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The terms ‘Translation’ and ‘Localization’ are often mistakenly interchanged and misused when referring to the translation of content, and, even though they share the same purpose, their meaning and approach towards their achievement are inherently different.
While Translation can be defined as the literal word-for-word transformation of a source text into the target language, a thorough Localization service can be defined as the linguistic adaptation of content for the target region, its languages, and cultural particularities to make it appropriate, easily understandable, and comfortable to use for local native language speakers.
In assessing their necessity for thorough content Translation and Localization services, more often than not, businesses are plagued with the dilemma: to localize or not to localize? That is the question.
Utilizing the TEP (Translation - Editing - Proofreading) localization workflow properly guarantees superior quality translation output to end clients, meeting specific requirements, avoiding blatant mistakes and offending any cultural sensitivities. It is of utmost importance to thoroughly render source texts accurately into target languages, both in terms of structure, content, style, brand voice, and overall text flow, in order to mitigate potential linguistic and formatting mishaps.
A thorough understanding of relevant terminology, precision when using vocabulary, and a good grasp of technical concepts are of maximum importance when handling complex clinical trial documents, medical products, or process descriptions or specific marketing texts, fraught with linguistic complexity, specific jargon, or creative lingo, of which translators, editors and proof-readers need to present thorough comprehension and an ability to adapt to and research.
This savoir-faire of TEP SMEs is mandatory when executing demanding localization tasks, as the stakes can be very high when tackling brand-specific documentation or high-profile case files, on which the image of enterprises and individuals depends.
While the cost-savvy would argue that it is cheaper to standardize and move forward with a generalized content approach, businesses cannot exist outside of the international market vortex, and the advantage of well-executed Translation and Localization is the successful linguistic, conceptual, and material adaptation and customization of products or services within the relevant boundaries of the specific markets targeted.
One main advantage of a well-executed Localization service is overall better branding and marketing, by appealing in the right way to the right audience. Entering new markets entails finding the right voice that speaks to the audience, involving equally thorough market and cultural research and appropriation to avoid a clash of interests or blatant contextual disarray.
Referencing Smartcat’s podcast on the topics of “Niche Markets and Specialization as a Strategy for Growth” (Niche Markets and Specialization as a Strategy for Growth (smartcat.com)) with Renato Beninnato, the Chairman and Co-Founder at Nimdzi (Nimdzi Insights ≡ Market Research and Consulting for the Language Services Industry), Localization services are seeing an increased demand on the following verticals: Life Sciences, Legal, Finance and Patents with 18.9%, Media and Entertainment falling right behind with 17.8% and last, but certainly not least, IT and Software with 13.2%.
And, as Slator.com also highlights in their “Localization: the Future of e-commerce” webinar (Localization: The Future of E-Commerce | Slator), the benefits of thorough localization within these frameworks are absolutely paramount for businesses seeking to enter new markets and drive online revenue internationally, as 40% of any potential global customers bounce if not provided with solutions in their respective languages.
Localization Quality Assurance, abbreviated as LQA, refers to a comprehensive process of ensuring quality translation and localization output, involving the acquisition, training, and management of qualified ‘human ware’ (Linguistic Project Managers, Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) and Linguistic Analysts) and their respective tools (Translation and Localization hardware and software).
In order to ensure standard-compliant Translation Quality Assurance, Language Services Providers (LSPs) are required to devise and optimize long-term, comprehensive strategies for providing the relevant training and feedback to linguistic vendors involved in the processes, as well as for the internal management of translation assets such as client Translation Memories (TMs), termbases and Computer-Assisted Translation (CAT) tools.
On the other hand, Linguistic Quality Control (LQC) implies more specific, short-term procedures, which make up a solid segment of the entire Translation Quality Assurance process.
Linguistic Quality Control (LQC) entails fine-tuning the final translation product, ensuring that there are no blatant flaws and that the linguistic steps of the process (translation, editing, proofreading) have been successfully performed in terms of resolving inconsistencies, misspellings, and mismatches.
According to the Project Management Institute Annual Report, Project Quality Management entails a series of processes and activities undertaken by a translation-performing organization to “determine quality policies, objectives, and responsibilities so that the project will satisfy the needs for which it was undertaken” (PMI, 2013, p. 227).
By applying this rule to Translation Project Quality Management exclusively, the QA process would imply a complex translation ecosystem coordinated by Project Managers (PMs), Linguistic Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), and QA Analysts performing in-depth quality control based on parameters of translation linguistic and stylistic accuracy, project and language-specific key metrics and UI/UX variables.
We have defined a Localization service as a process of rendering content of diverse formats and fields of application, ranging from product descriptions, marketing material, legal texts, design and graphic elements or auxiliary material such as blogs, in-video, or social media content into the languages of target markets and geographies, aligning the content with the cultural, legal and commercial environment of the locales. We have also outlined that a thorough Localization Service plays a defining role in today’s sales ecosystem, with more and more businesses seeking to enter new markets and compete for supremacy in their respective markets.
Following every stage of the TEP process allows a Localization Service Provider to achieve the highest quality standard in translation and ensures full compliance with the translation industry standard, ISO 17100:2015.
AD VERBUM ranks highly in the content Localization service landscape, offering a streamlined process including project scale assessment, source content extraction, and implementation of client feedback, leveraging top-notch e-commerce minded native linguists, state of the art translation technologies, and a TEP workflow guaranteed to ensure quality at every step of the localization process.
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