Localization – An industry expanding career horizons in a globalized era
When it comes to communication, technology has blurred international borders. The world has become a global village—a village where most of the people know each other directly or indirectly. Internet, social media platforms and email have connected us with the world without stepping out of the home.
However, to live in this global village, we need hundreds of things to survive. There are millions of companies eager to sell their products to you in the market of the global village. Companies are trying hard to reach out to their customers in the competitive market for expanding their business in every corner of the world. The need for constant growth has developed a diverse and dynamic industry known as – Localization. The localization industry offers lots of career opportunities and flexibility of working at one’s convenience.
Localization – An industry
Localization should not be confined to the limited understanding of just being a translation process from one language to another. It is about establishing an effective and fruitful dialogue with specific customer groups having common characteristics like language, lifestyle, values, culture, ethnicity by understanding them.
Companies are looking beyond standardization of their processes to offer a local and personalized experience of their products and services through localization. Personalized experiences can often be shaped amongst the customer groups by connecting with them by understanding their culture, ethnicity, languages, lifestyles, financial behaviour and values.
These characteristics are opening doors for developing a long-lasting career in the localization industry. In such a scenario, if you are the person with an understanding of the social psyche, cultural values, interpretation and translation of the language expressions of people from a specific region, localization has so much to offer you for shaping your career.
It means delivering information, products, literature or services prepared in a standardized form to a specific target group of customers according to their language and culture without losing the original message of the product or service.
Technology has helped us overcome communication issues even if we do not know other languages, despite that machine translation has not succeeded in translating human ideas and intents of their expressions accurately.
Opportunities in localization
Localization is not limited only to create a successful dialogue between two regional cultures or language groups. It also acts as a medium to fulfil respective regional language groups’ technological needs. You can work with the companies offering localization services, tech giants, which offer products like artificial intelligence-based digital personal assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri, e-commerce platforms like Amazon, Flipkart, financial technology companies like PhonePe, Google Pay, Amazon Pay for helping them reach out to their regional customers. Further, while computerization has developed advanced technologies in the areas of AI (Artificial Intelligence), ML (Machine Learning) and Natural Language Processing (NLP), localization processes will be required even for the machines to learn how to understand human languages and intents of their expressions.
Moreover, conventional mediums of mass communication industries like advertising also want to live up to their clients’ requirements for localizing their product and service advertising content into regional languages. Companies also want to mark their presence on legacy media like print, radio, television, and digital media like Google, Facebook, Instagram, and various websites on the internet through localized advertising. The reason for such outreach is to expand their business in untapped or little tapped markets of non-English and non-Hindi speaking customers across India by communicating with them in their local languages.
Long-lasting career and growth opportunities
You would have seen a small chit of instructions coming with some medicines and chemical packets and Users’ Manuals coming with electronic items. Users’ Manuals and instruction pamphlets have communications in multiple languages. These communications are merely a translation, but they are well-crafted examples of the localization process.
All the companies need to comply with the local, national, international laws and rules. Companies also have their legal terms and conditions, which also need to be conveyed to their local customers. It is very demanding work in the localization process, as it requires due diligence of the translated content, review, and quality checks to ensure that all the text details are presented correctly in other languages. Apart from that, marketing is an essential tool for any company to deliver its products or services. So even for marketing communication, localization can help reach out to new customers. Be it marketing, medical, advertising or law, localization is now a necessity for every field of business.
To build a career in the localization industry, you are expected to be a strong language bridge connecting global companies and their potential customers in your local language. E.g. If an international company’s profile, information about their products and services are presented in Gujarati language instead of limiting it only to English, the possibilities are that the company will be able to connect well with the Gujarati speaking customers than only with English speaking customers in Gujarat.
Currently, various companies have just started to reach out to millions of customers in various regional languages of India, including Gujarati, through localization. For years, the localization process will require professionals with specialized skills in understanding communication in Hindi and English and their regional language and delivering information, products and services to the people who speak that regional language accurately, keeping in mind the cultural environment of the region.
At present, there is a need for language experts in different roles in the field of localization. There are opportunities for people with powerful language skills for various positions like Content Writer, Editor, Linguist, Quality Reviewer, Language Lead, Team & Project Manager, Project Coordinators, etc. In addition to linguistic readiness, localization requires a deep understanding of the subject and proper presentation of its words. There are also various conveniences for making a career in this field. Many localization companies offer flexible terms and conditions to work like freelancing, retainers, full-time employment etc.
If you have the required language skills and can work fluently in more than one language, and do not want to be bound by a certain type of job, you can work in localization as a freelance linguist. As a freelancer, there are no particular and specific working hours; you are expected to work according to the needs of your client-company. You can even develop a long career in localization by working as a full-time employee in various positions starting from creative writer to a leader in the company’s management team. You can also shape a second career option, looking at the current pandemic scenario.
Money matters!If your language skills are as per the company’s requirements, you can start a career in the localization industry with a monthly salary in five digits! And periodically increase your income depending on the quality of your work, time management, team management, and experience. In the age of globalization, the world has realized the importance of localization. The localization has developed as an industry, and it has tremendous potential for growth. If you want to reach a long-distance destination called – career, just board the flight of localization before it takes off. Do not miss this opportunity!
May 22, 2021 — magnon