More data and information has been discovered and recorded in the last ten years than in all of human history combined.
Every day, millions of users access hundreds of millions of websites and interact with the online world and each other through technology. With technology’s wildly fast rate of evolution comes new challenges. How do you make sure that your content and information is translated properly and developed to manage international and global needs? This is where localization comes in.
While localization itself is an important practice, it’s becoming an impossible task. There is simply too much content, data and information generated and accessed every single day for any workforce to keep up on its own. Continuous localization is an emerging method that gives users constantly updated data. So what does that mean and how it can impact you and your business?
What is Localization?
First, let’s discuss what localization is and why it’s vital for businesses in the modern era. As mentioned above, localization is the practice of making your content and data viewable and readable in various locales all over the world. This most often entails translating not only the words but also the message of your content for international readers.
The challenge of localization is the speed at which content is created, data is spread and information is consumed. The internet is churning out new data every single day by the millions and, try as they might, human translators and localization experts simply cannot keep up with the demand on their own.
Localization also goes beyond simply translating; it means optimizing graphics and messaging to meet the tastes and habits of the market. Localization must adapt design and layout to display the translated text and take into account any special features, like images or videos, that also need to be addressed. Basically, it’s a lot to handle.
There are three types of localization with various approaches within each model. There is waterfall localization, wherein complete versions of a product are released once the master version is ready; and agile localization, which refers to content prepared during the development cycle. Continuous localization is the third type, which is perhaps the most effective in an ever-changing market.
What is Continuous Localization?
Enter continuous localization, which can help alleviate the burden of trying to keep up with localizing on an irregular basis. Continuous localization is a new approach to global content, and it is the best option for content that updates or changes frequently. The traditional localization method is micromanaged to the extreme and heavily planned.
Continuous localization is instead more agile, occurring when changes in content trigger a need for an update to a specific section instead of the entire piece of content. This allows continuous localization to function at a higher and more efficient pace.
All content needs to be created, then translated and delivered. However, some content is constantly updating and changing, and in these cases, it’s important to continue to localize. Continuous localization allows you and your company to make these translations quickly and in specific places, increasing efficiency in a sustainable, secure way.
Furthermore, continuous localization can help manage the local regulations and legal requirements, which exist in every market and can be somewhat of a headache without a system in place to make sure everything remains in check.
Why is Continuous Localization Important?
While continuous localization can be applied to many types of content, it works especially well in places where content is not interconnected with other pieces of the website, such as forums and online reviews. Continuous localization delivers translated content as quickly as possible, reduces costs and improves the overall quality by reducing inefficiencies, allowing your team to work on higher value tasks.
Whereas with both waterfall and agile localization you must create the content or software beforehand and finish its production, continuous localization allows you to do a lot of work after the fact, cutting down on time and labor. Not to mention, it also helps to increase security by allowing you to track and control how content is distributed to stakeholders, while also optimizing the process.
While transferring your localization from a people-driven team to a continuous, more technological model can be tricky, it’s the best way to efficiently localize your content and websites. Delaying content localization can result in lower customer satisfaction and missed global opportunities.
When seeking ways to localize, continuous localization stands as the most efficient process to adopt for your business, website and content.