When you meet with the stakeholders in your company, it is always a great idea to discuss how you would handle expanding your company to the global market. Luckily, there are a few ways for you and your company to make the transition, better known as the localization process, a bit easier when you do decide to go global.
In this article, you will learn a few tips that will help your company make the localizationof your company a quick and effective process:
#1: KEEP IT SIMPLE
When you are excited about your company and the products and services it offers, you will likely be tempted to drone on and on about it when writing promotional material for your company. This can create lengthy walls of text that can look unsightly in any language. On top of that, long walls of text can take translators longer to translate effectively. By keeping your company’s information clear and concise, you will not only gain more attention from potential customers, but you will also make the globalization process a whole lot easier and faster.
Pro-tip: Using graphics to describe your company’s product or service will help you cut down on the number of words that you use in a product or service description. Additionally, countless studies prove that graphics and images are more appealing to customers and are more likely to be remembered than words in a description.
#2: CREATE A STYLE GUIDE
A style guide is one of the best ways you can prepare for the globalization of your company. Get together with the important figures in your company and discuss how your branding should appear in globalized content. This will help you keep your branding and company content consistent. Translators will be able to use this guide, which will help cut down on translation and consistency issues. Having consistent information in your company’s content will help you build a trust with your new client base.
Pro-tip: Meet with a globalization or localization expert who can help you figure out the best way to present your branding in the global market. They’ve worked with many companies to help them expand their companies, and the can help you by telling you some of the common concessions companies make for globalization purposes.
#3: STORE DOCUMENTS THAT MAY NEED TRANSLATING IN AN EDITABLE FILE
If you get in a rush, you may not store the text you will need translated on an editable file. These files include PDFs, which can introduce strange spellings and symbols into text after it is copied and pasted, or it could include outlined Indesign files.
Instead, try storing your files in an editable format like in a Word document, and editable Indesign document, or in editable graphics and image documents so that graphics and images can be easily translated.
Pro-tip: If you need to lock the file you are using, be sure you and one other person with your company knows how to unlock it. Similarly, if you have to outline an Indesign file so that it can be printed properly, save it as its own file so that the original file can be edited.
#4: REDUCE SLANG TERMS THAT AREN’T INTERNATIONALLY KNOWN
Each and every language is full of idioms that may not be easily understood by others. In fact, even sections of the same country can have their own idioms. Instead of leaving your translator with the responsibility of translating idioms in a way another culture will understand, get rid of them all together.
Some very popular idioms in the English language include ones like “hit the books,” which means to study, and “stab someone in the back,” which means to betray them. These idioms, if translating improperly, may look like a call for the abuse of fine literature or even manslaughter, so dialling back (or reducing the number of) idioms you use in your text can really make the globalization process run smoothly.
Pro-tip: If you’ve been using an idiom all of your life and you aren’t sure how to put its definition into words, you can look up the meaning of common idioms on IdiomSite.com.
#5: MAKE SURE EVERYONE IS HAPPY WITH THE EDITING PROCESS
Whenever you are ready to globalize, be sure every stakeholder in your company can review the edited documents. Let everyone see the document before it is sent back to avoid fees from translation companies.
Pro-tip: Make an email tree and allow your stakeholders to review each document one at a time. Changes can be indicated on the review document. After the last person has seen the document, they can send it back to the translator for edits.