Career Opportunities in Localization

Written by: Phanendra Sai

Localization is a process of converting all the information (text or otherwise) of a product into another language to meet the target market’s demands and sensibilities.

Eg. : Imagine a famous motorcycle company launched a new bike into the market. Since Hindi is the language spoken by the highest number of people in our country, the promotional advertising is done in Hindi. After that, to improve its marketing by reaching people of different other languages, these advertisements need to be localized, using the language of different markets.

The localization industry has grown bigger in the last two decades without much fanfare. Many industries have benefited through this process. Even then, a lot of the workforce have not been keen on choosing a career in the localization industry. There are three prominent reasons for this :

  1. Not enough awareness about localization. For example, all of us watch English language movies. Scratch that. We only watch those which have subtitles in our language. But, we are not aware that translating and preparing subtitles is also a branch of localization.
  2. A lot of us prefer to go for careers in a limited number of fields such as IT, Finance and Management etc and the belief that jobs in the localization industry are “not technical”.
  3. A false suspicion that there is not much scope for future and growth in these kind of careers

There are 6 industries that depend heavily on localization for their growth. They are Gaming, Software, E-commerce, Tourism, Entertainment and Finance. 

Gaming : Statistics show that games are at the top of the category of apps downloaded and installed from the Play Store. Localizing a game should count as a success in itself. This is because, users would prefer installing a game localized in their locale. Then, they can decide whether or not it suits their interests. For example, a game developer firm ZIMAD saw a growth in revenue of around 32% after they localized their game DigOut in 10 languages, compared to before localization.

Software : Most developers in the software field consider English as the language of the world. But only 20% of the world’s population speak English. If their product is to grow in international markets, localization is a must. That is when developers localize, they emphasize great care on the target locale’s minutiae as well as cultural sentiments.

E-commerce : Internet has almost wiped away borders between countries. But, not in online shopping though. This is because statistics show that most europeans prefer to shop in their own language online. Not just that, 42% of them said they would not prefer to buy products which do not have the product information in their native language.

Tourism : It is tourism through which the culture, arts and history of a region spread across the world. In addition, tourism contributes significantly to the region’s economic growth. Whenever we visit a new place, if the tourist guide explains the significance of the sites in our language, we would be more willing to listen with attention and absorb all of it. This is also a kind of localization.

Entertainment : This strategy is known to all of us. If a film is released only in one language, only the audience in that market can see it. It will not have much of a reach beyond that. The reason is the language barrier. If the same film is dubbed (localized) into other languages, everyone would enjoy the film and the skill of all the artists involved would receive wider appreciation.

Finance : This is a crucial industry which builds the economic system of a country by encompassing the hard work of people across different classes. With changing times, banking institutions have also been utilizing technology to provide facilities such as internet banking and mobile banking to account holders in their languages. This also saves a lot of time.

Localization industry has been growing leaps and bounds, much faster than what was expected. Being different from the other fields, it is a good option for those looking for long-term careers. It offers good benefits to employees. Perks and added advantages are on par with those available in other industries. Apart from full time employment roles, there are options for part time employment as well that are largely utilised by freelancers. Firms pay them based on the type of project, its priority, quality expected as well as the professional experience of the candidate.

 * Most firms compete with each other to offer salaries to employees in accordance with the market expectations.

 * 100% of the employees receive life insurance. A few even support medical insurance for vision and eyesight as well.

 * This industry gives more scope to obtain work-life balance than in other industries.

 * It offers the flexibility to work from anywhere in the world in ‘remote work’ fashion. It is also possible to work from home indefinitely.

* It gives a scope to sharpen our creative skills while improving the love for language, it also offers good job security.

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