Why Translating Safety Documentation is a Great Investment

Why Translating Safety Documentation is a Great Investment

In the construction and manufacturing industries, the presence of native Spanish-speaking workers has been steadily increasing in the United States. It is essential for companies that value their diverse workforce to ensure that all employees fully understand safety procedures and regulations to prevent accidents. One effective solution to bridge the language barrier and promote workplace safety is by translating safety documents. 

In this blog post we’ll explore valuable insight to guide you through this process. 

What do we mean by safety documents?

Safety documents encompass various materials that prioritize the safety and well-being of employees while ensuring compliance with corporate policies and national safety standards. These documents play a vital role in communicating essential information and procedures to create a safe and productive work environment. Some examples of safety documents include health and safety policies, personal protective equipment policies, general warning labels, machinery safety manuals, emergency procedures, and incident/accident report forms.

Which documents should you translate first?

Before embarking on the translation process, it is crucial to identify the most critical safety documents for your employees’ well-being. Assessing the areas where language barriers might hinder understanding is key. For instance, if certain machinery or material handling processes frequently lead to incidents, prioritizing the translation of related manuals and warnings can significantly enhance the efficacy of safety measures. 

Who should work on the translations?

When the need for translation arises, it may be tempting to resort to bilingual employees. However, relying solely on their language skills is not a great idea, as they may lack the expertise required for precise translation. It is highly recommended to collaborate with seasoned translators who possess expertise in both language translation and health and safety protocols. 

Professional linguists, whether freelancers or language services providers, understand the importance of industry-specific terminology and consistent language usage. They undergo academic and professional training to convey information clearly and correctly, taking into account cultural nuances and your company’s tone. By working with these experts, you can ensure that your translations maintain the highest standards of quality

In addition, involving your employees in reviewing the already translated documents is crucial, as they can offer valuable insights and help identify any potential terminology discrepancies. This collaborative effort ensures that the translations align with your organization’s goals and values. 

For future translation needs, if translating materials at different times, it is preferable to have all translations completed by the same translator or translation team to maintain consistency. Otherwise, subsequent linguists should meticulously review previously translated content while utilizing style guides and term bases, if available. This approach ensures that the translations remain cohesive and adhere to established standards. 

The Takeaway

Investing in the translation of safety documentation is a crucial step toward ensuring the well-being of your diverse workforce. By identifying and translating the most important documents, you can bridge the language gap and enable effective communication of essential safety procedures. Collaborating with professional linguists who understand both language and health and safety protocols will yield accurate translations and maintain consistency across materials.  

Translated safety documents empower your employees, reduce the risk of accidents and potential lawsuits, minimize equipment damages, and safeguard your company’s reputation in the industry. Remember, your translation partner will guide you through the process, ensuring a smooth and successful journey toward enhanced workplace safety and productivity. 

Does Culturalization Impact ROI

Does Culturalization Impact ROI?

We have previously covered why culturalization is often necessary to unlock global success for brands and product launches in new markets. Now let’s analyze whether this strategy has an actual impact on ROI. After all, that is the ultimate goal when you expand globally.

What is culturalization and when is it needed?

Let’s start from the beginning. What is culturalization and when is it needed? Culturalization takes translation a step further to make linguistic and non-linguistic changes that can make an impact. This may include changing imagery, colors, jokes, music, or cultural references to better suit a target audience.

Some real-life examples of culturalization can be seen in the video game Age of Empires and the movie Inside Out. In 1997 Age of Empires was released and featured a historical event in which Japanese forces from the Yamato dynasty invaded the Korean peninsula and took over the Joseon Empire during the Middle Ages. The problem? While the majority of historians believe this event occurred, the Korean Ministry of Information claims it never happened. In order to launch this game successfully in Korea, Microsoft had to decide if they would change history in order to make their game appeal to this new target audience or maintain historical accuracy. In the end, Microsoft’s solution was to release a Korea-only patch that changed that specific scenario to having the Joseon Empire invade Japan (which never happened).

In the film Inside Out, a father tries to feed his toddler broccoli but the child dislikes it. This is a relatable and funny scene in the US where many kids don’t like broccoli. However, in Japan, children don’t have the same dislike of broccoli, but they do dislike bell peppers. In the Japanese version of the movie, the broccoli was swapped with bell peppers to make the scene as impactful in Japan as it was in the US. Including broccoli in the Japanese version of the film wouldn’t have caused offense, but it also wouldn’t have had as much of an impact. These two examples show the different solutions culturalization can bring to the table.

How culturalization improves ROI

If we want to discuss culturalization ROI, what we really need to consider is whether building relationships with customers and strengthening a bond with them really impacts your ROI in the long run (this is known as “relationship marketing”). Understanding the culture and values of an audience, as well as what drives potential clients in a certain market becomes crucial if you want to create a bond with them and nurture those relationships.

If your product does not take into account the particularities of a target audience, no matter how good the product is, it has very little chance of being successful. This is because two things can occur. It can fall flat or it can cause offense unintentionally—either way it fails.

Why Culturalization and Not Just Translation

When you incorporate culturalization into your global expansion strategy, you’re making sure that your product will be well-received and you won’t be getting yourself in trouble. Essentially, culturalization sets your product up for success.

The whole point of culturalization is adapting content to appeal to specific markets and cultures. If you stop at the translation or localization step, you may discover that your content or product is not attractive to a given audience and therefore your efforts have been in vain. Yes, they will be able to understand it, but they won’t be motivated to engage with it in a meaningful manner. Especially not to an extent that will make them want to continuously consume your content or buy your product.

The Takeaway

If your content is good and is culturally appropriate, chances are you’ll get more clicks, more conversions, and ultimately a good ROI. Additionally, you will have strengthened your brand, as well as gained loyal customers that can become your local advocates everywhere. All of which can help you find global success.

The Role of Linguistics in Preventing the Spread of Fake News - Portada

The Role of Linguistics in Preventing the Spread of Fake News

Today there is greater access to information than ever before and that accessibility grows by the day. While the internet, traditional media, and social media all play a positive role in spreading knowledge, there are times when these platforms are used to spread misinformation (whether it is done so knowingly or not). Thanks to the rise of social media, falsehoods that have the potential to cause great harm can spread rapidly. The algorithms social media brands use to encourage engagement can unfortunately help increase the speed at which misinformation spreads. As of late, misinformation (which is often referred to as fake news) has spread about very important topics such as issues relating to politics and health.

Work is being done to help combat the damage that fake news can cause and social media companies are attempting to shed light on which content is inaccurate by adding links to posts that direct users to official and updated information on the matter.

During the coronavirus pandemic, for example, we saw a lot of this happening in regard to drugs and vaccines, and many platforms deployed algorithms to detect this type of content and block it — especially social media platforms.

Unfortunately, the responsibility to engage with accurate content too often falls on the consumer, especially for those who engage in social media in languages other than English.

The Role of Linguistics in Fake News

The topic of fake news is gaining international relevancy and experts are using linguistics as a means to detect and prevent misinformation from spreading. Linguists in Norway at the University of Oslo are teaming up with computer scientists and artificial intelligence researchers at the independent research organization SINTEF to work to expose the language commonly used in fake news, which they are dubbing “Fakespeak”.

While this interest in learning more about how to fight the spread of misinformation online is excellent news, not everyone in the world is lucky enough to be exposed to these warnings, as oftentimes these detection mechanisms are only implemented and analyze text in English and a handful of mainstream languages. Many of these algorithms have yet to be programmed to work for less commonly spoken languages.

The Importance of Language Accessibility

It’s essential for social media platforms to consider other languages when they implement initiatives designed to help combat the spread of misinformation, as language accessibility is the key to equality when it comes to sharing information worldwide. Nowadays, many people learn the news via social media platforms and they don’t fact-check the information they are reading — they trust what they see.

As the internet continues to play a bigger role in our daily lives, it’s important that these platforms make conscious decisions about this and try to protect as many people as possible. Otherwise, they risk endangering their users who may make important and potentially life-threatening decisions based on the information they engage with.


The Challenges of Localizing L&D Content

Localizing learning and development (L&D) content can help global companies massively expand their training resources. Adapting L&D content not just into a target audience’s native language, but taking cultural differences into account, can help you create more engaging and effective educational materials.

Before you launch your next L&D localization project, read on for some of the challenges associated with this process that you should be aware of.

Selecting the Language

Although English is the most widely spoken language throughout the world, that doesn’t mean that the majority of English speakers are native speakers. As tempting as it is to save time and money by only creating L&D content only in English, be careful here. If your audience is lower in proficiency, they may struggle to gain a lot from your learning materials. Localizing the content to their native language can greatly help with engagement and retainment.

Working with Text, Audio and Video

One of the main challenges associated with localizing L&D content is the sheer scope of the project. You need to localize text, audio, and video content. Even design elements such as navigation buttons need to be taken into account during the localization process. After translating the file, the design team will need to make changes to the graphics and format of the content as the new language will present in varying lengths which can affect how the content looks and the timing of certain design elements.

Cultural Sensitivity

It’s important to find the balance between an effective e-learning course and the adaptation of particularities to accommodate the target audience. When you are adapting L&D content for a new audience, keep the following elements in mind and how they can best suit the needs and preferences of the culture you’re targeting.

Cost Effectiveness

It’s understandable why the cost is often top of mind when planning any project, but it’s important to balance cost-effectiveness with the work needed to create successful L&D materials. These are a few ways to reduce costs during localization without sacrificing quality.

  • Don’t localize until the source content is completely finalized. This will help you save time localizing edits made to the source content.
  • Provide native editable files to your localization team. Extracting text from PDFs and images or converting .story files into .xliffs is time-consuming and requires extra formatting work.
  • Choose between localizing subtitles or voice-over content. If you can’t afford to localize both, select whichever format plays a more prominent role.

Finding the Right Partner

Finding a partner that has the experience and the ability to advise as well as deliver a quality product is imperative to the success of a localization project. Localization requires a nuanced understanding of cultural differences and in the case of L&D content your project will benefit from the vast knowledge of e-learning best practices. Looking for a localization partner that can check off all these boxes can make a huge impact when it comes to the end result of your project.

The Takeaway

If possible, start thinking about your multilingual program from the very beginning. If you already have a monolingual course that you need to be localized into multiple languages, seek out expert advice. A localization partner with experience in localization of L&D content will help you determine how to proceed with each element of your training course.


How Culturalization Unlocks Global Success for Companies

Culturalization refers to the process of adapting a product, service, or idea to the cultural norms and values of a specific group or society. This can include changes to the language, design, packaging, marketing, and other elements to make it more appealing and relevant to the target culture. Culturalization is often used in the context of global business and marketing, so companies try to adapt their products and services to different cultural markets in an attempt to expand their business.

Keep reading to learn more about how culturalization unlocks global success for companies.

The types of content that generally need culturalization

Certain types of content can especially benefit from culturalization. Creative content—such as movies, literature, video games, and apps—in particular can benefit from this process. Marketing campaigns are a good example of content that can fall flat without culturalization. Advertisements, brochures, and other marketing materials should be culturally appropriate to ensure that they resonate with the target audience. This can include any written text, audio text, images, or music included in a marketing campaign.

Creative industries are not the only ones that should be mindful of the benefits of culturalization. Culturalization takes geopolitical affairs into account as well. Businesses in any industry can easily find themselves in trouble if they inadvertently cause offense. Even seemingly inoffensive things can be interpreted as controversial political stances. For example, what you call a country or the maps you display can be considered offensive even if they seem innocent at first glance to someone not from the target culture. Not only can a blunder like this upset a new audience you want to make progress in, it can cause you to waste a lot of time and money on an unsuccessful launch.

How culturalization works in practice

Culturalization compares a company’s content goals with the style of content that would appeal to its target market—to later reconcile the two.

This is why it’s so important to hire localization and target market specialists who have experience with culturalization and who are native to the target audience you want to enter. They will not only understand the language needs of the audience but will be able to help your content be as effective as possible by guiding you toward making choices that will truly resonate.

The takeaway

When it comes to culturalization, adopting a proactive approach where the content is appropriate for the target market from the beginning can avoid damaging the reputation of the brand and increase the chance of making a positive first impression. This proactive approach can help your brand save a lot of time and money cleaning up a mess you could have avoided in the first place. You can work with a seasoned localization team to create a strong culturalization strategy that will help your business achieve your goals.


Localization ROI: Can You Measure the Impact of Your Localization Strategy?

Our world is more global than ever before and companies who want to compete and thrive in a global marketplace need to invest in launches in new markets. One way to do this is by localizing all brand content to the new target market.

Before we dive in, it’s worth noting that the act of localization isn’t enough to drive progress and growth for a company. However, not investing in localization can make it hard to thrive internationally. While localization can be a revenue enabler, it can’t drive revenue on its own. Going into localization with the right mindset and expectations of what it can achieve, can help you better analyze your ROI.

Let’s take a closer look at why localization can be so impactful and why it can be challenging to measure the impact of your localization strategy.

The Benefits of Measuring Localization Impact

There are many benefits of localization that companies can enjoy, but in order to convince company stakeholders that localization is an investment worth making, you need to be able to articulate clearly what their return on investment (ROI) will be. The key here is to measure the impact of your localization efforts so you have cold, hard numbers to present to stakeholders that prove your investment was worthwhile.

It can be difficult to measure the true impact that localization offers. Why? Because localization is just one factor that can lead to success when you enter a new market. There are many other factors that contribute to finding success after launch, including the suitability of a given product for the target audience and the effectiveness of the marketing campaigns—amongst multiple other elements.

This makes it challenging to determine which revenue is actually being generated directly by localization. But just because it isn’t easy to measure the ROI of localization doesn’t mean doing so isn’t necessary.

Why Measuring Localization Success is Challenging

Metrics like how many words are localized per language or the delivery timeline only show how efficient a localization project is—they don’t really illustrate the impact of localization.

This is why it can be helpful to focus on measuring the strategic metrics that specifically impact your company. There is no one set standard all companies should follow. Depending on the company or product, it can be useful to look at other indicators, such as the number of visits to localized website pages, SEO rankings in a target region, and customer experience.

The Takeaway

So many different factors contribute to how successful a product is after it launches in a new market. It would be unfair to attribute all successes or failures to localization. The metrics you need to use to judge the success of localization can vary greatly and should focus on what measures success for your company. There is no set standard to follow here, as convenient as that would be.

That being said, it is usually helpful to examine metrics that take customer engagement and satisfaction into account, especially if your company is customer-centric.

At the end of the day, the ROI you want to watch out for is how impactful your localization efforts have been on customer loyalty and engagement.


What is a Localization Kit and Why Is It Useful?

By 2022, it’s projected that more than half of worldwide internet users’ primary language will be a language other than English. In today’s extremely global world, companies who want to expand their reach and compete in global markets need to localize their products. To effectively localize a product, a localization kit can be the first step toward success. Both the client and the localization team will benefit from a well-rounded localization kit which will make the entire process more seamless from the beginning. Keep reading to learn what a localization kit is, what it contains, why it matters, and who should prepare it.

What is a Localization Kit?

A localization kit is a set of files and documentation that makes it possible for an outside party to localize a product and it includes any materials required for localization.

Localization kits not only contain the materials needed to prepare a proposal (which includes a proposed cost and timeline) for localizing a product, but they also house any materials the localization partner needs to get the job done.

An effective localization kit will have everything the localization team requires to do a great job and should have clear documentation that outlines how they can use the contents of the localization kit.

What does a Localization Kit Contain?

Typically, localization kits contain the following assets:

  • Previous translations and their originals in order to ensure consistency across glossaries and to make project management easier.
  • The client’s preferred method of the directory structure, delivery method and dates, and any file naming conventions.
  • A monolingual glossary that clarifies any technical, trademarked, or abbreviated concepts.
  • The client’s language list which focuses on the target country’s language and regional dialects.
  • A contact list that makes it possible for localization vendors to quickly identify which parties are responsible for all areas of the project.
  • Information pertaining to the purpose, function and vision of the product.
  • Potentially a translation memory (TM) and an assessment of the current quality of the TM. That is, whether it should be followed strictly, or if it shouldn’t be trusted blindly.
  • References like screenshots and video demos.

Why are Localization Kits So Important?

Localization kits benefit all parties involved in a localization project. The client will enjoy a faster turnaround and higher quality work and the localization team will have all the resources they need to do their job well—without having to ask the client unnecessary questions.

Localization kits also help clarify the expectations of the client in an organized and efficient way which helps the client save time and money while avoiding unnecessary misunderstandings as all parties involved will be aware of the scope of the project, limitations, and expectations before getting started. A good localization kit also makes it possible to anticipate potential challenges and avoid them.

Who Should Prepare a Localization Kit?

The localization kit should be created by the client and provided to the localization vendor so they will have all the necessary files and details about the project they need to get started.

When a manager prepares a localization kit, their efforts can go a long way towards avoiding future roadblocks.



At Terra, we’re proud to be a women-owned company and to have 72% of all leadership positions occupied by women and non-binary individuals and throughout our company. Overall, we have a 73% representation of women. Which is why celebrating International Women’s Day is so important to us, as is working towards gender equality and women empowerment in the translation industry and beyond.

Some of the Challenges Women Faced and Continue to Face

The UN has defined one of their main Sustainable Development goals as striving to “Ensure women’s full and effective participation and equal opportunities for leadership at all levels of decision-making in political, economic, and public life.”

While you may think numbers in the localization industry are better because the vast majority of translators are women, we still see that leadership positions are mostly held by men. According to Nimdzi, only 17% of the companies featured in the Nimdzi 100 ranking are women-owned or women-run.

Knowing the challenges women historically faced and still face today is an essential step towards awareness, which is necessary to fuel action. In particular, there is still a lot of work to be done in regard to:

  • Gender gap in salaries
  • Gender-based discrimination (being a mother for example, can lead to less fair career opportunities for women)
  • Lack of women representation in leadership positions

Improvement has been made in these areas, but there’s still a lot to do if we want to work towards true equality. According to BoardEx data, only 5% of CEOs are women and 19.2% of corporate leadership team members are female. About 28.2% of board members are female, the study found. However, many of these women were appointed to non-executive roles, which are often centered on board oversight rather than real decision-making power.

What Can We Do to Support Fellow Women?

We’ve come a long way. But the truth is that the progress we’ve seen throughout history is thanks to the contributions that other women have made through the years. So, we encourage fellow women in the language industry to look for local organizations, so they can learn more about the different initiatives and how they can help them reach their goals.

These are a few of the organizations Terra supports:

  • Women in Localization: This nonprofit organization has a mission to foster a global community for the advancement of women and the localization industry by providing networking, education, career advancement, and mentoring opportunities to women in the localization industry.
  • Women in Games: Women in Games aims to build a fair, equal and safe environment that empowers girls and women to join and thrive in the global gaming ecosystem.
  • Chicas en Tecnología: This non-profit organization in Argentina works to reduce the gender gap in technology in that region by motivating and training the next generation of women leaders in technology.
  • Enterprising Women Magazine: A national and global magazine for female entrepreneurs that celebrates achievements by women and provides valuable resources.

These organizations are ones we are proud to support, but there are many others doing good work in this space. Spend some time researching where your volunteer efforts can make the most impact.


4 Brand Blunders that Transcreation could have Avoided

Entering a foreign market can be a great move if your goal is to grow your business by reaching new audiences. However, this goal welcomes a unique set of challenges. When it comes to translating content into different languages, brands can make major blunders that impact their success in a new market—especially if they don’t take the target country’s culture into account.

To better understand how mistakes can occur, we’re going to look at four real-life examples of brands who had major blunders occur after entering new markets. Blunders which could have been easily avoided with market research and transcreation.


To celebrate the 40th National Day in the United Arab Emirates (UAE), PUMA launched a new shoe design using the country’s flag colors. This seemed like a great marketing initiative at first glance. The problem? The shoe included a respected symbol on an item that is considered very dirty in Arab culture. Puma didn’t intend to cause offense, but by not taking the cultural sensitivity surrounding this symbol into account, they caused mass offense, had to issue an apology, and needed to remove the shoes from stores.

Hiring a target market specialist who is familiar with the local culture and what is considered offensive could have helped avoid this disastrous launch.

P&G for Pampers–1970s

In the 1970’s P&G for Pampers ran a campaign in Japan that seemed really charming at first glance from an American perspective. The ad included a stork delivering diapers to a mom. Storks are frequently associated with delivering new babies to their parents in America, but in Japan folklore tells stories of newborns arriving via a giant peach floating down the river. While the inclusion of a stork didn’t cause offense, it didn’t strike a chord either and consumers simply ignored the commercial which wasn’t an effective use of marketing dollars. A skilled transcreator may have known that the commercial wouldn’t resonate and would be a bit of a flop. They could have helped create a high-quality final product.


Pepsi entered China using a slogan that they intended to translate to “Pepsi Brings You Back to Life.” What the phrase actually translated to? “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave.” Ancestor worship is an important part of Chinese culture, so this slogan did not have the effect it intended. Not only could a transcreator with proper knowledge of the local language and culture have translated the phrase properly, but they could have ensured no major culture faux pas occurred.

Braniff Airlines—1987

In the late 1980’s Braniff Airlines ran ads on televisions, radios, and in newspapers to let everyone know that their jets had luxe all-leather seats. In the Florida market, they ran ads on Spanish-language radio stations. The result? Accidentally revealing an unintended double entendre. Their slogan for the campaign was “fly in leather”. In Spanish, this translates to fly “en cuero” which sounds like Spanish slang for “fly naked”. While some suspected this scandalous move was intended, the executive who created the ad confirmed the double entendre was in fact an accident.

Again—this could have been an easy mistake for a transcreator to catch.

We all make mistakes and that’s okay, but whenever possible, it’s very helpful to learn from the mistakes of others! Especially when you’re spending a lot of time and resources to launch in a new target market.

6 Skills Every Localization Project Manager Needs to Have

6 Skills Every Localization Project Manager Needs to Have

An effective localization project manager is someone who has a unique skill set that combines planning, organization, people management, communication, and other valuable skills. This role often involves taking on the responsibility of getting localized products to market and the global success of the company can be greatly impacted by the outcome of localization efforts. It’s understandable that it takes a lot of experience to manage such a large responsibility.  

The following skills are ones all strong localization project managers need in order to efficiently and effectively execute their responsibilities.


One way to meet deadlines and to keep the whole localization process moving along is to have strong planning skills. The better a localization project manager plans out a project from the get go, the more likely they are to oversee a smooth localization process. Taking the planning stage seriously can result in less stress for the localization team and better results for the clients. One thing all good localization project managers plan for is risk management, which involves managing intentionally and systematically the uncertainties that may occur during the course of a project.


To keep a good plan running as it should, organization is key. Localization project managers need to oversee a lot of details regarding linguistic, technical, cultural, and administrative choices. Keeping a localization team updated and on the same page, as well as coordinating work efforts with other departments, requires excellent organizational skills. Adopting tech resources like TMS and CAT tools can really come in handy here.

People Management

Localization project managers oversee a team and interact with many different departments within the client’s organization. There will also be times when the localization project manager needs to work with other localization specialists and their team which may include linguists, engineers, testers, and desktop publishers. Logistics can get extremely complicated on localization projects as many of the collaborators may be scattered across the globe, in different time zones and may be part of different cultures. All this adds to the challenge when it comes to managing people.

Being able to delegate, help solve conflicts, and generally interact well with both internal and external collaborators is important. 


Speaking of working well with others, knowing how to communicate properly can be really helpful when working as a localization project manager. Being able to communicate clearly and concisely is ideal, especially when defining project protocols, deliverables, and deadlines. The last thing you want is for a misunderstanding or a lack of communication to derail a localization project. This is especially important considering localization project managers frequently speak English while interacting with people around the world whose mother tongue is other than English. Making sure everything is absolutely clear and understood is vital.

Technologically Savvy

Localization projects can involve emerging and cutting-edge technologies that may be new to the localization team, which can lead to quite a learning curve. Being technologically savvy and willing to learn and adapt can make it easier to understand new technology that is the focus of your localization project. Identifying and selecting the technological tools that will help initiate a smooth workflow is an important part of what localization project managers do. 


Last, but certainly not least, a localization project manager can benefit greatly from being flexible as localization projects tend to involve a great number of variables. It’s often necessary to shift priorities without much warning in order to redirect a localization project and to keep things moving along. Working out solutions quickly and creatively is something all localization project managers need to do from time to time and being flexible can be a very valuable asset. 

The localization project manager is an extremely important player in a localization project. Localization project managers guide all parties involved in the project so that it goes smoothly from start to finish and its success is not compromised.