How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews
30/04/2024

How Localization Can Play a Role in Good and Not So Good App Reviews

These days, consumers spend a lot of time on their smartphones and much of that time is spent engaging with apps. Why? Some apps are really fun and some are super convenient. From playing games to checking emails to navigating a new city to ordering food, smartphone apps play a major role in our daily lives.

If an app developer wants to capture the attention of multiple markets (and they stand to gain a lot by doing so), then they need to prioritize localization. Here’s why.

Why localization can boost reach for developers

When you develop an app for a user, you have to do just that — develop the app for their exact needs. It’s only natural a user won’t go out of their way to understand an app that isn’t in their native language.

When you localize your app to the languages spoken in your target markets, you make yourself a stronger competitor in the space and can compete with local developers who designed their app with their local population in mind.

While it can be very tempting for developers to turn to machine translation to make the process of localizing their apps faster and more cost-effective, this usually isn’t the best way to go. Why? App content typically is made up of short strings of text that have little to no context. Machine Translation can struggle to accurately translate this style of content. You need human involvement to translate and test this content effectively.

How localization can influence app reviews

Localizing your app helps improve the user experience and that can lead to much stronger app reviews. Understandably, if someone struggles to understand and navigate an app due to a language divide, the true quality of the app won’t even be taken into account. A frustrated user who walks away from an app due to a language divide isn’t going to leave a positive review and may even leave a bad one.

You don’t want to sleep on reviews. Having good reviews helps your app rank higher in the app store. Which means when consumers are searching for apps, they’re more likely to find yours.

Important considerations when localizing

When you do start the localization process, there’s some important factors worth keeping in mind.

To start, you don’t want to only focus on the language your target audience speaks. You also want to pay close attention to their culture. You want the content of your app, as well as the form and functionality, to resonate with your audience and to be intuitive to use. This is why it’s a great idea to hire a localization expert who is from the region you’re looking to target, since they have a strong understanding of the local culture.

It’s also important to test your app before you launch. The last thing you want is to receive bad reviews because you didn’t perform a quality assurance test before launching.

Why is Localization So Important to UI and UX - Portada
12/03/2024

Why is Localization So Important to UI and UX?

In today’s economy, customer-focused strategies have become the key to success, and companies need to stay ahead of their customers’ needs and expectations if they want to remain competitive. Increasingly, companies are needing translations that speak directly to their customers not just in a language they understand, but in a way that respects their culture and resonates with them. This is why localization is so important to UI and UX.

But What’s the Difference Between UI and UX?

User Interface (UI) and User Experience (UX) are two closely related but distinct concepts in the field of app development. The main difference between UI and UX is that UI focuses on the surface-level design aspects of an app or online tool, while UX is focused on the overall experience a user has when interacting with a product.

UI design is all about creating attractive, visually appealing elements for users to interact with, such as images, colors, layouts, menus, buttons and more. All of these components make up the interface of an app. A successful UI should be intuitive and easy to use; it should also be aesthetically pleasing to look at. For example, if an app includes lots of buttons or other objects that are difficult to understand or navigate around then its UI likely needs to be improved.

UX design deals with designing a product in order to maximize user satisfaction. It’s not just about making something look good; instead, it’s about creating an enjoyable user experience by taking into account factors such as usability, accessibility and convenience. UX designers strive to create products that not only look great but also provide a smooth and intuitive interaction for users so they can easily achieve their goals. UX designers often consider how users will complete tasks within their products as well as other elements such as branding and marketing strategies that can contribute to user satisfaction.

In conclusion, UI focuses on the visual aspects of an app’s interface while UX focuses on optimizing the overall experience a user has when using a product. Both are essential components of developing apps with high levels of user satisfaction which must work together in tandem for successful app development projects.

The Role of Localization

When it comes to UX, design, culture and language are closely tied together. All of these elements—and the sub elements of each—work together to create an experience that the user is drawn to. As a result, localization can really make or break that experience.

If you have an impressive UI but your localized content overflows because it’s longer than the space available, it will not look pretty. For example, if you’re localizing content into a language that is read right to left, then the whole design will need to be mirrored. The chosen color palette also plays a role, as colors are associated with different meanings in different cultures. If your product includes images or say, emojis, those should also be checked for cultural appropriateness in the target market.

Last, but certainly not least, let’s consider the linguistic quality of the localized content. If what the user reads on screen is not up to par, they may also decide to stop using the product. All these aspects, and many more, impact the usability of a product and may damage the experience of the user.

Conclusion

Localization should never be an afterthought but rather a priority during the product development process. By taking the time to consider all potential adaptations that may be necessary in the future, you’ll save yourself both time and money down the line. The most important thing is to always create a UX that resonates with users, regardless of which market you’re targeting. Have you made localization a priority in your product development process? What tips do you have for creating a UX that resonates with users?

06/02/2024

Why Demos & Training Sessions with Your Localization Team Matter

It’s easy to think that if you need something translated, the first thing you should do is find a translation vendor and simply send them your materials to translate. More often than not, it’s not as simple as that, as there are many aspects that need to be evaluated before the kickoff if you want to properly execute a translation project. For example, an employee handbook about company policies will have very different translation needs than a mobile app or video game.  The complexity of translation projects can vary widely and if what you’re really expecting back is a quality translation that is not only accurate but also effective, then just handing over materials for a translation won’t do the trick.  

The truth is that a lot of thinking and knowledge went into creating your product or materials. To get to the final product you have today, a lot of time and hard work was put into it, and only the people that worked on it and developed this product know all its specificities.  

There are ways you can help your localization team get to know your products. Let’s talk through why you should consider doing demos and training sessions with your localization team.  

Understand Product Functionalities and Specifics 

To start the localization process on the right foot, it’s crucial for the localization team to understand the product’s functionalities and specifics. This is why aside from having a detailed style guide and product description or other specs document, it’s a good idea to have a demo of the product with some training for the localization team. That way, project managers and linguists understand the product and are able to see it “in action”. 

Let’s look at video games as an example. If you can, it’s a good idea to give translators access to the video game or to a beta version of the game so they can familiarize themselves with the mechanics of the game and see the product from the gamer’s perspective. In the case of mobile apps, it’s important for the translators to see what the app does and what the UI and UX look like. When working on its translation, translators may only see loose strings of text with little to no context. If you can give them access to play around in the app or video game, they will be better equipped to provide accurate translations.  

If you cannot grant direct access to the product, you can conduct a training session where you can showcase the different functionalities. This is a great opportunity for people involved in the project to get familiarized with the ins and outs of the product and ask questions about it.  

Consider the Length of Project 

The other reason it can be a very good idea to familiarize your localization team with your products through demos and training sessions is so they are more prepared to assist you with translation needs on an ongoing basis. These types of projects are usually ongoing, as video games and apps usually have regular updates. If you already know that continuous localization will be needed, then you can greatly benefit from working with a team that knows your product as well as you do.  

Another timeline concern to keep in mind is that it is highly advisable that you accommodate for demos and training sessions in the timeline of a localization project as it can really make a difference in the result and take your localization to success

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Multimedia Localization Provider
23/01/2024

5 Factors to Consider When Choosing a Multimedia Localization Provider

84% of consumers have made a purchase because of a company’s video. If you look around, it won’t be a surprise that video content is taking over. The success of video content is a great example of the power that multimedia content has to offer. Video content often combines graphics, audio, and text to make a powerful statement.

Given the growing popularity of multimedia content, it makes sense to pursue new customers in new markets using the multimedia content you already created. You know that this style of content performs effectively because you’ve tried it in your local market. While it may seem like a direct translation would make it possible to take this content to a new market, it isn’t quite that simple.

Adaptations are often necessary to connect with a new audience and to ensure that this multimedia content resonates with them. But how do you even get started? You find a multilingual localization provider—but not just any partner. You need to find a partner that will understand your business and your project, and who can help you get to these new markets successfully.

These are some of the aspects worth considering when talking to localization providers and selecting them.

1. Communication

A good localization provider should be ready to learn all about your project and not just explain how they generally do things. Pay attention to how they communicate. In the event you want to pursue a long-term relationship, communicating effectively will be key.

Are they friendly? Are they responsive? Your project and your launch are the most important thing to you, so you want to have the peace of mind that they’ll be there to support you every step of the way.

2. Expertise

In every interaction you have with a potential multimedia localization partner, assess whether they are asking you the right questions. Taking note of the questions they ask you will inform you if they know their stuff and if they have worked on similar projects before.

It’s also a good idea to inquire about their specialty fields. If you are in healthcare, engineering, or any other highly technical industry, you want to make sure the people working on the project are industry experts.

3. Project Management

Once you carefully cover the project characteristics and needs, you should analyze the project scope, workflow, and timeline of the project. You should also inquire as to who will oversee the execution. Will there be a dedicated project manager? Again—the importance of working with someone who is totally devoted to the success of your localization project can’t be stressed enough.

4. Vendor Management

Multimedia localization projects need many professionals to work together towards the success of a project. Translators, transcreators, editors, graphic designers, DTP specialists, video editors, subtitlers, voiceover actors, and voice over directors are just some of the team members you need on your side.

It’s important that you make sure that your localization partner has a pool of talented individuals available for each of the services your project will need. This will help you avoid having to look for more providers for specific services and will guarantee consistency across all your content.

5. Scalability

It’s likely your project will evolve and grow once you start seeing the results of localization. You may want to localize the multimedia content into more languages or may decide to launch new modules of an e-learning course. It’s recommended you assess whether this provider has the capability to scale in volume and target languages and if they can handle other types of content and formats. That way, when you’re ready to take your next steps in the localization journey, they can continue to support you.

The Takeaway

You generally only get one opportunity to launch your product or service in a new market successfully. If it doesn’t go well on that first try, your brand can lose credibility and you may damage your brand’s reputation.

First impressions matter—so make sure that when you select a multimedia localization partner, they give you the confidence that they will guide you to success.

Video Game Localization 101: The Player Comes First
12/12/2023

Video Game Localization 101: The Player Comes First

Over the past decade, video games have skyrocketed in popularity, leading to increased awareness among game developers and marketers about the importance of prioritizing player experience and satisfaction. Localization, the process of adapting video game content for specific regions, has emerged as a vital aspect in ensuring players feel fully immersed in the world created for them.

Let’s explore the concept of video game localization and its significance in creating a captivating and culturally sensitive gaming experience.

Defining Video Game Localization

Video game localization involves reproducing game content that seamlessly blends with the target region, giving the impression that it was originally created for that specific audience. While translation is a crucial component of localization, it goes beyond mere language adaptation. Localization encompasses altering elements such as the game’s name, art assets, packaging, and manuals, as well as accounting for cultural and legal differences to resonate with the target market. The primary goal in video game localization is not strict fidelity to the original but rather entertaining and engaging the players, sometimes requiring modification of elements that could hinder their experience.

The Ultimate Goal: Immersion

An immersive experience is the ultimate objective in video game development, and localization plays a vital role in achieving this in the localized versions of the games as well. By taking the various audiovisual elements video games rely on (such as narration, dialogues, songs, cinematics, on-screen art, etc.) and adapting them in context, localizers strive to maintain the seamless integration of linguistic and non-linguistic aspects. This immersive experience enhances player satisfaction and contributes significantly to the success of a game.

The Role of the Video Game Localizers and Their Choices

Localizing a video game is a multifaceted job that involves making numerous decisions based on linguistic and non-linguistic considerations. Localizers employ different techniques, such as transcreation and culturalization, to ensure the best possible outcome. Transcreation involves creatively conveying meaning when a direct translation won’t do, whereas culturalization focuses on adjusting the game’s content to suit the cultural sensibilities of the target audience. These approaches are vital for maintaining immersion and avoiding misunderstandings or offensive content that could disrupt the player’s experience.

The Importance of Quality and Testing

Given the intricate nature of video game localization, quality assurance through thorough localization testing is crucial. Once the localization process is complete, rigorous testing is conducted to identify and rectify any bugs, issues, or inconsistencies that may hinder the player’s experience. Localization Quality Assurance (LQA) evaluates the visual, functional, and linguistic aspects of the game to ensure its seamless integration and optimum performance. By prioritizing quality and testing, developers can deliver a polished game that captivates players and maintains their immersion throughout the gaming journey.

The Takeaway

Video game localization is a vital process that ensures players across different regions can fully immerse themselves in the gaming experience. By combining linguistic adaptation, cultural sensitivity, and quality assurance, localizers play a pivotal role in creating a seamless and engaging journey for gamers. By putting the player first, video game localization helps to maximize player satisfaction and contribute to the overall success of the game. With the ever-growing global gaming community, prioritizing localization will continue to be essential in delivering unforgettable gaming experiences.

2 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ask for a Localization Rate Sheet
21/11/2023

2 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Ask for a Localization Rate Sheet

Before booking localization services, clients typically reach out to several localization specialists to ask for their rate sheet. That way, they can compare different providers and how much it will cost to work with each one. Good approach, right? Not exactly.

It’s understandable that businesses have budgets they have to keep top of mind. However, asking for a rate sheet and comparing your localization options by just analyzing their rate sheet may not be the best route to take when you start out on a localization journey. Why? Keep reading to find out.

What is a Rate Sheet?

A rate sheet is a document where a vendor lists how much a client would pay for a given service. In the localization industry, rates are usually expressed per word and per language pair.

Rate sheets can also include what the discount matrix for repetitions and fuzzy matches will be if the content can be worked on using a CAT Tool.

Reasons Not to Ask for A Rate Sheet

Now that you know what a rate sheet is, let’s look at some reasons why it’s not beneficial to ask for one.

Not All Projects are Created Equal

The truth is that each client brings a unique project to the table. In order to determine a fair rate for the work that needs to be done, it’s essential to dive deep into the project and for the localization partner to understand its specific needs before they can determine a rate.

A localization partner should analyze elements like type of content, volume, specialization, number of languages, rounds of edits and quality assurance, project management, format of the files, and deadlines in order to determine a rate. They would also take the need for a dedicated lead linguist and formatting and design requirements into consideration.

Rate cards don’t take the specific needs of a project into consideration. Some projects might require more steps than just translation. For example, creative projects that need transcreation or files with specific designs that need to be reformatted and adapted to suit the target market or the target audience.

The subject matter of the project is another important factor that may influence cost. It’s not the same to translate a legal contract that will require the use of specialized legal translators or an e-learning course that might need an experienced project management team that will know how to handle the different types of file format, the extraction of the content, and the localization of the content included in the course. Another example of this is when a video may require subtitling by a specialized audiovisual translator that knows about temporization and other specific rules that apply to that medium.

Rate Sheets are Vague

When you ask for a rate sheet, it won’t likely specify what is included within that rate. Numbers can be very misleading and while it may seem logical to choose the most affordable vendor in order to free up room in your budget, you need to make sure you don’t accidentally cut corners by doing this. You always want to work with professional and specialized translators.

Be very wary if the vendor you are choosing has low per-word rates, because that means they might not be working with native professional translators who are experts in the target market and industry, which is absolutely essential to get a good quality final product.

A serious partner would learn all about your project, ask about all key details, and then would create a customized proposal.

The Takeaway

There’s no formula for pricing a localization project. A project rate should always be calculated on a case-by-case basis. However, once a client becomes an established partner and they get thoroughly familiar with the type of content they work with, a customized rate sheet could be established for ongoing projects to facilitate budgeting and provide transparency to both sides.

The Road to Global Success_ The 5-Step Journey of Video Game Localization
17/10/2023

The Road to Global Success: The 5-Step Journey of Video Game Localization

In the ever-expanding world of gaming, video game localization has become a crucial component for achieving global success. With a strong localization strategy, game developers can bridge the gap between different languages, cultures, and markets, providing players with an immersive and engaging experience no matter where they are in the world. However, taking a game from one language to another is no easy feat. It requires a strategic approach that involves careful planning and execution across every aspect of the game’s development.

Let’s walk through the 5-step journey for video game localization that can provide developers with a roadmap towards achieving global success.

Globalization

This first stage typically falls under the jurisdiction of the developers, publishers, or experts/consultants they hire to analyze market viability, who must carefully study the possible markets in which the game will be sold, advertising tactics, legal issues, and various other factors. In this way, they can gear the gaming content and marketing approach towards the specific cultural and linguistic preferences and needs of these different markets. The goal of globalization is to make the game appealing to as wide a range of international consumers as possible and to gain a competitive advantage in the global marketplace.

Internationalization

The next step is internationalization. Here the game is analyzed carefully to determine the best approach for translating it into different languages. During this phase, the files are prepared and any potential issues are taken into account. For example, the team will look out for character limits that could affect certain languages and check if all fonts support special characters. This level of attention to detail is essential to ensure that the localization stage goes as smoothly as possible.

Localization

Once the globalization and internationalization steps are finished, it’s time to move on to localization. This is where the actual translation happens. The video game’s texts are extracted, translated into the necessary languages, and then imported back into the game. However, not all elements of a video game can be directly translated—sometimes, transcreation and culturalization are needed. This is especially important when it comes to story, characters, and tone, and involves adapting the content to fit the cultural nuances and expectations of the target audience. It can be a challenging process, but one that’s absolutely essential for successful video game localization.

Localization Quality Assurance

After completing the translation process of a video game, the localized game enters into the last step which is known as LQA (localization quality assurance). The objective of LQA is to test the overall quality of the translation and how well it fits with the game in context. This stage is crucial as it can be the determining factor in providing a seamless gameplay experience for the players. LQA comprises three essential elements: linguistic, visual, and functional QA. Who performs this step may vary, as sometimes game translators are responsible for this stage, while other times the concerned company can have an in-house team in charge of this or outsource it to a third party.

Testing

At this stage, a tester, who is not the translator, tries out the game, which usually takes the shape of playing the game and searching for various issues and bugs, which could be anything from cut-off text to poorly functioning design features. This thorough testing ensures the final product is not only free from linguistic errors but also runs smoothly for a seamless and enjoyable gaming experience. Testing is typically done by a testing company or an individual hired for the task.

The Takeaway

The road to global success for video game companies is a challenging but rewarding journey. By following these five essential steps, video game developers can effectively adapt their games to different cultures and languages, creating a more inclusive environment for gamers worldwide. As the industry continues to grow and diversify, proper localization will remain a critical element of success, helping video game companies to reach new heights of achievement and global recognition.

How to Juggle Quality, Speed & Cost in Your Next Localization Project
12/09/2023

How to Juggle Quality, Speed & Cost in Your Next Localization Project

In an ideal world we would always get what we want when we want it for the best price at the best possible quality. The localization industry is no exception to these expectations. Which is why it’s important to find a way to juggle quality, speed, and cost when planning a localization project.

Companies in need of localization services are always balancing these three important factors:

Quality

Quality is understandably a very sought-after quality in localization. The content that requires localization usually ends up in front of an end customer or user and it has the potential to generate more revenue for the company.

Presenting your audience with a high-quality product is more often than not the key to success within a market. In order to achieve quality, several steps need to be taken—from making sure you’re working with seasoned professionals, to working with the technology that reduces the chance for human error, to performing additional quality assurance steps.

In your pursuit of quality, you’ll quickly notice how quality impacts the two other factors you need to balance—speed and cost. When it comes to a quick desired turnaround, some things can’t be rushed and each step requires spending the appropriate amount of time on it to ensure quality. Achieving quality also involves choosing the right vendors, technology, and additional services, all of which can impact cost.

Speed

When it comes to turnaround times, your specific needs may vary. If you have an upcoming launch, you may have no choice but to meet a tight deadline. In this case, there are a few ways you could save time:

If, however, you’re not in a rush and have started analyzing your options with plenty of time, this won’t be a factor for you.

Cost

It’s very likely that you have a budget for your global growth strategy. Because of this, when contracting services, cost becomes a very important element.

If your budget is on the smaller side, omitting quality assurance steps will also allow you to cut down costs. The fewer people involved, the less expensive a localization project is. Who does the work also may affect your budget, as highly skilled professionals often have more expensive rates. If you’re looking for high-quality translations, we advise against employing a bilingual friend and skipping quality assurance steps.

Another cost-effective solution could be to use machine translation. Quality will most definitely be impacted by making this choice, but you can improve the quality of machine translated content with the help of post-editors who can make the necessary corrections to achieve a human-made translation level of quality.

The Takeaway

As we always say, localization shouldn’t be an afterthought. If global growth is in your business plans, think in advance what your priorities are so that these factors don’t weigh you down on your path to success.

How are Translation and Localization Project Rates Calculated
22/08/2023

How are Translation and Localization Project Rates Calculated?

It’s always important to keep budget top of mind when planning a translation or localization project and it’s equally important to understand how pricing for these types of projects work. Translation rates are usually represented with a number, but the truth is that underneath this number there are many layers that contribute to it. It’s worthwhile to understand what is actually being covered with any given rate, as this will vary from vendor to vendor.

Keep reading for insight into seven factors that can influence translation and localization rates.

Source Word Count

One of the main factors that influences pricing for translation or localization projects is the word count of the source document or the page count when the word count is not available (for example, in a scanned PDF). But in general, rates are always calculated per word and per language.

Languages and Specialties

Translating into some languages can be more expensive than others. This is because in some language combinations, professional translators are scarce. For example, translating English into Japanese may be less expensive than translating Vietnamese into Japanese. When English is involved, there’s a high chance the rate will be lower as there will be more availability of trained linguists.

Another aspect to consider here is the subject matter of the content. Highly specialized content will be more expensive to translate than something more general. For example, in the case of simulation video games, you may have farming simulators, fishing simulators, flight simulators, etc. So not only do you have to think about finding a qualified translator in a given language, you also need to consider the fact that they are trained in a specific field. Some specialties (particularly in a rare language combination) cost much more than others due to their technical nature or the scarcity of professional translators that have that unique expertise.

Timeline

How quickly the project needs to be completed also affects the rate. If there is a short timeline, the translator will likely have to work long hours in order to meet the deadline—which can increase costs. In the case of a very big project, the work will likely have to be managed by several linguists, and then reviewed by an editor or proofreader to make sure everything is consistent. There’s also the challenge of finding linguists that have the availability to work with a tight deadline.

Volume

Your project may consist of thousands of words or just a few lines. When the content that needs translation amounts to a few thousand words, the cost may be calculated using the final word count or the content may be run through a CAT tool in order to analyze how many matches or repetitions it has. Using CAT tools is a great way of optimizing a localization budget, as you will pay less for content that is repeated.

Typically, a CAT tool analysis report will divide matches into:

  • 0 – 74 % Match
  • 75 – 94 % Match
  • 95 – 99 % Match
  • 100 % Match and Repetitions

It’s worth noting that when you have a loose string of only a few words, a minimum flat rate may apply.

Desktop Publishing Needs

Your content may be a simple Word document with plain text or a highly formatted PDF with tables and graphics. If the intention is that the final document looks exactly the same, then a Desktop Publishing Specialist will need to work on all the non-editable images and adjust formatting so that everything looks polished. You need to be aware of the fact that some languages expand significantly. This means the exact original design will very likely not work for the translated version. A formatting fee may also apply depending on the characteristics of each project.

Quality Assurance Process

In the translation industry, the TEP (translating, editing, and proofreading) process is most often the standard approach to a translation or localization project. A translation plus an editing and proofreading step can guarantee a high-quality deliverable, but in some cases these three steps won’t be necessary and in others more QA steps are recommended.

For example, once the translation has undergone DTP, a Post Layout Review is recommended to make sure no typos or other issues (such as segmentation) were introduced during the design step. If you’re working with highly creative content, then doing a back translation to make sure the message intention is kept may be a good idea. Or in the case of a website a testing step where a linguist actually navigates the website like a user would and flags any instance where something is off can provide a lot of value.

Project Management

As you can see, translation projects are not as simple as they may seem at first glance. There are multiple aspects to be considered and a lot of coordination and management is required to execute a localization or translation project successfully. In projects that are big in volume, involve a number of languages, and have complex workflows, a project management fee may apply. This fee provides the translation team with the resources they need to bring a project manager on board to oversee the project and to ensure that the workflow runs smoothly.

The Takeaway

Translation prices and schedules are always project-specific. Discussing the characteristics of your project with your localization partner will guarantee that the rates you’re offered are in line with your project’s needs and provide a customized service.

How to Select a Localization Partner  - Portada
25/07/2023

How to Select a Localization Partner 

Localization projects are big undertakings, but they can really help your products stand out in a new target market. Finding the right localization partner can make the whole process easier and more effective.  
It can be helpful to keep the following characteristics in mind when choosing a localization partner.  

Target Market Expertise 

Ideally, your localization partner will have experience localizing content for your specific target markets or any target markets you hope to enter in the near future.  

Localization Process 

Look for a localization partner with a well-defined localization process in place that achieves consistency and takes advantage of prior translation work to translate new projects more effectively and to help stop unnecessary problems from arising.  

Automation 

A strong localization partner will take advantage of tools that enable automation to ensure everyone can work faster and more effectively. Additionally, the localization company you are considering should have the ability of integrating easily to your tools and workflows through APIs. 

QA Process 

The localization partner will ideally follow a well-defined testing process that incorporates both linguistic and visual testing into their workflow. It can also be helpful to work with someone who is able to do functional testing in case that need should ever arise. 

Technical Expertise 

You will want to work with a localization partner who can demonstrate a strong technical experience in regard to tools such as development technologies, software file formats, desktop publishing software, and help systems. 

Project Management 

Localization projects are complex and involve a lot of different players and components. Having a streamlined project management process can help keep a localization project running smoothly

Update Management 

Updates are often needed in the midst of a project and after a project commences. You want to work with a localization partner who is comfortable quickly implementing changes mid-project and post-project as needed. 

Domain Expertise 

It can be extremely helpful to work with a localization partner who has a similar domain expertise as you or who works in the same industry (such as healthcare or education). Having the ISO 17100 standard is also very beneficial, as one of its requirements is that the translators working on the projects have a degree in translation or a certification. If you select a localization partner who is ISO 17100 certified, then you can trust they work with well-trained translators. 

Translators 

The right localization partner for you will be one who enlists trained translators who are native speakers of your target language. Working with native speakers will make your localized content sound more natural to your target audience.   

Portability 

Look for a localization partner who can provide you with key interim deliverables such as a translation glossary, style guide, and translation memory at no extra cost, and in portable formats. 

Integrity 

Last, but certainly not least, you want to work with a localization partner who has integrity and makes you feel comfortable that they will properly communicate about what they need to complete the project well and in a timely manner

Questions to Ask 

When interviewing potential localization partners, it can be helpful to ask the following questions: 

  • What distinguishes your company from your competitors?  
  • What specific services does your company offer? 
  • Does the company have any areas of specialty
  • What is the project manager turnover rate?  
  • Will we work with the same project manager consistently? 
  • What does your translator selection process look like?  
  • Can we expect the same translators to work on future projects?  

Taking your time to find a localization partner vs a just localization vendor is your best chance at project success. You may even want to consider conducting training sessions with the localization service provider to train the team on the specificities of your product.