reports from relevant research and industry organizations like Common Sense Advisory (CSA) and TAUS. There are valuable publications and news updates you will receive from Multilingual Magazine and Slator News.

Smith Key Performance Indicators LocWorld“What quality KPIs and hierarchy of operational and production metrics do other clients use?”

Localization buyers were very frank, tt varies. Quality is a moving target. In today’s globalization activities, it depends on content type, industry and business goals. One approach to quality and KPIs does not suit all. Different content types and industries have different quality expectations. For technical content, you need high levels of quality and more rigid KPIs, for more creative and low impact content, quality will vary and needs to be flexible. Expecting an industry standard for all ignores the requirement to align quality to business outcomes.

“What internal team structures have proved successful for other companies?”

In Welocalize CEO Smith Yewell’s opening presentation at LocLeaders Dublin, he referred to the fact that localization can have a centralized and decentralized approach and be successful. There has to be some form of central body and responsibility; however, there are many organizations where decentralized models also work best.  The shift we see is moving toward a more variable cost balance to help clients manage risk to achieving business goals and targets, which may require smaller numbers of full-time employees supported by resources that are provided by an LSP (language services provider).

“How do I get buy-in from the rest of the business and demonstrate cost-efficiencies within localization?”

Communication and education are fundamental. Talk to colleagues and stakeholders on the importance and benefits of localization. It is always surprising how many people are not aware of the importance of a good localization program and how it can help to increase international revenue. Take part in presentations, share results and analyses and distribute internal communications. Having an internal web presence will help give the localization function brand identity. Running joint internal marketing programs with existing LSPs will also help get additional buy-in and support.  Any internal communication campaign will get increased visibility of globalization activities, especially if you can include expamples of how you are helping others in the organization achieve their goals.

“How can I measure the return on content?”

For some content types this is tricky and it is bundled up with the overall sale of a product. For example, if you have developed a number of technical manuals to enter a new language market, you could attribute all new sales to localization. There are other factors involved in launching a product in a new market. Localization is one success factor. For multilingual digital campaigns, you can measure the return on translation investment by calculating cost per click and conversion rates for each language variant. Huw Aveston, co-managing director of Welocalize’s multilingual digital agency, Adapt Worldwide talked about how localization translates to sales and revenue. If you’re translating digital content, you can easily measure click through and conversions using some basic analytic tools.

“What are the latest options in terms of CMS integration and improving context for translators working with CAT tools?”

In-context translation and review is now recognized to be an importance factor in successful localization. There are many technologies utilized by Welocalize which help get the right information and metadata to the right people, enabling CMS to work with TMS. We develop many connectors to enable data to flow between the various translation and authoring tools. READ MORE HERE.

Understanding what buyers of localization want is of utmost importance to Welocalize. The challenges, issues and strategic goals that drive globalization must be shared within the industry and LSPs have to continually gather inputs to make sure we continue to deliver excellence. There were some great conversations in Dublin. Thanks to everyone I met and who provided me with insights. Look forward to seeing you all again next year in Barcelona!

Steve and Emma at LocWorldSteve

Steve Maule is Business Development Director at Welocalize.



How to Test a Commercial Software Product for Global Launch

51499136_thumbnailThe software market is large and highly globalized. In 2015, Statista reports spending on enterprise software was around $310 billion. That same year, spending in the global information technology market amounted to $3,517 billion. The software industry is fast-moving and highly competitive, where demand is pushing us to the cloud with real-time and agile development cycles.

In order to compete in global markets and meet user expectations, software companies need to equally produce localized versions of systems and software quickly. To ensure optimum user experience in all language variants, localized software must go through rigorous functional and linguistic testing as part of the localization process. Testing is not just about linguistic accuracy in translation. The overall process ensures all product versions function meet local user expectations and deliver a consistent experience.

When embarking on any new software testing project, there are a number of activities needed to guarantee a successful product or version launch. Once you have your team of testing and quality assurance (QA) experts and bug hunters, along with an an established a suitable testing laboratory, there are a number of steps involved in the actual testing process that requires knowledge, experience and the right tools and timelines. These steps include:

  • DEFINE THE TESTING SCOPE: Define and document the scope of the program. What technologies will be tested? On what platforms and languages?
  • DEVELOP A TEST PLAN: This will address any test environment specifications, objectives, test case coverage, the scope of new and specific features and components, any procedures and communications.
  • TEST PLATFORM SET-UP: A test platform must be set-up for each locale, according to the plan.
  • CREATE TEST CASES: Test case development is based on the scope of new and specific features and components, which are available and required for localization quality assurance (QA) to validate. Test case development should cover some of the following aspects:
    • Verification of installer and uninstaller process
    • Verifying the user interface (UI) problems or any functional issues caused by localization
    • Verification of the consistency of localization of all documentation – online help, multimedia, interface resources
    • Check internationalization elements – character types, fonts, currency, data displayed correctly in the GUI
  • TESTING PROCESS: Software testing can take place on one or more agreed cycles, for waterfall and agile methodologies. Where the testing takes place is key, outsourced testing often takes place in a secure, highly controlled lab to ensure the right testing conditions are met for every client. Welocalize provides secure testing services in our labs in China and the US.
  • BUG AND FEEDBACK REPORT: Defects can be categorized as localization bugs or global and core bugs. Localization bugs are those bugs produced during the localization process and should be fixed during the process by the localization team. Global and core bugs are bugs which can be reproduced on multiple target language variants, often a possibility of coding error in the source. This should be fixed by the client’s software development team. Bug tracking and project management software is often used to create tasks, generate bug and activity reports.
  • REGRESSION TESTING: This is the process of testing changes and new features to make sure the older programming works with the new features. One or more regression and defect validation rounds are planned and executed for testing.
  • POSTMORTEM REPORT: Knowledge gained in the testing process must be collated and used for future development efforts. The postmortem report contains valuable information and recommendations that can be invaluable to other projects.

For more information on testing and bug-hunting in localization see Welocalize white paper, first published in Multilingual Magazine, “A Bug is a Bug in Any Language”.

Click here for more information on Welocalize Testing and QA Services.

The Growing Localization, Translation and Interpretation Industry

success chartThe world is an expanding multinational marketplace and with the help of technology, brands can rapidly going global. The sheer number of languages spoken in the world could be seen as an impediment to globalization; however, the skill, innovation and dedication of the global languages service industry is empowering international trade. The localization, translation and interpretation is an industry that is currently thriving.

Successfully taking a product or brand global does not mean taking a “one size fits all” approach. Content has to be culturally adapted and translated to each relevant local market. Who is responsible for making a product or brand targeted, available, understood and legally compliant in local markets? The language service industry. Specialist translators, reviewers, DTP & AV engineers, linguistic copywriters, project managers and language technology experts to name a few, are all professionals enabling organizations to speak locally and grow globally.

Defining a Growth Industry

The localization and translation industry is officially a growth industry. According to Common Sense Advisory, the global market for outsourced language services and technology is expected to reach $38.16 billion in 2016 and by 2019, this is expected to increase to $49.8 billion.

In a recent post, 7 Fastest Growing Industries to invest in for 2016, listed translation services and technology at number 4 as an industry expected to yield high returns. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 46% increase in translation jobs between 2012 and 2022. In the report, American’s 25 Thriving Industries, published by leading global business and financial publication, 24/7 Wall Street, translation and localization was ranked as the second highest most thriving industry, stating that from 2005 through 2014, employment in this industry shot up by 194.5%.

What are the Factors Driving Demand?

Apart from a growing world population, there are a number of factors driving the increase in demand for localization services. Translation and language technology industry news site, published its report, State of Translation and Localization Demand 2016,which highlights some of the key factors driving demand.

New initiatives and regulations from different governments are helping to increase demand for translation and localization services. There are new regulatory developments in the East, from Japan and China. In China, a new rule requires companies to bilingually publish their prospectus for initial public offering and other IR documents. In Japan, two landmark reforms in Japanese corporate governance requires Japanese corporations to engage more with stakeholders which means more translation of investor materials. Busy times for LSP’s with financial and legal expertise.

Many governments in the West are investing in machine translation (MT) to increase the levels of translation activity. The US Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has invested over $26 million into a rapid deployment MT tools for rare languages and Spain recently invested over $100 million in the development of natural language processing (NLP) and MT technology in the country.

In the private sector, the Slator report highlighted the fact that e-commerce, mobile and social will continue to be growth areas and this will further fuel the increase in demand for localization and translation services. Much of the e-commerce growth is focused in Asia and as e-commerce companies grow, they will need to partner with a global localization provider who can culturally adapt products and services and get them ready for an entirely new audience.

Another area driving demand for translation and localization services are regulated industries, including life sciences and medical devices. The global clinical research industry will reach almost $60 billion by 2020, according to a report by Zion Research. As world population grows everywhere, so will global demand for healthcare and pharmaceuticals. In addition to the specialist translation knowledge required to translate healthcare product information, there are volumes of legal and compliance documentation often associated with healthcare and pharmaceutical products.

Now is a good time to take opportunities and go global. The world is wide open and this is reflected in the prosperous state of the localization and translation industry. The key for global success is to partner with an LSP who has a wide-range of expertise and who can adapt content for all disciplines, no matter where your target markets are in the world. Welocalize is here to help fuel the growth.

Louise Law

Communications Manager at Welocalize





Transcreation and Linguistic Copywriting for Multilingual Digital Marketing

Best Practices for Localizing Global Marketing Content

iStock_000081558501_MediumOne of the biggest challenges of localizing global marketing campaigns is recreating content to generate maximum impact in local markets. When localizing marketing or advertising content, linguistic accuracy is no longer a priority. Maintaining the meaning and concept of a campaign is the priority to ensure the end-user has the right experience to evoke the desired response.

Traditionally, translation aims to linguistically match the source content without changing meaning. Creative and marketing content is often based on popular culture and contains local elements and demographics that consumers can relate to.  For certain target audiences, marketing content has to be bespoke so it sounds completely natural to the target audience. This applies to online and offline marketing campaigns. For many global marketing campaigns, transcreation, linguistic copywriting and use of multilingual digital marketing are key techniques used in the localization process. Different skills and resources are required to meet the requirements of a localization strategy that is driven by marketing content.


Transcreation takes the concept from the source content and adapts and recreates it for specific target language markets. Linguistic copywriting forms part of the overall transcreation process.

Transcreation techniques are often used for global marketing materials because the success of a marketing campaign often depends on factors like tone, style and emotion rather than literal and factual information that you might find in a technical manual. Product names, taglines, billboards, pop-ups, banner and video advertisements, brand messages, web copy, email content, social media and online multimedia – all content that may need to be recreated to suit a local market and effectively reach the intended target audience.

Transcreation teams will differ from straight translation teams. The review process varies from traditional methods and how quality is measured will also vary. When translating a technical manual, translators are engaged who have relevant technical and subject matter expertise. It is still a creative linguistic process; however, one that is more focused on quality and accuracy that stays faithful to the source content.

Cultural adaptation specialists and copywriters are still linguists and have in-depth local knowledge of local markets. They also have expertise in creative marketing and are able to generate copy, design ideas and content from scratch, while still maintaining the key brand and product messages. Any linguistic copywriter and reviewer must have the required skills to validate and ensure the appropriate re-creation of marketing content for specific markets.


Key to the success of any online digital marketing campaign is search-ability and discover-ability. Straight translation of keywords and tags from the source content in search campaigns will not work! Extensive knowledge of key search engines for each target area is vital to the success of any digital marketing campaign. Different markets have different search engines, content publishing platforms and social media outlets. In the US and parts of Europe, Google, Yahoo, Bing, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn attract millions of online users everyday. Publishing the same digital content to an Asian audience requires new keywords and tags and knowledge of how to gain presence and good rankings in the leading Asian search engines and social media platforms.

In China, leading search engines include Baidu, 360 Search, Soso and Sogou and in Korea, Naver is the top search engine. In Japan, Yahoo! Japan is the biggest search engine because it is more localized and responsive than Google. For social media, key destinations include Renren, Youku (China) and Mixi (Japan). Defining a search strategy is part of the overall transcreation process and multilingual digital marketing experts are required to create targeted marketing content that generates measurable and desired impact in new language markets.

To achieve successful, measurable global marketing, integrating the localization and creative marketing process is key. Marketing activities and localization cannot operate independently. The two disciplines must work together as a global team. This may involve the collaboration of a number of different creative and technical teams, including translation, localization, digital, design, copywriting, web development, agency account managers and more.

In summary, multi-discipline teams need to learn to speak each other’s language. A localization manager would benefit from learning SEO jargon and multilingual creative teams need to learn more about the localization process and localization technology. This ensures a complete understanding of global business objectives and enables maximize impact and return of marketing and translation assets.


Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

Further Reading: Brief Introduction to Digital Marketing Acronyms