5 Localization Strategy Pitfalls, Zara’s Localization Secret, How To Create a Localization Kit

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What are the common localization strategy risks you’ll be facing? Templatizing, wrong scope, being reactive, one-size-fits-all approach. An article from RWS Moravia comes with a few tactics to tackle these.

This episode was recorded on a live stream. I started my Twitch channel with the goal to show localization live. 100% transparency, 0% bullshit. Catch me LIVE at http://bit.ly/AndrejZitoLIVE

This is episode #15 of my speaking practice, also known as the Localization Podcast 🙂 #localization​ and #translation​ news across social media delivered to you by the power of my voice. #moravia


Andrej Zito 

Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. It is Monday. It’s 7:37pm here in Vancouver. My name is Andrej. And this is the localization podcast episode number 15. So I have a very fresh memory of doing the same thing just few days ago. Because last week, I was catching up. You know, I was back in Vancouver, doing work stuff commute is back. And I was still a little bit jetlag, and I had a few bad nights. So I think I did the recording of Episode Number 14 on Thursday. And I only, and I only published and shared the new episode. Just today. Yeah, today in the morning, I posted it on LinkedIn. For some reason, I still didn’t get any notification that anybody like, liked or commented it. And I really liked it like especially the the thumbnail, the thumbnail, which is a reference to metrics, I even took the picture of the little guy with a spoon who says there’s no spoon matrix.

Andrej Zito 

And I just change the title to there’s no source next, because that’s what the Main article was in Episode 14. And for everyone who’s just listening to this and you haven’t heard Episode 14. I suggest that you really check it out. Because it’s kind of like an interesting concept. I don’t think it’s that radical. Because it basically kind of like shifts the role of translators from purely translating from source to target language. It shifts them to also give them kind of like a copywriting skills well. So it’s kind of like evolution between from a translator to trance creator to kind of like a purely copywriter who is not limited by the source text. And he just has like a brief of what a certain thing needs to do. And then it’s up to them to write the whole copy in their own native language. So it’s a really interesting idea. I think it’s worth exploring for everyone.

Andrej Zito 

Based on the article that I read on Wednesday, I actually did raise some questions, I challenged some of the points. So yeah, I was really happy about the previous episode. And I think I’m actually promoted again, tomorrow. So this one, this episode, so it’s Monday, so I hope to finish the editing, tomorrow, or maybe even today, because it’s still only 8pm. And then tomorrow, I will prepare the copy and everything, the thumbnails, and I shouldn’t be able to post this on Wednesday. And then next week, I should be able to resume the regular schedule, which would mean recording on Saturday posting on Tuesday. So that was a quick announcement. What else do I want to say? Yeah, again, if you may, if you missed episode number 14. So the last one, there’s a big update.

Andrej Zito 

And that is that what is happening right now is that I’m actually recording this live on Twitch. So for those of you that don’t know, Twitch is a platform for a live streaming, it’s probably the most popular platform for live streaming is mainly about games. So the older generation that’s not keeping in touch what’s happening with the younger generation. People just play games and they basically broadcast or stream what’s happening already on their screen. So basically, they’re worth costing the the game that they’re playing. They also have a webcam. Some of them do, some of them don’t. And basically, they play and they comment or basically react to the game. And people just watch them do this to this gaming, you know, and they can like react as well in the chat. And the streamer can also kind of like interact with the chat community as well.

Andrej Zito 

So it’s a very nice experience and are like a lot of If you work on Twitch, so the reason why I’m starting to do this on Twitch, is that I had this idea a long time ago, and that was to livestream my startup journey. So that’s like, when was it a couple of years ago, three or five, three or five years ago when I was working on my startup. So that was my idea. I just basically wanted to livestream the whole process of starting from scratch. I didn’t do it because of the internet issue, or the lack of like a proper internet connection, although maybe it was just my stupid excuse. So the whole premise or the whole idea, like why I wanted to start live streaming is hasn’t changed. So I think, basically, if you could, like, look at someone, how they work, how they operate, like full in full transparency, you know, like how they people think, I think that’s something that’s very valuable, especially for people who want to learn something new, or, yeah, I think it’s mainly for people who will learn something new.

Andrej Zito 

So instead of just being people who just like consume like passive content. This is something where you can see like, behind the scenes, like how things are actually created, how decisions are made, and stuff like that. So I always like those documentaries. Instead of just consuming like the end product, I think it’s always nice to see how things are done, and get like a peek behind the scenes. So that is what I want to offer. And since I’m not working on a start up right now, since I started working on content for localization industry, that’s the whole idea that I will just create content, and I will actually try to get that content localized. So whatever it will be probably starting with website. So that will be the first kind of like step. So I’ll create, I’ll set up my website, I’ll create some content, probably just write a couple of articles based on what I’m saying here on the podcast.

Andrej Zito 

And then I’ll try to figure out how to get it localized. And I want to stream everything, so that everybody can see the whole process. And there are no NDA is no bullshit and stuff like that. So you can only just witness and you can make suggestions. And you can see how I work. So and the reason why I want to showcase how I work is because I think that’s actually my big asset. Pretty sure that many people will be able to pinpoint some inefficiencies. But otherwise, and think I’m pretty confident and like the way I work would be useful and valuable to many of you. So that’s the whole idea. I think I’m talking already too much. Is there something else that I wanted to mention for the intro? I think not maybe one more thing. And then is that is when it comes to the YouTube content.

Andrej Zito 

So for YouTube, what I’m trying to do now is that instead of posting one long video that basically matches the podcast length. Now, I now chop the whole content into smaller pieces. So one video equals one topic. And just listening to this. I want to see if it will lead to like a better, better SEO and better engagement because, honestly, the retention on the YouTube videos is not very high. And I don’t I’m not like surprised, because it’s basically just what you see right now. It’s basically just me talking to microphone. So the good thing is that the audience on the podcast is constantly growing slowly but steadily. So I think the content itself is pretty good. I think that people because people like strangers have reached out to me and they say like they liked the content. So I think I’m on the right track.

Andrej Zito 

And I just really hope that what is it, it’s October 21. So hopefully by the end of this year, I will have at least one guest on the call. Guys, and then we really want to see how the interaction will change the dynamic of the podcast instead of me just doing a solo podcast, which I think I read. No, I listened. I think it was like a statistic. I’m not sure who it was from whether it was Tim Ferriss, or maybe Gary Vee, they said that like the most popular podcasts are usually interview types. Or like more people, or it’s like a story based telling or I don’t even know like, what kind of podcast those are, because I don’t listen to those. So, yeah. And I think that like one say, it’s the same thing as with everything, like, you know, like posting my first YouTube video, posting my first podcast, posting my first post on LinkedIn, doing going live on Twitch for the first time.

Andrej Zito 

Once I break that, you know, first experience with something new, I think it will be easier to get more guests on the podcast. But I have to say also, that I really like this kind of like a solid format, especially for me, because like, I get the time to think about stuff. And I think I do generate some good ideas based on the articles, which again, that is another reason like why I decided to do the live streaming, and try to demonstrate localization on my own content, so that I can actually put the ideas that come through the podcast into practice and see if they work or not, let’s jump right into the content. So this time, I have four articles. The first one is from meraviglia. Or maybe I should start saying our ws morava. But for me, Moravia will be always Moravia, my workplace, where I gained most of my localization experience.

Andrej Zito 

So this article is about five localization pitfalls, and how to avoid them, pitfall number one, empathizing too much. So templates can help speed up the process of building webpages, emails, documents, product descriptions, even blog posts without you having to reinvent the wheel. The issue is that it might be that your template doesn’t work across regions, for example, a web page for China would have to look vastly, vastly different from what we’re used to in the West in terms of UX preferences. I think I’ve mentioned this on one of the earlier episodes when I was talking about my experience with my Thai friend. And at that time, she was setting up her own kind of like a store or like a website about what she was selling, selling, which I think was like collagen or collagen. I don’t know how you pronounce it.

Andrej Zito 

And when I saw the website, I was like, What the fuck is this? You know, like, it’s, it has like all these flashing fonts, graphics, it really look crazy. No, and I, I think I’m like exposed to a lot of, you know, startup websites that have like this clean, minimalistic, one page, landing page. And I really liked like a simple, clean design. And she actually told me that that’s the way how Thai people like it, and I think maybe in China, it might be the same. So I think this is what they were referring to. Another thing that comes to my mind is empathizing too much. It could also be related to templates that you work that you use for communication, for example, like when you have templates for sending handoffs or something like that, is that some people just use to just, you know, like, changing the, you know, like filling the blanks, the parts that need to be adjusted in template, but they kind of collect cannot think like outside of the box.

Andrej Zito 

So they’re just bound to the template and, and they don’t know like, how the template was created, you know, there are just like, living and executing the project within a template. And that might be a sign that they’re not that experienced yet. Anyway, let’s continue with the article. In cases where content preferences change drastically, as in the example above, you might have to develop different web page templates for different regions. This takes time, of course, perhaps start lean and create templates for just your biggest revenue generating markets. So, templates for different regions, that sounds good, as long as the regions have like a similar specifics when it comes to the templates. So the question is what do you could templatized a certain region or not? And struggling?

Andrej Zito 

Again, I think this is a concept that I’m promoting, and highlighting, like almost on every episode, you know, experiment experiment. And I know that Moravia, at least based on the earlier articles that I was sharing from them on this podcast, they also kind of like follow that approach of experimenting and testing and evaluating and changing. So yeah, in other cases, it will be sufficient to do some tweaks to your global website template. Once you’ve used it. At least make sure your master template is localization ready, by making my by making it as simple and organized as possible. For example, simplify formatting. beyond basic formatting like colors, and bolding, italics, and lists, things like images and tables can be difficult to duplicate in translated files with whitespace. This helps preserve the contents formatting when translated.

Andrej Zito 

Most languages, most languages take up more space than English and need room to grow. Choose a basic Unicode font, like Arial, or Times New Roman, not all fonts can support accents, room layouts, and other special characters. So my comment regarding this final part of the templates is, it’s kind of like seems to me like the internationalisation rules or like suggestions, but when it comes to software, you know, so leave whitespace user form that’s like Unicode. simplified form, I think, well, maybe that’s not much about UI. But anyway, well, if you think about it, like template, still kind of looks like a piece of software. Maybe, like, if you have a wild imagination, it seems like a pieces, you know, like that some things stays stay fixed, some some things you need to change.

Andrej Zito 

You need to think about design and like, who will enter what where, so yeah, technically, it’s not that different from like a UI form. Anyway, pitfall, number two, neglecting and nurture campaigns. If you think holistically about customer journeys, and the nurture programs you build around your home turf content, then you need to think holistically about localization. That means you mustn’t neglect other global digital marketing elements like email campaigns, landing pages, social posts, and so on. These need to be localized just as thoughtfully as your content. by optimizing nurture campaigns for different regions, you can get more mileage out of your hero content. Once you’ve once you’ve built all the components. For example, an email sequence driving customers to download an ebook, or follow up content for after they attend the webinar, you would simply replicate and localize the campaign for each market.

Andrej Zito 

Marketing funnel itself doesn’t need to differ, just the language and culturally aware delivery of each piece. As part of that, you would also need to think about suitable ways to localize each piece with quality and budget considerations in mind. Simple post download, thank you page might not need more than machine translation. But the landing page leading to it would mean human generated content perhaps draws creation to drive users emotionally to act. So of course, I agree with this because like just translating like content doesn’t mean that that’s everything that you provide for like English customers, right? So you need to drive them to the content first, and you need to make them to stay and stuff like that. So this kind of like reminds me of the previous episode, where we talk about the translation without source text, where it was actually reversed.

Andrej Zito 

So in that article, the emphasis was on On, on basically, not transcript invite, but by recreating or basically writing the marketing copy from scratch, not based on a source text. So the emphasis was actually put on things like landing pages, or email campaigns, social posts, and so on. And so my main comment and my problem, my main problem with that article last week was that if you spent so much time and so much budget on these marketing or campaigns to drive people to convert, then do you still have enough budget to make the rest of their experience as awesome as the marketing or the conversion process was? So this article from where it talks about the different thing is that like, once you have like a great content, you also should not forget about your campaigns.

Andrej Zito 

And I really agree that when they’re saying like holistically, like thinking holistically about the customer journey, and how to nurture are your clients, you basically need to think about the whole journey, and whole nurturing process for your customers in different regions, which basically means back to localization. So yeah. Number three, pitfall number three, ignoring the variation within a single language. Take Spanish as an example, there are many variations and dialects of Spanish, even within Spanish speaking regions. Latin America alone is a melting pot of cultures, that each takes its own linguistic influence from different indigenous and European languages. Some Spanish speaking countries also speak other languages entirely Catalan in Spain, for example.

Andrej Zito 

So do your research, the first step is to find out which dialects or variants you might need to cattitude. Next is to figure out where to catch up to them. As a general rule of thumb, the less creative or counter specific your content, the more you can get away with using the universal version of your target language, for marketing, or highly branded content, a one size fits all approach is too risky, you’ll want to recognize your customers that like nuances to connect with them on a deeper level. So everyone who’s kind of like experienced in localization probably knows their different variations. Vantage being one example. Portuguese being another example. We also have French in France, French and Canada, maybe French and Swiss. Switzerland. So this shouldn’t be a new thing.

Andrej Zito 

But I really like here, they say, the less creative or country specific your content, the more you can get away with using the universal version of your target language. So yeah, the more your English is generic, the less you probably need to adapt it to different regions. And I also like the fact that they’re saying, Where was the is, oh, it’s not even written here. So I guess that’s just like my thought, and I know we mentioned this on earlier episodes is that you should always consider the ROI. So it might be nice if you localize your website to cut along, but what if the people in Barcelona are not interested liking your product at all, or they can’t afford it or whatever? Okay, pitfall, number four, being too rigid with technology.

Andrej Zito 

The risk, the risk is that you put too much faith and money in tech only to find later on that it’s starting to crack under pressure. Whatever the translation management system you’ve relied on for years, doesn’t integrate with the company’s new CMS. Instead, you should be thinking about your technology needs today, and how they might develop your localization program and wider business objectives. In other words, if you have to rely on tools, at least make sure they can scale. So this point is kind of, I don’t know may for me. Because like, if you will actually it might make sense Because like, not long time ago, I had this experience with like a new TMS tool. It was presented to me. And even though it’s called TMS, like it couldn’t even handle the management of TMS in the cloud, so you’d have to manually update the TMS offline and then just upload them back to the TMS.

Andrej Zito 

So it was like a very backwards. But I think like, if you’re like using the the main market leaders, like they want to stay in the business, they want to be competitive. So if I think there’s like a huge chance that the they will be improving on their tools in the future. And like, if you have like a new CMS, as long as like many of their customers actually have that need, then it’s probably very safe to assume that they will make it possible to integrate with your TMS. But yeah, like based on my experience with that one TMS that I just mentioned, that doesn’t even handle management of TMS I wouldn’t be surprised that you might by any chance like you go for some like low tech TMS solution that doesn’t offer much, then you might, you might take a risk in the future. Anyway, number five, the last pitfall is treating localization as a one off task.

Andrej Zito 

If you’re a small business, with very little content to localize, you could maybe possibly get away with an ad hoc approach to localization. That is outsourcing one job to a vendor rather than having someone build you a program level approach tools, quality processes, and KPIs. But if you’re building your brand, operating at scale, that’s a recipe for disaster, you need a smarter, more strategic approach. If you don’t want to fall into the pitfalls we’ve covered here. It might seem far fetched to be able to release global content practically. But it’s absolutely possible when you take a holistic approach to localization. holistic, is highlighted here. So yeah, I think this is mainly for like new companies, new buyers that don’t have much experience with localization, or they just don’t understand the needs and the benefits that localization brings.

Andrej Zito 

Actually trying to think, like, who would be like one time? customer for localization? I don’t know, when I used to work in screven. Like, that’s where we were not mean, because I was the only person in the localization department. That’s like, actually, they’re actually quite big. But what was surprising to me was that I think a lot of their business actually comes from people asking for like a standard translation, like, immigrants coming to Czech Republic, who just need their passport translated, for legal purposes. So that might be like one I think, I don’t know, like, like, you should think about I don’t know, like, maybe just like my whole life currently is like driven by these like mobile apps, global products and solutions. Like whether you’re ordering food, buying clothes, everything is like a global brand right now.

Andrej Zito 

So of course, these companies rely on localization, too, to drive the revenues in different markets. So of course for them, it’s not a one off task. So I think I’m just talking too much about nothing. So I think I’m going to end it for this article right here. article number two is from a new company that we had not had mentioned here on the podcast and it’s wolf stone. So that’s w o OLFE stone.co. UK, and their article is about Zahra mountain became a localization leader. So since it’s a new company, let me quickly look at their websites are we still work good in any firms beautiful. So wolf stone is a language and translation services you can trust. So that’s like their main headline on their homepage. It’s not very outstanding. The whole text is kind of like, math is like very basic.

Andrej Zito 

And you can explore some of their services, which is translation services, interpreting services, localization services, some of their clients include British transport, police, some government discovery networks, and that’s pretty much it, and you can get in touch with them, then there’s their story, they started in 2006, with a simple idea to revolutionize the way the industry approaches translation. Now, I would like to learn about how they actually revolutionized their the biggest translation company in Wales. Okay, their block, let’s look at their block. That’s usually a good sign if they are consistently creating content or not. to their block. The latest ones are from September 25, September 27 30. There were 16. So pretty good. I would say. Let’s look at their services. translation services, I don’t care localization, let’s look at localization services.

Andrej Zito 

Okay. So localization service, see use to explain what is the localization types of localization website, software, multimedia, multilingual, SEO, your localization service provider, it leaves localizations specialists who are native to the country that you are aiming to engage, have a track record helping clients take their products and services abroad. So pretty generic. And some guide that you can read on product service, production service localization. So this will be the last thing that I’m going to check. Yeah, it looks like it’s a blog. Yeah, it’s a blog article. So Not bad. Not bad. Ah, yeah. So Ah, okay, let me check one more thing. So this article is about Zara. And I’m wondering if actually, they have Zara listed on their website, as their client. But so far, so far, I don’t see any Sarah logo here.

Andrej Zito 

Which would actually be surprising because like he was very Spanish. Do you think they will be working with a translation company that is in Wales, and so I’m looking at their testimonials page, and there’s, those are two I don’t know where they have this information from. Anyway, let’s go back to the article. So article number two, how international fashion brands Zara became a localization leader. And by the way, these guys are writing localization with s Nazi. Just so that you know, so, how exactly the Zara managed to succeed, or so many have failed, the key may very well lie in their unique business model and seamless localization strategy. So Zara’s supply chain localization model, there is a quote, here’s what makes Zara truly unique. The company only spends about 0.3% of sales on advertising and doesn’t have much marketing to speak of if there isn’t pouring their funds into localizing its branding and advertising Chris Pacific regions.

Andrej Zito 

How exactly has it become an international fashion brand? The answer seems to be a special relationship between store managers and the design team. Sarah’s Spanish design team works closely with each store manager to localize the merchandise of every location. And here’s their model described, according to Forbes, India. So number one, Zara’s design team monitors fashion trends and store sales. Based on this they come up with 1000 designs a month. I really wonder how many people they employ for this. Number two, they send these out for manufacturing around the world. Number three completed designs are shipped back to Spain for local store managers in each country tilba Zara head off is in Spain what the store needs and how much number five. The design team then flies or trucks out consignments for each of Zara has over 1608 stores based on local needs and trends.

Andrej Zito 

Store gets consignments twice a week. This flexible high speed business model has allowed Zara to travel from Spain to 77 markets around the world, including Mainland China in 2006, where it has 44 stores and counting. So that’s about the brick and mortar now, online localization as well as localizing their supply chain. Zara ensures that their online shoppers can browse and learn about the products they’re considering buying in their own language. All EU member states now have their own Zara website, which are available in over 20 languages. Swiss shoppers, for example, can even choose to browse in one of four languages used in the country. xirrus sites form part of an integrated online offline store model at the same time as opening 11 new country websites and the retail brand opened 100 new stores in Europe, but there is localization strategy has always proved itself to be so seamless.

Andrej Zito 

So this is a funny example of a localization mistake. In 2015. Zara published the listing for a new model of sandals, their German online shop called dry fire biggest club and sandalen a direct translation from the Spanish sandalias the is clever, which means three colored slave sandals in English. The word Spanish word up the white what there’s an extra word thing. The Spanish word escalada. Slave is for better or worse widely used in Spanish in reference to samples referring to specific type type of bracelet design. However, translating sandalias Disklavier literally into German, understandably outraged many German shoppers as the German words clubbin has deeply offensive connotations compared to the Spanish equivalent. Zara was later forced to issue a press release publicly apologizing for the translation mistake.

Andrej Zito 

So Zara learned their lesson after this major blunder. This year, Inditex reported a rise in its first quarter sales and profits thanks to its worldwide expansion of Zara, which launched websites in Brazil and other countries, such as Morocco and Saudi Arabia. This led to net profit rising 10% to 734 million euros. According to Inditex, chairman and chief executive Pablo islaam. Quote, these figures and demonstrate the solidity of the company’s model whose profitability and cash flow generation continues to grow owing to the group’s commitment to customer driven quality fashion. Inditex is a strategic focus of localizing Zara Zara shopping experience, both online and offline, it has earned them their crown as one of the most successful fashion companies of all time. Despite past mistakes, it’s clear that Zara continues to dominate foreign markets and its position as a truly international fashion brand. shows no sign of abating.

Andrej Zito 

It was article number two, and I have nothing extra to add. Let’s continue. Wait, what the fuck missing? Here is article number three, which is from a favorite company of mine. It’s called level up translation. So level up translation is the company that I noticed when I first started doing podcasts because they had very nice thumbnails on social media. Although they were not the images were not fully optimized for example for Twitter, because like the text used to be truncated a lot and even though I was at first like very excited because like they seem very productive when it comes to their blog articles. I started seeing like I started seeing recurring posts, so they basically repost the same the same blog articles But this time, this is a new article that was released on actually, it’s not that new, it’s from September 9. But for some reason, I haven’t seen it.

Andrej Zito 

I haven’t spotted it on social media before. And this one talks about how to create a perfect game localization kit. So for those of you who listened to some of the earlier episodes, gaming localization is something that is missing from my portfolio. And it’s very, it’s a big shame, because I really like games. So I think this is something that I have to do. And I think actually, I might do that as part of my life localization project. Because I can, I should be able to easily find like, some indie game where the guys have like zero budget. But if I could offer them localization for like, a cheaper price, like I wouldn’t take any, any, any, any compensation. And maybe we could even find like some translators that could do it free of charge, just for the publicity. And, yeah, so I think that would be like a perfect, I think to stream and it would be perfect thing to create, like a video series on YouTube.

Andrej Zito 

Because it will be my first time working on game localization, I will be streaming it live. So it will be like a huge learning experience. So yeah, I really like that idea. Anyway, so even though this is not something that I have experience with, I can just use first of all my common sense when it comes to what these guys are saying. And the second thing is that I’ll try to kind of connect it to my experience from software and ua and from marketing. because technically, a certain localization kit maybe shouldn’t be available for any kind of project. Anyway. So they have a couple of tips here. So number one, I really like if articles have number numbers. Number one, specify your target player, who are you targeting your game at, you surely have a type of player in mind, we need to know who that is. gender, age, hardcore, casual otter games, they might like etc.

Andrej Zito 

A language is used won’t be the same different games aimed at teenage boys rather than middle aged moms. So, this is a course a good point. We should always be translating and localizing towards a certain target audience. And this is again, something that I was mentioning many times on the podcast. Based on the way Gary Vee does, his marketing is that his marketing is like very targeted. So instead of like giving up some like message like which is like a very generic and tries to talk to pretty much the whole market, let’s say you have, let’s say you want to sell a T shirt in China, so you want to. So you might want to have like the basic thing, which is, this is an amazing, this is an awesome t shirt by here, blah, blah, blah. So it’s like, copy that is very generic.

Andrej Zito 

And when we go back to localization, you probably wouldn’t have that much effort with it to get it localized. But the thing is that you might do a lot better. If you created like, several different messages for each different cohort, or how one of the article call it the cluster. So instead of saying, hey, buy this awesome t shirt is like if you want to like I don’t know, let’s say target teenagers in high school, you might want to say you will be the coolest guy on high school, buy this T shirt, you know? Or if you are like, I don’t know, like some old dude. You might say, I don’t know, your wife will be jealous if you wear this T shirt, my hear something like this. And so my whole point was that because we might have to create different messages for each different I’m a marketing cohort, we actually might need different types of translators for each cohort.

Andrej Zito 

Because someone who is like old, maybe they are like very good at generic messages or generic marketing, but maybe they wouldn’t be able to come up with the right translation that’s aimed towards teenagers in China, if you know what I mean. So that’s for one, specify a target player number to include your formatting preferences. What do you prefer in terms of formatting? Remember to include punctuation style, capitalization preferences, preferred abbreviations, any other preferences, remember that we can’t assume your preferences. If we don’t know them, we may use formatting that doesn’t suit your workflow. And we’d really like to avoid that. So in this case, I’m not so super convinced, especially when it comes to game localization, which, okay, I don’t know much about.

Andrej Zito 

But I think it depends on the maturity on the localization maturity of your client, because like, if there’s somebody new, I think they read this article, they would be like, like, why do you need this? Like, why would I need to give you like, the punctuation style? for Japanese? Like I created my name in English? Like, how about you tell me like what should be the punctuation stuff for Japanese? So this is kind of like a style guide, I would say, from my experience, and depends on the client. And again, it’s based on how mature there are when it comes to localization. Especially like if they have like a big localization operations. And they have like their own language professionals, kind of like SMEs or like, they’re dedicated, like reviewers who check the quality of their lsps, then these people might be actually the ones who will be creating style guides. But in any case, I think it should be collaboration.

Andrej Zito 

So I think as an LSP, you don’t want to be kind of just like on the receiving end, like like very, you don’t want to be like very passive when it comes to like the style guide. So I don’t, don’t agree too much with this. With this tip, okay, let’s move on. Number three, describe the tone. Is your game supposed to be funny and sarcastic? Or is it red and dark and gritty? Maybe it’s more conversational, or red or formal in tone, localization, we will vary drastically, according to the tone specify, there are endless ways to localize a given string, depending on the tone you choose. So the first thing that comes to my mind is I mean, yes. But is it if if you as LSP or translator have enough reference, should you be actually be able to? To, like know, like, what is the tone use based on the files you receive? Like, do you need to be explicitly told?

Andrej Zito 

I’m not sure about it, like my whole. And I was actually dealing with this recently. On my own is that I think, like the whole idea should be and this is like, for all the lsps. And actually, even for freelancers, well, maybe not for freelancers, the whole idea is that we should make it as easy as possible for our clients to submit or give us like the minimum amount of information so that we can start localization. And we should take care of the rest. For example, if there’s like something that you can figure out, like based on the source files that you get from the client, then you don’t want to explicitly ask them to give you that information, if it’s something that you can figure out on your own. I think this is kind of like a general applicable thing that doesn’t apply only to localization.

Andrej Zito 

Like if you can figure out something on your own, as long as you can do it like in a reasonable amount of time, and it’s not super inefficient compared to just asking about something that I think you should just figure it out on your own. Anyway, tip number four, character introductions. Who are these characters we’ll be getting to know in this project, don’t just mention what players will find out about characters throughout the game itself. deeper into the backstory of every character. Maybe your players don’t need to know about all this, but we do. In other words, everything you know about a character is something we want to know about to Why? If we want to truly capture the essence of your characters in every language, we need to truly understand these characters and how they operate.

Andrej Zito 

For us, they’re not just lines of code, they’re real, or at least they need to be for an effective localization job. So here, here, so here, I kind of, kind of agree and it’s also related to the, to the next point, which is going to read the details about your game world, we need to become fully immersed in your world to give you a translation that accurately depicts your game, there may be some details about your game world that you know about in the back of your mind. But remember that the localization team is not around throughout the entire development process, help us to get up to speed with all the details. Even if you feel that certain aspects of your game wouldn’t be irrelevant to the localization process, we’d still like to know all about it, this will give us the additional context, we need to take your localization from good to amazing.

Andrej Zito 

So both character introductions and details about your game world. Her kind of like the holiday, how would I describe it? Um, so this is like the deeper understanding of a game. Like the war, like the world, and the characters, where they come from and stuff like that. So I think, yeah, like, I mean, I absolutely agree with this. I’m actually wondering, and I can say anything about this, because I don’t have any experience. I don’t know any translators that work on games. But I’m actually wondering, like, with all this information that should be provided by the, by the client. What are the translators actually go through all that material to understand the game? And again, I don’t know. I don’t know. Because like, judging from the experience that I have from like software marketing, usually things needs to be done pretty fast. And even.

Andrej Zito 

I’m also wondering, like about compensation, because I know that sometimes the translators can actually refuse to look at this material, because like, they need to spend the time for that. So some of them might actually be asked to for compensation. So then if you are like a client, and your LSP tells you that they need like a full introduction of the characters and details about the game world. And hey, you also need to give us extra money so that all of our translators can read it. I’m not sure how that would work out. So so this is about games, trying to think how it would work. Without the types of localization. And one thing that I forgot to think about is media localization. So there were a couple of articles in earlier episodes that talk about, I don’t know, money heist, talk about subtitling and stuff like that.

Andrej Zito 

So again, I think that is something that might be irrelevant to media localization, and maybe even for marketing, for media localization. Absolutely. Because like, you should know, the world that like the content is set in unless it’s like, you know, like, right now, or something like that. Like, for example, like if you have like a fantasy movie, and you do subtitles for that. And the same code is definitely for four characters. Oh, actually, it would be nice to Oh, wait, wait, wait, I think there was a, I think like, what the second or the third episode was about the localization of Metal Gear. Solid. There was it was from the perspective of translator that had to work on it. And he had to translate the game from Japanese into English. And he had to do all this research. about like, a lot of, you know, the army tech stuff that he do kajima uses in his games, he didn’t I think he didn’t talk about characters.

Andrej Zito 

Because again, it’s one thing that you can get by playing the game. But yeah, like, especially like for Hideo Kojima games like the characters are very complex. I think like even the world has its own specifics. So this is, again, something that might be very useful for the translators. And when it comes to marketing, I’m trying to think about goes back to like what I was saying earlier, when it comes to the target player, which in case of marketing would be the target audience. So maybe, I don’t know, I had some, watch some marketing, educational videos, where he talks about personas that you need to create. So maybe sharing these personas with the translator team would actually help them. And actually, I think, even as even even if you are a project manager, having like a good idea of who the marketing content is aimed for might actually help you decide like which translator to use.

Andrej Zito 

And again, I think that’s, that’s not something that I have seen before. So maybe it’s like the next evolution, like, Okay, this is like another idea that I had kind of like business idea is, I think, based on what I was saying, for the first point, like really have specific and contextual messages for each small cohort cohort so that it’s more targeted. I think based on that, we might need a certain like a, I would call it the Gary Vee localization. So the way Gary Vee talks targets and how many different pieces of content and ads he creates so that they’re more contextual, and so that they convert better. I think there’s a place maybe maybe not for a company, which would be just focused on this. Of course, like traditional LSP, maybe, I mean, nothing is preventing them from like, having two or three different translators for certain language based on the target copy.

Andrej Zito 

But I think like if somebody just specialized on that, maybe all the businesses that are following Gary Vee could actually be attracted to this. Gary Vee localization LSP nobody does anything about it, I will do something about it. Okay, tip number six. Free more Oh my God, I need to stop talking context hints. Speaking of context, the more we have, the better the localization. Here’s a quick example of why contexts can make a huge difference in localizing other languages. Even though it may not play a huge part in localizing to English. In French, and many other languages and nouns and objectives are gendered unlike English. This means knowing the gender of your characters is crucial to an accurate localization in this languages, for example, you are an excellent driver would be translated differently in French if the driver in question was male or female.

Andrej Zito 

This may seem like a very minor point, but it will sound really odd to a fringe player, and tous reduced their enjoyment of the game. Here’s how you can provide your localization team with more context information. String order and name. Make an effort to organize your strings in a logical way that provides as much context as possible is best if your text is sorted chronologically, but in case this is not possible, try organizing it per stage per request, or even per character. Just don’t store it in alphabetical order. String IDs can also contain hints to help the localization team understand when and how the string is being used. So yeah, so getting just like a bunch of XML rows that are sorted alphabetically is not probably very helpful. I’m wondering like, in 2019, like if there are really no better tools. I think I had this idea before, I think I haven’t shared it on the podcast yet.

Andrej Zito 

The idea is very simple. Like you have like some I don’t know string table for your game, and I have no idea how games are progress. And where does strings reside? But the idea to give the best context to the translators would be. So you’re translating in some CAD tool, but anytime you change the string, you could get like, like the game would generate the screen where that string would appear so that you would get like a full context. So, yeah. Next thing, context nodes. If you’re afraid of going overboard and overwhelming your localization team with comments, don’t be too many comments on a localization file are far better than not, you know, adding images of characters and props can help with context, as well. list all your tax, we need to know the meaning and function of all your tax so we can translate accordingly. For example, what string will appear instead of the tack? Can it be plural?

Andrej Zito 

Can it be both in the sentence? Here? I’m just wondering, like, how, if you’re like developers special, like a small one, even big one? Like how would you actually find a time to explain the stacks? And I understand the stacks can like something like variables? Yeah, I don’t know. Like, it would be like, really, really something that I haven’t seen, like, especially when I remember, like how we localize Windows Vista. In my early days in Moravia, like there was like, no explanation like, like just imagining, like, that the deaf team would provide us with, like, the definitions of all the variables and are like, what are the possibilities, then see the pain away number seven, editable text files. So this is about never hard coding strings that need to be localized. And they’re saying that the text should be kept in spreadsheets.

Andrej Zito 

Few files are fine, too, but they’re not the most perfect format for us to work with. So yeah, never hard coding string. That’s like the basic principle of internationalization. So I’m not going to stop there. Number eight questions and answers. Jot down all of the foreseeable questions about your game and answer them ahead of time. For example, shoot a title, localized, shoot character location means be transliterate. Every question and answer that you include in this file will save you precious time, time you would otherwise be spending going back and forth to explain a concept to your translators. So this is again, something that they pointed out in the beginning, like if like a new person news, or a new client that just did their first or second game, and they just want to test what localization can bring them.

Andrej Zito 

Then noting down all the foreseeable questions, it’s kind of like a very naive think, I think, because the calkin new people like foresee questions that might come from the localization team, if they have no experience. wrapping it up, allocating time to maximize the efficiency of the translation. Even if you include the most thorough localization style guide that’s humanly possible, we will still need to ask you questions about your game, through our online QA sheet, to provide you with the best translation we can. And that’s a good thing. Spending time collaborating will give us an opportunity to get close and personal with everything your game entails. To make this process as painless and efficient as possible. Make sure to allocate time to work with us and answer these questions.

Andrej Zito 

So even if you’re as a poor client, and you did all this work, and you prepare these huge documents for your new LSP, they will still ask questions. thing that I can only comment on here, before my eyes shut down, and I’ll just fall asleep is that they mentioned online QA sheet, I can just imagine some basic Google spreadsheet, which actually might work in these days, but I thought like, we are far for hat, spreadsheets, even though they’re online. I think like a more sophisticated ticketing system for handling queries might be a better option. But of course, it depends on the client and the size of the operations. So if he’s like a small indie Game Developer done. Yeah, probably shared Google Spreadsheet might make more sense. Yeah, that is it. So it’s one hour 10 minutes of raw recording.

Andrej Zito 

I went through three articles, I will leave out the last article, which was about app localization. And the reason the main reason why I left this article in the scope for this episode is because it had such a nice infographic. It’s really nice, but the information in it, it’s kind of general, at least to me. So it talks about, you know, a lot of medium apps are downloaded, more will be downloaded. What you need to vocalize in your app. People don’t speak only English, or they prefer apps, not in English, but in their native language. What are the most famous languages to translator translate to what are the app stores and connecting your app to social media? It may be that it would be good idea to have local teams once you get to a certain size. So that was the last article. So yeah, I’m going to skip that because I think I’m going to die soon.

Andrej Zito 

Um, yeah, I think that’s it. I have no idea if anybody was online on Twitch actually looks like nobody is there right now. So zero viewers, but that’s okay. Because I’m very happy with the recording. I think that I provided something valuable once again, you know, I always fear that they will be like, no interesting content. But something always comes up. So yeah, with that being said, I think this is going to be it for Episode Number 15 so stay tuned for the next episode number 16. If you want to catch me online, please go to twitch.tv slash Andrej Zito I assume that most of you probably don’t have an account so you can’t follow me. But if you decide to do so, I would very much appreciate that. Because there will be a lot more localization stuff happening there. So yeah, that’s it for today. Thank you for listening. Thank you for watching. Have a great day. Have a great night and see you next week. Bye.

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