Tag: Localization

The Story of WordPress is the Story of Localization

The Story of WordPress is the Story of Localization

Ciklopea published an interview with  Emanuel Blagonić to share his experiences and views on WordPress web development and website localization solutions.

Would you please introduce yourself?

My name is Emanuel Blagonić. I like to say that I am, first and foremost, a father. I am a designer, I design user interfaces and work with small and big companies from Croatia and worldwide. I first encountered WordPress more than 12 years ago when the CMS was very different from what it is now. I have been introducing the benefits of WordPress to the people ever since, which has taken a form of active participation in the Croatian and global WordPress communities over the past few years.

What is the importance of localization in your opinion?

The story of WordPress is the story of localization. The first major success occurred in Japan which was home to the strongest localization community of the world in those days (15 years ago). Localization is the key to success if we want to make something more available to worldwide audiences. The WordPress mission is to democratise publishing, and to do that we need to make the software available to everyone – regardless of their proficiency in foreign languages – and this is where localization is coming to the fore.

What are your experiences with WordPress localization (challenges, solutions, etc.)?

There are two types of localization. One type includes WordPress software localization. WordPress relies on its – at times almost fanatical – worldwide community in that respect. WordPress is actively translated at home, at work, and at the events known as Contributor Days, where many people working in different teams meet to contribute to the WordPress project. More than 500 people attended the Contributor Day recently held in Belgrade as part of the WordCamp Europe conference (currently the largest WordPress conference in the world), who actively contributed to the community throughout the day. One type of contribution is the localization of main software, plugins, themes and more.

Content localization is the second part of the localization story. Content localization is important in terms of target audiences of a specific website. It is important to localize your website for your target audiences to make your content, message or your products and services available to as many people as possible.

What are your experiences with the localization on other CMS platforms?

I don’t really have experience with other CMS platforms so I can’t claim whether localization is implemented better or worse. The basic problem of WordPress – if that can be seen as a problem at all – is that, unlike some other CMS platforms, localization is not an integral part of its installation, but it needs to be “upgraded” through plugins (such as WPML). Although that’s not really an issue, I believe localization could be solved better under WordPress. However, the facts that 30 % of all the world’s websites are powered by WordPress (its share among the CMS platforms has long been larger than 50 %) and that it is the most popular CMS of them all makes the case for WordPress content localization being an important part of your online strategy.

Is localization process affected by website complexity?

It surely is. You can opt for different approaches to localization based on the website “size”, i.e. its complexity. The users most frequently choose WPML as the most professional WordPress localization plugin, and those who do not want to pay for it (WPML is a premium plugin) opt for other solutions.

As always, every solution has its pros and cons, and with very complex websites it is perhaps best to consider a customized solution with each language being a separate WordPress (multisite) installation where content connection will be solved with custom software code.

WPML is the genuine commercial solution that provides a wide range of possibilities to translation agencies who use specific tools, making the localization process faster and smoother.

Is localization something to be considered before or after the development?

Definitely before. Although it is possible to localize a website after it has been published, I believe that having an initial plan of what needs to be done today, tomorrow and the day after tomorrow always pays off. If we have a vision for the next two or three years, in addition to being able to make an easier prediction on the type of content that we need, we will also have a better insight into the localization requirements. Based on that, you will be able to choose a better solution, of course, in collaboration with your web developers.

Why is it important to choose a professional LSP for website localization?

As always, having professional and reliable partners is important. Although we tend to believe that if we can understand and speak, say, English, we can also translate content, we should be aware that a self-service translation (mostly) does not meet the expectations of our audiences on the target markets. If you are targeting British, German, Italian, French, Russian or any other market for that matter, it is important to have a professional translation because your website in most cases serves as your reflection and the place of first contact with your potential clients. Of course, this is something that leaves an impression, so it is important to make the impression you want.

Reference: http://bit.ly/2LAQkvU

The Language Industry According to LinkedIn

The Language Industry According to LinkedIn

Professional networking site LinkedIn has continued to grow since it was acquired by Microsoft for a whopping USD 26.2bn in late 2016. The site now has more than 500 million users and reportedly generated USD 1.3bn in revenues in the first quarter of 2018.

While many people continue to see LinkedIn as an online version of their resume, an increasing number of professionals find the site useful for personal branding, sales, business development, and research. Different from other social media sites like Facebook and Twitter, LinkedIn generates much of its revenue not from ad sales but from subscription services for recruiters and business development professionals. Paid subscribers are able to search LinkedIn’s extensive database in much more granular detail, which is useful for targeting potential recruits or prospective clients.

Some premium subscriptions such as Sales Navigator enable searches based on industry categories. One of the 147 such industry categories featured on LinkedIn is Translation and Localization. While not among the top categories – that honor goes to IT and Services(15m profiles), Financial Services (8.5m) and Computer Software (7.6m), the Translation and Localization category still lists an impressive 603,700 professional profiles and 21,400 so called “accounts”, i.e. LinkedIn company pages.

For what it’s worth, we sliced and diced that data and compiled a list of the top 50 countries by professional profiles and top 50 countries by company pages.

LinkedIn: Top 50 Countries in “Translation and Localization” (Personal)

Total number of personal LinkedIn profiles per country as of May 2, 2018 (top 50 countries) under industry category “Translation and Localization”

On a continental scale, Europe takes a clear lead over both North America and Asia. To the 11 translators apparently typing away in Antarctica, we salute you.

Language Industry on LinkedIn by Continent

Company pages and professional profiles in the “Translation & Localization” category by continent

Finally, let’s look at a selection of leading language industry providers and their following on the social network. Just as in real life (i.e. in terms of revenue), Lionbridge and TransPerfect battle it out for number of profiles and followers. Employees at SDL, meanwhile, seem to be more present on LinkedIn in general since, despite the relatively lower number of staff in the real world, SDL beats both TransPerfect and Lionbridge when it comes to LinkedIn profiles.

LinkedIn Presence of Large Language Service Providers

Profiles and Followers of 10 large language service providers

Of course, data from LinkedIn does not present a fully accurate picture of the size and distribution of the language industry in the real world. In Germany, to name just one example, LinkedIn struggles to gain a dominant position, competing with local alternatives such as Xing. Furthermore, translation and localization professionals working internally at large corporations may not choose Translation and Localization as their category but rather their employer’s industry.

That said, crunching LinkedIn’s Translation and Localization numbers is still interesting since it enables you to get a feel for just how big and widely-distributed this industry is.

Reference: https://bit.ly/2JP7iCa

How to become a localization project manager

How to become a localization project manager

Excerpts from an article with the same title, written by Olga Melnikova in Multilingual Magazine.  Olga Melnikova is a project manager at Moravia and an adjunct professor at the Middlebury Institute of International Studies. She has ten years of experience in the language industry. She holds an MA in translation and localization management and two degrees in language studies.

I decided to talk to people who have been in the industry for a while, who have seen it evolve and know where it’s going. My main question was: what should a person do to start a localization project manager career? I interviewed several experts who shared their vision and perspectives — academics, industry professionals and recruiters. I spoke with Mimi Moore, account manager at Anzu Global, a recruiting company for the localization industry; Tucker Johnson, managing director of Nimdzi Insights; Max Troyer, translation and localization management program coordinator at MIIS, and Jon Ritzdorf, senior solution architect at Moravia and an adjunct professor at the University of Maryland and at MIIS. All of them are industry veterans and have extensive knowledge and understanding of its processes.

Why localization project management?

The first question is: Why localization project management? Why is this considered a move upwards compared to the work of linguists who are the industry lifeblood? According to Renato Beninatto and Tucker Johnson’s The General Theory of the Translation Company, “project
management is the most crucial function of the LSP. Project management has the potential to most powerfully impact an LSP’s ability to add value to the language services value chain.” “Project managers are absolutely the core function in a localization company,” said Johnson. “It is important to keep in mind that language services providers do not sell translation, they sell services. Project managers are responsible for coordinating and managing all of the resources that need to be coordinated in order to deliver to the client: they are managing time, money, people and technology.


Nine times out of ten, Johnson added, the project manager is the face of the company to the client. “Face-to-face contact and building the relationship are extremely important.” This is why The General Theory of the Translation Company regards project management to be one of the core functions of any language service provider (LSP). This in no way undermines the value of all the other industry players, especially
linguists who do the actual translation work. However, the industry cannot do without PMs because “total value is much higher than the original translations. This added value is at the heart of the language services industry.” This is why clients are happy to pay higher prices to work with massive multiple services providers instead of working directly with translators.

Who are they?

The next question is, how have current project managers become project managers? “From the beginning, when the industry started 20 years
ago, there were no specialized training programs for project managers,” Troyer recounted. “So there were two ways. One is you were a translator, but wanted to do something else — become an editor, for example, or start to manage translators. The other route was people working in a business that goes global. So there were two types of people who would become project managers — former translators or people who were assigned localization as a job task.”

According to Ritzdorf, this is still the case in many companies. “I am working with project managers from three prospective clients right now, all of whom do not have a localization degree and are all in localization positions. Did they end up there because they wanted to? Maybe not. They did not end up there because they said ‘Wow, I really want to become a head of localization.’ They just ended up there by accident, like a lot of people do.”

“There are a lot of people who work in a company and who have never heard of localization, but guess what? It is their job now to do localization, and they have to figure it out all by themselves,” Moore confirmed. “When the company decides to go international, they have to find somebody to manage that,” said Ritzdorf.

Regionalization


The first to mention regionalization was Ritzdorf, and then other interviewees confrmed it exists. Ritzdorf lives on the East Coast of the
United States, but comes to the West Coast to teach at MIIS, so he sees the differences. “There are areas where localization is a thing, which means when you walk into a company, they actually know about localization. Since there are enough people who understand what localization is, they want someone with a background in it.” Silicon Valley is a great example, said Ritzdorf. MIIS is close; there is a

localization community that includes organizations like Women in Localization; and there are networking events like IMUG. “People live and
breathe localization. However, there is a totally different culture in other regions, which is very fragmented. There are tons of little companies in other parts of the US, and the situation there is different. If I am a small LSP owner in Wisconsin or Ohio, what are my chances of finding someone with a degree or experience to fill a localization position for a project manager? Extremely low. This is why I may hire a candidate who has an undergraduate degree in French literature, for example. Or in linguistics, languages — at least something.”

The recruiters’ perspective


Nimdzi Insights conducted an interesting study about hiring criteria for localization project manager positions (Figure 1). Some 75 respondents (both LSPs and clients) were asked how important on a scale of 1 to 5 a variety of qualifications are for project management positions. Te responses show a few trends. Top priorities for clients are previous localization experience and a college degree, followed by years of experience and proficiency in more than one language. Top criteria for LSPs are reputation and a college degree, also followed
by experience and proficiency in more than one language.

Moore said that when clients want to hire a localization project manager, the skills they are looking for are familiarity with computer assisted translation (CAT) tools “and an understanding of issues that can arise during localization — like quality issues, for example. Compared to
previous years, more technical skills are required by both clients and vendors: CAT tools, WorldServer, machine translation knowledge, sometimes WordPress or basic engineering. When I started, they were nice-to-haves, but certainly not mandatory.”

Technical skill is not enough, however. “Both hard and soft skills are important. You need hard skills because the industry has become a lot more technical as far as software, tools and automation are concerned. You need soft skills to deal with external and internal stakeholders, and one of the main things is working under pressure because you are juggling so many things.

Moore also mentioned some red flags that would cause Anzu not to hire a candidate. “Sometimes an applicant does not demonstrate good English skills in phone interviews. Having good communication skills is important for a client-facing position. Also, people sometimes exaggerate their skills or experience. Another red flag is if the person has a bad track record (if they change jobs every nine months, for example).” ‘

Anzu often hires for project management contract positions in large companies. “Clients usually come to us when they need a steady stream of contractors (three or six months), then in three or six months there will be other contractors. Te positions are usually project managers or testers. If you already work fulltime, a contract position may not be that attractive. However, if you are a newcomer or have just graduated, and you want to get some experience, then it is a great opportunity. You would spend three, six or 12 months at a company, and it is a very good line on the résumé.”

Do you need a localization degree? 

There is no firm answer to the question of whether or not you need a degree. If you don’t know what you should do, it can certainly help. Troyer discussed how the localization program at MIIS has evolved to ft current real-world pressures. “The program was first started in 2004, and it started small. We were first giving CAT tools, localization project management and software localization courses. This is
the core you need to become a project manager. Ten the program evolved and we introduced the introduction and then advanced levels to many courses. There are currently four or five courses focusing on translation
technology.” Recent additions to the curriculum include advanced JavaScript classes, advanced project management and program management. Natural language processing and computational linguistics will be added down the road. “The industry is driving this move because students will need skills to go in and localize Siri into many languages,” said Troyer.

The program at MIIS is a two-year master’s. It can be reduced to one year for those who already have experience. There are other degrees
available, as well as certification programs offered by institutions such as the University of Washington and The Localization Institute.

Moore said that though a localization degree is not a must, it has a distinct advantage. A lot of students have internships that give them experience. They also know tools, which makes their résumés better fit clients’ job descriptions.

However, both Troyer and Ritzdorf said you don’t necessarily need a degree. “If you have passion for languages and technology, you can get the training on your own,” said Troyer. “Just teach yourself these skills, network on your own and try to break into the industry.”

The future of localization project management

Automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning are affecting all industries, and localization is not an exception. However, all the interviewees forecast that there will be more localization jobs in the future.

According to Johnson, there is high project management turnover on the vendor side because if a person is a good manager, they never stay in this position for more than five years. “After that, they either get a job on the client’s side to make twice as much money and have a much easier job, or their LSP has to promote them to senior positions such as group manager or program director.”

“There is a huge opportunity to stop doing things that are annoying,” said Troyer. “Automation will let professionals work on the human side
of things and let the machines run 
day-to-day tasks. Letting the machine send files back and forth will allow humans to spend more time looking at texts and thinking about what questions a translator can ask. This will give them more time for building a personal relationship with the client. We are taking these innovations into consideration for the curriculum, and I often spend time during classes asking, ‘How can you automate this?’”

Moore stated that “we have seen automation change workflows over the last ten years and reduce the project manager’s workload, with files being automatically moved through each step in the localization process. Also, automation and machine translation go hand-in-hand to make the process faster, more efficient and cost-effective.”

Localizing Slogans: When Language Translation Gets Tricky

Localizing Slogans: When Language Translation Gets Tricky

A slogan. It seems pretty straightforward. Translating a few words, or even a sentence, shouldn’t be all that complicated, right?
And yet we’ve seen countless examples of when localizing slogans has gone awry—from big global brands—illustrating just how tricky translating slogans can be.
Anybody recall Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” tagline being translated into “Pepsi brings your ancestors back from the grave” in Chinese?
While humorous, this language translation misfortune can be costly—and not just in a monetary sense. We’re talking time-to-market and brand reputation costs, too.

Why slogans pose language translation difficulties

The very nature of slogans makes them challenging to translate. Many times slogans are very creative, playing on cultural idioms and puns.
There often isn’t a direct translation that can take on the exact meaning of your slogan. And, in fact, linguists may experience translation difficulties in attempting to complete the translation word for word.
Local nuances come into play as well. Some words may have entirely different meanings than your source language and can be misinterpreted. Just think of product names that are often used in slogans. The Chevy Nova name was criticized in Latin America because “Nova” directly translates into “doesn’t go.”
Also, different cultures have unique emotional reactions to given words. Take McDonald’s and its famous slogan “I’m lovin’ it.” The fast food mogul localized this slogan to “Me encanta” or “I really like it,” so the mantra was more culturally appropriate for Spanish-speaking countries, where love is a strong word and only used in certain situations.
Because of the language translation difficulties involved, you may need a more specialized form of translation to ensure that your slogan makes a positive impact in your international markets.

How to approach localizing slogans

First and foremost, communication is vital throughout the entire localization process. When approaching slogans, we’ll collaborate with your marketing experts—whether internal or outside creative agencies—as well as your in-country linguists with marketing expertise.

Having in-country linguists’ work on your slogan is absolutely critical. These language translation experts are fully immersed in the target culture. They are cognizant of cultural nuances, slang and idioms, which ensures that your slogan will make sense—and go over well—in your target locales.

We’ll review the concepts in the tagline or slogan as a team and identify any challenging words or phrases and assess how to approach it. Oftentimes, a direct translation won’t work. We may need to localize it in a way that’s more appropriate, such as the McDonald’s “Me encanta” example above.

If it poses much difficulty, then we may need to turn to transcreation services.

Transcreation process and your slogan

The transcreation process is a specialized version of language translation that’s a highly involved and creative process.

Copywriter linguists will identify your brand qualities and portray those in a way that perfectly resonates with your target audience. Think of it as a mix of “translation” and “creation.” It’s not a word-for-word translation, but rather re-creating an idea or message so it fosters an emotional connection in a different culture.

Looking at a quick example, Nike’s celebrated slogan “Just do it” had no meaningful translation in Chinese. So instead, the message was transcreated to mean “Use sports” or “Have sport,” which had a more prominent impact in that culture.

Localizing slogans, or more specifically, your slogan, correctly can mean a stronger global brand reputation—driving revenue and increased market share worldwide. Taking a hasty, nonchalant approach can mean just the opposite. And you may find yourself having to spend time and resources rectifying what comes with a language translation error.

 Reference: https://bit.ly/2GSx36x
Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, Translation (GILT)

Globalization, Internationalization, Localization, Translation (GILT)

Globalization (g11n): Refers to a broad range of processes necessary to prepare and launch products and company activities internationally. Addresses the business issues associated with launching a product globally, such as integrating localization throughout a company after proper internationalization and product design.

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