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June 14, 2019

The Role of Localization and Translation Experts in Project Management

Project managers should realize the significance of proper service localization: translators alone are not enough to go global. Here are the reasons why.

Creating and controlling a large project is always a challenge. Project managers are highly demanded in the modern world, and all big companies and their owners value their skills. Without a good project management plan, it is hard to develop a successful business. As far as most of the businesses today are e-commerce, they also strive for the proper website localization.

For the small teams, it was difficult to manage large-scale, time-consuming projects before, but, thanks to the advanced technologies, modern experts in the field of PM handle tasks way better. Developers offer numerous free applications to cope with management. Tech innovations allow building diverse, well-equipped teams of experts. Globalization has greatly shaped our world and business in general. Here`s why multilingual managing projects are more than translation, but they still rely on this activity heavily.

Significance of Localization Services

Websites like Translate.com help to convert content from one language to another. However, specialized localization services do much more. Instead of blindly translating texts directly, localization websites offer a cultural perspective and a unique approach to transforming texts into different languages. Perhaps, you have noticed that many texts sound too weird after being converted. That is because most of the apps responsible for translating content do not consider such things as idioms, humor, literary devices, etc.

To localize website means to convert texts for the target audience based on the cultural parameters. The intended users wish to see optimized texts that would be easy to understand. Confusing content usually scares off potential customers. Most of the Amazon users refuse to buy goods there only because of the language gap. It can be seen in the product descriptions.

Localized services play a significant role in project management. The teams may find out how to deliver specific messages from various cultural perspectives and appeal to the heart of audiences that speak different languages. Through localizing services, it is possible to offer goods and services based on the culture, customs, and traditions of the target users. The effectiveness of information significantly improves.

A Way to Solve Urgent Issues

Localization is a valuable resource in many aspects. Different cultures view the same issues differently, and project managers need diversified approaches to solving the problems. One of the duties of project managers is to evaluate the work of other employees based on their achievements and contribution to the current project. Constructive criticism is what can help to understand different cultures better.

Some companies with offices worldwide may have head-offices in China only because the local population demands customer support more than other world populations as China is the most populated country nowadays. At the same time, project managers may watch the development and progress of their US or UK-based offices.

From hiring staff to training it, PM experts should realize that employees of different cultures perceive the same information differently. It is not enough to use a translation website content to make people from different regions of the world interpret the same things as their responsibilities similarly. Another aim is to ensure all of the team members realize the goals as well as the measures to understand them equally well. Every individual should know his or her role in that sort of business.

Issues with Translation

Dealing with the project-oriented towards an audience from a single country is different from working on products or services for people from different regions of the world. The most complex businesses are those present in numerous countries. While some of those countries may have similar languages and cultural features, others may view the positive traits of some goods adversely. It is even possible that the team members of the same organization working in the same country speak different languages and view the same project from different perspectives.

The linguistic elements seem easy to handle as numerous translation agencies, and online services are available today, and many of them are free. However, without proper localization, translation alone will not be able to remove cultural gaps. A company can engage translators and interpreters, but it is an effective approach only if those professionals possess a great experience living abroad and studying languages with native speakers. A successful multilingual project requires much more skills, time, efforts, and even costs than simply translating the website content or product descriptions.

Coping with Cultural Gaps

Cultures, customs, traditions, religions, political situation – those are all equally significant factors that one should consider while carrying out a project worldwide. Multi-language projects are never carried out by a single team of experts: it requires much more. A company can either expand the in-house staff or outsource localization and translation teams to a different company. The countries of Eastern Europe, such as Ukraine or Poland, could be the best options.

Without considering cultural perspectives, it is impossible to deliver the main idea of a product or service to the target audience. Some of the examples of cultural gaps may include:

  • Differences in time zones
  • Differences in working schedules
  • Differences in holidays, days-off, and breaks
  • Differences in social benefits
  • Differences in life values
  • Differences in approaches to launching businesses

Only those PM experts who understand those gaps can come up with a project with a high level of profitability. In some countries, it can be okay to change deadlines several times or even miss them while in others, it is unacceptable. A cross-border project should respect the traditions of other nations.

Another example can be viewed to realize the importance of localization. Let’s come back to the deadlines and how they appear in different cultures. Punctuality, tolerance, and the ability to set priorities are what should dominate instead of procrastination. The point is that it works like a chain: if one misses the deadline, the entire project may then fail. Have a look at Switzerland. In this country, they prefer completing all the tasks before the deadline. Even when the tightest deadlines arrive, they already have a solution. Most of the members who agreed on a business meeting should arrive something like 10-15 minutes later to make sure no one is waiting for them. These people really value every second.

In Montenegro, for instance, it is okay to work just for four days a week instead of five, and they have to work only 5-6 hours per day. The way they perceive and respect deadlines are also different. In Spain and Italy, it is okay to be late, but it still should be sober: being late for an hour is no good at any country. Also, in most cultures, every meeting starts with the agenda, milestones, and deadlines. It is essential to follow the timelines earlier discussed with all meeting members.

Final Words

These examples of localization importance seem to be endless. The verdict is that to implement business on time and make it profitable, project managers around the world should understand that translation alone is not enough to manage multilingual projects. One should not underestimate the importance of localization.

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