You’ve already asked all the right questions about managing your globally dispersed localization team. So let’s look at how a localization vendor, such as Acclaro, can help your internal localization team (no matter what time zone they are in) be as successful as possible.
A good language vendor will help your localization team by:
Developing and/or following a crystal-clear localization strategy. This includes determining what to localize and its corresponding timeline, plus setting realistic ROI expectations and metrics for each project. If there are multiple vendors, then each vendor should be aware of the strategy and understand their role within it.
Defining clear roles, responsibilities and requirements. What will the vendor do and what will the internal staff delegate for each project? What are the quality expectations? Who will “own” all linguistic requirements in order to keep the messaging consistent across languages and countries? What is the timeline? All these questions should be answered before a project begins.
Building, organizing, and maintaining your language assets. This includes translation memories, style guides, and glossaries, and/or reusing existing assets developed for your English content. No need to reinvent the wheel each time you start a project. Plus, this will help lower your costs over the long run and give you more consistent, high-quality results. Ideally, all your language assets should be centralized, housed on an intranet, database or other online tool.
Working with you to make sure you are “localization-ready”. Getting your content translated is only half the battle: do you know if your content management systems, third-party tools, e-commerce applications, and even your versions of Flash will parse and display non-English characters correctly? Do you have regionally-specific input methods for dates, addresses, and telephone numbers? Even the best translator can’t always help with that, so make sure your localization team and vendor takes a look at this up front.
Outlining specifics about the languages and regions you are targeting. Raise your hand if you know any of the following: in France, capital letters at the beginning of words generally do not take accents, whereas in Quebec, they do. Translation into German can result in 40% more sheer content than your English. Arabic cannot be written vertically. And speaking of Arabic, like Hebrew, text is read from right to left, whereas numbers are read left to right…even in the same sentence. Your localization vendor can make sure you are know all about these locale-specific language characteristics.
Keeping you on track with in-country linguistic reviews. Translation is a creative art, and differences of opinions with reviewers can be a challenge for internal localization teams. Your vendor should help you determine how much time this will take, who can help you do it within your organization, how much creative leeway there is, and provide necessary materials and instructions to the reviewers.
Facilitating collaboration between all language providers. After all, you may have many translation vendors and they should all have your best interests in mind. Regular interaction and exchange of information between vendors will make sure that the final, localized content or product successfully reflects your company and your brand, in all languages.
Photo attribution: stewf