With the increasing trend towards global commerce, localization is gaining in importance for all product and service providers who desire to conquer foreign markets. Although they have established know how and skills regarding the business domain they operate in, it is necessary to package and present the final product or service with a local flavor. Localization is needed not only for better user acceptance of translation services, but also to reduce the time and effort needed to launch a new product or service in a foreign region. While effort is on to standardize a given product or service as a result of globalization and blurring boundaries between different geographic regions of the world, there is an equal measure of effort dedicated to present the standardized product in what appears to be a locally accepted form. This calls for translation services needed for the associated documentation, media campaigns, business promotion material, user manuals and training modules for employees, dealers and representatives.
Localization involves much more than translation services. It requires a different set of skills, experience and expertise comprising of a fair amount of understanding and knowledge of local traditions, customs and behavioral patterns too. All this tacit knowledge is captured in a localization project. While nobody can accurately predict the manner and direction in which localization services are likely to grow, some of the expected localization trends that are likely to emerge in 2012 are briefly discussed here.
- More dependence on software tools to help and improve the localization process is expected to happen. This is likely because there is a stiff competition for launching new products and the time available is really short. Translation services have to rely on tools based on fuzzy logic, such as translation memory based software to achieve quick localization of products.
- Higher networking, cooperation and coordination will be required for localization because there will be several parties who can add value to a localization project. The emphasis will shift towards better project management techniques and outsourcing based business models.
- A good number of people will be encouraged to take up linguistic skill based employment considering the vast opportunities available currently. Whether this rapidly growing trend will be sustainable in future too, is a big question.
- Businesses interested in entering foreign markets will have to make considerable investment in localization. The localization process will have to make use of the local talent and resources.
- There will be a good deal of emphasis on the quality of translation services. Merely cutting down costs at the cost of quality will prove to be detrimental to the long term interests of the business.
- Awareness regarding local culture, tradition, behavior and habits will rise and this will help in high quality of localization services.
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