Is your global business growing at a fast pace? Is your regional marketing strategy fostering further investment on local markets in their own language? Would you like to gain more control over the localization process of your products and services?
If the answer to any of the questions above is YES, you are likely considering setting up an in-house translation team to handle localization internally and increase control over the process; however, setting up a specialized team can be a daunting task if not planned properly.
Keep reading if you want to learn about the three axes around which you should build a winning strategy to handle your localization process in your own terms: People, Processes and Technology.
Localization can be a rather complex process involving multiple steps, roles, tools, and constraints. If your organisation has decided to manage things in-house, setting up the basic aspects of your strategy with all players involved becomes a key prerequisite to ensure success. A universal truth in localization goes (well, it should go):
“Never trust that things will simply work out: the more careful the planning, the more solid the outcome.”
Once your organisation has defined the scope of its translation team and the expected outcomes in terms of language combinations, average volumes and rough compliance requirements, an important question pops up: who will do what?
Most translation companies (also known as LSPs or Language Service Providers) provide their services adopting a black-box approach: clients send their assets and receive ready-to use translated versions in the requested languages; however, there is no visibility about either what is going on inside or who is taking care of the different steps in the translation process.
Therefore, defining roles and responsibilities becomes a crucial stage in your translation team building strategy: managing communications, finding specialized translators and proof-readers, defining style guides to comply with your organisational communication guidelines, setting up terminology… The list will probably look much longer than what you initially thought.
In this related eBook, you will find further information about the different roles and tasks involved in the translation process: this will certainly help you figure out the core structure and the key roles you should start to build your team upon.
- Defining the languages in scope for your projects, including regional variants
- Setting up workflows based on the size, type and deadlines set for your translation projects
- Managing a schedule where project managers have visibility over each person within the defined workflow
- Keeping a repository of all the translations completed by your team (i.e., a translation memory and a terminology database) in each language combination to ensure consistency and leverage over time
- Adopting a CAT tool for translators to handle the linguistic part of the process and allow exchanging project information between the different roles while ensuring quality and consistency of the output.
As a final word, setting up a translation strategy requires a lot of trial and error, so be ready to step in and tweak your steps along the way. Nevertheless, defining the three axes discussed in this post, People, Processes, and Technology, before entering production will undoubtedly improve your results since day one.
Ready to start?