Mobile & Global Business

With the recent surpassing of mobile web traffic over classic PC-based traffic, emphasis has been placed on businesses to establish themselves in the mobile realm. However, much of this mobile growth is coming internationally, leading to a need to integrate mobile development with localization.

Projections

Everyday we read the “latest projections” for mobile, each telling us a different statistic, but all demonstrating the same idea: mobile usage is surpassing PC usage and mobile usage is increasing in developing countries. ABI Research has indicated that mobile commerce will grow to $119bn by 2015. That a number that is hard to ignore, especially so when mobile phones often provides the only pathway to the internet for users in developing countries.

What Does This Mean for Global Business?

Businesses without an established plan to capitalize on increasing mobile use in developing markets are sure to fail in those markets. Surely, if one’s competition is localizing their mobile efforts in a market, then consumers in that market will prefer their products as if those products are their own. It’s a large initiative, but the process may already be in place…

Localization and Mobile

Companies that have previously localized their websites need only to adapt their site to mobile. This process is mostly test-intensive and involves checking functionality across mobile platforms. Localizing mobile apps is test-intensive as well, stemming from the differences in Android, Apple, Blackberry and Windows mobile operating systems.

It’s obviously important for businesses to keep up with these emerging trends to stay ahead of the competition. Assuming, however, competing businesses are operating under similar global initiatives, it comes down to who does it better; who has the best tools.

More Information on Mobile & Globalization

Stay tuned for an informational webinar on Thursday, December 1st from Lingoport CEO Adam Asnes and LocLabs CEO Danica Brinton who has worked on mobile and game localization strategies with many top global companies.

Game Localization: the Basics

With a number of foreign markets emerging with buying power and tech-aptitude, product managers are focusing more on adapting their products to those foreign markets. This is especially the case with the emergence of smart phones and social networks that are capable of providing a platform for games. The combination of these emerging markets and emerging game platforms has led to an emphasis on localization for game developers.

Game localization is the process of preparing a game for a new locale. It goes beyond simple translation to consider linguistic issues, hardware issues and cultural differences that each target locale requires. Like all forms of localization, game localization has become a paramount task for developers to undertake when creating a new game with so much of the game market coming from non-English speaking countries. From context for translation, to understanding cultural differences, ensuring quality is paramount to a successful international release.

Language

“All your base are belong to us” – an infamous line from the 1991 video game Zero Wing that has become something of a cultural hit. Translating a video game’s dialogue is a tricky task. Translators need to work off of context, something that standalone video game text does not provide. With so many games now allowing users to make their own decisions, the context for each point of dialogue is different in each instant. Planning ahead and providing context to the translation team, instead of just a translation sheet, assures better quality, and better ease of translation.
Also take into consideration that different languages use a different amount of text to convey the same idea. Don’t overlook resizing of text boxes, and ensure that there is enough space available for the necessary text.

Culturalization

Like any product being prepared for a new locale, cultural aspects must be considered when localizing. Games are no different. Typically, gamers in Japan are drawn to younger game characters on a quest to find themselves while American gamers are drawn to older, more rugged ones. The perception of violence, blood and gore in video games will also affect public opinion on a localized game. Keeping track of where those aspects of the game are in your development process will save time when localizing. Do the necessary research to understand what your target market values in a game. Take care of this first, it will prove valuable in the long run.

Legal

Countries have different governing bodies that enforce ratings on games. Issues with violence, sex or foul language must be considered when preparing a game for a new locale. It is possible that a game can be banned if it does not meet the standards set in place by the governing body in a new territory.

Conclusion
Ensuring that all these steps are taken will grant a more successful international release. Taking note of where localization issues will arise, during the initial game development process, will save time and money when aiming for a simultaneous release in multiple markets.

Gamers take value in high-quality games. Taking the necessary steps to understand a foreign market is valuable to the success of a localized game. Developing games for multiple locales? Visit Lingoport.com for internationalization support.

Website Localization: Factors to Consider

The Emergence of Brazil

With nearly one-third of the world population using the internet, more and more opportunities are arising for people to communicate and for companies to reach new markets. Adapting an e-commerce website to a new locale has become an essential way for online businesses to survive and thrive in new markets. In an insightful post from the GPI Translation Blog, we learn first hand some of the strategies that go into localizing a website for a new locale; specifically Brazil.
Brazil will be in the world spotlight in the coming years with the 2014 World Cup and the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro. China gets the headlines as the next economic superpower, but Brazil lies-in-wait as another market ready to explode. With a current base of 50 million Internet users, Brazil presents an excellent business opportunity for companies. But what specifically must be done to sell to these new consumers? Selling strategies in the United States do not stick in Brazil; new approaches must be developed.

Brazilian Market

  • The Internet is predominantly used by upper and middle-classes, but government initiatives have worked to gain funding for Internet cafes to help lower income groups have Internet access.

Brazilian Consumers & Culture

  • Brazilian society places high importance on looking good and appearance.
  • Brazilians prefer goods made within their own country whenever possible.
  • Decision-making power for Brazilian women has increased.
  • Brazilians are often budget-conscious and look for the absolute best value they can find.
  • Latin cultures place great emphasis on family and community, Brazil included.
  • Brazilian culture values masculinity which can be depicted as achievement, success, adventure and fun.

Brazilian Portuguese vs. European Portuguese

  • When localizing a website for Brazil, consider many of the spelling and verb tense differences within the two main Portuguese dialects.

SEO & SEM in Brazil

  • As all marketing strategies go, Brazilian SEO campaigns need to be multidimensional.
  • Be advised that while focusing on Portuguese search terms is important, bilingual users also use English to search and navigate the Internet.
  • Keywords and key phrases need not just be translated. Cultural and linguistic issues affect what people search for.

For more information on this subject, please visit:  http://blog.globalizationpartners.com/brazilian-website-localization.aspx

Leading Globalized Software Development in Your Company

Developing Software for the World – Internationalization, Localization and Beyond

What: Leading Globalized Software Development Presentation and Expert Panel Discussion
When: Monday, October 10, 2011; 2:30-5pm
Where: Network Meeting Center at Techmart
5201 Great America Parkway
Santa Clara, California 95054
Cost: Complimentary
Open to: Lingoport customers and friends (space is limited; approval required)
Registration:https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/308146424
Panelists: Tex Texin, Chief Globalization Architect at Rearden Commerce, Andrew Bredenkamp, CEO at Acrolinx, Loic Dufresne de Virel, Localization Strategist at Intel, Richard Faubert, Manager, Software Development QA at Cisco, and Adam Asnes, Founder & CEO of Lingoport.
Panel Facilitator: Erin Vang, GlobalPragmatica

Customers & friends of Lingoport and Acrolinx are cordially invited to join us for a special event on the eve of Localization World in Santa Clara on Monday, October 10th at 2:30pm. Join us at TechMart for an interactive presentation and expert panel discuss on how to lead globalized software development at your company.

Together, industry experts from Rearden Commerce, Acrolinx, Intel, Cisco and Lingoport will present and discuss:

  • Developing software for the world
  • Closing the loop between internationalization and localization
  • Content authoring with localization in mind
  • Measuring software development for globalization
  • How to justify and gaining approval for software globalization (i18n and L10n) from management
  • Measuring ROI on your globalization projects
  • Agile software development best practices, and much more

The event is open to Lingoport customers & friends and registration is requested. The event targets customer-side internationalization, localization, and globalization managers, software developers and engineers, content developers and technical writer, and anyone interested in understanding and promoting the software globalization process and the effects i18n and L10n have on an organization as a whole.

Agenda

2:30-3:00pm: Introductions and networking.
Coffee and cookies will be provided.

3:00-3:50pm: Presentation and Case Studies: Leading Globalized Development in Your Company
Tex Texin, Chief Globalization Architect at Rearden Commerce and Adam Asnes, Founder & CEO of Lingoport, will discuss how to lead globalized development within a company. Tex and Adam will also showcase real-life case studies and many best practices.

Click here to download the “Developing a Software Globalization Plan” .pdf

3:50-4:10pm: Break

4:10-5:00pm: Expert panel discuss – To Globalize, or Not. That is the Questions!
We’ll continue the afternoon with an expert panel discussion featuring some of the most experienced industry experts from Rearden Commerce, Acrolinx, Intel, Lingoport and Cisco. Developing software for the world has unique challenges and can add tremendous growth and value to a company’s bottom line. In today’s fast-paced and economically challenging business environment, software companies have very little room to make costly mistakes or to miss out on global opportunities.  The goal of the panel discussion is to stimulate debate on a variety of software development, globalization, internationalization and localization related issues. Panel members will discuss real-world best practices and answer and discuss questions from the audience.

5:00-6:00pm: Open Bar – Networking and Discussion
We’ll conclude the afternoon with a networking session and drinks sponsored by Acrolinx and Lingoport. Many of us will then probably head over to the LocWorld opening reception dinner.

Round Table Facilitator

Erin Vang

Erin Vang - GlobalPragmaticaErin Vang, PMP, is Principal Pragmatist with Global Pragmatica LLC®, which offers facilitative leadership for technical audiences. She has over twenty years of experience in statistical software documentation, quality assurance, project management, and localization, most recently as International Program Manager for the JMP Research and Development at SAS, and previously with Abacus Concepts and SYSTAT. Vang holds degrees in music performance and math, is a PMI-certified Project Management Professional, and has extensive training in facilitative leadership and conflict resolution. She writes a regular column for Multilingual magazine and is in much demand as a speaker, event moderator, and facilitator.

Panelists

Tex Texin
Chief Globalization Architect at Rearden Commerce

Tex Texin, chief globalization architect at Rearden Commerce, has been providing globalization services including architecture, strategy, training and implementation to the Tex Textin - internationalization expertsoftware industry for many years. Tex has created numerous globalize products, managed internationalization development teams, developed internationalization and localization tools, and guided companies in taking business to new regional markets. Tex is also an advocate for internationalization standards in software and on the web. He is a representative to the Unicode Consortium and the World Wide Web Consortium.

Andrew Bredenkamp
CEO at Acrolinx

Andrew Bredenkamp is cofounder and CEO of Acrolinx. Andrew has over 20 years’ experience in multilingual information development. Before starting Acrolinx, Andrew was head Andrew Bredenkamp, CEO at Acrolinxof the Technology Transfer Centre at the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence language technology lab. Andrew holds degrees in technical translation and linguistics and a Ph.D. in computational linguistics. He is on the advisory board of a number of organizations, including Translators without Borders and The Centre for Next Generation Localisation.

Loïc Dufresne de Virel
Localization Strategist at Intel Corporation

Loïc Dufresne de Virel is currently a localization strategist within Intel’s in-house localization team. In this role, his main activities include overseeing the use of Intel’s translation Loic Dufresne de Virelmanagement system and deployment of other localization tools, constantly advocating for proper and improved internationalization and localization practices and processes for web, software and “print” collateral, as well as defining the training roadmap for localization and internationalization. Prior to moving to Oregon and joining Intel, where he has been involved in localization for the past 12 years, Loïc spent a few years in Costa Rica, working as a regional technical adviser for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development.

Richard Faubert
Manager, Software Development QA at Cisco

Richard Faubert - CiscoRichard Faubert has over 20 years of experience in telecommunications technical support for ROLM/IBM/Siemens. Richard joined Cisco Systems in 2000 and has worked in a number of capacities, including Software Development Manager and Program Manager. He is currently the QA Manager of Cisco’s TelePresence. Richard is an alumni of Washington State University.

Adam Asnes
President & CEO of Lingoport

Adam Asnes founded Lingoport in 2001 after seeing firsthand that the niche for software globalization engineering products and services was underserved in the localization industry. Adam AsnesLingoport helps globally focused technology companies adapt their software for worldwide markets with expert internationalization and localization consulting and Globalyzer software. Globalyzer, a market leading software internationalization tool, helps entire enterprises and development teams to effectively internationalize existing and newly developed source code and to prepare their applications for localization.


Facebook Set to Introduce Translation Feature on Comments

With the introduction and prominence of Google’s web translator, companies like Facebook have a more prominent need to provide users with translation features within their display. Often times users, myself included, will leave their Facebook tab to translate something their friends commented on or made a status about. Since introducing Facebook in multiple languages, users have soared to 750 million people. Obviously in such a connected world, these users need the ability to communicate quickly with each other, and Facebook is prepared to provide that plugin.

Languages available for translation will be few at first, and include English, Spanish, French, Hebrew and Chinese. At times, translations will be unavailable due to unrecognizable comments, which happens sometimes with the slang used by many users. This feature could help to further help the world communicate through social media.

One thought I had about rapid translation (especially among friends) is that it may hinder the need for multiple languages to be learned by one person. Sometimes I enjoy staring at a friend’s Spanish status or comment and figuring out what they’re saying myself; people learn better that way. Granted, it’s not like the feature is an automatic translator: it’s a clickable button (meaning the user has a choice whether to click it or not). But hey, maybe we’ll all end up with a babel fish in our ear and understand every language…

For more, read Inside Facebook

Internationalization Software Globalyzer 3.6 Release

The latest Globalyzer Release Features new Programming Languages, new Rule Sets, Additional Support to Help Software Development Teams Share the String Externalization Work, and an Internationalization Scorecard

Lingoport, a provider of i18n tools and internationalization consulting services, announced yesterday the release of Globalyzer 3.6. Lingoport also announced that it will participate in an online panel presentation along with Zynga, IBM, and Hewlett-Packard, to discuss software development and localization on Wednesday, August 3rd.

Globalyzer—a client/server software internationalization system—assists development teams in internationalizing source code as an integral part of future releases. Globalyzer finds, fixes, and monitors issues quickly so that software applications are ready for localization and worldwide customer requirements.

The latest Globalyzer release features many new enhancements, including new supported programming languages: Qt and ActionScript plus enhanced XML and MXML support. Globalyzer 3.6 also adds shared string externalization support to help development teams working together on internationalization efforts as well as an internationalization scorecard, enabling managers to track key internationalization metrics over time.

Adam Asnes, founder and CEO of Lingoport, notes: “We are very excited to announce that Globalyzer is further extending support for programming languages like ActionScript, used in Flex and Flash applications, and enterprise global readiness analysis that we’ve seen become more important among our customers. We also keep adding features to help teams of developers support internationalization, as that’s an endeavor that runs across teams rather than just individual developers.” He continues: “More than ever, Globalyzer assures that a software application is global-ready as part of the development cycle, thus enabling companies to enter new markets faster while raising quality and lowering worldwide development, translation, and support costs.”

Lingoport’s software i18n tool now also features an internationalization scorecard. The scorecard system provides a dashboard of internationalization status and progress using XML data collected via scan history using Globalyzer’s Command Line. The i18n scorecard was recently discussed in an hour-long webinar presentation and featured guest-speakers Mike McKenna, Sr. Manager, International Engineering, from Zynga, and Leandro Reis, Senior Globalization Program Manager, from Adobe Systems. A recording of the presentation may be viewed at: http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-webinar-video/#17

The Globalyzer 3.6 release notes are available on Lingoport’s website at:http://www.lingoport.com/software-internationalization-products/globalyzer-3/release-notes/

How Does Localization Relate to Social Media?

This post was inspired by an article written by Clinton Lanier on Technorati. 

Many companies use social media to get in direct contact with their customer base. This allows consumers to engage with each other as well as the product makers about their issues, concerns, recommendations or satisfaction with a product. This instant feedback approach has reshaped how companies deal with customers: feedback is instant.

But what if there is no forum for your company’s customers to discuss their concerns in their own language using their own forum? Companies that have localized their product to multiple locales need also to consider localizing their social media messages for that same location. As I wrote before in a post about localized software in China, a successfully localized product considers all aspects of a product, not just translation. This same idea applies to the social aspects of said product.

A feedback avenue should be established for international customers to discuss their concerns, just as there is for domestic customers. In his article, Lanier suggests companies establish a social media presence in every locale they sell in, but his argument doesn’t necessarily apply to tech companies. His examples include Starbucks and Panera Bread shaping their message to specific demographics across a country (Happy Cinco de Mayo! Show this tweet and receive a free drink!). This messaging is effective for its goal, but goals, as they relate to software and technology, are obviously different (and that’s what we’re focusing on here).

Companies that have localized well have already established a presence inside the locales they sell in. Assuming a trust has been created between the company and the consumer in a locale, setting up a social media avenue should be easy. My suggestion would be to do a little research on what social media platforms are most popular in a given locale, and set up an account focused on that area. Assuming your product has already been localized to that area, you should be familiar with the concerns of customers in that locale. Use this background information to establish a dialogue with customers to help further refine your product. Localization isn’t a one-time process, it’s ongoing and never ending as technology improves at an incredible rate. Staying on the front lines through social media will undoubtedly help shape a successful localization campaign.

Top Five Reasons Localization isn’t even a Choice Anymore

With so many internet users and gamers consuming content in a language other than English, development companies no longer have the choice whether to localize or not; it’s a must! The following is the top five reasons why localization can no longer be overlooked.

  1. Because your competitors will gain the upper hand on you. If you’re not going to localize, someone else will. Since consumers best identify with products in their own language, they will gain a respect for your competitor for their product and overlook you.
  2. 75% of gamers come from non-English speaking markets. This doesn’t include all the high-tech games on Xbox and PS3; games like FarmVille and Mafia Wars are immensely popular in their localized versions.
  3. Non-native English speaking web users are growing rapidly. This new developing group represents a new market websites and game developers can target. 90% of these users prefer to use the web in their own language.
  4. Many immigrant communities need translated material for legal purposes. There is a real demand in the market requiring companies to address visitors of their web sites in languages other than English.
  5. People prefer buying in their own language. Have you ever traveled abroad and felt awkward when purchasing something because you either don’t know exactly what it is or aren’t sure of the conversion? Having access to that knowledge is powerful in the hands of the consumer.

Read more: 

 

What is Glocalization?

A popular new trend in language, it seems, is to combine two words to invent a whole new word. I first heard of glocalization in a human geography class I took back in high school, and though first glance it seemed to be an odd word, it’s meaning is self defined when you realize it’s a combination of globalization and localization. You may have seen “Think Global, Act Local” bumper stickers around town encouraging people to do their part in their local area to yield a better global outlook; this stems from that same idea.

I like to think of glocalization as a sort of grassroots campaign. Instead of the classic globalization tale where products are simply introduced from a point source, the sources grow from everywhere. Globally-centric ideas are spread through direct interactions with a specific locale. Rather than inject an idea into a specific culture, practitioners of glocalization come to understand a locale’s needs and help them develop something to aid that need specifically. If something seems or feels foreign, interest in it fades quickly. This is why when glocalization is taken on in a marketing or product development approach, it is so important to pay attention to what foreign customers are saying so that your company can work together with them to fill their needs.

If you know of any other “combo-words” that have entered into your vocabulary, let us know. Comment below or send us a tweet @lingoport.

Worldware Demo Derby: Globalization

Last month, four companies assembled at the Worldware Conference to discuss their innovative global products. In this rapid-fire presentation, Sagan with GCMS, Lingoport, acrolinx and RIGI present a quick overview of their products in just ten minutes.

Presented by:

  • Jeff Kent, serving in various roles with Sajan
  • Olivier Libouban, senior project manager with Lingoport
  • Kent Taylor, senior vice president and founder of acrolinx
  • Daniel Goldschmidt, of RIGI Localization Solutions
Presentation time notes:
  • Lingoport-> 0:00-10:00
  • acrolinx-> 10:00-26:00
  • Sajan-> 26:00-37:00
  • RIGI-> 37:00-50:00
  • Questions->50:00-end