Career Opportunities in the Localization Industry

Written by: Yasmin Sultana

When we think of translators, we usually think of people who translate stories, novels, etc. from one language to another. In earlier times, the profession of translation was mainly confined to literary works and scriptures. The localization industry actually began in 1980s as an impact of globalization. This is accompanied by new possibilities in the field of translation.

Localisation is not limited to translation. When translating content into a local language, local elements are also added to make it acceptable to the speakers of that language. This means providing information, material, literature or services locally to people in a language or region by changing the original form of a content according to their language and culture. Localization is not just a process of translating from one language to another, but also a way to establish an effective and fruitful connection with people speaking different languages by understanding their emotions. Many career opportunities have now been created in this field. However, the scope of the industry has gradually increased due to the growing need for localization. As a result, many new career opportunities have been created for those who occupy the regional language. Whether it is a translation of literature or a technical content, for both the translator must understand the language (source language) of the original text and have the skills to express the meaning of the original text in the language to which it will translate (target language).

Localising requires literal translation as well as translation of the meaning. The translator should translate into the target language without being distracted by the meaning of the original content. It is very important to dominate both the languages to do this successfully. At present, various domestic and international companies have resorted to localising to expand their markets. The content that was earlier found on the Internet only in English language has the advantage of reading in Hindi or other Indian languages by just a click nowadays. However there is room for a lot of work in this regard in the Assamese language. The Assamese language is still in a state of budding in the field of localization. Companies like Google, Facebook, Microsoft etc. have given a lot of importance to assamese language. In addition to the products of these great international companies, we also get to read various educational information, medicine use guidelines, agricultural products etc. It is because of localization that we have got to read that guideline in Assamese. Companies that make these products have also come up with guidelines to use these products in Assamese language as well, so that everyone can read and understand.  Many people are currently engaged in this work and many companies are looking for people who are equally well versed in English and Assamese language. Only a small section of people in Assam are aware of this field of translation or localization, so many people have been deprived of their involvement in this possible career despite having skills.

Localization is not limited to literature or advertising. It is also used to address human technological needs, for example, use of personal assistants like Google Assistant, Alexa etc. e-commerce sites like Amazon, Flipkart etc. payment devices like GooglePay, PhonePe, etc. become easier if they are available in our own language. To make it possible companies are currently looking forward to employing people who are in possession of the local language. Areas of artificial intelligence and machine learning have also evolved greatly and automatic translation satiated to some languages using artificial intelligence on some websites. In addition to these, various computer assisted translation (CAT) equipment is currently available to help with translation. However, the translation by machine is not 100 percent correct. Companies are still dependent on human translators for a completely correct translation.

In addition, more and more companies involved in the advertising industry feel it necessary to advertise in local languages on print, TV, digital platforms (Google, Facebook, Instagram and various websites on the Internet). This is because these companies want to expand their business by going to a large population that does not understand English and Hindi.

Currently, there is a need for translators or language experts in various roles in the field of localization. There are opportunities for recruiting skilled people who know languages for various positions like creative writers, editors, translators, reviewers, linguists. There are also various advantages to building a career in this area. If you have language skills and know multiple languages well then you can easily get employed in such a position. Many multinational companies that have taken recourse to localization for market spread also employ translators in different languages full-time. You can also work in this field as a freelance translator if you don’t want to be bound by a particular type of job. Where no one has time obligation, you just have to complete the work as per your client’s requirements. Both full-time and freelance have their own advantages and disadvantages. Full-time translators usually have to work in the company’s office within a specified time frame and in exchange receive fixed pay from the company (many companies facilitate employees to work from home). Freelance translators on the other hand can work from home according to their convenience and there is no limit to his work and income. Moreover, covid has given employees the opportunity to work from home today and people associated with localization have also benefited from it.

As a career we have to discuss other aspects of localization. If you are an accomplished translator you can start your career with a monthly pay of around Rs 25000. Your income can increase based on your work quality, experience, time management etc. You can also get a more responsible position based on your experience and skills.

In India, the localization industry began two decades ago but the Assamese language is comparatively new in this field. The appropriate development of this field now requires skilled and suitable people. If you are skilful in Assamese and English, getting involved in the localization industry can be a positive step in your career.

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