At its simplest definition, localization is modifying your existing content for a set local audience or region. Localization is mistaken for translation. It is understandable since a significant part of localization involves translation. Nonetheless, it entails more than translating the original content into varying languages. It is a meticulous approach, including LQA. This ensures that the content is easy to consume for the local audience.
A standard localization process includes:
- Extracting content
- Quality assurance
- Releasing to the end-user
This requires knowing the local audience. More organizations turn to a native workforce to facilitate a smooth workflow.
Localization does more than translating. This is since the message could be changed, especially considering the terminologies used. The process refines the content. It includes considering the local audience’s linguistic and cultural preferences. Different geographical regions and dialects shape how certain materials are understood. For instance, while a certain expression is acceptable and treated as a salutation in one region, it could be an insult in a different place.
The localization process takes into account considerations such as industry-specific terminologies. It also considers elements such as:
- Date and calendar systems
- Measurement units
- Idiomatic expressions, to mention a few elements
This means that the local audience does not struggle. For instance, they don’t have to convert currency or time to understand your content. They consume and understand the content as-is with ease. This is like how the primary market audience does.
You are past translation and refining the content. Now, what is localization QA meaning? Quality assurance ensures that the final product meets the set standards. Localization QA testers determine if the content appears to be created for the local audience. It ensures that the effort is not a mere word-for-word translation. This is because such a translation can change the original message.
Localization QA is typically the last step before releasing the content to the end-user. With localization QA tools, the process is efficient. It helps you spot errors that could be costly. Without localization quality assurance, you might be forced to take down the content. Even worse, you might have to re-brand as the content doesn’t give off the right image in the market you want to pursue.
The localization process flow was time and labor-intensive in the recent past. Developers, translators, and localization managers relied on emails and spreadsheets to collaborate. Even for the simplest translation, the manual process and all back and forth meant that localizing a single piece could take considerable time. Today, localization workflows are more efficient owing to the innovative localization tools. The features-rich tools, including localization QA tools, streamline the process flow. This is especially with automation.
Pursuing global markets is profitable. With modern tools, any organization can efficiently manage the localization process. Regardless of your business industry and size, you can tap into global markets. Nonetheless, laying down a solid localization plan is essential since the tools don’t work on autopilot. Localization tools make the process more manageable. This only improves if you have a strategic plan to allow smooth flow.