Localization strategy: 4+ tips from localization pros


2020-09-12 04:00 Lingua Greca


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Whether you’re looking to design your app or website with localization in mind or you’re just starting to expand into other markets or to obtain a global audience, you’ll need a concrete localization strategy before you begin. Keep in mind that localization is not the same as translation — though it’s an important part of it! Software localization (or l10n) moves beyond basic translation to adjust a user interface on a cultural level. It’s not just what you’re saying; it’s how you’re saying it.  A localization strategy keeps everyone involved in the localization process — from your designers, developers, and marketing team to your business strategists and localization partners — on track. What is a localization strategy? Your localization strategy refers to the overall plan for how you’re adapting your offerings, messaging, and content to new countries and markets in a way that aligns with your brand. A localization strategy considers each market’s language, culture, and social norms to determine the best expression of your messages. These messages, distributed through your website, application, social media, or any marketing campaigns, can better resonate with customers and prospects — wherever they may be. Your customers or prospects in other markets should feel as if you’re directly connecting with them in a personal, relatable, and natural way as if your business were a local business. Any localization strategy should take into account: Which markets and countries to target. The culture of those markets. Purchasing behaviors. Payment options and credit cards. Four localization strategy tips to keep in mind Localization strategy is more than just knowing a market’s cultural preferences. To better understand how to create and optimize a localization strategy, we spoke with Bill Lafferty, Solutions Architect from Acclaro — one of our LSP partners. Here’s what we learned. 1. Humanize your localization and translation With localization, even when you’re using machine translation or apps like Lokalise, you need to consider the human element. You need to develop trust as you enter a new market — and, most importantly, commit to the localization efforts. A few grammatical errors are one thing, but ignoring localization means you run the risk of not only offending your potential customers (never a good idea!) but also losing their trust. They’ll be able to tell if you care about them or not by the way you design and translate your software or website. This means taking into account more than the words — the cultural norms, nuances, and expectations, too. “Consider something as small as honorifics, which are titles or words expressing politeness or respect. How you greet your customers matters, especially if they’re “meeting” you for the first time through your website,” shared Lafferty. In Japan, for example, it’s expected to always add the gender-neutral suffix “sama” when interacting with customers. But it can come up in more subtle ways, such as on a form customers fill out to get in touch with you — do you have space for multiple middle names in Latin American countries? Similarly, you need to make it easy for your customers to pay you. This seems obvious, yet so many companies don’t realize that credit cards, debit cards, and bank transfers work differently in other markets. Credit cards aren’t widely used in Germany, and PayPal won’t work in Bangladesh. Multiple currency options and showing prices in other currencies is only the beginning. 2. Anticipate localization needs during design and development Ideally, you should be thinking about localization from the design phase, if not earlier. Anticipate which markets you’re looking at from the beginning of your software development journey, even if you don’t need to localize just yet. (And if you’re not there, don’t worry! Consider this your playbook moving forward.) This is because localization often starts with design. Yes, you’ll need to accommodate the metric system, different data formats, foreign currencies, and so on, but the heart of localization is making your users feel like your business is coming from their local market and that they can easily understand everything you’re trying to do. Much of that comes from empathetic design. That’s exactly why, at Lokalise, we integrate with apps like Figma and Sketch so you can design with other languages in mind. For example, translating from the English language into German can result in a 20-35% text expansion, while English to Swedish can result in a 20-35% text contraction. Asian languages like Korean and Japanese create vertical expansion from English, and some languages, like Arabic and Hebrew, are written right-to-left. All of these dramatically impact your design! When you design with localization in mind, designers create their prototypes and mockups in Figma or Sketch, populate them with different languages, and are able to check how the design will look with different translations early in the process. That means your designer can see if the design has to be altered to suit different locales before a single line of code is written. You’ll catch any potential bugs or breaks before they happen, and most importantly, you can increase your speed to market. 3. Document your brand The easiest way to future-proof your localization strategy is to document everything about your brand and marketing strategy. If you don’t already have a style guide, create one. It should include information about: Your tone of voice and whether it’s friendly, formal, or something in between. Common industry or company terms, acronyms, and phrases and what they mean. Examples of competitors you like or dislike and why. Specific conventions and grammar to avoid, such as contractions. The personality of your company and what it’d be like if it were a person. Translators use this to make sure their work reflects your brand, and since multiple translators will likely work on a single project, you need to make sure everyone is on the same page. Consider, however, what your brand will translate to in a foreign market. You want translators to easily see not just the words, but also how cultural differences can be accommodated without losing what makes your brand special. The documentation is a good first start in determining how your brand will flex and change to meet another market’s cultural preferences. You should also document your website structure and any best practices with mobile versus. desktop coding and browsing. Different markets engage with the internet differently, so be aware of how you want your brand identity to look and feel everywhere, and make sure that the foundation of your website can handle multiple sites in different languages. 4. Who owns localization strategy? Everyone Your entire team should be a part of your localization strategy — from software developers to business owners. Any plan you build should include training on aspects of your new markets, as well as how to use any localization tools you choose. Include: Designers, so they can design defensively and choose culturally relevant images. Developers, so they understand the code implications for multiple languages. Marketers, so they can craft campaigns that work across markets. Product managers, so they can stay on top of deadlines and markets. Business leaders, so they can see how localization fits into their tactical perspective. “It will take your entire team to build a localization process that works for everyone,” said Lafferty. How to build a localization strategy that works Your localization strategy should also include the how. How will the localization process work in your organization? You’ll want to make sure you’re flexible, adaptable, and actively communicating among your team members, creating the expectation that localization is always a work in progress. Your first decision should be about how you want to incorporate localization into your existing development process. At Lokalise, we recommend agile localization — a set of software development methodologies that are based on iterative and cross-functional team collaboration approaches. Translations aren’t just done once and delivered at the end of the development cycle. Instead, they are translated as the product is being developed. This means that once new iterations are released, translators or localization teams can simultaneously work on the localization of the changes happening in the product. As you’re working on newer markets, this process allows you to see the impact of what you’re doing right away, rather than delaying the release of a specific part of your product or website for localization. There are various approaches to a localization workflow, but the four most common steps are: Uploading or importing the source to the translation management system (TMS). Translation. Review, which may be omitted in small scale projects. Delivery of the translated content to end-users. Developers supply the source code, which they pass on to product managers or marketers who then submit the source for translation. Translators localize the material and pass it back to business stakeholders for review. Developers then incorporate the newly translated files into their source code, and the translations go live. The process involves a lot of steps, but much of the communication and handoffs can be automated with the right TMS. Lokalise, for example, provides you with advanced localization automation tools like Webhooks, API, and integrations with Gitlab and Bitbucket that allow you to seamlessly integrate localization into your continuous delivery workflow. How to measure your localization strategy Localization requires commitment. You need to be invested in the translation process, including re-working your design and development to align with what’s described above. Once your process gets going, you need to measure your return on investment. Here are several key performance indicators (KPIs) regarding localization that you can measure: Incremental sales, especially in the locations covered by the new languages. SEO keyword ranking. Market share — is it increasing as a result of the localization? Cost of translations. Pageviews — compare page views of the website before and after localization. (As a result of good localization, you’ll start seeing an increase in the number of visitors from the target market. Depending on the form of the content you localized, it can also be video views, the article reads, etc.). Conversion rates — see how many people who visited your site purchased the product or service prior to localization and then after it. Social media engagement — measure engagement and keep track of content shares, as well as mentions of your brand on social media in the targeted market. Customer support cases — when you localize your product for a specific location and publish knowledge base articles in that language, you’re very likely to notice a decrease in the number of support cases from those languages. Measuring and tracking these KPIs is the best way to understand your localization ROI. Case study: Coca-Cola’s localization strategy Few brands obtain global status like Coca-Cola. The brand has operated in more than 200 counties for over 100 years — you can order a “Coke,” a “Coca,” or a “Cola” depending on where you are. Their localization strategy is two-fold. On a product level, each version of Coca-Cola is slightly different, due to bottling in-country and adjusting to local taste preferences. Every country has a slightly different take on the formula, packaging, and messaging that works best in their country, using local experts and native speakers and workers to expand their business. On a packaging level, their slogans remain simple and personalized, with a focus on universal words like “Enjoy,” “Happiness,” and “Sharing.” These are universal concepts easily translated into other cultural norms, driving more market share than any other soft drink around the world. Case study: Starbucks’ localization strategy Another global brand with a successful localization strategy is Starbucks. Starbucks formulates every menu with local items to fit the taste preferences of each country. By partnering with local coffee companies, they change the formulas and packaging to make the most sense for the market, emphasizing local ingredients, and innovative designs. By doing so, they can better capture customer loyalty in brand new markets. Consider the flagship Starbucks store in Milan — a place famed for its coffee. Starbucks updated a well-known building rather than place a new Starbucks-branded store in the middle of a historic district. By working with local culture, Starbucks was able to successfully enter the Italian market and build an experience for locals and tourists alike. Similarly, for Starbucks’ Japanese store, they hired local designers to incorporate local elements into the store, including traditional craftsmanship and a facade that fits right in with the local tea houses and shops. Tea may be the preferred drink in Japan, but by adapting their operations to the local culture, Starbucks was able to easily enter the market. Execute your localization strategy with Lokalise Now that you understand more about what goes into a localization strategy, it’s time to put it into action. That’s where Lokalise comes in. Translation management systems like Lokalise make it easy to automate the localization process and design for market expansion so that you can effortlessly execute your localization strategy — all in one place. Embrace automation, workflow transparency, and fast project delivery with Lokalise. Try it free today. Guides Insights Localization
无论您是在考虑设计本地化的应用程序或网站,还是刚刚开始开拓其他市场或吸引全球用户,起步之前都需要一个具体的本地化策略。 请记住,尽管本地化是翻译的重要组成部分,但本地化并不等同于翻译。软件本地化(或l10n)超越了基本翻译,可以在文化层次上调整用户界面。不仅仅是你在说什么;还关乎你怎么说的。 本地化策略可以使从设计人员、开发人员、市场营销团队到业务策略家和本地化合作伙伴等所有参与本地化过程的人都保持正轨。 什么是本地化策略? 本地化策略是指按照与品牌相适应的方式将产品,消息和内容适应新国家和市场的总体计划。本地化策略考虑每个市场的语言,文化和社会规范,以确定您的信息的最佳表达方式。这些信息通过您的网站、应用程序、社会媒体或任何营销活动传播,无论消息传在哪里,都可能更好地引起客户和潜在客户的共鸣。 客户或其他市场的潜在客户会感觉到您的业务就像当地业务一样,在于您以一种个人的、亲密的、自然的方式与他们直接联系。 任何本地化战略都应加以考虑: 目标市场和国家。 市场文化。 采购行为。 付款方式和信用卡。 要牢记的四个本地化策略技巧 本地化策略不仅仅是了解市场的文化偏好。为了更好地理解如何创建和优化本地化策略,我们与来自Acclaro(我们的LSP合作伙伴之一)的解决方案架构师Bill Lafferty进行了交谈。以下是我们所了解到的。 1.将本地化和翻译变得人性化 即使是使用机器翻译或Lokalise之类的应用程序,对于本地化也需要考虑人为因素。当你进入一个新的市场,则需要建立信任--最重要的是致力于本地化工作。 语法上的错误是一回事,但是忽略本地化意味着您不仅会冒犯潜在客户(绝不是个好主意!)而且还会失去他们的信任。潜在客户可以通过你设计和翻译软件或网站的方式来判断您是否关注他们。 这意味着要考虑的不仅仅是词语,还有文化规范、细微差别和期望。“请考虑诸如敬语之类的小字眼,即表示礼貌或尊重的头衔或词语。Lafferty表示如何问候客户很重要,尤其是当他们第一次通过您的网站与“与您会面”。” 例如,在日本,人们通常期望与客户互动时通常会添加中性的后缀“ sama”。但它也可以以更微妙的方式出现,例如客户填写表格以与您取得联系–您是否有空间在拉丁美洲国家/地区使用多个中间名? 您同样需要使客户轻松付款。这似乎是显而易见的,但许多公司并没有意识到信用卡、借记卡和银行转账在其他市场的工作方式有所不同。信用卡在德国并未得到广泛使用,贝宝在孟加拉国也无法使用。多种货币期权和以其他货币显示价格仅仅是开始。 2.预期设计和开发期间的本地化需求 理想情况下,您应该从设计阶段(如果不是更早的话)开始考虑本地化。即使您现在不需要本地化,也可以在软件开发过程的初始阶段就预测您所关注的市场。 (如果不在那里,也不要担心!这是推动您前进的动力。) 这是因为本地化通常始于设计。是的,您需要适应公制、不同的数据格式、外币等等,但是本地化的核心是让户感觉您的业务来自于他们的本地市场,并且他们可以很轻松地理解您试图做的一切。这很大程度上取决于带着人情味的设计。 这就是为什么我们在Lokalise与Figma和Sketch应用程序进行集成,这样您就能在设计时考虑其他语言。例如,从英语翻译成德语可能导致文本扩展20-35%,而英语译成瑞典语可能导致文本压缩20-35%。 亚洲语言(如韩语和日语)在英语基础上垂直扩展,而某些语言(如阿拉伯语和希伯来语)则从右到左书写。 所有这些都极大地影响您的设计! 当您考虑本地化设计时,设计人员会在Figma或Sketch中创建其原型和模型,使用不同的语言填充它们,并能够在设计过程的早期检查使用不同翻译后的外观。这意味着您的设计人员在编写单行代码之前查看是否必须更改设计以适应不同的区域。还可以在任何潜在的错误或中断发生之前就发现它们,最重要的是可以加快产品上市速度 3.记录您的品牌 证明未来的本地化策略最简单的方法是记录有关品牌和营销策略的所有信息。如果您还没有样式指南,请创建一个。应包含有关以下内容的信息: 您说话的语调是平常的还是官方的,或者介于两者之间。 常见的行业或公司术语,首字母缩略词和短语及其含义。 喜欢或讨厌的竞争对手的示例以及原因。 避免使用特定约定和语法,如缩写。 公司的个性以及如果公司是个人会是什么样子。 译员利用这一点来确保他们的工作反映出您的品牌,而且由于多个译员可能会为同个项目工作,因此您需要确保每个人都在同一页面上。 不过,考虑一下您的品牌在国外市场会产生什么效果。您希望译者不仅能轻松地看到文字,还能看到如何在不失去品牌特色的前提下适应文化差异。该文档是确定您的品牌如何灵活适应另一个市场文化喜好的良好开端。 您还应该记录网站结构以及有关移动与网站的最佳做实践。桌面编码和浏览。不同的市场与互联网的接触方式不同,所以请明确好您希望品牌形象在任何地方看起来和感觉如何,并确保您的网站基础可以处理不同语言的多个网站。 4.本地化策略归谁所有?每个人 从软件开发人员到业务所有者,整个团队都应该成为本地化策略的一部分。您制定的任何计划都应包括对新市场方面的培训,以及如何使用所选的本地化工具。 包括: 设计师,这样他们就可以进行防御性设计,并选择与文化相关的图像。 开发人员,以便他们理解多种语言的代码含义。 营销人员,这样他们就可以策划跨市场的营销活动。 产品经理,这样他们掌握最后期限和市场动向。 业务主管,这样他们可以看到本地化如何适应战术视角。 Lafferty说:“这将需要整个团队来建立一个适用于所有人的本地化流程。” 如何构建行之有效的本地化策略 您的本地化策略还应该包括操作方法。本地化流程将在组织中如何运行?您需要确保自己的团队成员之间保持灵活、适应性强并且积极沟通,因此创建本地化始终是一项正在进行中的工作预期。 您的首要决定应该是关于如何将本地化纳入现有的开发过程。在Lokalise,我们推荐敏捷本地化--一组基于迭代和跨功能团队协作方法的软件开发方法。 翻译并不是一次完成,然后开发周期结束时交付的项目。相反,而是在开发产品时进行翻译。这意味着一旦发布了新的迭代,翻译人员或本地化团队就可以同时对产品中发生的更改进行本地化工作。 您可以在新市场工作这一过程立即查看所做操作的影响,而不必延迟产品或网站本地化特定部分的发布。 本地化工作流程有多种方法,但最常见的四个步骤是: 上传或导入源文件到翻译管理系统(TMS)。 翻译。 审查,在小型项目中可以省略。 向最终用户交付翻译内容。 开发人员提供源代码,并将其传递给产品经理或营销人员,然后由他们提交源代码进行翻译。译员将材料本地化,并将其传递给业务涉众审阅。然后,开发人员将新翻译的文件合并到他们的源代码中,翻译即可运行。 该过程涉及很多步骤,但是许多通信和切换都可以通过正确的TMS自动进行。 例如,Lokalise为您提供了高级本地化自动化工具,如Webhooks,API以及与Gitlab和Bitbucket的集成,将本地化无缝集成到您的连续交付工作流程中。 如何衡量您的本地化策略 本地化需要投入。您需要在翻译过程中进行投资,包括重新设计和开发,使之符合上述描述。 一旦流程开始,就需要衡量投资回报。 以下是一些可以衡量的有关本地化的关键性能指标(KPIs): 尤其在新语言覆盖的地区增加销售。 搜索引擎优化关键词排名。 市场份额的增加是由于本地化 翻译费用。 页面浏览量—比较网站本地化前后的页面浏览量。(由于本地化效果好,您会发现来自目标市场的访问者数量有所增加。根据本地化内容的形式,还可以是视频浏览,文章阅读等等)。 转化率-查看在本地化之前和之后进行本地购买的产品或服务的访问者数量。 社交媒体参与度--衡量用户参与度、跟踪内容分享以及目标市场上社交媒体对品牌的提及情况。 客户支持案例--您为特定位置本地化产品并以该语言发布知识库文章时,很可能会注意到这些语言的支持案例数量有所减少。 测量和跟踪这些KPIs是了解本地化投资回报率的最好方法。 案例分析:可口可乐的本土化策略 很少有品牌能像可口可乐那样占据全球地位。该品牌已经在200多个国家运营上百年--您可以根据所在地区订购“可乐”,“可口可乐”或一杯“可乐”。可口可乐的本地化策略涉及两个方面。在产品层面上,由于在国内装瓶并根据当地口味的喜好进行调整,每个版本的可口可乐都略有不同。 每个国家/地区使用最适合自己的配方,包装和消息传递方式略有不同,利用当地专家,母语人士和工人来扩大业务。在包装层面上,他们的口号保持简单和个性化,重点放在“享受”,“幸福”和“分享”等通用词汇上。这些通用概念很容易转化为其他文化规范,从而推动了比世界上任何其他软饮料更大的市场份额。 案例研究:星巴克的本土化策略 星巴克是另一个成功实施本地化策略的全球品牌。星巴克根据每个国家的口味偏好,用当地美食配制每份菜单。通过与当地咖啡公司合作,他们改变配方和包装,使之更符合市场需求,并强调当地食材和创新设计。 这样,他们可以更好地在全新的市场中获得客户忠诚度。 以咖啡闻名的米兰星巴克旗舰店为例。星巴克更换了一座著名的建筑,而不是在历史街区的中央新建一个星巴克品牌的店面。通过融入当地文化,星巴克成功进入意大利市场,并为当地人和游客营造一种新体验。 同样,对于星巴克的日本店,他们聘请了当地设计师将当地元素融入店内,包括传统工艺和与当地茶馆和商店相吻合的门面。茶可能是日本人的首选饮品,但通过根据当地文化调整经营方式,星巴克得以轻松打入市场。 使用Lokalise执行本地化策略 现在,您对本地化策略的内容有了更多的了解,是时候将其付诸于实践。这就是Lokalise的用武之地。像Lokalise这样的翻译管理系统可轻松实现本地化流程和市场扩展设计的自动化,从而使您可以轻松地在任何地方执行本地化策略。 使用Lokalise实现自动化、工作流程透明化和快速项目交付。立即免费试用。 指南 洞察力 本地化