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First steps towards localization

Before embarking on localization, there are various questions that any company needs to resolve. These fall into four main categories.

Whether to outsource or do work in-house. Do you have a better chance of meeting your goals if you use your own resources or employ a specialist? As in virtually all spheres of modern business, this is a key question. And, as in most spheres, you will probably find that a combination of the two is the right solution. In the case of localization, it is vitally important that you have someone ‘on the ground’ – someone who is intimately familiar with the market you are trying to break into. Is there someone in your organisation who fits the bill? And, if so, can you spare them?

Who to choose as your partner. Who will you choose to meet your localization needs? Do you turn to various smaller agencies, or try to find a one-size-fits-all language service provider? In either case, how do you choose between the plethora of possible options?

How do you communicate clearly your what your needs are? The successful approach is to identify core practices and processes, teach partners what they are, and make sure that everyone sticks to your code. Formalising these processes is essential. At a more hand-on level, who will be responsible for producing the glossaries and term-bases which are a fundamental aspect of your relationship with your LSP?

Cost, process and quality. How much should you expect to pay? What new systems will you need? Who will put them in place? Do you need to create new jobs? These and related questions must be answered before any globalization effort gets underway, as leaving them unresolved, or hoping to respond to the situation as it unfolds, will only lead to unnecessary costs, hold-ups and hassle.

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