Top Five Key Aspects of Localized Content
Localization is the process of translating content into a local language within the frameworks of social, legal, religious, political and other aspects. It is not just about translating content but about a multi phased complex process that has to be planned well in advance and should include market research as one of the integral part of the overall systematic scheme of things.
Let us explore top five key aspects of localized content in this article including:
#1 Exact Content Interpretation
Are you ready with the means to tackle common problems faced during content interpretation? NO. Then ready ready, NOW! We all know that one of the most crucial aspects of localization process is exact content interpretation. How much easy it may appear, in reality, it is the most challenging job for a translator to execute flawlessly. Translators have to translate the contents in a particular language and at the same time have to consider the local sensibilities. Their job is to convert text in a local language all the within the flavors of the local sentiments. Their real challenge lies in ensuring that no text, sounds or gestures violate the local rules or hurt the emotions of the local people, who in fact comprise their target group. The translated content should reflect the exact meaning as the original content.
#2 Market Segmentation
Market segmentation is another very important aspect of the localization process. One must be ready with a proper research on the market areas to be targeted through localization. In depth market segmentation helps underline specific and targeted territories and hence save a lot of time and money arising out of issues caused by the an unclear specification. Points to remember while segregating market territories:
1. How many and which territories to target?
2. Is the translator familiar with the local language and cultural flavors?
3. Has the localization team brief the translators about the Dos & Don’ts of related to the new market?
4. How will content developers and other localization specialists strike a work balance?
5. Who will proofread, edit and translate the localized content to eliminate traces of inaccuracies, grammatical & factual errors?
6. Who will ensure all localization work is done as per the norms of the local rules, customs, traditions and regulations?
Preparedness with respect to these questions will prove to be beneficial in executing the localization tasks. Are you prepared enough to start your localization campaign?
Another aspect of market segmentation includes eying the right market place and target audience for your product or service. Let’s assume a high end fashion brand intends to penetrate into Asian market with its new range of floral printed short skirts this summer. It has to first define the areas it aims to venture into, understand the local culture of a new market area and various other factors associated with the process. If it thinks it can launch its product in a conservative society like Saudi Arabia, it has to research the history, culture, traditions and local demands well ahead of the launch. Lest it might have to pay a heavy price during the launch.
#3 Clarity on What to Consider and What Not to Consider
Localization is a wholesome process and thus, it includes a mix of content that is worthy and not worthy for translation. Hence, it is imperative that localization specialists pass on clear instructions to translators and update them about what content including images, graphics, info-graphics, audio video files, voice overs, background music etc falls in the category of to-do and not-to-do. This is also important from the perspective of saving man hours and time invested by a translator in executing a particular task. At times, it may be humanly impossible to translate content such as images, gestures, graphics etc that do not suit the local culture. Clear guidelines and instructions at the start of a task help save wastefulness of resources and time, which is extremely crucial to a deadline-specific task of translation.
#4 Accuracy and On-Time Delivery
Localization is a time bound process and the entire localization team including translators have to work on a strict deadline-specific module. As a matter of fact this team invests heavily on time for research to ensure that assigned tasks are executed with flawless ease. The whole idea about localization is to deliver content on-time and with precision and accuracy. There is no scope to accommodate factually incorrect information.
#5 Cultural Awareness
No localization process is complete without adequate knowledge about the local culture. After all, the whole concept of localization revolves around framing and translating content, which is in line with the local cultural flavors and norms. Thus, localization team should gain enough cultural awareness before staring off on a new assignment. Without that, their efforts to do justice to the work remains futile.
Localization is a systematic process and every company should use its team to research and study the local markets well in advance!