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Continuous Localization Best Practices: Strategies for Success

by Anamta bnn
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Software firms realize the value of addressing a worldwide audience in today’s linked society. Continuous localization becomes essential as organizations expand into more diversified markets. The method of seamlessly incorporating localization procedures into the software development lifecycle to guarantee that products are available in different languages and are culturally appropriate from the start is known as continuous localization. Organizations must implement best practices and strategies catered to their needs and objectives to succeed with continuous localization.

Best Practices for Continuous Localization 

1. Include Localization in the Process of Development 

Localization ought to be considered an essential step in the development process. Teams should consider localization needs early in the project planning process, set aside resources appropriately, and create procedures that allow translation work to be done in tandem with development sprints.

2. Make Use of Tools for Localization Management

Purchasing strong platforms or solutions for continuous localization management is necessary to expedite the localization process. These systems offer capabilities including translation memory, glossary management, and version control, as well as central repositories for translation assets, workflow automation, and team collaboration. 

3. Adopt Continuous Deployment/Continuous Integration (CI/CD)

Integrating localization operations, the CI/CD pipeline can automatically publish localized content alongside product changes. By automating the localization process and ensuring that translated versions are delivered concurrently with the original product, organizations can shorten the time to market for international releases and increase overall efficiency.

4. Utilize Glossaries and Translation Memory

To guarantee consistency between translations, translation memory, and glossaries must be kept up to date in one central location. Glossaries define important terminology and phrases to provide consistency and coherence across languages, whereas translation memory retains previously translated text for reuse.

5. Encourage Cooperation with Linguists and Localizers 

It takes a team effort from developers, localizers, and linguists to create correct translations and culturally appropriate material. Throughout the localization process, keep lines of communication open, give background information on the product and the intended audience, and promote cooperation and feedback.

6. Put Localization Freeze and String Freeze into Practice

Establish precise deadlines for the string and translation freezes so that translators have enough time to do their work without being interrupted by alterations at the last minute. Localization freeze denotes the completion of translations, whereas string freeze designates the moment when no new strings are added or altered. 

7. Automate Quality Assurance and Testing

Use quality assurance and automated testing procedures to find linguistic problems and localization errors early in the development cycle. High-quality translations can be ensured by automated systems that check for text expansion, truncation, encoding problems, language-specific formatting, and other possible difficulties.

8. Take into Account Regional and Cultural Variations

Modify the text to accommodate cultural and regional preferences, considering differences in language, date formats, measuring units, and imagery. Conduct in-depth market research to identify the target audience’s cultural quirks, preferences, and sensitivities to create content that will appeal to local users. 

9. Observe and Repeat

To find opportunities for improvement, keep an eye on metrics, user feedback, and localization quality all the time. To improve the user experience and spur global expansion, analyze user engagement, happiness, and retention metrics across various markets, get input from local users, and refine the localization process.

10. Remain Nimble and Adaptable

Localization should be agile and flexible, adjusting to changing needs, market conditions, and language preferences. To stay ahead in the global economy, always experiment with new techniques, improve your localization strategies, and adapt to new trends and technologies.

Five Companies That Handled Localization Well 

Brands can experiment and test new approaches and methods when translating content into a new language or area. Additionally, you’ll need to determine the best approach to localizing your distinctive experience based on the sector, kind of product, or service your company provides.

These are a few intriguing instances of how companies from various industries have tailored their offerings to appeal to a new market.

The WWF: Imparting Local Campaigns Into Conscience

 Since 1960, the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) has worked to conserve endangered species and their habitats. They provide an excellent illustration of how knowledge and information can empower activism and how localization may strengthen these awareness initiatives.

The WWF uses its website and online media as its primary means of communication with the public. By giving immediate access to recent research, reports, news, conversations, and conservation initiatives, the WWF hopes to raise awareness through its digital footprint. 

The WWF has worked hard to ensure that its content is translated and served to the appropriate audience to engage viewers worldwide. As of the time this story was written, the Spanish side of their website featured a direct link to Earth Hour, but the American version offers users research on the diminishing population of monarch butterflies.

The WWF highlights the information that matters most to readers, making for a more captivating experience with content that always feels new and relevant. 

Playrix: Emphasizing Culturalization

With $1.8 billion in revenue, Playrix is a very successful gaming company that ranks among the top publishers of mobile games, along with Tencent and NetEase. It is especially well-known for its top-grossing match-3 titles, including Fishdom, Gardenscapes, and Homescapes. One of the keys to Playrix’s success is their capacity to establish an emotional connection with the player, which they master by carefully considering ethnicity, religion, and historical sensitivities while culturalizing their games.

The enormous success of Playrix Culturalization’s games is a testament to the team’s efficient culturalization approach. From the start, the Playrix team works closely with developers to design environments, characters, and other elements.

Nintendo: Creating in Harmony with Localization 

Nintendo stands out because it provides a clear alternative to Netflix. Instead of changing game elements or creating material specifically for the North American market, Nintendo doubles down on ideas that may seem unusual to players in the West.

The gaming industry is unique in that localization costs must be genuinely justified. Creating, translating, testing, and adapting games can require many resources, and the finished product may not necessarily provide the experience that players have become accustomed to. Giving players an experience they were anticipating is the true challenge, particularly compared to the game’s original release.  

The appeal lies in the original, unadulterated form of the game; they don’t want to feel like they’re playing a “watered-down” or “Westernized” version. Instead, Nintendo created a procedure where localization talks occurred during the game’s development. Rather than designing the game from scratch and localizing the finished product, Nintendo employs a team of localization specialists who translate the games, produce marketing materials, make brand videos, and finally assist in getting the games distributed to North America.

The theory behind this is that Nintendo can expedite the process and guarantee consistency between the native and localized versions of the game by coordinating localization and development simultaneously. 

Roblox: Using AI to Overcome Language Difficulties

Roblox is a hugely popular social gaming website that has millions of users, mostly kids and teens from 170 countries, enthralled.

Among the essential but difficult goals are raising player involvement and facilitating smooth language exchanges between players. Roblox decided to apply AI technologies to solve these problems.  

They unveiled their brand-new real-time AI chat translations in February 2024. Thanks to this breakthrough, users conversing in Korean and English may communicate without realizing they speak different languages. Their unique multilingual model, which facilitates direct translation between 16 languages, was used to accomplish this.

ASOS: Streamlining the Purchasing Procedure 

ASOS is an excellent illustration of an e-commerce platform that has been successfully localized. It has outperformed even well-known stores, achieving 149% growth in the last five years from digital sales alone—all without having even one physical store. Localization is mainly responsible for its development, as over 60% of its sales come from overseas customers.

ASOS has translated its website and all product details into seven significant languages. In addition, it provides ten distinct payment options, takes nineteen different currencies, and chooses the best language, experience, and currency based on the visitor’s preferences. 

With special offers and promotions for each region, an optimized shipping experience with an extensive partner network of international carriers, and even localized return solutions like leveraging the LaPoste service for French buyers, the retailer extends their localization efforts into the few physical elements of their experience.

In summary, continuous localization is an iterative, dynamic process requiring meticulous preparation, cooperation, and adaptation. By implementing these best practices and ideas, organizations may create a robust framework for ongoing localization. This will guarantee accurate, fast, and culturally appropriate translations, improving user experience and propelling global success.