- A successful translation bears no sign of the original document, yet faithfully
and effectively communicates the original message to a new audience.
- A successfully localized document or product seems totally native in it's
new cultural, linguistic, regulatory, technical, et cetera local.
- Base Localization on Quality Copy
- Clearly written copy will always be better understood and thus translate more faithfully.
- Overly wordy copy will be unnecessarily expensive and time consuming to translate. Commercial copy that could be reduced to half its length is not uncommon.
- If a document will be translated into twenty locales, be sure it's well written before you start!
- Avoid Text in Graphics
Avoid designing documents with text that must be localized in the graphic elements. This is a common problem in web site localization. If you must do this, store your original graphics in a format that can store text on a discrete layer (PNG for example).
- Maintaining Parallel versions
In the case of web sites in particular, maintaining the site copy can be much more difficult than launching the original version.
- Separate content from markup
This will make both the process of editing the original copy or of translating the original copy into another language version much simpler, faster and cost-effective.
- Use a CMS
A good content management system or content server will allow even non-technical staff to effortlessly keep copy and even translated versions up to date. Check that the system you are considering supports multilingual site management
Going Global means Being Local
- Work with existing Content
Instead of generating new content (which can be expensive), use your existing content as a base. Localize your existing content to greatly increase market share for relatively little cost.
- Remember your Audience
When companies build their presence on the Internet -- their audience is no longer local. You are now potentially speaking to anyone in the world.
- Go Local
Your message in other languages is just as important as it is in the original. To insure the message gets translated correctly either involve local office staff in the l10n process or retain localization professionals. Ideally the localizers should know your business and it's processes intimately.
- Globalize Everywhere
Instead of localizing your product for each market consider globalizing it in all markets.
If you invest in localizing your U.S based business applications for Taiwan, why not internationalize your central knowledge base? For the cost of localization, you can now make Chinese available to your U.S. market and English available to your Taiwan market. Corporate information is centralized, so it's easier to keep synchronized as it evolves.
Business Globalization Traps
When localizing systems for a new market or building systems in a new country or office, one or more of the following situations often proves problematic.
- No Centralized Policy.
"We only use Gee-Whiz software here."."No, we don't know what the home office uses for that.".
Heterogeneous deployment means expensive integration.
- Lacking Global Authority.
"Sounds like a good idea. I'll ask our Boulder office about it."
Global system issues can't be resolved without a decision maker
- Missing Global Accountability.
"This system sounds very good. We sure do need to exchange and consolidate data with our other offices. Maybe Hong Kong has the budget to pay for this?".
No country office wants to absorb any of the cost of systems that reach above them.
- Systems Not Localized.
"Whoops! Engineering says the software doesn't support double bites!"."That's a nice system, but we don't use shekels here and we have VAT."
The system in place can't scale to a global application.
- No Technical Coordinating office.
No internal corporate process in place for IT/e-business crossovers, especially between local offices and corporate headquarters.
- One size doesn't fit all
"The corporate office doesn't want to pay for a Taiwanese web site, because we already have a Chinese one."
The home office is not sensitive to local subtleties.
Many organizations fail or abandon their global e-business roll-out for one of these reasons.
E-business Implementation Requires Proactive Strategies
||The Internet provides business with a virtual opportunity to promote brand and pursue commerce at little or no additional cost.
||The advent of the Internet has suddenly tossed us all into the international arena. Whether we were prepared or not, we are now on stage and the whole world is our audience. Not only do we need to make adjustments to our messages, but also our competitors have the same easy access to our customers.
||E-business is putting up an electronic version of your brochure on the net, and maybe setting up a virtual store to sell your widgets on-line.
||E-business is not about IT magic. E-business means integrating your entire business process - connecting people and information together in your organization - to aggregate your corporate knowledge and become a smarter organization.
Thursday, 26 February 2009
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Minister turns to Confucius to raise school standards
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Sure Languages Offer Advice for Businesses Considering ...
Sure Languages, a translation and interpreting company, highlight the importance of language and culture when engaging in international commerce. ...
Energized, funny 'Brothers' by Yu Hua satirizes Chinese life
In this English translation, the novel sags with clumsy, cliche-ridden prose; nobody bothered to hack away the useless adverbs littering the pages. ...
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