Having the right localization team is crucial for successful international launches. These are the folks who turn "lost in translation" into "found in every corner of the globe." If you’re puzzled about who you need on your localization team, we’re here to help.
Each person in your localization process will play their role in moving your project forward. From creation to translation, to quality assurance reviews and implementation, there’s a lot you need to handle. Finding the right team can become even more challenging if you’re expanding into many new languages and markets. This means you’ll need to have different types of subject matter experts, native translators, and quality reviewers.
Most companies choose to oursource ther localization team because they don’t have the need for continuous localization or the resources to handle the process in-house. In any case, it’s useful to know who you need on your team.
A successful localization team requires a diverse set of roles and expertise to effectively adapt and translate content for different languages and cultures. While we will discuss each role individually and deep dive into their specific responsibilities and challenges, we first want you to understand the logic behind the way one localization team works.
There are four primary groups of stakeholders:
1. Software developers and designers
2. Product, project, and localization managers
3. Copywriters, marketers, and translators
4. QA specialists and reviewers
Each group works within a different part of the localization process. Additionally, they don’t dictate the order in which every localization process may flow. Some roles may overlap or they won’t be involved in the process. It depends on the project size, type, and complexity.
Let’s say you want to localize an app. For the sake of this example, we can say it’s a language-learning app. Localization of an app involves a multidisciplinary team collaborating to adapt the app's content, design, and functionality to suit different languages and cultures.
On the visuals below, you can see some of the roles and their respective responsibilities in the app localization process.
In addition to these, you may also need:
Legal and compliance specialist who ensure that localized content adheres to regional legal requirements and data privacy regulations
Marketing specialists who tailor promotional materials, advertisements, and app store descriptions to resonate with local audiences and increase app visibility
In-country reviewers who review the app to provide feedback on cultural accuracy and user experience
By involving this diverse team, the language-learning app can effectively adapt to global markets, ensuring a seamless and culturally relevant experience for users worldwide. Each team member plays a crucial role in maintaining linguistic precision, cultural authenticity, and user satisfaction throughout the localization process.
Similarly to a baton race, each professional has their own part of the track to run through before they pass it on to the next person in the process.
Let’s now take a look at the main roles of professionals working within a localization team. To ensure you fully understand the team structure, we will look at three different aspects: key responsibility, skills, and challenges.
Localization project manager
Coordinates all team members and manages the localization process
Adds string identifiers (so-called keys) and takes care of the backend of the product
Modifies images, icons, and visual elements to align with cultural preferences and avoid misunderstandings
Translating content from source language to target language
Quality assurance experts and reviewers
Review, proofread, and test translated content to ensure quality standards are met
Tailoras promotional materials and advertisements to make sure the content resonates with local audiences
Depending on what you’re localizing, you may realize you don’t need all these roles on the team. For example, if you’re not localizing a software but you need to translate and adapt legal documents, you won’t need a localization engineer or a designer.
Outsourcing your localization team can offer several advantages, but it also comes with certain challenges. To help you better understand what’s the best path for you and your business, we’re providing you with an overview of the pros and cons of outsourcing your localization efforts.Pros of outsourcing your localization team
Cost savings: Outsourcing can often be more cost-effective than hiring and maintaining an in-house localization team. You can potentially save on salaries, benefits, office space, and equipment.
Access to expertise: Outsourcing allows you to tap into the expertise of professionals who specialize in localization, ensuring high-quality translations, cultural adaptation, and technical integration.
Scalability: Outsourcing provides flexibility to scale your localization efforts up or down based on project demands, without the need to hire or lay off employees.
Faster turnaround: Localization companies have dedicated resources and streamlined processes, potentially leading to faster project completion compared to building an in-house team from scratch.
Global reach: Experienced localization providers have access to a network of skilled linguists and cultural experts from around the world, enabling you to effectively target multiple markets.
Access to technology: Many outsourcing partners have advanced localization tools and software that can streamline the process and improve efficiency.
Communication challenges: Outsourcing can lead to communication difficulties due to time zone differences, language barriers, and limited face-to-face interactions, potentially impacting project clarity and timelines.
Quality control: Maintaining consistent quality across different languages and cultures can be challenging when working with remote teams, potentially leading to variations in translation accuracy and cultural adaptation.
Cultural understanding: Outsourcing partners might lack an in-depth understanding of your brand, values, and target audience, which could result in cultural misalignments.
Data security: Sharing sensitive content with external teams could raise concerns about data security and intellectual property protection.
Dependency: Relying heavily on outsourcing might lead to a lack of internal expertise and hinder your ability to make immediate changes or updates.
So how do you decide what’s best for your business case?
The decision to outsource your localization team depends on your company's specific needs, resources, and strategic goals. Careful consideration of the pros and cons, along with thorough evaluation of potential outsourcing partners, can help you make an informed decision that aligns with your localization objectives.
Is it possible to mitigate the risks of outsourcing your localization team and enjoy just the benefits of doing so? Yep. The downsides of outsourcing can be overcome if your chosen language service provider has the right technology and processes in place, and a talented team of experts. Additionally, ISO certification is there to guarantee both quality and data protection, and it’s a clear signal that the company has taken all the necessary steps to adhere to industry standards for excellence.
If you’re looking for a fully functional and dependable localization team, you can rely on LinguaeMundi. We have been in the business for more than 25 years, so we know a thing or two about leading a successful localization project. Contact us today, we’re always happy to hear from you