Phasing Software i18n and L10n: What’s Right for Your Company?

Going global is a big step. Moving from the massive challenge of getting a company off the ground and past the initial challenge of proving that your idea can work has already put your company in a league beyond most.

Aside from incidental web traffic and interest from new countries and regions, for many companies, going global means setting up partnerships, offices and agents. For software, it also means internationalizing and localizing software so that it’s competitive and meets sales requirements. Internationalization (i18n) of your software is a business case driven undertaking, in response to opportunities and strategy. It is not like a feature that you might add in a sprint or two.

That said, all global targets are not equal in terms of technical requirements. This post gives you a brief overview of stages of software i18n and localization (L10n) and what opportunities each may open for your company. It’s not intended as a technical resource, but more as a primer for product and localization managers.

The Basics

Venice, Italy

  • Internationalization, often abbreviated as i18n (i – then 18 letters – n), is the process of making a single code base locale-independent so the application can be easily localized to other locales with no source code changes.
  • Localization, often abbreviated as L10n (L– then 10 letters– n), is the translation and application of locale-specific terms and style so that a product is locale-specific – that is, it looks and reads like a product native to the market in which it is being sold.
  • Globalization, sometimes abbreviated as g11n (g– then 11 letters– n), includes both internationalization and localization together and often refers to the entire process of supporting other locales.
  • A locale in computing is a set of parameters that defines the user’s language, region and any special variant preferences that the user wants to see in their user interface. Usually a locale identifier consists of at least a language identifier and a region identifier. Consider that in both the US and the UK, the typical language is English, but other parameters such as date format, temperature and even some spelling is different.

Why Wasn’t It Internationalized in the First Place?

Venice, Italy

In a perfect world, all products would be created with i18n as a fundamental requirement from the start. But often with new product development, teams are just trying to make a product work and see if there’s a response. The initial focus is on relevance and acceptance of the application. Follow-on efforts are feature focused. I18n isn’t really like a feature, as its requirements underpin an entire application.

As mentioned above, going back and internationalizing code requires a business case. It takes time and will distract the development team from new features. There are times when products are rewritten, which is an excellent window to spend some effort on internationalization. In many cases i18n is a good opportunity for outsourcing, bringing in i18n expertise that allows your team to focus elsewhere, while still learning from the experts to ensure that future development will be internationalized. Expert help enables you to implement i18n faster with greater quality and less project risk.

Although people often think i18n is just about string externalization and the resulting localization, there is much more involved. There are locale frameworks that will govern locale behavior, methods/functions/classes that may need to be changed, static files to alter, and even hard coded patterns (e.g. a hard coded font) that may need fixing. Issues like date/time, address, phone number, numerical and measurement formats will have to adapt to local preferences. You’ll need character support, sorting changes and more. String externalization is like the visible part of an iceberg. You see it, but there’s much more below the surface.

Consumer Facing Software

Vernazza, Italy

It’s easy to see how consumer facing software has a higher requirement for i18n and L10n if it’s to gain broad acceptance, even in markets where English is more common.

That said, we do hear the argument that English is commonly used and understood in many places. Remember, if you travel to major cities in Europe, you’ll find that you can get along with English pretty well. But in terms of product preferences, people typically prefer engaging in their own languages. As you get out of major cities, you’ll find less English proficiency. Even with English (which English?) you still have formatting issues as mentioned, like decimal and comma placement in numbers.

Technical Software

Internationalization Phases

We see the “English everywhere” argument even more with technical software. To an extent, if your users are technical (i.e., system administrators), you can use English in more markets. But you’ll fall flat in Asia Pacific countries, such as Japan, Korea and China.

Below is a broad summary of i18n phases or levels which can be applied depending upon the business case. The best is to be global ready for everywhere of course.


If your targets are in Western European languages (i.e. French, Italian, German, Spanish, Portuguese and more), you won’t need Unicode support in your application. That said, if you’re working on i18n, I like to recommend that people take on Unicode as early as possible. Most every modern database and programming language offers Unicode support, but you have to enable it. In our experience, Unicode support can be about 25% more work on an i18n implementation (there are exceptions), but remember that if you’re already in the code making i18n changes, it’s more efficient to do it now than restart the process later. This is a generalization, and there are plenty of specific application, business case and market driven exceptions. For example, somebody sold something and you have to deliver your product in Brazilian Portuguese in three months (true story!).

Unicode support will need to be a prerequisite if you have plans for markets/languages with complex scripts such as Japanese, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hebrew, Arabic and Cyrillic based languages (i.e., Russian).

I18n Phase 1: Data


The very first internationalization priority should be the ability to input, process and transform customer data. In my opinion, this should be a benchmark requirement for any software that could have global customers or enterprise customers, whether or not localization is considered to be in the future. Note that the U/I is not changing in this phase. There is no U/I localization yet.

Even if you are actively selling only in your home country, it’s likely that you will run into customers in other countries, or your customers will have customers in other countries. At least let people enter data in multiple languages and formats. Store it, transform it and retrieve it without corrupting it.

Minimally, accents and diacritics shouldn’t cause character corruption (those square boxes and odd shapes you’ve probably seen). Better yet, add unicode support in the database and source code.  Character corruption shouldn’t be caused via issues in the various components of your product source code.

Character corruption example:

Character Corruption Example

Better if data can be stored and managed in variable formats for information such as date/time, numerical units, addresses, phone numbers and currencies.

Automation is the best approach to achieving this in a seamless, efficient and scalable manner. To that end, Lingoport’s Globalyzer can be used to scan your source code and database scripts to find these issues and guide developers to fix them. Our services team can perform refactoring work, as well.

I18n Phase 1.5: Locale Frameworks

You’ll need a locale framework for each programming language within your source code.

This paves the way for string externalization and presentation which will be needed for localization. Presentation of formats for date/time, numerical units, addresses, phone numbers, collation, currencies and more are also controlled by locale frameworks.

Lingoport’s services teams can help you make the right choices and even implement them for you.

I18n Phase 2: Language and Localization


String externalization is often what most people think of as the critical i18n and L10n step. User-facing words or strings are removed from being embedded in the source code and replaced with a function call typically to a resource file where the strings will now reside. This way, if the user selects a locale preference (remember those locale frameworks), French in France for example, the code will retrieve the French strings in the resource file for presentation.

String externalization can be tedious and time consuming. The issue is that lots of things may look like strings at the source code level that aren’t actually user-facing strings. Examples are named variables, debug statements and internal queries. Lingoport’s Globalyzer has default and extendable capabilities to aid these distinctions. Globalyzer Workbench enables an i18n engineer to assemble strings, walk through them and then externalize them in bulk.

You’ll also want to test your work. Lingoport’s Resource Manager will automatically generate a pseudo-locale that will help your team functionally test how the software will behave in another language, without the testers needing to understand that target language. Pad characters are added around the original English strings with expansion automatically set based on typical U/I requirements in the target languages. Alternatively, the expansion can be configured manually. This way, testers can immediately see any missed strings or U/I elements that won’t properly expand for likely longer words and changes in fonts in other languages (i.e., German, Chinese).

Pseudo localized page for a family tree application:


I18n Phase 2.5: Workflow

With some software, workflow and processes are different depending on market requirements. This takes market research and coordination with in-country representation. For instance, tax management, or medical administrative software is likely to have different requirements and steps in most markets.

I18n Phase 3: Bidi Support

i18n Phases

If your product is being sold in places using bi-directional languages such as Hebrew or Arabic, you’ll need to enable and test your pages to support U/I mirroring and the bi-directional nature of text that goes right to left, but with left to right elements within. Unicode support is a prerequisite.

Ongoing i18n and L10n

Fight Mojibake!Now that you’ve internationalized and localized your software, your work isn’t over. Your teams will be steadily releasing new features and functionality. I18n surprises can arise down the line that cost time and iterations to fix. It’s not hard for a developer to make a mistake. Just as your teams may continuously measure for coding quality issues and security, i18n quality now becomes another metric.

Localization for every sprint, branch and repository makes for tedious and error prone work that slows agile progress. That process can be automated, taking your developers out of the resource file update nanny business.

Lingoport Suite’s Globalyzer continuously supports i18n from the developer IDE to source repositories. Lingoport’s Resource Manager automates resource file updates from source to translation and back again, with quality checks in each direction. QA is supported as well.

Lingoport Dashboard lets teams see and manage i18n & L10n status and process, supporting i18n issue drill downs to associated source code, issue assignment and completion. Similarly, Localization resource file issues can be itemized and examined.

We’ve seen teams go from 5-week localization update cycles to under 3-days over hundreds of repositories. Our services teams have internationalized many well known applications ranging from small to millions of lines of code, and you would be surprised to see the efficiency gains that are achievable in the development process.

We hope that you find this primer useful as you look to address i18n and L10n of your own software products. If you have any questions, do not hesitate to reach out and a Lingoport team member will be happy to talk through the issues with you.

Other resources:

The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey Results

Lingoport recently conducted The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey, and the results are in!

There’s been plenty of talk within our industry about making Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) continuous, automated and in step with Agile development. However, we wanted to uncover the true state of the industry and therefore launched the survey. The reality is, the industry still has a long way to go…

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A Serious Lack of Internationalization Measurement & Management in the Software Industry

Lingoport recently conducted a survey titled The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization. Through the process, we received 121 responses from members of the industry.

State of the Industry Webinar

We highlighted the results of the survey during our webinar, The State of the Internationalization and Localization Industry, on February 28, 2018, and I invite you to watch the recording of the webinar here. (The webinar also features an interview with industry leader Renato Beninatto of Nimdzi Insights for his additional insights and perspectives on the survey results.)

Internationalization Measurement & Management

One thing that especially caught my eye with the survey is the lack of a documented and formalized process, with metrics, for measuring and managing internationalization (i18n) at the majority of companies.

Only 8% of respondents thought they did an excellent job at measuring and managing i18n requirements. Just over forty percent (40.5%) have either absolutely no process or reported that they barely had a system in place. This represents a major opportunity for companies to upgrade their i18n management infrastructure, which would improve software quality and reliability.

Some form of software quality measurement is a basic benchmark for any desired software requirement. To be weak on measurement is to rely on randomness, which is never a good idea.

If your company falls into the category of lacking an i18n requirements measurement & management system, perhaps you now have a new agenda item to raise at your next team meeting.

Watch the webinar recording.


The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

Apple’s i18n Bug Makes the News

Apple’s iOS Character Bug and Internationalization (i18n)

It’s rare that an i18n issue makes the news. In fact, in a meeting a few years ago with an i18n and localization team, one member lamented just that. “Nobody gets fired for a character corruption issue. That just doesn’t make the news.” The context was that security issues get the attention and with that gobs of budget. There is nothing like the fear of a breach, lawsuits and public humiliation coming with an i18n or localization (L10n) shortcoming. However the problems can still be insidious.

Let’s look at Apple’s iOS bug. It actually did make news, but could have easily been missed in this week’s tumultuous news cycle.

As reported: When a user inserts a particular character from the Telugu language (India) on iOS or MacOS, the system crashes hard. This can even take place from within applications running on those systems. The character looks like this:

Apple Bug

i18n and L10n Matter

Going back to our security bug comparison, let’s consider carrots and sticks. Security is a stick. Don’t handle it right and you get beaten. But if you perform i18n and L10n well, and you have a good product, you’re going to see a different kind of reward. This is absolutely no different than the benefits of paying attention to usability in your user interface. Software that works and behaves elegantly, has a competitive advantage with applications that may not. So it is for products that work well in any language and locale preference. Yes, there are some markets that are more US English tolerant, but they will still need all kinds of other locale formatting for a multitude of data like dates, numbers and addresses.

Want to grow? Go where the people are. Look at Facebook, with 87% of its users outside North America (including US, Mexico and Canada). Netflix has been growing consistently based on expanding their presence worldwide. Even consider technical products, whose managers perhaps had the excuse that system administrators have to learn English anyway. Have a listen to our webinar recording with Anna Schlegel, who leads Globalization efforts at NetApp. They place great strategic importance to their i18n and L10n efforts as a critical product strategy, and not just a checkmark.

If It’s So Important, Why Is It Hard?

There are many reasons why both i18n and L10n can be challenging. Developer teams are tasked with steadily implementing new features and fixes. I18n requirements are often not fully understood. You have organizational turnover, far flung teams, disparate understanding of i18n, and the fact that perfectly functional development may deliver the feature, but not the locale requirement. Testing may or may not ever directly relate to i18n and L10n within the same sprint. Then figure that you have multiple sprints and often source control branches being fired off concurrently. Even more experienced companies with their own internal technology investments tend to have a jury-rigged series of scripts that still depend on human action and are subject to process error and delay.

This is where our Lingoport Suite software for managing i18n and L10n can make for significant gains in quality, time to market and development savings. It is natural that if you find i18n issues during the day’s development tasks, you can fix them easily and quickly without any backlog or impact on your development velocity. Same goes for localization changes. Automate those, and you can stay right on target and never have to search for changes and updates to files. If one little string changes, it’s no big deal. The updated translation is automated out and back into your code. Plus it’s all made visual via dashboard and controllable even through collaboration tools like Slack. Even the QA team has continuously updated test cases, so that US English (or whatever your home language may be) is just another locale.

Back to the Apple Bug

I did a little reading plus reached out to a few experts beyond our team, to pin down what might have happened at Apple. Their situation is probably not a simple case of using some deprecated function or locale unsafe class. Apple does support Unicode after all. It’s a bit surprising that one Unicode character out of some 55,000 in the first Unicode plane would cause such problems. As a (useless) guess, something is going wrong at the OS level when the character is processed and displayed. Perhaps the character processing algorithm, in this case, leads to a buffer overflow. Even if you don’t expect to converse in Telugu, nefarious types are using the character in text bombs to disable Apple devices. A fix is forthcoming.

Why This Matters:

It’s unlikely that you’ll run into a bug this complex within typical application development. But this is an excellent illustration that it’s far less painful to get i18n and L10n right before release. Have good systems for finding and fixing issues like embedded strings, concatenations, functions/classes that aren’t locale safe, character encoding bottlenecks, and programming patterns that mess up your intended results. Then take out the file nanny busy work around localization updates so every sprint is easily localized. Win over your worldwide customers with software that’s up to date with their own preferred locale behavior and language.

Further reading:

Bug report:

Interesting analysis:

The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

Throwing it Over the Wall

Don’t fall into this simple trap when internationalizing for the first time that can cost years of work and millions of dollars! Our friend Steve, from Plodding Tech. was subject one such story.

Steve knew Plodding Tech. needed to expand their market reach, but he felt his team was too busy to tackle the large-scale project of Globalization. His assumption was that it would be simple string refactoring and translation work anyway. The presumed solution was to reach out to a low-cost outsourcing firm, Raindrop.

It seemed like a cost-friendly solution when it was initially pitched.

Once Steve threw the globalization work over the wall he felt like Plodding Tech. would be moving into the global marketplace in no time.

It was a couple of months before Steve realized his outsourcing firm was learning the intricacies of internationalization (i18n) for the first time. Every couple of months his contact at Raindrop changed as the firm was dealing with a heavy staff rotation.  Steve found that despite outsourcing he was acting as a manager of Plodding Tech.’s i18n efforts. This was exactly the effort he was trying to avoid by throwing it over the wall. 

The outsourcing firm simply didn’t understand what Plodding Tech. was about and what their software brought to the world. What’s worse is they simply didn’t have the ability to quickly react to messaging changes or detail corrections across the target locales in a timely manner. Even after two months, there we still many embedded strings

Often mistakes were overlooked and code drops from the outsourcing group were resolved months after their due date. This was frustrating as Steve was making weekly efforts to advance within the domestic market.

As time wore on Steve felt less like he had hired an outsourcing firm but paid for an assortment of entry-level contractors to tackle a specialized job.

Months became years, and when evaluating the project Steve came to a harsh realization. Even though they started out thinking the solution would be cheaper, little by little, they ended up spending $750,000, not including their own time spent trying to manage the efforts. The outsourcing firm had not developed a methodology to get through the i18n process. There were still embedded strings, application components that hadn’t be updated, Locale frameworks were insufficiently implemented. There was no clear definition of complete.

His own team had moved ahead with several versions and now he had a forked development effort as the i18n had never been well tested, had unresolved issues and so hadn’t been merged back into their code.

That was 3 quarters of a million plus 2 years of phone calls, emails, meetings, and stress. In addition, 2 years of lost market potential.

Steve was burying his head in his hands. This isn’t right, i18n should be creating new revenue streams, not cutting away from the bottom line.  Steve needed to try something new…

Steve needed experts.

When Steve started looking for i18n experts he quickly stumbled upon Lingoport, as anyone reading this article has. After laying out the scope and details of his project Lingoport was able to complete the work for Plodding Tech. in a few short months because our methodology is already in place.

Lingoport’s software was put in place. A list of bugs and issues found in the code could be methodically burned down, tested and completed. His team could work in concert with Lingoport’s services.

Rather than working hard to manage the outsourcing firm Steve found Lingoport came to him knowing the right questions to ask to get the job done and were addressing i18n concerns he didn’t know existed.

Now I’m sure you’re thinking Steve and Plodding Tech. are made up, and you’d be right their name has been changed to protect the innocent. However the 2 years wasted, and the spent dollars were all too real. Don’t let your company face the horrors and losses of throwing i18n over the wall.  

The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

New Webinar: 10 Questions with Industry Leader Renato Beninatto

Renato Beninatto

I invite you to watch our webinar, “The State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry,” in which I interview Renato Beninatto, industry leader and CEO of the market research and consulting firm, Nimdzi Insights.

Renato has served on executive teams for some of the industry’s most prominent companies and is the author of the book The General Theory of the Translation Company. Renato was the president and is currently an advisor to Elia (European Language Industry Association) and is also an ambassador of Translators without Borders.

Plus, I’ve known Renato for, well…, forever, and assure you that he’s always full of incredible insights and energy. The webinar is not only educational, but also quite entertaining.

The State of the Industry, Revealed

Renato Beninatto, NimdziDuring the webinar, we explore the current state of the internationalization and localization industry with Renato. We look at where the future is taking us and how you can position yourself as a key globalization influencer in your organization. In addition, I walk through 10 questions with Beninatto, exploring the biggest opportunities in localization today, the ideal role of globalization vendors, the future of globalization technology, and more.

Plus, as an added bonus, we round out the discussion by revealing insights from Lingoport’s recent The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey. Cut through all the hype and discover where the industry truly stands today.

What You Will Learn

  • The leading localization opportunities in the market today
  • Effective approaches to leading globalization at a growing enterprise
  • The ideal role of globalization vendor partners
  • How to use technology to connect developers, marketing teams, localization teams, in-country offices and vendors in Globalization teamwork
  • What’s next for technology in support of global releases
  • Results from Lingoport’s State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization Survey

Who Should Attend

  • Localization Managers and Engineers
  • Marketing Managers
  • Development Managers and Team Members
  • Product and Program Managers
  • Executives

Hope you are able to watch the webinar recording and to enjoy the insights.

– Adam

State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry Webinar

The Fastest Growing Global Markets in 2018

Seeking new opportunities and the fast lane for growth for your brand? Then look no further than the fastest-growing global markets.

According to the 2018 PwC CEO Survey, corporate CEOs are confident in the global economy to grow reliably in the year ahead, with the highest-ever jump in CEO optimism related to the global growth outlook in the survey’s history.

Advanced economies around the world are being predicted to grow by 2.2% this year, according to the World Bank. Comparatively, there’s more than double the growth opportunity in emerging and developing economies, with a projected 4.5% growth rate in 2018.

Even if your brand is already doing business or selling in multiple countries around the world, identifying the specific local markets around the world that are outpacing the rest of the world and pinpointing those that are projected to grow significantly in the coming years can provide your company with a clear path to faster growth. On top of that, targeting fast-growing markets can provide your brand with a strong competitive advantage when your competitors are ignoring certain markets or are simply late to the game.

Asia Is a Growth Engine

When looking at global growth opportunities, start with Asia. The region is the fastest growing in the world, with China and India leading the way, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development’s (OECD) latest Economic Outlook report.

OECD Global Growth Report

The PwC CEO Survey also points to Asia as the area outside of the United States with the highest level of confidence for growth in the coming year by the CEOs surveyed, with various countries boasting GDP growth in excess of 6.0%.

In comparison, the Euro area is estimated to grow at a 2.4% rate in 2017 and 2.1% in 2018. Although the Euro countries represent growing markets, it’s clearly less than the current and future trends in Asia.

As reference, GDP in the United States is estimated to grow by 2.5% in 2018 before dropping down to 2.1% the following year.


Growth Markets: Shanghai, China

In the Asian region, China’s growth was estimated by the OECD to be approximately 6.8% in 2017. The country is projected to grow by 6.6% in 2018 and 6.4% in 2019 in a steady-growth pattern for the coming years. Underlying the economic growth, industrial production growth and corporate profits have been increasing.

Stabilizing market growth has been an objective of the Chinese government. China’s president Xi Jinping has been striving to keep credit growth under control, perhaps leading to more balanced, steady, and reliable growth than the hypergrowth of years past.


India’s healthy growth rate is being pegged at roughly 6.7% this past year to 7.0% in 2018 and 7.4% in 2019. The OECD report points to reforms that are helping to boost investment, productivity, and growth in the highly populated country.

Martin Mackay, President Asia Pacific of CA Technologies, stated this month at Davos that the company is eyeing a significant growth opportunity in India. Mackay said, “We look at India as a massive growth market. Its growth potential is accelerating.” The $4 billion company is expanding its presence in Asia with a special focus on India.



Vietnam’s economy is being forecast to grow by 6.5% in 2018, according to the Asian Development Bank. The country is experiencing a buildup of foreign capital, due to the government’s concerted effort to make the Vietnamese market attractive to foreign companies. One example of recent investment in the country was by the telecom giant Samsung, with an investment of $2.5 billion. This brings Samsung’s total investments in the country to $6.5 billion.


According to the World Bank, economic growth in Cambodia is strong, and the trend is expected to continue. GDP growth was at 6.8% in 2017 and is projected to be at 6.9% in 2018, as its tourism sector looks be recovering.

This growth in Cambodia carries risk, however. Governmental corruption is endemic, and the country ranks 150th out of 168 on Transparency International’s Corruption Perceptions Index.


Although its population is small, the economic engine of the Kingdom of Bhutan is strong. The World Bank is projecting GDP growth of 7.7% for the country in 2018, and a staggering 10.5% in 2019. One of the keys underlying these projections is Bhutan’s potential for hydropower generation. (For all of its robust GDP growth, the government of Bhutan, it should be noted, ironically prefers to measure its progress through its Gross National Happiness Index rather than the standard GDP.)


Global Growth Markets: Indonesia

Indonesia is expected to grow by 5.0%, as consumption increases due to rising household incomes. According to CSA Research’s Digital Opportunity: The Top 100 Languages for 2017 report, Indonesian represents the fastest-growing language online, with a market share increase of 101%.

South Korea

Not growing as quickly as many of its neighbors, but still representing an economy that is solidly expanding is South Korea, with a growth rate of approximately 3.0% through the year 2019 according to the OECD report. This is seen as being buoyed by stronger global trade and greater fiscal support.

New Zealand

New Zealand

New Zealand’s economy is also looking robust, with GDP growth predicted to increase to more than 3.0% in 2018 and 2019, with stronger investments and exports supporting the growth trends.

What All of This Growth Means for Your Brand

Targeting fast-growing markets around the world for your global expansion provides your company with a path to more substantial, accelerated growth. In addition, targeting fast-growing markets can provide your brand with a strong competitive advantage.

When looking at global growth markets, Asia is where the action is. It behooves you to evaluate the Chinese, Indian, Vietnamese, and other Asian markets as potential areas in which your business can gain traction, adopt new loyal customers, and support your evolution as a business.

The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results

New Webinar: Fearlessly Leading Global Expansion, Featuring NetApp’s Anna Schlegel

Watch this special webinar, in which I interview Anna Schlegel, Sr. Director, Globalization Programs and Information Strategy at NetApp. Anna has been a leader in our industry for many years, forging a path for more collaborative, more seamless, and more customer-centric global expansion. 

Prior to joining NetApp, Anna held various globalization roles at Cisco, Xerox, Verisign, and VMware. Her work at NetApp has enabled the Fortune 500 technology leader to reach higher global revenue by adapting products, solutions, programs, departmental alignment and strategies to local needs and objectives around the world.

If you’re looking to help mold your company into a more globally-minded and globally-collaborative business, you don’t want to miss this webinar.

The Global Opportunity


Today’s economy is increasingly borderless, and global expansion offers your company an opportunity to increase revenue, gain new customers, and strengthen your competitiveness. This webinar will teach you a smarter way to go global, enabling your brand to connect more deeply with local users and to avoid the common mistakes that many companies make when expanding into new regions and countries.

An Industry Leader on a Global Mission

Anna Schlegal

Anna is a true veteran of internationalization and localization. Beyond her 20 years of experience in the industry, she also authored the book Truly Global: The Theory and Practice of Bringing Your Company to International Markets, and co-founded the 4,000+ member association Women in Localization.

Based on her experiences, Anna will walk you through strategies for effective globalization, including team building, inter-departmental collaboration, objection handling, and executive management buy-in. Uncover what it takes to not just sell products internationally, but to excel at global expansion and business-building.

Webinar Date/Time

  • Date: Wednesday, January 24, 2018
  • Time: 9am PT | 12pm ET | 6pm CET
  • Duration: 30 minutes (followed by audience Q&A)

Who Should Attend

  • Localization Managers and Engineers
  • Development Managers and Team Members
  • Product and Program Managers

Webinar Recording



State of the Internationalization & Localization Industry Webinar

Winter Holiday Season

The winter holiday season is a great time to look at a more human element in the localization process. A few quick examples of global holidays might give some inspiration of how to approach different regions during this festive time.

Chinese New Year/ Lunar New Year

Lunar New Year

In America we think of the holiday as Chinese New Year, but the holiday is more commonly referred to as the Lunar New Year. This winter holiday takes place in either January or February. In 2018 it will fall on the 16th of February.

If you make content around this holiday you’ll want images to focus on either Lanterns, the dragon dance, fortune gods or other related decorations. Another good focus would be on the zodiac animal of the year. For 2018 the zodiac is the dog representing loyalty and honesty.

Another interesting aspect are small embroidered red envelopes used to exchange cash gifts. These red envelopes have seen some digital representations used with increasing frequency lately.

China is a good focus for the Lunar New Year but it is also celebrated heavily throughout Southeast Asia, Australia, New Zealand, as well as having a presence in highly populated areas of America and Europe. With some creative application the materials you put together could be applied across many locals.

Boxing Day
Boxing Day

America may be known for a shopping frenzy on Black Friday. However, in the UK, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand; Boxing Day has been the more recognized shopping holiday. Though many shops are now promoting with both holidays in these countries, as it’s another sale.

More traditionally boxing day was recognized as feast day of Saint Stephen, the patron saint of horses, which is why Boxing Day became associated with horse racing and fox hunting. It’s also considered customary to give gifts to people in the service industry on this day like the mail carrier or doorman.

Many prior marketing materials around this day focus on images with a box. Some however play more into the horses or fox hunting angle to look more daring, and lean into the roots of the holiday.

The Day of Goodwill

The Day of Goodwill

It would be best when putting together materials for South Africa to refrain from referring to Boxing Day and instead refer to December 26th as the Day of Goodwill. It was renamed so by the South African Government in 1994. This holiday is more family focused, and emphasizes itself as day of giving to others. Focusing more on goodwill and charity are more appropriate here.

Kentucky for Christmas!

Kentucky for Christmas

CC Image courtesy of rumpleteaser by Day on Flickr

KFC is the Christmas meal of choice in Japan. It used to be that the traditional meal was a turkey, which is an expensive delicacy in Japan. Assuming many would be satisfied with having a bird on their table KFC in 1974 launched their Kentucky for Christmas campaign.

Chicken was cheaper and bringing home KFC was much easier than trying to cook a turkey. It’s become such an ingrained tradition people will wait for hours in line to get their Christmas dinner from KFC.

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State of the i18n and L10n Industry Webinar

Take the Survey! The State of Continuous Internationalization & Localization

Today’s software is built using agile methodology, which is superior at getting new features out fast, in contrast with waterfall. However, that change created problems for software localization. There’s been plenty of talk within our industry about making Internationalization (i18n) and Localization (L10n) continuous, automated and in step with Agile development, and we intend with this survey to uncover the status of this effort.

To that end, please take our survey and let us know your company’s level of adoption of continuous i18n and L10n. The survey takes only 2-3 minutes. If you enter your email address, we’ll email you the results upon conclusion of the survey.

Plus, for each of the first 250 entries received we’ll donate US$1 to Translators Without Borders, and we’ll increase that to $2 for each entry beyond the initial 250.

Please note that the survey is now closed. A big “Thank You!” to everyone who participated. We will be sharing the results in the coming weeks.

The State of Continuous i18n & L10n Survey Results