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Trends in 2017 Impacting Marketing Localization

As we move into 2017, we look at some of the emerging and ongoing trends that will affect global marketers who are responsible for targeting new markets and driving digital branded campaigns to audiences all over the world.

Growth in Messaging Apps

Messaging apps are growing very fast and more businesses are looking to embrace this trend and seek revenue opportunities. Monthly active users across WhatsApp, Snapchat, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, Slack and WeChat have grown a lot faster than some social networks such as Instagram and Twitter. Facebook Mobile Messenger now has one billion active users and Snapchat, only five years old, has gathered 150 million daily active users. With the millennial population continuing to increase and influence, use of messenger apps will continue to increase. Global marketers need to engage and listen to what is being said on the most widely-use mediums that are influencing their brands. People all over the world sharing the good, bad and indifferent experiences with global brands over these messaging apps. WeChat in China has such broad functionality, influencing and facilitating online shopping and restaurant reservations.  Global marketers have to ensure they drive localized campaigns to capitalize on the leading messaging platforms to gain consumer attention and engagement.

Chatbots

One other growth area is the use of “chatbots.” Chatbots are computer programs that you interact with by “chatting,” by providing information or helping humans with certain tasks. They can resolve issues, answer questions and give the consumer the feeling they are speaking with a human. Chatbots are gaining popularity and are becoming a useful tool for global marketers. Chatbots increase consumer interaction and enhance the overall user and brand experience. With a global market, full of impatient consumers who want things done immediately, a chatbot can assist straight away. They are also an important tool for collecting data and analysis of consumer habits and purchasing patterns. From a localization standpoint, a chatbot needs to speak and type like a real person – and that means speaking and typing in the target audience’s local language and culture. If chatbots are to play an important part in global digital marketing campaigns, then language and localization play an increasing key role in their development to ensure you are reaching your global audience.

Video Revolution

More and more multimedia is being consumed on a daily basis, driving communication and influencing global business in B2C and B2B. According to YouTube statistics, 3.25 billion hours of video is watched on YouTube each month. Innovation in this area is rapid with many of the large technology platforms like Amazon and Netflix are delivering addictive content in new, exciting ways. This will continue to impact how CMOs, content producers and learning managers will develop and distribute media to audiences around the world. Budget has always played a key influencing role in localization of audio and video content types. Producing quality brand videos is getting easier and less expensive for global marketers, as new production software and media channels open all the time. We will continue to see video playing a bigger role in marketing communications in 2017.

From a localization perspective, we’ve seen great advances in multimedia localization, which have reduced the cost and time of developing multilingual videos. Text-to-speech (TTS) and increased use of transcription and on-screen-text (OST) has enabled more brands to distribute more language versions. For certain communication pieces, the quality levels required for the translation and localization of video are now more flexible. For high impact-branded materials, quality still needs to be high; however, there are options for lower level productions such as internal communication, social media campaigns and or quick-turn training videos. Techniques like TTS, subtitling and OST can deliver the right message and quality levels, making production costs realistic and within budgets.

The video landscape is continuing to change for markets. In late 2016, Facebook Live rapidly grew to be a key video streaming service for global marketers and advertisers. With 1.5 billion users worldwide, Facebook has one of the largest interactive content platforms for UGC and brands. Innovations in this space will continue to drive new user experiences in 2017.

Ad Blockers

Ad blocker usage will continue to grow into 2017, which will result in the reduction of banner ad consumption in certain geographies. According to Ogilvy, ad blocking jumped 34% during 2016 in the US. The continued growth in ad blocking may see a decrease in banner advertising, forcing advertisers to think differently in their outreach. Global marketers have to stay ahead of technologies and trends to ensure that their message reaches the right people. More effective content campaigns will become standard and enable global brands to reach consumers and not be blocked. For global marketing campaigns, this means knowing which markets are affected by ad blocking technology and ensuring any local campaign is built with this in mind, from a content, platform and media perspective.

Measure ROI Not Website Hits

Digital marketers have often looked to Google Analytics to measure website hits, clicks and sessions, as an indicator of campaign success. Global marketers will have to look at new ROI metrics, viewing digital marketing content from the perspective of consumption, engagement and investment. Measuring website hits from static web content is not a true representation of success today, as clicks can be “managed” to produce low quality returns. Whether marketing activity drives leads or engagement, revenue is a measure of success. Some dynamic content, like user generated content (UGC), must be monitored in all target languages and markets to get a good measure of consumer satisfaction and levels of engagement in social media campaigns. Global digital marketing is no longer just about generating static web content, it is analyzing online interactions and bridging the gap between content and ROI. Welocalize’s Adapt Worldwide specialize in helping global brands in defining ROI programs for digital marketing, PPC, social media and web SEO.  Click here to learn more.

What do you think will impact global marketing and localization in 2017? I’d love to hear your thoughts. Email louise.law@welocalize.com

Louise

Louise Law is Global Communications Manager at Welocalize.

 

Use of On Screen Text in Multimedia Localization

Michael Anderson, Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize, takes a look at the growing popularity of on screen text localization by brands to generate high quality multilingual content for global advertising campaigns.

To drive advertising campaigns and training programs in multiple languages, many global brands are using on screen text (OST) in the localization of their multimedia content. Global advertisements of products, for example, high-tech consumer products, often include images of the products, feature taglines, shots of the user interface (UI) and sample text content to highlight certain product features. Many creative and advertising agencies superimpose text onto films and adverts because the text can expand on some of the key messages made in the images and also clarifies product features or promotions. Use of OST can also reduce any ambiguity and display legal or disclaimer content, to meet local advertising standards.

To rollout advertising campaigns at a local level for broadcast and web distribution, content can be culturally adapted using some clever OST localization techniques to recreate original effects and animations. OST localization can sometimes be more cost-effective and quicker than voice-over work, as most good multimedia localization providers can provide OST in-house without having to source specialized voice talents.

On Screen Text (OST) Localization Process:

#1 OBTAIN VIDEO TO ASSESS SOURCE OST: Simple analysis of the original footage identifies what text requires translation and re-integration into the local language version, including all content, text and animation. Ideally, multimedia localization providers would have access to the original design files and artwork; however, quite often the original content is not available. In practice, approximately 50% of clients requiring OST localization cannot access the original creative project files and artwork, which can sometimes require high levels of creativity and technical expertise when altering graphics for localization purposes.

#2 CREATE IN BASELINE: Extract and transcribe the relevant text to generate translation and cultural adaptation. This could involve straight translation or linguistic copy writing. For more technical content, the translation will stay close to the source; however, for marketing content like taglines, this content requires recreating to suit the needs of the target demographic. Any local version of video footage, which will appear on broadcast media or for web advertising purposes, must look as if it has been created in that language.

#3 INTEGRATE NEW CONTENT USING VIDEO EFFECTS SOFTWARE: If the original design files are not available, then the new content can be “overlaid” and recreated onto the original text to display in local versions. Whether you have access to the original design files or not, most localized content can be seamlessly integrated to generate high quality localized versions of video footage. At Welocalize, we use a range of specialized video effects software including Adobe® After Effects, Premiere Pro CC and Final Cut Pro X.

#4 CHECK SPECIAL EFFECTS AND MUSIC: Video footage, whether for global advertising or training programs, often contain certain special effects that must also be emulated in each local version. For example, the text fonts must be consistent, along with text shadowing and line breaks and synchronization to music. Quite often, the music track may be changed to suit the local audience and new content must be adapted to the new music.

One of the important considerations when using on screen text in multimedia localization is that it is considered more than a technical process. Welocalize teams working with localizing OST embark on a creative process, especially if the original design files and artwork are not available. Specialist teams work with large, high resolution files and must apply localization techniques and creative skills to generate high quality video output in multiple languages.

Welocalize has multimedia teams based all over the world, who have access to the latest OST technology and can develop creative solutions to engineer and produce world-class video footage suitable for a global audience.  If you have questions about OST or Welocalize multimedia localization programs, please contact me at Michael.Anderson@welocalize.com.

Michael

Michael.anderson@welocalize.com

Based in the US, Michael Anderson is Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize.

Welocalize Provides Specialist Localization Learning Services in Highly Regulated Industry

Worktable in the OfficeWelocalize provided linguistic review, quality assurance (QA) and multimedia localization to a specialist company who developed learning content for member firms following the International Standards on Auditing (ISA). Using a localization partner with specialist expertise in this area mitigates risk and ensures global compliancy.

READ MORE in this Welocalize Case Study: Providing Specialist Localization Learning Services in a Highly Regulated Industry

Client Challenge

Welocalize’s client develops specialized and in-depth learning content for member firms following the International Standards on Auditing (ISA), the professional standards for the performance of financial audit of financial information. These standards are issued by the International Federation of Accountants (IFAC) through the International Auditing and Assurance Standards Board (IAASB).

The learning content is distributed worldwide to a multilingual audience. Due to the highly regulated nature of the industry, this type of complex auditing content has its own specific language and terminology. All translations must be accurate and legally compliant in the target country.

The client turned to Welocalize to manage the linguistic review, quality assurance (QA) testing and multimedia localization process, enabling a number of learning programs to reach member firms in multiple countries.

Welocalize Solution

The client works closely with the Welocalize team in North America, specifically the Houston office with support from Welocalize offices in Boston, Portland and New York. These team members provide specialist support for the translated learning and multimedia content. Services include full linguistic review cycles and QA testing within the client’s in-house learning management system (LMS) on a number of learning programs. For multimedia elements, Welocalize provides localization post-production and engineering for video, audio and interactive learning including click and drag, knowledge checks and final exams.

Features

  • Highly regulated auditing training content
  • Six European and Asian languages
  • Linguistic review and QA testing within client LMS
  • Multimedia localization and consulting
  • Audio and video localization production, as well as engineering
  • File preparation for translation
  • Development of translation kits
  • Assistance of course creation

Results

  • Mitigate risk to ensure global compliancy
  • Specialist learning materials delivered in six languages
  • Management of multiple formats
  • Localization consultancy
  • Use of Welocalize secure, multilingual testing facility
  • Specialist testers and reviewers
  • 24/7 support
  • Global teamwork
  • Management of multiple vendors
  • Regular client communication from project management teams
  • Scalable, innovative solution

Click here to read Welocalize Case Study: Providing Specialist Localization Learning Services in a Highly Regulated Industry

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Valuable Techniques for Multimedia Localization

463682571Senior Multimedia Localization Engineer at Welocalize, Michael Anderson takes a look at some of the popular and emerging techniques being used for multimedia localization.

One of the main barriers to localizing high volumes of multimedia has been cost. To generate high quality multimedia output in multiple languages involves high investment in studios, talent, specialist engineering and editing. Multimedia, especially video, now plays an important role in many global organization’s content strategy. Marketing, training, product information, corporate communications, health and safety content are all popular for using audio and video. Primarily, it is because all these content types and initiatives often have to reach a global audience.

Video continues to grow as a key tool used to communicate brand and product benefits. According to Cisco, by 2017 video will account for 69% of all consumer Internet traffic. There are a number of emerging options and techniques used at Welocalize for global brands to accurately localize multimedia and video.

#1 Text-to-speech (TTS). TTS techniques are becoming increasingly popular for video localization and synthetic voice software has improved dramatically over the years. Click here to see latest updates on Welocalize TTS.

#2 Green Screen Live Action Shooting. Using green screen technology, you can superimpose talents of your choice onto virtual backgrounds. We recreate the source by shooting with native actors. We sculpt the script content from the source so it matches and can weave in screenshots and sections from the original production. This avoids lip-syncing recorded audio to English, which can look disjointed. Shooting the video using a green screen allows you to change backgrounds, setting, animations and even people to suit the intended local audience. This prevents having to recreate the video for each language variant. You can alter images and messages to suit each target market by green screen technology.

#3 At-Home Recording. Using voice talents recorded in a remote, home studio can be a cost-effective option compared to hiring a studio. Studio hire can be expensive as it contains high end audio equipment and engineers. Providing the voice talent contractor meets the quality requirements for recording and experience. Recording “down the line” can deliver good results.

#4 Automated Transcription and Transcription Tools. Transcription is an important part of the overall video localization process and there are a number of new tools available to make transcription easier and more accurate. There are a number of options available for transcriptions services where source video and audio content can be quickly and accurately transcribed and provided in multiple language variants. Transcribed source content scripts can be reviewed and re-worked for subtitling and timings compared with scripts to ensure translated versions are synched with images, subtitles and source audio. A growing area is automated transcription. Once the source has gone through an automated transcription tool, the raw output can then be followed up with live human QA checks to ensure accuracy and context. This is ideal for live presentations that have been recorded and need to be understood quickly in other languages. In context editor tools can be used by translators to ensure they understand the purpose of the recorded content.

#5 Increased Use of Subtitling. Subtitling is a great way to produce multilingual multimedia. There are multiple styles used for subtitling. For example, custom fonts and color can be used for subtitled text to reflect the right brand values. Teamed with transcription, subtitling is a cost-effective way to professionally develop multimedia content into different language variants. New techniques using automated subtitling tools can speed up production and subtitles can be quickly viewed in real-time.

Michael

Based in the US, Michael Anderson is Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize.

Michael.anderson@welocalize.com

Adapt Worldwide Bridges Language Gaps in Digital Marketing

Interview with Huw Aveston, Co-Managing Director at Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize Multilingual Digital Marketing Agency

Huw AvestonIn February 2016, Welocalize announced the acquisition multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, formerly known as Traffic Optimiser. Huw Aveston is one of Adapt Worldwide’s co-founders and now co-managing director. Huw is a digital marketing veteran having worked with more than 500 clients across travel, retail, finance, technology, consumer products, as well as marketing and advertising agencies. Welocalize Global Communications Manager, Louise Law, caught up with Huw to gain some of his latest insights into global digital content.

You founded Adapt Worldwide (formerly Traffic Optimiser) in 2010 with Chee Ho Wan. What inspired you to set up the company?

We felt that there was a gap in the market for digital expertise combined with language skills. The digital marketing space is changing all the time and it takes a lot of different people specializing in different fields for an agency to keep up with the pace. When you add in an international component, then it really becomes difficult to execute at a high level and that is where we saw the opportunity. We set out to build an agency that could do both and deliver multilingual digital marketing.

We created a core team in London that now covers all the core disciplines in digital marketing combined with native language speakers from over 22 different countries. Now that we are part of Welocalize, we are supported by a vast global network of offices and resources to deliver solutions to the world’s leading brands.

What are the current key drivers in global digital content?

I think the biggest driver is engagement. There are still far too many companies producing content that no one wants or that that people cannot find. In the rush to create content, a lot of companies do not find out what type of content people are looking for before they launch a campaign.

By taking a data-driven approach, you can produce great results from your content marketing. Pay attention to third party data like Google AdWords, YouTube statistics and social media analytics. This data can help companies decide what content should be produced and in which language. Companies must also use their own analytics and understand the various data points across their own platforms and websites. Look at website bounce rates, dwell times and levels of interaction with the different content types.

Content should always be tracked to a conversion point. This will help identify how content is contributing and whether it is helping overall sales and revenue targets.  The data is out there already. Think about content before you produce it and you can nearly always exceed the performance of your rivals.

How will global brands continue to develop and publish digital content?

Content is really only just getting started; however, in a world where so much content is being produced, it can be hard to make an impact.

What we will see develop are the niche topics. You can see this happening already. If you type into YouTube – How Do I repair a dishwasher – you will see thousands of amateurs and small publishers creating content designed to help people. These are typically the smaller companies or individual bloggers. Brands will move into the content space with a greater focus on being knowledge leaders rather than self-publicists; their growing budgets will allow for greater quality and more authoritative content.

The success of this content will drive brand strength, which in turn will lend more weight and credibility to their content.

How do you consume digital content and media?

This depends on where I am and what I’m doing. When I’m in the gym, I’ll listen to podcasts from the Economist. When I’m on the London Tube, I’ll be reading blogs and if I’m on a long train or plane ride I might watch YouTube videos. When I’m in my living room, I’ll cast things straight to my television. I like to be able to access and use content in a way that suits me.

What’s your favorite type of digital content?

Video. I’m dyslexic and I prefer to learn audibly rather than to read large block of information. When I’m brushing up on the latest trends in my industry I’ll usually listen to a podcast or watch a YouTube video.

 What gadget can’t you live without?

My phone. It sounds a bit boring; however, modern smart phones have really become so good that I can complete 95% of my job from anywhere in the world. I think that WFP (work from phone) should really be introduced as a new acronym into our workplace.

How many languages can you speak?

Fluently, just one. I can get by in most of the countries I visit. Before I land anywhere, I always learn and rehearse the basics, please, thank you, yes, no, hello, goodbye etc. It’s no substitute for knowing someone’s language, though if you can at least showed that you have tried, I find it goes a long way to getting good reactions from people you meet.

You’re travelling a lot at the moment and being introduced at a number of Welocalize and key industry events. Which country or city are you looking forward to the most?

San Francisco. The unrivaled center of the digital world and still the where most of the innovation is happening, It is great to see that all the cities I’ve visit recently have their own tech and start up scenes. Our industry will become less centered on the West Coast as it grows, but for the time being the Bay area is still where it’s at when it comes to marketing, digital, technology and the like.  We are spending this week in Portland and San Francisco at a series of Adapt Worldwide and Welocalize LocLeaders Local events.  Join us and let’s get digitally connected.

Can you share some of your vision for Adapt Worldwide?

Adapt_Logo_Color-72ppi-300We have two main goals for the next three years. Firstly, to continue to build out more operational offices around the world. Having teams on the streets and near the clients is really important to building relationships and understand the culture of the central and local marketing departments.

Secondly, build on our crowd platform of digital marketing linguists. The crowd will give us greater scale, flexibility and more competitive costs which we can pass onto our clients.

Huw Aveston will be joining Smith Yewell, Welocalize CEO and Paul McManus, Chief Customer Officer at Welocalize, to host Welocalize Locleaders Dublin 2016 event. As is tradition with LocLeaders, we will be hosting a series of moderated panel discussions with localization leaders from leading global organizations with a theme of Expanding Your Global Reach. Welocalize LocLeaders Dublin will be taking place on Wednesday, June 8 a at No. 6 Kildare Street, home of the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland since 1864.  For more information and to register for the event, click here.

Adapt Worldwide, a Welocalize multilingual digital marketing agency, helps brands expand their global reach across markets and platforms in more than 175 languages. Increasing demands for an integrated approach between marketing and localization, Adapt Worldwide assists through the cultural adaption of content across digital channels. Our broad range of specialized digital and language services include search engine optimization (SEO), app store optimization, copywriting, transcreation, mobile, web and paid amplification. Based in London, with operations in 16 global offices, Welocalize acquired Adapt Worldwide in 2015. Adapt Worldwide was formerly known as Traffic Optimiser. www.adaptworldwide.com

To contact Huw, reach out to huw.aveston@adaptworldwide.com.

Three Tips for Translating Financial and Annual Reports

Financial paper charts and graphs on the table

Company annual reports are significant company communications that outlines a company’s activities for the year. They often have a wide audience, including employees, suppliers, investors and other stakeholders. An annual report may be the first piece of documentation read about a company and often fulfills a legal requirement of trading, as well as the highest level of corporate communications documentation.

Annual reports are a representation of a company’s global brand, providing important factual financial information, in addition to reflecting reputation and indicating go forward business plans, as well as annual accomplishments. There are often disclosures of strategies, performance data, forward-looking expectations and insights from leadership, including updates from the CEO.  All of this content must be properly translated with a keen attention to quality and accuracy.

Multinational organizations have a diverse global audience for corporate communications. It makes sense that a company’s annual report and any interim reports (half-yearly, quarterly) are made available in the appropriate languages. It is critical these valuable documents are translated to high levels of quality and regulatory standards.

As well as containing performance, operational and financial content, they also contain graphics and photographs, which all contribute to presenting a year’s activities in a comprehensive and presentable way. Production of annual and interim reports can be a complex process. If annual reports and financial statements are destined for an international audience, translation and localization must play a key role in the overall process.

Here are three tips when translating financial and annual reports:

#1 Reserve translation resources in advance: Annual, half-yearly and quarterly reports are produced around the same time each year. Most companies have a consistent year-end for accounting and tax purposes. This presents an advantage when integrating translation into the process and plan ahead for when you will need translation services. These can be booked in advance and this ensures that you will keep a consistent team. One of the key success factors for translating financial information is using highly qualified translators and reviewers who are familiar with the content and markets in which you operate. Having the same team throughout the year will deliver high quality on an ongoing basis for all investor relations documentation.

#2 Keep terminology consistent and develop of glossaries: Terminology consistency is an important factor when translating specialized content like financial statements and annual reports. There must be document consistency and inter-document consistency and accuracy.  Financial statement terms and company related terminology must be consistent in all company reports and IR documentation. Consistency and accuracy of dates and currency is also very important. Any misrepresentation of financial details can create ethics, governance and legal concerns – even if it is a translation error.

Terminology used in annual reports must comply with the International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), issued by the IASA, the International Accounting Standards Board. Development of glossaries and terminology databases within the translation teams that can be used and updated by the translation teams are key tools. Financial translation teams can also regularly update translation memories to guarantee intra-document and inter-document consistency and reduce quality inaccuracies.

#3 Use experienced and qualified financial translators: There are thousands of translation companies that will offer services to translate documents like annual reports. For any financial content, it is essential to work with a language service provider that has experience and a good track record at translating financial content, as well as holds the relevant industry ISO standard certifications.

Be careful of those that offer cheap and quick turnarounds, you can jeopardize output and quality levels. These errors could cost the company a lot in the long-term in terms of cost and negative impact to the brand and reputation. No matter the language, the content must provide the same financial data. A company who has expertise and experience of translating financial documents will engage highly qualified translators, reviewers, DTP operators and multimedia experts that are familiar with content in this area. Financial content like annual reports is highly confidential, so high levels of professionalism and security are very important.

For more information about Welocalize financial translation language services click here.

Further Reading:

International Accounting Standards and Financial Translations

Importance of Terminology Management in Translating Financial Content

Challenges in Financial Content Translation

Welocalize Global Operations in Italy, China and United Kingdom Successfully Renew Quality Certifications

 

 

Localization and Collaboration to Enable Global Growth

A Welocalize and Avigilon Case Study

Avigilon_RGB[1]Avigilon Corporation, a trusted security solutions provider, required a scalable globalization strategy that centralized localization and translation activities to meet rapid global growth in demand for its products and manage high volumes of variable content. Avigilon wanted to work with a language service provider (LSP) large enough to manage a wide variety of content and high volumes, but also agile enough to grow with Avigilon and deliver a scalable solution to meet increasing global demand. Avigilon selected Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions.

As demand for Avigilon’s products exploded, the new team moved quickly. Avigilon and Welocalize centralized the flow of translation requests and technology, moving assets and processes onto Welocalize’s open-source translation management system (TMS), GlobalSight, and developing glossary maintenance programs and translation memories (TMs). A new localization program was put in place that could handle a wide range of content into up to 23 languages.

READ MORE: Avigilon and Welocalize Case Study

Services include:

  • Software Localization
  • Software QA and Testing through Welocalize Testing Lab in Portland, Oregon, USA
  • Localization and Testing of e-Learning & In-Classroom Training Materials for Avigilon’s Global Product Training Programs
  • Localization of Multimedia, including Dubbing and Subtitling of Audio and Video Content
  • Technical Documentation, Product Installation Guides, Software User Manuals & Product Datasheets
  • Sales & Marketing Collateral
  • Web Updates
  • MT & PEMT Support

Adapt Worldwide Transcreation Capabilities

Avigilon works with Welocalize’s multilingual digital marketing agency, Adapt Worldwide, to transcreate sales, marketing and product content, providing linguistic copy writing who are trained on Avigilon products. The Adapt Worldwide team develops fresh, digital content, whilst retaining the overall brand concepts and values for local markets.

“Avigilon’s localization strategy is to invest in the right content areas and target languages to improve Avigilon’s overall global performance and achieve global growth. We’re extremely satisfied with the results we have seen by bringing Welocalize on board as our strategic localization partner. The Welocalize team deliver world-class customer support and has increased our levels of localization maturity, resulting in a localization program that is used globally by many departments within Avigilon. It has been and continues to be an incredibly successful collaboration.” – Paula Hunter, Localization Manager, Avigilon.

To achieve global growth, you need localization and a strong collaboration with a global language service provider. Find out more about how Welocalize help Avigilon achieve global growth with a wide range of world-class, scalable localization solutions. Click here to read the full Avigilon and Welocalize Case Study.

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Multilingual QA and Testing for Learning and Multimedia Content

452217709Learning retention and impact is highly affected by the learner user experience with the content.  All localized learning content and software should go through rigorous quality assurance (QA) and testing to ensure content such as images, examples and metaphors are meaningful and appropriate for users for all target cultures. If learning content isn’t culturally appropriate, the learning experience will be impacted and the learner simply will not engage and knowledge retention suffers.

When multilingual learning content and software is tested, a series of processes are undertaken and multidisciplinary teams put localized learning content and software through exhaustive tests before content is released to the end-user. Learning content often contains a high volume of multimedia and interactive content – videos, audio, assessments, quizzes and animations. This type of content usually contains software and content elements that must be localized and put through QA testing to ensure it works and suits local cultures, from dialect and tone of voice through to digital classroom hand gestures.

Today, multinational organizations often use video and interactive content within and for introduction of learning and educational programs. To localize video and audio, appropriate actors and voice talents are evaluated and selected, depending on the target locales and specifications. The requirements can include accuracy of the script and adherence to pronunciation guides. This is the level of detail required to ensure localized content resonates with the intended local audiences. Adherence to voice specifications can include age, gender and other demographic detail. Selected voice talents must have the right pacing, diction and experience to make the appropriate choices regarding the interpretation of the script.

Localized output must meet stringent quality requirements and be put through localization QA and testing to ensure it meets the expected levels of quality. The two main areas of QA and testing are FUNCTIONAL and LINGUISTIC.

FUNCTIONAL QUALITY ASSURANCE TESTING:

Functional quality ensures that the final localized products perform to the expectations, equivalent to the original source course material. A testing model will validate all courses prior to delivery, including assessments.  For certain learning content, bilingual testers perform functional testing based on some of the following validation criteria: page transitions, voice-over timing, format and layout, user data entry and user data capture, assessment model, for both branching and data capture.

LINGUISTIC QUALITY ASSURANCE TESTING:

Linguistic QA testing includes verification of language suitability and in-context review of localized content and software products (including UI). All translated content, including on screen text and voice script, is evaluated at multiple stages and reviewed by professional copy editors who ensure that linguistic and style requirements and standards are met. Linguistic sampling is completed throughout the testing process by independent reviewers to measure accuracy and quality standards.

How QA is measured and scored will be typically defined in a service level agreement with a language service provider. In the localization industry, the basis for quality measurement is often developed within the context of Quality Evaluation (QE) and the concepts of the Dynamic QE Framework designed through localization industry collaborative efforts such as TAUS and LISA quality models.

QA and testing is a crucial part of the learning software localization process and it is important to partner with a global language service provider to ensure all software and content meets user expectations in every local market.

Read how Welocalize partnered with Blackboard, a global provider of enterprise education software and learning management systems, to build a localization program to product a UI that truly feels like it is written for the student, no matter where the student is in the world. Click here to download case study.

Click here for more information on Welocalize QA & testing services.

Localization Resources for Global Marketing Planning

490612075 - CopyIf you’re planning a global marketing campaign, there are a number of challenges and obstacles you may come across. There are many stories of taglines and brand logos that have entered into untold stores or Internet sensations by cultural adaptation and localization mistakes when entering into new markets.

Knowing your “local” audience when you are thinking global, is paramount to your ultimate success. Rolling out a global marketing campaign, simultaneously, to target markets, requires planning and globalization and localization expertise.

Welocalize works with global brands to keep marketing messages and content on target, allowing organizations to create the best customer experience through all mediums for their products and services, no matter the language.

Here are three helpful resources to help any global marketer drive successful marketing campaigns, in any languages, to any culture:

ONE: Welocalize eBook: Reaching Global Audiences – How to Localize Your Marketing Strategy

This eBook is targeted at brand stewards, content marketers, globalization experts and localization decision makers. This is a good read for anyone who deals with marketing materials in more than one language, providing tips and best practices on how to localize global marketing content. Topics covered in this eBook include the reasons and benefits of localizing global marketing campaigns, transcreation vs translation and how to prepare source marketing content for localization.

TWO: Ready for Global Marketing Guide to Web Localization

People often look to an organization’s website first for information. The main dot com presence is often the basis where users will make their first impressions and opinions. A branded website is essential and also accessible to anyone in the world who is online. Localizing a website is a big task and can be complex – there are often legacy systems, files and information to deal with and some digital content will not work in certain geographies. Only 27% of Internet users worldwide speak English – developing a multilingual web presence must be an integral part of any global marketing strategy. This Welocalize Guide discusses a number of topics – developing source content, content management, SEO, UGC and engaging the right localization and web expertise.

THREE: Welocalize Guide to Multimedia Localization

Thanks to the growth in technology and the prolific rise of video and audio sharing platforms, multimedia is on the rise at a marketing tool. Many global brands are now using video and other multimedia techniques to drive marketing campaigns and reach global audiences. The Welocalize Guide to Multimedia Localization addresses a number of activities involved in translating and localizing multimedia content. Topics covered include authoring tools, use of text, graphics and audio, voice-over, captioning and subtitling. The guide also talks about the wide range of skills required to localize multimedia content and digital assets.

Another localization service important to global marketing is transcreation, also known as cultural adaptation. Modern localization is no longer about straight translation and achieving 100% linguistic accuracy. For many high impact marketing materials, the best approach is transcreation – recreating marketing content to achieve the right cultural and creative tone. Transcreation may involve re-authoring and re-designing content to fully adapt to new target markets. More insights on the subject of multilingual marketing can be found in the Welocalize paper, Beyond the Written Word: Transcreation for Global Brands.

More content on Global Marketing Localization can be found on Welocalize’s Innovator’s Blog.

Six Tips to Developing Learning Content for a Global Audience

Online LearningLearners need high quality materials to properly engage and retain the knowledge provided through any type of learning program. Developing these materials for a global audience can bring a number of challenges. Course materials must be effective for the breadth of your learning audience, regardless of their geography. We have compiled six tips to help learning developers and content creators author materials for a global audience.

TIP #1:  Consider Localization and Translation at the Planning Stage

Considering your localization strategy from the outset helps learning organizations focus on the true audience and ultimately improve the user experience and reduce translation costs. Learning organizations benefit from being fully aware of all target audiences and languages, so they can develop the learning content for a global audience and take steps to ensure the localization process is efficient and integrated at the earliest stage of material development. This includes the planning and identification of all aspects of the localization process, such as translation, terminology research and cultural research. Preparing a file for localization should include tasks such as:

  • Ensuring the general format and layout of a document is ready for localization and translation
  • Using consistent terminology
  • Text expansion
  • Timing and synchronizing audio

You can read more in the Welocalize white paper: Ready Your Learning Content for Localization to Save Money and Improve Experience.

TIP #2: Keep Terminology Consistent and Simple

Simple matters. The best content will be understandable to a wide range of users around the world. Keep terminology simple also allows for easier and more consistent translation. Any complicated language, colloquialisms, jargon, acronyms or local humor increases the risk of incorrect and out-of-context translations. When authoring content, think “universal” context.

TIP #3: Check Imagery and Color

As well as linguistic aspects, consideration must also be given to imagery and color of learning materials destined for a global audience. This is to ensure successful translation to other cultures, without losing or changing meaning of the learning experience. This means avoiding the use of region-specific symbols and images, and also consider the regional differences in meaning, particularly if an image has any potential for bad interpretation or negative connotation in a certain area of the world. Learning is often digital and uses a lot of images to show examples. Even a background in a video can be disruptive to a learning experience, if it is culturally offensive in any way. All elements, digital and in word format need careful review. The best practice to to rely on images that are culturally neutral and do not need to be replaced no matter how they are viewed and no matter the language.

TIP #4: Video and Audio Files

Educational and learning course materials are often heavy in multimedia, audio and video content. It can be costly to reproduce multilingual versions of video footage, using new scripts, voice and acting talents. There are a number of lower cost options available to localize video. For example, subtitling or text-to-speech (TTS) technology are driving a lot of changes in the localization world. Significant advancements have been made in TTS in recent years, making audio track localization much easier, as well as lowering costs for buyers. Scripts can now be loaded into TTS software, which adds a synthetic voice, turning written text into phonetic text. When creating source video and audio content, consideration needs to be taken to ensure extra time is allowed for voice over language expansion and appropriate space allowed for when developing video content for subtitling. For more information on TTS, read Welocalize blog Text- to Speech Localization for Global Brand Marketing.

TIP #5: Provide Source Files to Your LSP

Most files need to be prepared for translation and localization. This means ensuring all source files are accessible and editable for translation and localization purposes. Certain course materials may include diagrams or cartoons. All source (editable) graphics files must be available for translation. Keep source files organized and easily accessible to the localization and translation teams, keeping a list of all files and content types to streamline your workflow, reduce costs and improve efficiency.

TIP #6: Consider the Impact of Learning Material

It is important to take into account what the content is designed for and the purpose it needs to serve, whether it be a corporate output for a global sales team or a partner accreditation program. The purpose of material and the impact it is expected to have on your global audience will have a significant effect on how translation and localization projects are managed and formatted. High impact materials may need more time and budget to get the localized content to the highest standards.

Welocalize specializes in learning and education translation and localization for multinational businesses, compliance and regulatory groups, global training providers, CLO’s and traning development departments as well as the general  e-learning and education market round the world. Click here for more information on Welocalize services to the global learning and education sector.

Matt

Matthew.johnson@welocalize.com

Matthew Johnson is a member of the Welocalize global sales support and marketing team.

Localization and the Online Travel and Hospitality Industry

Welocalize Online Travel and Hospitality Industry ReportWelocalize has released a new report, Localization and the Online Travel and Hospitality Industry: Welocalize 2015 Report on Key Growth Areas,” which highlights four key areas of localization that drives successful globalization for online travel and hospitality companies.

Localization and translation when defining the customer experience within the online travel and hospitality sector. Travelers and experience-seekers have access to volumes of content, published daily, providing consumers with countless options in planning for their next adventure.

To be competitive, global marketers in the travel and hospitality industry must consider culturally adapting all forms of content and digital media to effectively reach the right audience, at the right time in their language of choice. If not, your potential consumer will go to where the content “speaks” to them.

Key areas covered in this report include:

  • Size of the online travel and hospitality market
  • Multimedia and text-to-speech localization
  • Machine Translation (MT) and post-edited MT
  • Software, Apps and Technical Documentation Localization
  • Localization of Search Engine Marketing, SEO and Pay-Per-Click Campaigns

Welocalize has extensive experience at developing successful localization strategies in the online travel and hospitality sector and has number of global brand clients, including TripAdvisor, Louvre Hotels, Wizz Air and others.

Click here to download a PDF version of  the WELOCALIZE LOCALIZATION ONLINE TRAVEL AND HOSPITALITY INDUSTRY REPORT.

 

If you would like to talk to a travel and hospitality localization expert, let’s connect!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Localized Learning Content Impacts Multilingual Students and Global Audiences

ThinkstockPhotos-467262442Welocalize works with many clients who produce e-learning content intended for global audiences, both internal and external. E-learning can be quite complex content, interlaced with various forms of multimedia, including video and audio. Without proper localization planning, it can present challenges in effectively reaching a global audience. The story of Khan Academy is one that demonstrates the value and importance of multilingual planning and how good content can truly make a world of difference.

At the 2015 Marketo Summit in San Francisco, California,  Salman Khan, founder and executive director of Khan Academy, shared valuable insights about the reach and impact of global learning. Khan’s presentation demonstrated the importance and impact of online learning through the experiences and interactions of Khan Academy around the world.  He also advocated how important it was to make education and learning content available to wider, multilingual audiences.

Where did it all begin? Nearly 10 years ago, Khan had a number of phone calls with his younger cousin to help her with math. This soon became common knowledge throughout Khan’s family and he rapidly began having conference calls with 10-15 family members each day. Struggling to keep the content of his lessons relevant for each family member, he discussed his new hobby with friends who suggested creating YouTube videos. This way, each student could learn at their own pace. His initial thought was that YouTube is for cats playing piano not for serious mathematics. He soon learned differently.

Coming around to the idea of YouTube, he was soon creating volumes of YouTube videos from his walk-in closet. Khan’s hobby was quickly becoming a full-time project.  After a discussion with his wife he resigned from his job as an analyst and put all his effort into creating the Khan Academy, a non-profit organization delivering education to everybody everywhere, pushing boundaries and re-imagining the world of education. It wasn’t long before the academy was noticed, with investors such as Google and The Gates Foundation. Khan Academy has been able to revolutionize learning for students across the world.

Khan Academy now has one million educators and 20 million users learning on the site. One third of these users are outside of the United States. Using YouTube as a distribution media for learning content means it can potentially be accessed by students all over the world. Khan Academy translates some of its e-learning content, video, audio and subtitles, teaching platforms and more.  One of their goals is to translate their content into all of the world’s major languages over the next 10 years.

Localization and education go hand-in-hand. The impact is far reaching for students and businesses. Learning and education is such a vital part of any global business and world economy. The value of any training and development hinges on how this content can be utilized to reach to your entire audience, in all relevant languages. It is critical to plan and prepare for how language will play a role in the learning experience.  The benefits and impact of translating your learning content are vast, as most global companies have multilingual audiences.

When you localize learning content, you are positioning your brand as a company with an international presence.  The quality of your content and consistency in your message builds your company’s credibility and enhances your brand image.  There are direct localization benefits to the company, such as boosting company efficiency, employee performance and creating a educated workforce across the board.  All of which offers consistent and reliable results for your clients and customers. Providing learning in your users native language aids knowledge acquisition and boosts retention rate. It is just good business.

Welocalize partners with global organizations to maximize the value of their learning. We provide translation and localization services in 157 languages for all types of learning content including online courses, sales and product training, user guides, classroom instructions, documentation materials, digital media assets and more.  Click here for more information on Welocalize localization services for the learning and education sector.

Lauren

Lauren.Southers@welocalize.com

Lauren Southers is the Manager of Global Marketing and Business Support and a super administrator of Marketo at Welocalize.

 

 

 

 

Text-to-Speech Localization for Global Brand Marketing

By Darin Goble

ThinkstockPhotos-488281659Multimedia is on the rise, permeating areas never reached before, thanks to the growth in technology and also the prolific rise of video and audio sharing technologies and platforms. For many global brands, use of multimedia is growing fastest, eclipsing standard sales and marketing techniques.

According to video-sharing website, YouTube, not only do they have over 1 billion users and 4 billion video views per day, but 60% of a creator’s views come from outside their home country. It is no surprise that video and other multimedia techniques are increasingly being used by global companies to drive brand and social media campaigns.

Audio and video is already used heavily in learning materials; however, with the growing influence of sites like YouTube and Vimeo, using video to build a global brand has become an integral part of any marketing campaign.

Before the Internet and YouTube, using video and television advertising to reach global audiences would have been outrageously expensive and out of reach for many brands. Now, many of the top global brands are consistently using video to reach global audiences. According to Pixability*, 99 out of the top 100 global brands are on YouTube and the top 100 brands have invested approximately $4.3 billion in the creation of video assets to drive global marketing campaigns. For Generation Z (those born after the turn of the century) viral brand videos and social media campaigns through various devices is part of everyday life.

In the localization industry, we are seeing more and more requests for multimedia localization, especially video. Localizing multimedia content can be a lengthy process and expensive. Hiring multiple voice talents, studios, sourcing the right editing, sound and engineering expertise can be a significant investment in terms of time and money. However, latest developments in text-to-speech (TTS) technology has also opened up multimedia localization as a viable option for many global brands. Certain video content does not have to be localized to the same high production standards as a film or television advertisements.

Innovations in TTS are saving global brands time and money.  Rather than have people sit in a studio to record the multilingual versions, scripts can be loaded into synthetic voice software, turning the written word into phonetic text. Years ago, TTS wasn’t an option for many companies, the technology was quite clunky and the output too robotic. Recent technological advancement has meant audio track localization is well within reach, using TTS techniques. Plus, the more scripts you feed and train the TTS engine, the more intelligent it becomes, enabling clients to leverage linguistic assets and further reduce translation costs and improve quality.

In addition, marketing and brand videos that are distributed via social media sites are different to the polished TV advertisements of the “Mad Men” days. Certain video content does not have to be localized to the same high production standards. Techniques, like TTS, produce localization output that is perfectly acceptable to the target audience and will trigger the desired response.

Welocalize has recently developed a specialized solution for text-to-speech, weVoice, which we recently demonstrated at Learning Solutions and Expo this year. We’ve seen some great success with global brand clients. If you are interested in a demonstration, please contact us and we can show you how global brands are utilizing weVoice technology today.

TTS demonstrates one of the many localization techniques that are evolving to meet future client needs. As global brands adapt content, we adapt localization strategies to help their globalization strategy.

Darin

Darin.goble@welocalize.com

Darin Goble is Senior Director at Welocalize. Based in Portland, Oregon, he has worked in the language services industry for over 15 years and leads a global team focused on driving unique localization strategies for a number of high profile global brands.

Further Reading: Text-to-Speech for Localization of Learning Multimedia

*Top 100 Global Brands on YouTube PixTV30, Pixability

Emerging Content Types in Manufacturing

ThinkstockPhotos-168810325In March 2015, the Content Marketing Institute (CMI) published their annual report on content marketing trends in the manufacturing sector. The report revealed that 82% of manufacturing marketers are using content marketing[i]. It defined content marketing as “a strategic marketing approach focused on creating and distributing valuable, relevant and consistent content.” Creating content that directly appeals to your audience is becoming an acknowledged business discipline, including in the manufacturing industry.

Marketing in the manufacturing sector is slowly changing from the company seeking customers, to customers seeking the company. Customers, direct and indirect, are more informed these days and companies can take advantage of that by being the ones to inform them. Providing relevant content also allows you to constantly be on a buyer’s radar without explicitly asking them to buy from you.

The buying cycle in the manufacturing sector can usually take anywhere from six months to a year or perhaps longer, meaning that you have a very small window of opportunity to pull in that prospect via trade shows or sales calls. Publishing educational and value-driven content can help make sure that your company’s name is thought because you were viewed as the expert. Although content such as instruction manuals, maintenance documents and data sheets are still widely published, the usage of various other types like e-blasts, blogs and social media has become extremely popular for educating a supply chain, distributors, procurement, employees and consumers.

Social media content has taken the manufacturing sector by storm. Manufacturers are embracing the mega-platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. Even though manufacturing is viewed more as a traditional market sector, there is definitely a place for it in social media. Companies, especially those in product manufacturing, are able to offer demonstrations of products, virtual tours around the facility and present safety procedures, fabrication processes and equipment. Being open about how your company works gives it credibility and build confidence from your buyers, whether direct to businesses or consumers or through a channel.

YouTube was rated the most effective social media platform for the manufacturing sector and videos were the most used content marketing tactic in the 2015 CMI report. It’s no wonder when this video-sharing site has four billion views per day,and is the second largest search engine in the world. YouTube can work for B2C and B2B companies alike. Your videos can be aimed at investors, engineers or the general public. The content of your videos are very important. They must have a purpose and should engage, educate and differentiate.

LinkedIn is also a highly effective social media platform which can establish your company in the B2B manufacturing community. LinkedIn is a professional social networking site with over 200 million members worldwide. There are 1.5 million LinkedIn groups, and some of those will be groups pertaining to the manufacturing sector. Initiating conversations and getting involved with discussions in industry groups show other businesses that your company is interested and up-to-date with the trends and events currently happening in the manufacturing sector.

The 2015 CMI manufacturing report revealed that when asked what their most important goal was for using social media, the manufacturing marketers answered brand awareness. Social media is an effective global marketing tool. Whether updating clients, building your brand, educating an employee or engaging with potential buyers, you have to make sure you can communicate globally – in the right language.

Welocalize specializes in providing manufacturers global localization and translation for all types of content. Our specialized language services include multimedia translation so that videos can be watched  in English as well as in dozens of other languages, websites are catered to your audience when your brand has a presence on the global stage, and of course accurate translation for traditional and vital technical documentation and corporate communications.

Louise Donkor, Communications and Marketing Specialist at Welocalize

louise.donkor@welocalize.com

[i] Responses presented are from 217 B2B manufacturing marketers in North America.

Learning Solutions Conference 2015 Highlights

513355289 (1)Welocalize was a sponsor and exhibitor at the Learning Solutions Conference 2015 (LSCon), which took place in Orlando, Florida. Matt Gaitan, Welocalize Regional Business Development Director, shares his highlights and insights into two key trends Welocalize discussed at the conference.

At this year’s Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, we met with learning professionals and engaged with a community that shares a broad with a common interest in learning solutions and how localization ties in with the overall process. The Welocalize team of experts spoke with delegates who are working on several significant learning projects and gave guidance on how to approach the localization process to produce quality and cost-effective multilingual versions for learning.

Multimedia and localization were hot topics at the event. The Welocalize team discussed with event attendees the prospect of including English voice into designer’s development models, through the highly advanced text-to-speech (TTS) technology available through Welocalize. We ran a live Voice Challenge demonstration, offering analysis and cost-comparison of text-to-speech versus voice-over talent.

Traditionally, professional voice-over services can be expensive. Using studios to record multilingual versions of learning videos and courses can be a significant investment for studio hires, voice talent and editing. With budget restraints, this can sometimes leave limited options for design teams who would otherwise prefer to include a voice audio component into their courseware.

With the recent advances in technology, a clearer and emerging alternative is the option of utilizing TTS technology for English. Learning experts and designers confirm, the incorporation of voice audio is a valuable service for learners. Text-to-speech for English scripts has come to the point where the audio quality itself has profoundly improved in quality. When you couple the high degree of voice quality with the ability to train the software through phonetic iterations – the final output proposes a viable solution and the incorporation of voice into training modules enhances the overall learning experience.

One of the other key discussions that took place at the conference was how to manage voice samples and voice-over talents. Welocalize demonstrated a collective showcase of eLearning examples at LSCon during LS DemoFest 2015. We provided attendees the opportunity to easily select voice-over talent with our technology portal, which offered useful tips and examples in choosing the best voice-over resources for learning programs and content localization.

Welocalize Multimedia Services introduced a new seamless alternative for clients to manage their voice-over talents, in any language. This simplifies that process of sharing voice samples instead of using email, file sharing services, FTP sites and other means. Welocalize provides a means for centralizing the distribution of voice samples and provides the ability to add commentary on the quality of the samples. In addition to the option of adding commentary, embedded within the showcase are options for listening to the samples, adding customized attributes such as gender and age range and the option to either accept, or reject voice samples. Depending on what each client’s unique requirements are for selecting voice over talent, this extension of our robust multimedia solutions provides the collaborate means for streamlining the overall voice over selection process.

Among all the topics discussed and debated at LSCon 2015, we learned that the prospect of English audio via text-to-speech drew the most interest. Welocalize is helping companies reduce some of the associated costs involved in multimedia localization with our text-to-speech services. The Welocalize TTS multimedia service offering helps clients with a cost-effective alternative and can be used for learning courses, instructor-led training content, training videos as well as online help.

We would be happy to engage with any global company and discuss how Welocalize can enhance the learning experience for your stakeholders.  If you would like a demonstration of our voice-over and text-to-speech solutions, contact us today.

Special note of congratulations to Spencer Buck from the Wisetail team, the lucky winner of our Beats by Dre™ raffle!

Matt
Matt.gaitan@welocalize.com

Based in our Portland, Oregon location, Matt Gaitan is a Regional Business Development Director at Welocalize.

Localization of Multimedia Learning Content in the Energy Industry

512830771Global energy companies have ongoing training needs for their remote workforce, relying on expert training curriculum and extensive libraries of training materials in subjects ranging from human resources, compliance, health and safety and equipment operation, as well as other industry topics.

Delivering these training courses to an international workforce can often be a legal requirement. If training has not been conducted correctly, then the outcome can be fatal. The energy industry involves a lot of complex, highly technical machinery and equipment, which is often used in adverse conditions, for example oil rigs, operated by a workforce that speaks more than one language.

Quite often this training source content has been originally developed for a monolingual English audience and the need for translation arises as an afterthought, which poses some challenges in the translation process. Training content in the energy industry often contains multimedia, predominantly audio and visual (AV) elements.

Successfully delivering a turn-key product for AV productions involves several important factors from a project management standpoint which must be driven by the language service provider (LSP). The LSP must work closely with the client, collect the right information and review the source AV images, sound and transcript before any studio work is completed. Before any re-recording takes place to produce localized versions, there are a number of steps which must take place to ensure the successful localization of AV training materials:

STEP ONE: INFORMATION GATHERING. The first key step is to obtain important information before starting any AV localization activity:

  • Target languages and audience (particular countries or even regions within)
  • Company terminology and glossary
  • Correct pronunciation of technical terms in that language
  • Locally accepted pronunciation of name of the company and brand products
  • Female or male voice choice

STEP TWO: SCRIPT. The translation of the script and its flow is of particular relevance in AV productions for complex subjects. To successfully localize training programs from source to locale, you must work with translators who are highly specialized in script writing and trained to detect culturally appropriate language for the target audience. Generating a straight translation of the source script will not fully (or correctly) localize the content for the target audiences.

The translator working on the new localized scripts must have the images of the video prior to translation to ensure proper language flow and that new words and phrases are suitable for the visuals.

STEP THREE: IMAGES. It is often recommended to adapt and localize images, for example certain colors or images may be of particular sensitivity affecting the overall intended message.

STEP FOUR: VOICE TALENT. At this stage, samples of the voices selected for production are sent to the client for in-country selection approval process before the recording takes place. This step is critical, as it will save time and cost at a later stage, ensuring the client is satisfied with the voices selected before the voice-over takes place.

STEP FIVE: REVIEW AND APPROVE. Finally, the new translated script is sent by the LSP to the company for internal review and comments before bilingual talent works on the recording at the studio. Once the translation is completely approved by the client, the voice-over will take place. If the material and language combination is of particular complexity, we recommend a language monitor to be present during the recording. Even at that stage, the flow of reading the script may need to be slightly adjusted to obtain a perfectly seamless product in the foreign language. Languages with 30% expansion factor tend to crowd the audio or present difficulties in the synchronization of images. At this point, the presence of an experienced language monitor will make the difference to resolve this in a linguistic appropriate manner but once again, without losing the original intended message.

There are some growing trends in the localization of learning materials, such as text-to-speech, which have been developed to minimize eLearning localization costs and increase turn-around speed for producing vital multilingual training materials. An experienced LSP will have good use and access to the latest technological innovations and methods for learning localization.

Localizing high impact content in the energy industry requires specialized languages services that can assure quality and speed are aligned to the desired outcome. In an industry as complex and fast moving as the energy industry, it is vital that clients work with an experienced LSP that has knowledge and access to the right technologies and expertise to help deliver multilingual training programs to an off-shore and international workforce.

Cristina Didone, Welocalize Advisor

Read Cristina’s debut on the Welocalize blog, Translation is Key for RFP Writing in the Oil & Gas Industry

Click here to find out more about Welocalize’s language services to the oil & gas sector.

cristinaCristina Didone was the CEO and founder of CD Language Solutions (CDLS), which was acquired by Welocalize in May 2014. Cristina has over 20 years of experience in the language industry and has particular expertise and knowledge about the energy sector. In this blog, Cristina talk about some of the key steps needed to ensure successful localization of audio-visual (AV) learning materials for global companies in the energy sector.

Welocalize Sponsors Learning Solutions Conference and Expo 2015

Frederick, Maryland – March 23, 2015 – Welocalize, global leader in innovative translation and localization solutions, is proud to participate in the upcoming Learning Solutions Conference and Expo, taking place in Orlando, Florida, March 25-27, 2015. As sponsors and exhibitors, Welocalize will meet with learning professionals at booth #607 to discuss global language strategies.

Welocalize helps global organizations and leading learning solution providers maximize the value of their learning content by providing translation and localization services in more than 157 languages, for all types of learning content, formats, LMS programs and learning technologies.

Welocalize’s Tuyen Ho has also been selected to present at LS DemoFest, a collective showcase of eLearning examples where delegates can see eLearning in action. The demonstration, titled Selecting Voice-Over Talent, offers useful tips and examples in choosing the best voice-over resources for learning programs and content localization.

Event attendees will be able to take part in the Welocalize Voice Challenge at the Learning Solutions Expo at booth #607. Welocalize language experts will answer critical questions about text-to-speech (TTS) versus voice-over talent. Demonstration attendees will also receive free analysis comparing costs and turnaround time along with voice sample evaluations. Learn more about the Voice Challenge at http://www.welocalize.com/voicechallenge.

“Welocalize will be meeting with learning decision-makers to discuss their translation and localization requirements for eLearning and content distribution,” said Jamie Glass, vice president of global marketing at Welocalize. “Our on-hand learning localization experts will share proven best practices and valuable insights on multimedia, voice-over, text-to-speech, languages and building content for global audiences.”

The Learning Solutions 2015 Conference and Expo is for training and learning professionals. The event focuses on providing solutions and expertise in the design, development, management and distribution of technology-based learning and blended learning solutions incorporating classroom training models.

For more information about the conference and expo, visit http://www.learningsolutionsmag.com/lscon/content/3600/learning-solutions-2015-conference–expo–home/.

About Welocalize – Welocalize, Inc., founded in 1997, offers innovative translation and localization solutions helping global brands to grow and reach audiences around the world in more than 157 languages. Our solutions include global localization management, translation, supply chain management, people sourcing, language services and automation tools including MT, testing and staffing solutions and enterprise translation management technologies. With over 600 employees worldwide, Welocalize maintains offices in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Ireland, Japan and China. www.welocalize.com

Defining a Successful Software Localization Program

185519875Mark O’Malley, Bernice McDonagh and Jörg Bauer focus on software localization programs at Welocalize. Together, they have over 25 years of experience working in the localization industry. In this blog, they highlight some of the key steps and components of a successful localization program that helps software companies sell into international markets.

Software localization projects can be complex and may involve cross-functional teams, specialized technology and numerous interrelated parts tied to our clients’ development and release schedules.

Key components of software localization projects include:  User Interface (UI), Help Systems and Documentation.

As we work through the different stages of a localization project, we often tackle components in parallel to maximize efficiency and meet deadlines. This is essential, as clients move to a sim-ship requirement needing localized software products available at the same time as English. For more information on sim-ship, see Welocalize blog Software Localization and Meeting Sim-Ship Expectations.

What do we need to ensure a successful software localization program?

First, we must know our clients and understand their products, their business strategy and their expectations regarding localized releases. This will impact the solutions that we offer and will influence how we build our project teams and organize project work. For example, products which follow an agile and/or sim-ship development methodology are likely to have different resourcing requirements compared to products which follow a more traditional development and release strategy.

Core program teams are made up of experienced project managers, language and functional leads. The project manager oversees the preparation, planning and execution phases of projects and will work closely with the project team to ensure that the scope and requirements are clear, to identify key milestones and to develop suitable localization plans and schedules. The project manager will also manage the budget throughout the lifetime of the project and will work with the project team to monitor variances and report to the client on a regular basis.

A key area for the project manager is the consideration of potential risks, dependencies and constraints when planning software localization work. For example, a product which will release to media may have in-product help or video content and, if so, the localization milestones for the documentation will have to be properly aligned with software localization milestones.

Communication is key to ensuring successful completion of projects and the project manager should define and agree communication channels and escalation paths with their project team and with their client contacts at the earliest stage. It is helpful to have an agreed communication channels with specialists on the client side to resolve any blocking issues that may arise during the translation and production cycles. Clear and open channels of communication assist in having all parties up to date with status. This allows the project teams at the client and lead LSP operate as an integrated unit. Everyone knows who to contact and it helps minimize the occurrence of unexpected surprises later in the project.

At Welocalize, we assign translation work to qualified linguistic resources that have expertise in the subject matter. Whatever the tool used to create source components at the client, we have internal processes ready to extract only translatable content out of the source files so that translators can easily work on the content and don’t have to struggle with unfamiliar tools or applications. A key part of the planning and set up phases is ensuring translators are comfortable with the defined translation tools and workflow required to complete the project. We have machine translation programs in place now for many clients. With machine translated content being widely used, expertise in post-editing is now also a requirement.

The project managers and language coordinators work with clients to make sure that translators have access to approved references and relevant product information. Based on the evolving needs of the program, we organize training and kick-off sessions with translation teams to make sure that they are clear about the latest requirements.

After translation, the source text is overwritten with the translation and checked for issues that might have been introduced by the localization process. For example, UI dialogs will be resized and hotkeys adjusted. In online help and documentation, the layout and, in the case of Asian languages, the font is also adjusted. Screenshots, audio files, videos and other localized graphics are created for software localization.

Before product release, we will also do a comprehensive testing cycle on the full software build. This can include layout, functional and language dependent checks by native speakers.

A robust defect management system and a well-defined workflow will ensure that defects identified during QA cycles are processed in a timely and consistent manner. It will mean that project managers and functional leads have visibility on status for defect fixes at all times. Such a system can be crucial to aid decision-making ahead of critical milestones and ultimately allow us to successfully deliver the signed-off final product to the client so they can launch internationally.

Mark, Bernice, Jörg

If you are interested in software localization, you might also want to read: Software Localization and Meeting Sim-Ship Expectations, Role of Quality in Four Stages of Software Localization, The Internet of Things and How it Affects Localization

Download Welocalize White Paper on Software Localization: A Bug is a Bug in Any Language

Localization Planning for Your Multimedia Marketing Campaign

186909274The days of spending big budgets to produce a marketing video has changed. There was a time when producing a video involved many hours of preparation, dollars and a team to hire out to produce it. Times have changed. Every year, new technology comes out to make it easier and easier to produce a marketing video to show the world your message.

YouTube is the second largest search engine, making the power of video huge in reach and awareness. One viral video on YouTube can reach millions and a viral video on YouTube that has been localized can have a much wider reach.

A typical scenario today is that a global marketing team comes up with the video to demonstrate or sell your product. The video is produced in English for a campaign, targeted mainly to the market in the US. There is an opportunity to make this typical scenario more rewarding for a global marketer’s campaign with higher potential ROI. Different methods of multimedia localization can help to open up the video to a global audience.

An experienced top-tier localization company like Welocalize can take the video and either add subtitles or voice over (VO) in more than 22 languages, expanding the reach worldwide so the initial production costs spent to produce the video benefits more customers and local markets. Certain video messages do not have to be completely re-recorded and produced, whereas the cost can be prohibitive for such scale of original productions. Using subtitling and VO opens up the possibility to get the most out of your initial multimedia investment.

How can localization benefit a general marketing campaign or program?  Multimedia files using audio and video (AV) have increasingly become an important part of marketing, training materials and corporate communications for companies wanting to effectively address a global audience.  Here are two example of how you can benefit from localization and increase your target audience.

  • Marketing Videos: Using the YouTube channel for business purposes is part of Internet marketing. By creating a company channel and posting videos of company products, services and news events, this activates a media channel that is accessed globally. Taking the source content, adding VO or subtitles extend the reach of key campaign messages.
  • E-learning Presentations: For e-learning content, images taken from the Web or from personal cameras can be merged with text and some graphic design to create striking multimedia presentations. These can be used in-house, with clients, or as presentations that are downloadable from the Internet. All of this content, with localized VO or subtitles, can further maximize marketing ROI and increase online “searchability” and rankings.

How can Welocalize help? Our team can open up all of your multimedia assets to the global market. Even when the project is in development, our team can assist in helping to setup the project so the source content is easy to be localized.

Michael

Michael.anderson@welocalize.com
Based in California, Michael Anderson is a Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize.

Recommended reading: Welocalize’s Guide to Multimedia Localization

Follow this blog by subscribing today.  We will be sharing other multimedia topics by Welocalize film-expert Michael Anderson, including:
• Creating localization-friendly multimedia content
• The different options when localizing video
• How to organize your assets to reduce localization costs

Mobile Marketing and Social Media are Required for Global Reach

175791939The usage of smartphones phones is on the up and global marketers should make a resolution to use mobile as a key branding platform in 2015. The dramatic increase in the use of mobile as a platform has altered the business and marketing environment.

According to a report by eMarketer, the global smartphone audience will have reached 1.75 billion by the end of 2014. In a 2014 report by Nielsen, US adults spend on average 34 hours per month using the mobile Internet (compared to 27 hours using PC Internet). This shift towards mobile has changed the way we access content and marketing materials. This presents global marketers with new and exciting ways to engage with customers and generate sales. Teamed with the rapid growth of social media, these two modern-day phenomena’s have changed the way we market to our customers around the world.

Here are three reasons why you should integrate mobile social media marketing into your global marketing strategy:

It is Widely Used for Communication

Reaching local customers globally is tough, so mobile marketing is hard to ignore. It’s safe to say that the mobile phone is one of the most popular methods of communication. Use it to your advantage. Marketing via mobile shows that you are in touch and up-to-date with your industry and audience. If your audience is using mobile as a primary form for learning and communication, then so should you.

Social media now touches most of our lives with billions of posts and views every day. According to a recent Shareaholic study, the eight biggest social networks (Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, StumbleUpon, Reddit, Google Plus, LinkedIn, and YouTube) contributed 31.24% of total traffic to Web sites in December 2014, up from 22.71% in December 2013.

These social media channels allow the ability to create and share of pictures, ideas and information. Running a social media campaign, using mobile as a key platform can be a good way to reach new, international audiences. If not you, consider your competition. People are constantly checking their various social media feeds and most of it is accessed via a smartphone. This type of marketing, for B2C and B2B, is proven effective for starting conversations and building brand awareness.

One very important consideration for publishing social media content through a mobile platform is language. If you are running a mobile marketing campaign, consider how the content will appear on a mobile platform and device. Smartphones have relatively small screens, so be selective with source content and make sure translation won’t lead to too much text expansion or misalignment. Plus, social media is a two-way engagement. You must be mindful of feedback and comments that may not be in the source language.

It is the Reality of Our World Now

Accessing social media networks via a smartphone actually boosts a user’s activity. You are 79% more likely to visit Twitter several times in the day if you access it via a smartphone. Three times as much content is shared via mobile than on a PC on Pinterest. Social media is becoming an important part of a marketer’s everyday life.

It is important to know how much of the world you can touch in a given tweet, post or share.  Today, content needs to be thought of as universal and localized to benefit the global opportunity.  Language is key, along with cultural awareness to ensure your content is viewed relative and favorably for your brand.

It Extends Your Reach to Growing Markets

Disregarding social media and mobile marketing means you are alienating at least two groups of people: adolescents and twenty-something’s, along with many of the inhabitants of BRICI countries (Brazil, Russia, India, China and Indonesia).

The BRICI countries (who are accountable for almost 15% of global GDP according to Boston Consulting Group) have four times as many mobile phone subscriptions than PCs, making mobile marketing extremely lucrative.

Smartphones and social media are the domain of many adolescents and millennials. Referred to as the “Net Generation,” this group spend a significant part of their day using social media. If you can tap into social media, you can tap into their world. This makes localizing your social media campaigns even more important. Campaigns will need to be adapted to meet the demographics and extend into BRICI country languages and cultural requirements to really be global.

Younger generations who have grown up on mobile, social media and the Internet will also have different content expectations. Some of the YouTube generation may expect content to be published in only English and therefore you may NOT have to translate the content. For other social media content, translating it to very high quality standards may be a waste of time and money. As long as users get the gist of product reviews, then they’re OK and it won’t reflect badly on the brand.  This is viewed as customer sentiment.

These two groups are particularly important and opportunistic, as they promise longevity for your brand. Market to the younger generation and you have the opportunity of keeping them as customers for a longer period of time. Market to the BRICI countries and their surging economy can only mean market expansion.

Whatever medium you choose to market and communicate with your customers, whether it is through social media or your website, you can safely assume that your customers are likely to be accessing this through a smartphone.  Including mobile social media marketing into your global marketing campaign not only means being up to date, it also secures your company’s brand recognition in the future. As well as formatting social media campaign to be compatible for mobile platforms, global marketers must also ensure they are speaking the right language, linguistically and culturally.

If you’re a global marketer looking to generate simultaneous global campaigns, find out more about Welocalize’s Global Marketing Localization Services, info@welocalize.com

Other Welocalize blogs on global marketing you might find interesting:

Go Local to Go Global: The Importance of Localized SEM for Global Marketing Campaigns

How to Localize Global Marketing: Welocalize & Videojet

Top 10 B2B Marketing Trends for 2015

What is Transcreation?

Examples of Successful Transcreation

Localizing E-Learning: Pros and Cons of Voice-Over versus Subtitles

92129255Senior Multimedia Engineer at Welocalize, Michael Anderson, looks at the pros and cons of using voice-over and subtitles in localized e-learning materials.

Multimedia is often used extensively in e-learning materials and in some global marketing materials. A key component of any visual or audio content is the use of subtitling or voice-overs to tell the story. Which one you go for will affect the localization process, depending on the audience, course content and locale.

Consider the scenario: Your e-learning course has been built and you are ready to publish. You have on screen text mixed with voice over narrative. Do you choose to localize with a voice-over narrator or use subtitling?

One is not better than the other; however, a few factors come into play when deciding the best route to go.  Here are the various pros and cons of using voice-over versus subtitling for e-learning content:

VOICE-OVER (VO)

Recording VO in studio and syncing to source audio track

VOICE-OVER PROS:

  • Multilingual voice-overs make localized courses look and sound complete and professional, as if it were built for that locale from scratch.
  • Avoids over-crowding of on screen text and captions.
  • Easy to listen to and follow, therefore e-learning makes more impact.

VOICE-OVER CONS:

  • Voice-over can be more expensive than subtitling: voice talents costs, studio costs, engineering syncing costs.
  • Multiple speakers can mean multiple voice talents required which can generate extra cost.
  • Some script translations can result in significant expansions which will need longer syncing and timing.

SUBTITLES

Adding text to the lower third of the screen that follow along with the [source] narrator

SUBTITLE PROS:

  • Ensures target audience is seeing subtitled content.
  • Does not change the source audio track.
  • Subtitling production is less expensive than voice-over.

SUBTITLE CONS:

  • Additional text added to the screen can cause crowding and with text expansion, the screen gets buried with tons of text.
  • Following subtitles on screen, especially with complex material, can be tricky especially if it is combined with on-screen animation.

To help make the right decision, you need to consider what the key objectives, messages and audiences are for the e-learning course. Welocalize has a global multimedia team, available to analyze the source files and provide advice on whether voice-over or subtitling would be the option for localized versions.

For optimum localization, it is often a good idea to consider localization from the start, at the planning stage. That way, the source content has been developed with localization and translation in mind.

Michael

Michael.anderson@welocalize.com

Based in California, Michael Anderson is one of Welocalize’s senior multimedia engineers.

Read more about multimedia and e-learning in the Welocalize whitepaper: Welocalize Ready for Global Learning Guide to Multimedia Localization

 

 

 

Seven Rules for Graphics in Technical Communications

452217709Graphics and images form a crucial part of almost all communication materials, especially in technical documentation where the use of complex engineering diagrams is common. In this blog, Welocalize DTP Consultants Elaine Abbott and Sue Rigby share their seven golden rules and tips on how you can optimize source graphic files for localization in technical communications.

Humans recognize images better than text. Text and image excite different parts of the brain. A good image aids the memory to visualize. It is easier to depict a complex process or technical procedure using a flowchart or detailed graphic. Good technical authors will include graphics in their communication materials and these graphics will need to be localized for global distribution. One basic rule is to create graphics with localization in mind.

Seven Considerations for Developing and Localizing Graphics

1. Graphic Preparation

Technical manuals and documents contain many complex graphics and those graphics may require the insertion of translated text to complete the illustration. Provision of these original graphics is very important. Graphics such as flowcharts and diagrams may have been obtained from a variety of sources within an organization or from previous documents. Over time, it is quite common for the original source files to be untraceable. Graphic files may have been converted to .jpg or .tif format and simply inserted into the document. This can cause challenges in the localization process as the graphics then cannot be edited.

Providing access to text layers in the original graphic file format will increase cost savings and time required. For example, in order to localize a .gif or .jpg file, the original Photoshop (.psd) or Adobe Illustrator source file is needed along with overall style guides that were used to create the original graphic: color information, preferred fonts, design specifications and export or save settings.

If the original graphic is not available and you have to supply a non-editable file, then your language service provider (LSP) can create a new text box; overlay it onto the original graphic thereby covering the original text. This is possible if the original text is on a white or solid background; however, more difficult if the background is not uniform, such as the gradient background in the illustration shown:

gradient example

Challenges with graphics in the source language files will be multiplied by the number of languages being translated into for the project.

2. 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% and languages such as Russian can be up to 40% longer. Once the text in the graphic is translated, text expansion can cause problems with the original layout of the graphic.

SOURCE CONTENT

source content example

FRENCH TRANSLATION CAUSES TEXT EXPANSION

frech translation example

Minimize issues by using numbered call-outs instead and allowing for text expansion in the source.

call-outs example

CALL-OUTS CAN PREVENT PROBLEMS WITH TEXT EXPANSION

3. Use of CAT tools

Localization of graphics is usually carried out with the use of computer assisted translation (CAT) tools, such as SDL Trados. There is software available that allows LSPs, like Welocalize, to automate the extraction and insertion of text from graphics created in some packages such as Illustrator or CorelDraw into .rtf format for use with this CAT tools. Other graphic formats may require a more manual labor intensive copy and paste approach.

Try to avoid any text in graphics in the first place and create the text in the main documentation itself. This ensures that the text will appear “in sequence” to the translator and also allows for the text to be incorporated more easily into Translation Memory (TM). If the text must be adjacent to graphic elements, try to position it in such a way that there is some horizontal space for text expansion. Ensure that the text is in a text box and that no hard returns are contained within the paragraph. When the TM tools analyze segments, the text is usually segmented at a logical break such as a hard return. As an example, inserting a hard return into a paragraph so that a long sentence description can fit into a narrow text box can negate the benefits of using CAT tools. It may also simply mean your LSP takes longer at the file preparation stage, having to spend time (and money) deleting the hard returns ready for the TM analysis.

4. Build Terminology Glossaries and Translation Memories (TMs)

Building glossaries and TMs means your team of translators will become familiar with products and standard documents and manuals, which is important when localizing technical publications. Using a consistent team will mean you will establish a library of graphics that can be quickly and efficiently localized.

5. Provide a List of Graphics

When supplying source files to your LSP, provide a list of all graphics along with their respective formats and information relating to each graphic. For example, which graphics do not have translatable text, graphics that do include text and where the respective pages and files can be located.

6. Localizing Screenshots

If you pictorially display screenshots as graphics, localized versions of the software must be made available so new screenshots can be taken. These are especially important as a source of reference for the translator to ensure exactly the correct terms used in the software are used in the translation.

7. Keep Graphics Culturally Generic

Take into consideration the culture or religion of the country. Each culture has different value systems, varying beliefs and interpretations of non-verbal communication. For example, in China the color red and the number eight are considered lucky. In Japan, black and the numbers four and nine are considered unlucky.

Elaine Abbott and Sue Rigby are both Senior DTP Consultants at Welocalize and are based in the UK.

Elaine.abbott@welocalize.com

Sue.rigby@welocalize.com

 

 

Website Localization and the Rise of HTML5

Write Once, Deploy Everywhere by Ronan Kavanagh

523184357If your organization has multilingual websites and a large number of mobile device users, adopting HTML5 could be an important move for your business. Many companies are already deploying it to better manage their websites. In fact, HTML5 is coming on strong as a standard.

Why HTML5? According to Ian Jacobs, recommendations editor for the World Wide Web (W3C) Consortium, “There are two driving forces behind this evolution. First is the proliferation of diverse devices that, coupled with the variety of browsers, greatly complicate life for developers, who want to ‘write once and deploy everywhere.” He also noted, “…the Web has now embraced the social networking model and when you can tap into that, you can reach many more customers.”

So how does HTML5 fit into this movement? It makes development across multiple platforms more efficient. “Developers of software for the World Wide Web say the new HTML5 standard is revolutionizing the way the Web evolves, works and is used,” noted technology writer Gary Anthes. “It is simplifying the work of programmers, harmonizing access to diverse devices and applications, and giving users amazing new capabilities, they say.

HTML5 also includes new markup features that directly help the website translation process, improving formatting and making multilingual web content easier to understand.

  • HTML5 supports a more semantic style of markup that allows for meaningful tags, and simpler, more understandable coding when dealing with multilingual content. For example, HTML5 users can apply a new attribute – a simple “no” or “yes” code – to direct their translation partner as to which content to work on. This eliminates the previously drawn-out process of annotation or list making.
  • HTML5 makes it easier to handle both left-to-right languages like English, and right-to-left languages such as Arabic and Hebrew. Using other tools, developers often come across formatting problems, particularly when both kinds of languages are featured side by side. HTML5 includes a new ‘bdi’ element to help authors of bi-directional content override the Unicode algorithm that sometimes results in mistakes in punctuation, numbers and bullet points.
  • HTML5 offers an enhanced version of ‘ruby’ annotations commonly used when marking up East Asian languages that use characters. The markup is usually used to help explain pronunciation to readers. The new HTML5 tags are helpful when authoring content and in translation from, or into, non-alphabetical languages.

In truth, HTML5 isn’t the second coming and it isn’t an officially ratified standard — yet. The spec continues to edge closer to completion; however, and when combined with JavaScript and CSS3, HTML5 can do some really incredible things. This is particularly true for mobile devices.

A de facto requirement for any modern mobile operating system is the inclusion of a modern HTML5-compliant web browser. The leading modern mobile platforms — iOS and Android — both use WebKit as their bases. Likewise, BlackBerry and HP/Palm are also using WebKit and Microsoft has released a mobile version from Internet Explorer 9 for Windows Phone 7 and above.

What this means is that out-of-the-box, modern smartphones and tablets support the bells and whistles that make HTML5 so special. It also means that developers can feel free to use those technologies when creating their applications and not have to worry that the device itself won’t support a particular function.

We are already seeing and advising some of our major clients on how to approach the conversion and localization of online content, such as Flash courses to HTML5. With Welocalize’s in-house experience and expertise, we are truly plugged-in to key, emerging technologies that help develop and localize truly brilliant global websites.

Ronan

Ronan.kavanagh@welocalize.com

Based in Dublin, Ronan Kavanagh is Software Lead Engineer at Welocalize. He has a degree in multimedia and web mastering and has over 10 years experience in the localization industry.

Three Reasons Why You Should Localize Your Website

187454050The simple answer is because it’s the world wide web.  According to independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory, 72% of consumers spend most or all of their time on websites in their own language and 90% choose a native language website when available. Only 27% of Internet users speak English as their first language. Globalization experts note the fastest growing consumer market opportunities today are in developing countries.

The web provides a direct route of communications and business to billions of potential global customers. A company website is typically the main digital marketing asset utilized by an organization to reach people. The content on a company website forms the basis of a global business – not just branded marketing materials, it often contains e-commerce and customer service features.

A company .com presence has the highest reach potential impact of branded material, accessible by anyone, anywhere, providing they have Internet access. According to the United Nations, nearly 3 billion people around the world will have access to the Internet by the end of 2014.

When we want to buy something or have a query about a product or brand, what’s the first thing we do? We reach for our laptop, phone or tablet and look for that information on the web. The Internet is crammed full of sites and content, all competing and vying for attention and hits. Localizing your website, its content and user interface (UI), demonstrates your organization is truly global and shows respect to your international customer base.

What are the main reasons for website localization?

To create the best user experience possible. A localized website will increase web visitor retention or “stickiness.” Creating a web experience at a local level speaks directly to your customers and makes them want to buy into your brand promise. We all want to create the best user experience at every touch-point customers have with our brand.

Scaling up global reach of your website will scale up your global business activity. Launching multilingual versions of your company website is a quick and (relatively-speaking) economical way to expand global business operations. Localization can lead to growth and increased brand equity. Content posted on the main website can also be linked and accessed via the growing number of social media channels which enable more two-way conversations with customers. This also means you have to speak to your customers, in their language, in all communication channels that stem from the main website.

To reduce risk. Publishing material in the native language reduces the risk of content being misunderstood and misrepresented. Each geographical territory will have varying levels of standards, best practices and legislation as well as cultural and religious norms that have to be met in order to do business around the world. Access to support documentation in the native language prevents any ambiguous interpretation of content, technical and otherwise.

Many modern websites today go way beyond static information. Many host numerous dynamic elements, often including multimedia components such as video, audio and graphics. As well as hosting a variety of content types, a website also needs to be found and accessed on all popular platforms. Translating keywords is not enough. SEO localization is a key component of a website localization strategy as is adapting website content to be accessible and readable on all platforms, including mobile. Effective website localization requires a multi-tiered global team of web localization experts including globalization advisors, linguists, content reviewers, SEO specialists, web engineers, testers and project managers.

The return on investment of website localization can be measured directly by monitoring the increase in site visitors and sales to each language-version. This makes website localization easily integrated into the overall global business strategy and any budget justifiable to key stakeholders.

Louise Law, Communications Manager at Welocalize

Louise.law@welocalize.com

Welocalize specializes in website localization, working with the world’s leading global brands in driving awareness, reach and engagement across the globe. Contact us today if you would like further information about our web localization experience and expertise. Click here to see Welocalize’s Guide to Web Localization.