Careers in the Localization Industry

Written by: Gagan

Firstly, let us ponder over what the localization industry is. The localization industry, which consists of companies/agencies who provide translation and communication services to other Businesses/Companies. With the help of these services, those companies, on a global level, customize their products and marketing communications to match the needs of local markets. This will enable companies to expand their products and services globally and tailor their communications to local, cultural, political and legal needs.

While the globalization industry is already a popular choice in developed countries, awareness of it is still modest in developing countries such as India. While it is becoming popular over the last few years, there is a lot of scope for improvement.

Now let us learn about the differences between localization and translation. Translation is an important part of localization. Localization deals with customizing any product to a specific locale. Localisation includes not only translations, but also graphics, currencies, dates, addresses, phone numbers and more. So what we can conclude from this fact is that translation is only a specific function and localization involves translation and many other things. In translation, limited topics such as grammar and spellings are important, whereas in localization focus is on the cultural sensitivity of the respective country, region, etc.

India is a multilingual country and many languages in this land have hundreds of years of history. The linguistic heritage of India is very unique and rich. Thus, no company can reach potential customers if they are unable to provide the information in the respective languages. It can only reach its potential customers through the respective local languages. Sports channels, for example, were previously broadcasting only in English and Hindi. But in recent years, sports channels are being broadcasted in many local languages including Kannada. This has enabled sports channel owners to reach more potential customers and thus market expansion is happening. This makes it possible to compete with peers and gain a competitive edge. This development is not just limited to entertainment and infotainment sectors, it also has a positive impact over many areas.

As any industry grows, so does the need for human resources. Localization industry mainly requires translators or interpreters. In addition, editors, language coordinators, reviewers, proof-readers are needed. In the technical team, QAs, Internationalization Engineers, Technical Managers are needed. Other business positions such as CSO, CEO, COO, CTO, CIO as well as Operations Manager, Project Managers are also needed. Sales is the most important division for any organization, here you can find the job of Regional Sales Manager, Business Development Manager, Account Manager etc.

Overall, many of the well developed companies will offer most of the above job positions. As the market grows, so does the industry. As the industry grows, so does the need for human resources, and so does employment.

In the localization industry, companies not only create on-role jobs, but also create self-employment directly or indirectly. For example, many translation agencies work in support of localization companies. There are also thousands of people offering translation services through freelancing. They are able to, through freelancing, work independently, at their own choice and need. No other sector can offer the freedom of choice that freelancing offers.

In today’s COVID pandemic, where many occupational fields have suffered, the localization industry is working remotely – in which employees can work from their own space. With this facility, the activities of the industry have been steadily moving. In today’s situation, there are some obstacles in all sectors, yet the localization industry is making good progress.

As the world started to move toward digitization, more and more people have to rely on the digital system. With the availability of smartphones, computers and the Internet at affordable costs, urban area populations including rural populations are able to afford these facilities. Most of these rural populations are aware of their mother tongue only and hence the use of the English language in these devices had created some problems initially. This was recognized by many entertainment, sports, cinema and telecommunication industries, following which they started to include several Indian languages in these devices. With this advantage, the people of the villages and small towns began to use modern technology with ease. As a result, the market expanded and entrepreneurs realized the potential for market expansion.

Now let’s take some examples in the industry sector. Microsoft, the world’s technology giant, has now localized its products to Indian languages. In addition, Samsung, South Korea’s mobile and personal computer maker, has invested a large amount of funds to localize its mobile phone user interface. Xiaomi is also serious about localizing its products into Indian languages. All these facts show the inevitability of localization and increased interest of big companies towards localization.

Over the past few years, many apps and websites have started offering products and services in regional languages. State Governments and Central Government have also started providing information and services in regional languages. All these developments have brought enormous growth potential to regional languages and have made the world of Indian languages more powerful.

Social media has also contributed to the development of the language, thereby the growth of the localization industry. Many language lovers and campaigners today are strongly persuading companies and governments to provide services in their local languages. Activities such as creating trends, campaigns etc are present all over social media. Thus many companies are under pressure to offer their products and services in people’s language. By incorporating regional languages ​​into their system, companies are able to compete with other companies.

Even though India is one of the largest English-speaking countries in the world, only 10-13% can understand it. There are many languages in India, among those there are 30 languages with more than 10 lakh speakers for each. According to a recent KPMG survey, in the upcoming days, the number of Internet users in Indian languages ​​is estimated to be three times higher than those who use English. It is also found that 88% of Indian Internet users respond only to mother tongue advertisement.

As communication and information technology grows, so does the global business. One of the obstacles for the growth of global business is language. The only way to solve this problem is translation and localization. Thus the growth of the localization industry is optimistic in view of the future. Also, people are realizing that there is a field called localization.

During this COVID time, we are observing the strength and potential of the localization sector. Because of pandemic, there is an urgent need to provide information, directions and instructions in their own language. This requires a proper system. With such an arrangement already in place and with the help of best localization organizations in India, many things are communicated in regional languages very quickly. How do you feel about this? This shows the importance of localization in terms of society.

Thus there is a need to train in order to have the best translators for the future. There are many courses available for this purpose and thousands of students are studying in this regard. Governments and universities need to offer translation as a subject in colleges and make it an important part of education. Creating good translators should be the priority of these schools and the aspirants should adapt to the ever changing situation. Because technology is like a flowing water, changes keep happening. Thus translators should have a positive attitude and adaptive nature to work in an ever changing environment.

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