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Guide to Globalization, Internationalization, Localization & Translation


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G.I.L.T is a thriving sector thanks to the growth of global business. This guide gives an overview of Translation and Localization within the context of Globalization and Internationalization. Case studies and examples from websites and online marketing, video games and mobile devices. Get to grips with G.I.L.T with this simple guide.

Guide to Globalization, Internationalization, Localization & Translation

  1. 1. A Guide to G.I.L.TGlobalisation, Internationalisation, Localisation and Translation G11N, I18N, L10N and T9N
  3. 3. GILT:::Introduction 2 INTRODUCTION Considering less than 27% of Internet content is now in English, it is easy to see why localisation and language services play such a fundamental role within companies worldwide. Increasingly, companies have to communicate with their customers in more than one language, with the corollary being that any company producing content in more than one language is very likely to require localisation and language services. “In 2012, Common Sense Advisory assessed annual growth within the language services market at a rate of 12.17%.”
  4. 4. Definitions GILT:::Definitions 3 Due to the relatively recent growth of this field, it has become necessary to agree terms within the industry in respect to key processes: Localisation, Internationalisation, Globalisation and Translation. Understanding these terms can sometimes cause initial confusion to newcomers, particularly since ‘localisation’ is often used as a generic reference, hence omitting its context within the broader scheme. In an effort to reduce these lengthy terms, most professionals and companies use the acronym GILT (Globalisation, Internationalisation, Localisation and Translation) to refer to the whole industry. Abbreviations stating the number of letters in the words are also very common: g11n, i18n, l10n, t9n. What is the meaning of these terms and, consequently, of GILT? Let’s start backwards, from the T GILTTRANSLATION (T9N) In this context, translation refers to the task of producing texts in other languages, as opposed to the broader process of localisation. The translation tasks carried out under the localisation umbrella often differ from standard translation tasks. They usually: • Involve oversight of technical elements • Have different objectives to those of standard translation projects • Both describe the product, whilst simultaneously forming a part of it • Come in a number of different formats • Require specialised software • Are essential to the accurate function of the product (as an example, a single mistranslation during the translation of programming codes could have significant ramifications on the respective software) Ideally therefore, the translation element of a localisation project should be carried out by specialised translators. This is not usually the case however.
  5. 5. Definitions GILT:::Definitions 4 GILTLOCALISATION (l10n) “[Localisation] describes the process of adapting a product to a specific international language or culture so that it seems natural to that particular region, which includes translation, but goes much farther. True localisation considers language, culture, customs, technical and other characteristics of the target locale. While it frequently involves changes to the software writing system, it may also change the keyboard usage, fonts, date, time and monetary formats. Graphics, colours and sound effects also need to be culturally appropriate.” (The Globalization and Localization Association) As such, this process involves preparation of respective texts, transferring these texts into the corresponding source material, adapting the source materials to the requirements of the target culture and then testing the target materials for accuracy. GILTINTERNATIONALISATION (I18N) Internationalisation is often confused with localisation, but in fact the process is almost totally opposite. Internationalisation involves the design of a product in such a way that the project can be localised easily. By ensuring that the product is as neutral as possible, both in respect to linguist and technical elements, the product can be easily modified to ensure that it is relevant to specific local environments. For this reason, Internationalisation figures before Localisation within the GILT model. Internationalisation delivers a number of benefits, including but not limited to: • Reduced time and costs in respect to localisation as content is neutral and ‘localisation ready’ • Presentation of a single source code for all applications • Enabling far more simple maintenance • Improved quality and code architecture • Simultaneous shipment and launch of the product across a number of countries A good example of Internationalisation is software creation, whereby the source text is sent to the translators without any kind of formatting or layout or any extra information. The purpose is to have very small-sized files, which can be easily edited, so that subsequently they can be localized. GLobALiZAtion int ernAtionALiZAt ion L o cALisAtio n tr A nsLAti o n
  6. 6. Definitions GILT:::Definitions 5 GILTGLOBALISATION (g11n) Although Globalisation may sometimes be used as a synonym for Internationalisation, the process is more complex and typically incorporates the underlying business decisions and activities which are required to make an organisation or product truly international. These activities may include: revision of management procedures and business processes, creation of new support resources and adaptation of marketing tools. To summarise: “Each step within the Globalisation, Internationalisation, Localisation chain will have an exponential impact on the next. If you don’t take your Globalisation strategy seriously enough, then, in the absence of a firm mandate from the highest levels of your organization, Internationalisation will suffer because there will be no development impetus to properly Internationalize your software. If the Internationalisation effort is poor, Localisation will be painful, perhaps even impossible within certain software features, and you will be looking at a lengthy delta between your domestic software release and your localised releases. Conversely, if you start with a solid and coherent Globalisation strategy that is communicated, in a relevant and contextual manner, to all levels within the organization, then Internationalisation will be an integral part of the SDLC (Systems Development Life-Cycle), Localisation should be a straightforward, finite task, and you will be in a better position to achieve a Sim-Ship of domestic and localised software releases.” (Wheeler, 2009)
  7. 7. GILT:::Process 6 The key stages required within this process are outlined below alongside the respective sub-tasks. Not all of the four steps are necessary and delivery of the steps is not order dependant: Process PREPARATION TRANSLATION TESTING / QA DELIVERY ANALYSIS SOURCE TEXT AND MATERIALS POSSIBLE ISSUES TM AND STYLE TRANSLATION TRANSCREATION PROOFREADING LINGUISTIC TESTING TECHNICAL TESTING CULTURAL TESTING DTP CLIENT REVIEW CHANGES UPDATES
  8. 8. Process GILT:::Process 7 1. Preparation Preliminary analysis: The source material is analysed taking into account the target languages and cultures Changes to the original source material is made - these changes may be driven by the need to remove culturally inadequate content or graphics Glossary compilation – glossaries are key to ensuring that terminology is consistently translated. Glossary contents are typically agreed in advance with a client Preparation of the schedules required as part of the project and the necessary budgets Style guidelines which will be used by the translator to ensure that the translated material has been translated in an appropriate style Pre-translation engineering: Possible issues must be identified in the code prior to translation and solved accordingly. The code can be separated from the texts (if the translators are not specialised) 2. Translation Translation of the product/website texts Translation of complementary texts (help file, user guide) Transcreation (including logos and SEO) Proofreading 3. Testing/QA Post-translation engineering: Compilation of translated material Technical testing DTP (Desk Top Publication) Bug fixing Linguistic testing QA (Quality Assurance): Quality standards such as EU standard EN-15038 User experience 4. Delivery Client review Changes to localised material Final delivery Updates/maintenance
  9. 9. Types of localisation GILT:::Types of localisation 8 The depth and nature of localisation activity depends on both the client and the type of project. Activity can involve either extensive localisation or basic localisation – particularly if the target language is not yet a key market. SOFTWARE Software is variable and is not limited to PC programmes but may also include videogames, web based applications and mobile applications. Programmes Since programmes are less intuitive than other products, it is more likely that they will need to be localised • Localisation of software programmes includes: • Help files • Graphic user interface (GUI) • Printed documentation and packaging • Related website Windows GUI
  10. 10. Types of localisation GILT:::Types of localisation 9 Apps On the App market, developers have recently started to properly localise their apps, after an initial period using automatic translations or no translation at all. This is due to the realisation of the potential of this niche, which has resulted in the creation of more sophisticated products. Almost all programs are created both for Windows and Mac operative systems. Although the program is the same, the menus, shortcut keys and help files are different, and need also to be translated. Shortcuts or “hot keys” play a major role in localisation, since they vary from country to country. Mac GUI iPhone app
  11. 11. Types of localisation 10 video games The Video game industry (often referred to as ‘Interactive Entertainment’) has become one of the main industries in the last decade, with an estimated value of $65 billion (Reuters, 2011). The game ‘Call of Duty: Black Ops’, generated sales in excess of $650 million in the game’s first five days, which set a five- day global record for the sales of any movie, book or videogame. Full localisation involves translating: • Graphic user interface (GUI) • In-game texts • Multimedia content (videos, songs) • Help files • Printed documentation and packaging • Related websites GILT:::Types of localisation Role-playing videogames, particularly web-based multiplayers (often referred to as Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games or MMORPG) such as the recently published Guild Wars 2 (picture above) require huge localisation projects, usually necessitating the translation and localisation of several millions of words. These are generally translated as soon as the texts are created, so the translation stage is in place prior to the game being played by technical and linguistic testers. This allows localisation teams to detect translation issues at the same time for different languages, and later on supports the aforementioned simultaneous shipment. Videogame GUI
  12. 12. Types of localisation 11 WEBSITES There are several levels ranging from only translating the text that appear on a website to creating a whole new environment for each locale. Companies can choose between the following strategies: standardised, localised or customised. Levels of website localisation. Standardised level One website for all regions GILT:::Types of localisation *Google is an interesting example of a poor initial strategic decision. At first, Google decided to have one interface for all countries (a blank page and the same logo). This was unsuccessful in Asian countries, where websites must be full of bright colours and texts to be appealing. As a result, they opted to create a customised Google interface called iGoogle, where the user can choose to include as many backgrounds and as much information as they want. The website was not fully localised: this strategy is a hybrid of standardised and customised levels. United Kingdom Hong Kong
  13. 13. Types of localisation 12 LOCALISED ONE WEBSITE FOR EACH REGION WITH TRANSLATED TEXT GILT:::Types of localisation United States Taiwan
  14. 14. Types of localisation 13GILT:::Types of localisation This chart features Yahoo! icons and depicts the way in which the same concept is featured in different ways according to local culture. This simple example proves how important minor details are for website localisation. Arabia
  16. 16. Types of localisation 15 CULTURALLY CUSTOMISED GILT:::Types of localisation China Japan
  17. 17. Types of localisation 16 MULTIMEDIA Multimedia content can consist of any material that incorporates images, sounds and/or texts, including (but not limited to): • Audio • Video • Songs • Slideshows GILT:::Types of localisation This field also incorporates services for individuals with additional needs such as those who are deaf, hard of hearing or visually impaired. An example of this is the use of ‘real-time captioning’. MARKETING Marketing content is typically adapted to each country on an individual level, and may not involve translation at all. It may include: • Social media (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn… including local social media) • Marketing campaigns • Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) such as transcreation of keywords • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) such as Google AdWords Google AdWords
  18. 18. GILT:::Market research 17 Market research MARKET PROFILE HOW BIGIS THE GILT Industry? The most reliable and respected information relating to the size of the GILT Industry is provided by Common Sense Advisory, which is an independent market research company. The majority of their articles and reports require payment and, as such, free resources are limited. As an example, the abstract portion of the 2012 Language Services Market research is available as a ‘free of charge’ resource on the internet, whilst the primary body requires payment. This abstract focuses on the overall market size estimate and the top 100 LSPs. (See Appendix 1.) As such, the data outlined below is applicable to language services industries at large, not specifically localisation. For readers who would like to read the more detailed research, this is available for a charge of $1,000. According to the survey from Common Sense Advisory, the market for outsourced language services is worth US$33,523 million (£21,760 million). The market shares are
  19. 19. 18GILT:::Market research Market research “Danica Brinton (Zynga) presented some fascinating data about the impact that localisation has in the adoption of games for this fast-growing company. […] Norway, with a population of less than 5 million, generates more revenue for Zynga than Indonesia, the country with 230 million inhabitants and the biggest number of Facebook users in the world. It is clear that other factors than number of internet users drive localisation decisions.” (Beninatto, 2011) WHICH MARKETS ARE GROWING THE MOST QUICKLY? As demonstrated in the results, the North American market share has decreased, despite a slight rise in revenues. This is assessed as being primarily driven by reduced military spending coupled with the challenges of the current economic climate. With the southern market as an exception, growth is being demonstrated once more in Europe. The rapid growth of the Asian market is an interesting emergence and is primarily driven by China, which is assessed as the top emerging market. If you would like to view more information in respect to the Chinese localisation market, then the Translators Association of China website is a great resource. The rest of the markets are also increasing their share. As illustrated by the data, Northern Europe (inclusive of the UK) embodies a larger market share than Asia. This is reflected in the following anecdote from 2011 Localisation World event in Barcelona:
  20. 20. Market research 19 WHICH LOCALISATION SERVICES ARE GROWING the MOST QUICKLY? Specific, reliable information in this respect is difficult to find as the sources of information are fairly disparate and very little comprehensive global research has taken place. However, we believe that the most useful articles are those listed below: • The Market for Multimedia Localisation Services in 2011 • The Market for Software Localisation in 2011 • Language Services Market Segmentation (2010) Some current trends: Mobile apps are definitely a new niche to be considered. Businesses developing these apps include both small developers and larger companies. The clear increase in companies identifying the need for this marketing channel can be seen on the chart below by Distimo: Source: (TechCrunch, 2011) This, alongside the boom in mobile and apps usage in emerging economies like China, India and Brazil, explains why this service may be important in the future. GILT:::Market research “Most prominent social games have over 70% of the overall user base and over 50% of revenue coming from localized locales – localization can increase the locale- specific traffic by 80%- 300%.” (Brinton, 2011)
  21. 21. Market research 20 Crowd-localisation was the obvious next step after crowdsourcing and crowdfunding. The profile of market leaders such as Google and Facebook are so positive, that both companies were able to use the linguistic skills of their users to translate the entirety of their websites with no reward. Language Service Providers are able to play a key role in supporting such businesses with additional quality assurance tools to ensure an on-going professional result. There is now generic acceptance of the role of machine translation and Computer Assisted Translation tool (CAT) in the consistent, accurate translation of large, technical projects. Please note that there is a fundamental distinction between CAT tools (specialist translation software) and computer translation, produced by the free online translation tools. GILT:::Market research The Spanish Facebook site was completed in less than 4 weeks with the help of 1,500 Spanish-speaking users through a crowdsource application. Users could suggest translations and vote for the best options.
  22. 22. Market research 21 TOOLS WHAT IS A LOCALISATION TOOL? What are the differences between localisation tools and regular CAT tools? To understand localisation tools, you must first understand CAT tools. As a basic overview, CAT tools enable a translator to build up a ‘memory’ from previous translations. As the memory increases, it becomes quicker to complete future translations as elements of text which have already been translated previously will be pre-translated in future translation projects. The benefit of this functionality is that repetitions within a document are automatically translated throughout the document which also has a positive impact on reducing the time taken. CAT tools have a number of additional functionalities which also increase the accuracy, quality and consistency of a translation project such as glossary tools, word counts and formatting tools. In a nutshell therefore, CAT tools increase the speed of translation exercises, ensure terminology consistency and reduce costs (through increased translation speed). Localisation tools are basically CAT tools whose filters are prepared for the most common types of files found in software and websites. The text segments (called “strings”) are separated from the source code so that it is not visible to translators. In this way they can translate more easily and the code is not exposed to unwanted changes that could damage the product. These tools are often called “Visual Localisation Tools” (VLT) because they provide a visual representation of what the user interface looks like in a ‘What You See Is What You Get’ (WYSIWYG) environment. Translators therefore have not only the linguistic context but also the visual context for their translations. Additionally, localisation tools feature help functions and verifiers for typical localisation problems, such as duplicate keyboard shortcuts or broken tags. However, translation agencies sometimes deal with localisation projects in a more traditional way; they employ engineering experts to prepare the material so it can be handled on standard CAT tools. In this way, they do not need specialised translators and they can use cheaper or more user-friendly tools. If the project is small, even Office suite programs are used. GILT:::Market research
  23. 23. Market research 22 The most common localisation tools are Catalyst and Passolo. They show more similarities than differences at a basic level, with the differences being more obvious at a specialized level. For this reason, the choice lies in usability and, of course, price. OTHER TOOLS There are less powerful tools that are however widely used for two main reasons: they are cheaper and they are simpler. The following are some of the most common. The prices are approximations (from the price in EUR/USD) for the standard, single-user licence. (Links refer to the product websites.) • Lingobit Localizer Standard: £430 • Sisulizer Translator: £179 • Multilizer Pro for Translators: Around £162 SDL PASSOLO 2011 SDL Passolo 2011: £1750 GILT:::Market research ALCHEMY CATALYST 10 Translator/Pro edition: Around £400.
  24. 24. Market research 23 GLOBALISATION Globalyzer is an internationalisation tool which supports creating, adapting, and verifying software in order to make it “localisation-ready”. It is aimed at large, complex multilingual projects that need to be managed by several development teams for quick turnarounds. In these environments it is essential to “catch” code mistakes before localisation, and that is what this tool does. The price of the software is not published on the website, but a free trial is available upon request. WORD COUNT WebBudget TX This is a word count tool used in localisation projects, because it supports a variety of formats, including most common tagged and scripting languages. It costs £320 but a 15-day demo is available for isolated needs. It says it works with PHP but it did not work when we tried to do word counts for sites using PHP. PractiCount This is another word count tool that also supports most common formats but the results were not good either, as it included duplicate files (it doesn’t recognize them as duplicate files because their file paths are different). The standard version costs £36. There is a business version with additional features like file converting and counting of files in other computers for £62. Quality Assurance QA Distiller This is the most specialized and powerful tool for quality control. It detects omissions, inconsistencies, formatting problems, and terminology errors. This program can be integrated into most CAT tools so that the errors are automatically tracked. The freelance version (only 3 languages supported) costs around £200. The professional (unlimited version) costs around £800. Apsic Xbench Xbench is similar to QA Distiller, although it lacks some of the features. However, it is used extensively because it is free. GILT:::Market research
  25. 25. Relevant articles 24 Beninatto, R. (2011, 06 21). Three Takeaways from Localization World Barcelona. Retrieved 10 17, 2012, from Localization Industry 411: Blau, A. (2012, 01 16). Comparing Software Tools for World Readiness (i18n). Retrieved 10 16, 2012, from Bracken, C. (2011, 02 15). The Lion, The Weaver and The Weird Valuations. Retrieved 10 25, 2012, from Andovar: Brinton, D. (2011). Social & Mobile Apps and Globalization – Confessions of a g11n Veteran. Retrieved 10 25, 2012, from Lingoport: globalization-confessions-g11n-veteran/ Common Sense Advisory. (2012, 05 31). The Top 100 Language Service Providers. Retrieved 09 24, 2012, from Common Sense Advisory: King, C. (2008, 02 22). Stop Pushing your Foreign Visitors Away. Retrieved 11 25, 2012, from cindyking: http:// The Globalization and Localization Association. (n.d.). Localization definitions. Retrieved 09 25, 2012, from Gala website: Wheeler, P. (2009, 03 27). Who’s responsible for Localization in your organization? Retrieved 10 15, 2012, from Localization Localisation: responsible-for-localization-in-your-organization/ ABOUT THE AUTHOR Mizar Becerril is a Spanish translator specialised in Localisation, with a wide experience in videogame localisation. She has worked in several important projects such as Guild Wars 2 and Monster Hunter Tri G, and she has recently collaborated with Kwintessential in a broad range of localisation-related assignments. She holds a BA in Translation and Interpreting and a Master’s Degree in Software and Multimedia Localisation from the Universidad Intenacional Menéndez Pelayo (Spain). GILT:::Relevant articles
  26. 26. 25 ABOUT KWINTESSENTIAL Kwintessential aim to build a global brand which is synonymous with helping businesses thrive within the international, multilingual and culturally diverse marketplace. Our vision is to continue to develop Kwintessential as the ‘go-to company’ when it comes to business needs requiring expertise in languages and cultures. In realising our vision, our five goals are to provide: A consultative approach to business; with solutions fully tailored to the needs of our diverse client base World-class customer service Top quality services and products Provision of services across a global scope; utilising the skills of our global linguist teams Education of others in the work of our sector Our Services We drive our goals and vision through our five key services: 1 2 3 4 5 Contact Kwintessential 01460 279 900 @kwintessential kwintessential/
  27. 27. 26 Contact Kwintessential 01460 279 900 @kwintessential kwintessential/ Our services achieve two goals: They help a client overcome an issue involving a different language/culture, or They help a client use language/culture to their competitive advantage in business. For example, a client may need a translation in order to understand what a contract in French says in English, or they may need a French translation of their website in order to tap French sales. Similarly, some training in team-building may help solve current communication issues with international teams, or be used during the formation of a team to strengthen it moving forward. Translation Comprehensive range of translation services covering all world languages, all formats and all business sectors. Interpreting Global coverage for consecutive and simultaneous interpreters available for all needs, from business meetings to conferences to legal hearings. Training Extensive training and education solutions that deliver ROI through helping businesses thrive internationally; from cultural awareness to management to remote working skills. Localisation In-depth localisation services covering websites, apps, social media, video, e-commerce and marketing consultancy. Design Complete, hands-on design services covering typesetting, graphic design, digital and social media. Our unique selling point involves a holistic view of the impact of globalisation on our clients’ businesses through each and every service we provide. We are able to tie them together, make sense of them and provide innovative solutions in response. 1 2