Getting your web-site or marketing material localized for use in another country can be a daunting task. The process is not simple as there are cultural considerations that need to be respected, marketing messages to get across and the pressure of making sure that your brand or product is represented in the best possible way.

As a multiple language service provider, we are often asked about the best practices for localization. Our clients ask us about the steps in translating their content, whether back-translation is necessary for their marketing message, what they should choose technology-wise and which CMS (Content Management System) should they be on for the best localization experience.

These are all valid questions and we are always glad to assist in them. However we want to share with you a very neglected but most important aspect of the localization cycle.

The most important phase – and the one that our clients have the most control over – in localization is creating the content.

For any content that will be localized, it is best to keep the language succinct, to the point and free of any embellishment. Do not forget that embellishments such as colloquialism, jokes or idioms might not translate well and might not have the same meaning for your intended audience.

Whenever possible, using the same sentences for action will make the localization process faster and the quality higher (eg. use “Press Enter.” everywhere rather than different iterations of the same action). This is also true for form titles – if you have used “Name” in one form, do not use “First Name” in others.

Another very important point also is that you should only ever consider beginning a localization work after the content is final (getting a draft copy localized will only bring additional costs and headaches).

Involving your local teams (if any) in the localization process would yield better results. If there are no local people, having the right localization partner – with experience – and asking them their opinion can also help.

But remember – the simpler your content is, the better it’s localization will be. This is the golden rule.

For anything else, you project managers at Link Translations can help. Just contact us today to get your site and message ready for the world.