5 Steps to Develop a Localization Plan That Experts Won’t Tell You

November 1, 2021

At the first stage of a localization project, it can be intimidating, overwhelming, and daunting to manage all the tasks. To put your project into order, you should have a clear understanding of the vision, scope, audience, etc of projects. Otherwise, your project will tend to exceed your original idea as you lack a comprehensive localization plan.

To help you map out the parameters of your localization plan, here are 5 steps to develop a smooth process.

Step 1: Determine your vision

The initial step in any localization plan is to ensure that you are familiar with the project’s objectives. A clear understanding of the purpose helps you identify the target languages, markets, tools, and budgets for the project. Establishing the vision will pave the way for identifying internal roadblocks, technical requirements, and communication gaps before you are tied up by the specific criteria of the project. Furthermore, when you have vivid awareness about the vision, you may receive the support needed from the stakeholders. This prevents misunderstanding among your team members to head up and achieve your goals.

Step 2: Understand the scope

Before starting the translation process, you should ensure that you have adequate knowledge about all the relevant materials. For the project with content type, will it be for the manual book of the software or the product’s website? Will the content also include images or audio? For instance, your project is training materials then you should find out the content is for online product guides, instructor lead materials, or e-learning courses because if the content is e-learning materials, it will be a combination of multiple formats such as videos, text, audios, images which will need more expertise than mere translation. In addition, it’s essential to gather information about the deadline and budget so that you can allocate appropriate resources for the project.

Step 3: Have a detailed picture of your target audience

5 Steps to Develop a Localization Plan That Experts Won’t Tell You

Understanding who you are speaking to is one of the key aspects of any localization plan. In-depth research is encouraged to be conducted as it will give you a big picture of your target audience. In this way, you will have general information about typical factors such as customer income, purchasing power, interests, etc. Studying your potential buyers and trying to get in their shoes will broaden the way to make your international brand become familiar with the locals as well as indirectly boost your revenue in the new market. Remember that you can’t simply rely on ambiguous, general research. Accurate data about your customer through statistical analysis will be decent information to implement your localization plan.

Step 4: Establish a schedule

Having a firm grasp on your internal deadlines and understanding the time constraints for linguists can make a significant difference between successful project delivery and the one that misses the deadline. Organize a suitable workflow and realistic expectation of translators’ productivity in the role that Computer Assisted Translation Tools and Translation Memories can play. This will help you to anticipate the appropriate deadlines and project due dates.

Step 5: Start the translation process

After having a clear idea about all the project information, it’s time to translate the source language. The process is not only about converting the text from the original language to another but also requiring a few initial steps which start with extracting the resource file. The materials are not always just words but sometimes they’re the combination of pictures, videos, text, etc. Therefore, you should divide the sources into different content types and assign them to the subject-matter experts. After completing the translations, you can bring them to the proofreaders and editors to revise the work. These experts should be anonymous to the translator to make the result as objective as possible. If the translated content is for software or application, localization testing should be implemented to make sure that it’s bug-free and precisely fit with the user interface.

Read more: 7 Breakthrough Tips to Eliminate Language Barriers in Business

What should you avoid during the process?

Now that you have an outline and an idea of the localization plan, you can set your specific goals. To help you streamline the process as effectively as possible, we have some highlights about things you should avoid while planning the project which might be a great help to your work.

Don’t rush to translation

Many companies embark on the localization process before their product, instructions, marketing content is actually completed. This will be only time-consuming since if there is any modification in your marketing content, you will have to retranslate and even lose control of your budget. Hence, make sure that the materials you’re received are the final version and no adjustments will be made after you start the process.

Don’t instantly translate a poor-quality source

In some cases, you may receive materials with a lot of errors, particularly grammatical mistakes. The aesthetic or “look” of a text will also compel the translation risk. For example, a long paragraph with ambiguous meaning will make it harder for the translators. A poorly written original text will probably read even worse in translation, therefore, ask the providers to polish the materials before you handle it, or hire proofreading services before translating.

Don’t hand over the materials to a non-expertise translator when in a rush

There is always an urgent need for translation, especially with some industries requiring instant adaptation such as the legal world. However, demanding translations at extreme speed will not work sometimes since the subject-matter translators are already overloading and unable to handle them. In this case, you should not assign the project to non-experience linguists although they’re available. The moment you hand over these translators you have put your project at risk. They must have adequate knowledge about the subject to use the specific lexicons, relevant vocabulary, and expression to convey the messages. If you immediately need the translation while experts are not available, you can extend the time to guarantee translation quality.

We have supported various corporates to implement localization projects and help launch hundreds of businesses into many languages. Explore our top-notch localization services and find out how Wise-Concetti can assist you by contacting us today.


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