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Toward a Sustainable Language Services Ecosystem for the UK’s Public Sector

Localization Strategy

Many of the United Kingdom’s very large language service contracts for the public sector are being tendered for or awarded in 2020, influencing the working lives and livelihoods of hundreds of language service companies and thousands of freelance translators and interpreters in the UK. Everyone involved in public sector work in the language services ecosystem has a vested interest in how these contracts turn out, but more constructive dialogue is needed across the ecosystem.

An “ecosystem” of language service procurement and provision within the public sector encompasses public sector organizations who commission and use translation and interpreting services, together with the supply chain — language service companies and the translators and interpreters providing these services. At the very heart of the system are the individual people requiring translation and interpreting in their own languages.

When I joined the UK’s Association of Translation Companies (ATC) as its CEO two years ago, this was about as far as my understanding went regarding public sector work, having spent my entire working life in the commercial translation world.

What I didn’t understand were the challenges around providing critical language support in over 300 languages, some very rare, in hugely demanding situations, at a very short notice, with the constraints of austerity measures and changes in the way governments procure language services having completely changed the landscape in the past decade.

There’s no doubt that providing language services for the public sector is a challenging task, but what I also didn’t see or appreciate were the deep divides within the language services supply chain and between the organizations and associations active in the ecosystem.

Many of these divides are borne out of the changes the sector has experienced in the past decade; for example, the introduction of large government framework contracts, or the knock-on effects of many years of financial austerity measures on public sector procurement.

I don’t think anyone would argue that there are many areas within which public sector work could be developed. Public sector procurement practices, pricing and the shape of the supply chain have regularly made industry news globally, and not in a positive light.

However, as I learned more about the procurement of language services for the public sector, the more it was clear that there really was very little genuine collaboration, or even discussion, across the divides, and thus very few genuinely constructive initiatives to improve the ecosystem.

This was a problem.

I was lucky enough to be surrounded by a Council whose commitment and experience laid the foundation of what in the past year has crystallised the ATC’s position and objectives of working towards sustainable development in the procurement and provision of language services for the UK’s public sector.

Within the UK’s ecosystem, the ATC represents language service companies from micro enterprises and SME’s to large companies providing the widest range of services in over 300 languages to public sector commissioning authorities. Our members have a pivotal role in delivering language services for the public sector, and in commissioning individual assignments with freelance translators, interpreters and other language professionals.

For the ATC, it was clear from the start that if the association was to truly invest in the development of public sector work, it would have to be based on constructive collaboration and genuinely open channels of communication between industry stakeholders. We wanted to identify and find areas which our stakeholders could get behind, and achieve tangible developments.

The ATC’s Public Sector Manifesto, published in January 2020, set out the association’s objectives toward sustainable development to:

  • identify and promote sustainable best practices within the procurement and provision of language services
  • proactively work together on implementing realistic, concrete solutions that benefit the entire ecosystem
  • work towards a regulated environment, with more effective governance and oversight of the provision of language services at all levels
  • look beyond immediate challenges and into the future, supporting inspirational solutions and technology that advance the development of the industry, in meeting the needs of all users

In the past year, our activities have focused on building the foundations for constructive relationships, and in this I think we have succeeded.

We have brought together stakeholders from the entire ecosystem; founded a platform for ATC member companies to engage in meaningful collaboration, irrespective of size or position in the market; and forged positive, open channels of communication with organizations and associations representing translators and interpreters.

But this is just the start.

Due to its size and continuous, organic evolution, the public sector’s translation and interpreting landscape is highly fragmented, which complicates our understanding of the procurement fulfillment process, and consequently creates challenges around implementing and monitoring best practice.

We believe that through increased understanding and visibility of the landscape, we can pave the way for more efficient and effective public sector procurement in the future. We will do this by continuing to initiate and support research on language services for the public sector, and publishing best practice recommendations and guidance to support our objectives.

We believe that the foundations of sustainability across public sector procurement are laid at framework specification level, which will create a level playing field for the organizations participating in tenders, and as a consequence, their suppliers.

We will continue to identify opportunities for positive contribution, and to focus on constructive conversations that identify shared objectives and goals, and move the development of the ecosystem forwards.

We acknowledge the need for robust governance of public sector contracts and the provision of effective language services within those contracts. We wish to work together with stakeholders to identify ways and means of achieving comprehensive due diligence during tendering, improved governance and oversight of service delivery, as well as reliable checks on the qualifications and competences of translators and interpreters engaged in public sector work.

We advocate open discussion on transparent levels of oversight and quality control that can reasonably and realistically be put in place.

It is in the entire ecosystem’s interest that the procurement and provision of language services is sustainable, and that the individual people depending on language support are able to get it, not just now, but also in ten and twenty years’ time.

There are definite challenges, but also opportunities for improvement, developing technologies, and above all, a new willingness to work together to identify the areas where genuine advances can be made.

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Raisa McNab is chief executive officer at the UK’s Association of Translation Companies (ATC). She holds a Master of Arts degree in translation and interpreting from the University of Turku in her native Finland, and has previously worked in the language services industry as a translator, project manager, and quality, training and development manager. She is interested in collaborative cooperation and sustainable development of the language services industry.

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SAS Localization Search Engines Available to Public

Localization

Expanding access to its search engines, SAS aims to create more cost-effective and efficient function for its localization software for users in the translation community.

SAS terminology manager Ronan Martin announced recently that the search engines in the SAS Portal are available to communities outside SAS. Already operating internally, these tools are used extensively by testers, technical support and in-house translators. Several factors have led to the decision to open the portal.

SAS uses language vendors for most languages and aims to provide better access to freelance translators, who can use the SAS firewall to review their own translations and compare translations of the same source text in other languages.

Along with granting better access to the translation community, SAS must localize software for contractual reasons. “A new generation of young analysts in non-English speaking regions who have only ever encountered many key terms in English,” said terminology manager Ronan Martin. “There is two-way push: translators and some older academics want to use localized terms, while younger people want to use the English terms. This is an ongoing struggle, but the portal at least provides a way of linguistically navigating the software for users who find themselves in this predicament.”

Martin also pointed out that localizing software is expensive and challenging from an engineering point of view. The company’s default position is to localize a software solution to the extent that there is a business case for it. This will usually encompass the user interface. Localizing documentation and user guides can be prohibitively expensive, as they are generally large. Responding to the barrier, users may interact with the software in their local language, and simultaneously delve into English-language documentation and guides. The portal can provide a bridge between the two languages.

Like many other software companies, SAS is moving away from shipping software packages and instead turning to cloud deployment using the DevOps approach. This entails developing discrete pieces of software that are slotted together in different combinations, known as a containerized approach to software development.

Academic environments are also of great interest. Students have free access to SAS software as part of the company’s academic programs.

“We hope that they will take this knowledge and experience into industry with them when they graduate,” said Martin. “We would like to support students, lecturers, course providers, researchers, authors and presenters of papers by providing terminology in the local language, to the extent we are able to.”

Furthermore, SAS expects an increase in situations where third party companies assemble apps using SAS containers behind the scenes. This could be an app developed in another language, or an English-language app localized outside SAS.

“This is a new exciting development,” said Martin, “But looking into the future we would like to establish an eco-system of SAS terminology that cascades down through the software, regardless of where, or in what language it is developed. We hope the portal will enable this to happen.”

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Lokalise Raises $6 Million in Backing

Localization

Previously bootstrapped, the software startup team Lokalise decided to raise external capital to hire top talent in order to accelerate growth, as it moves remote.

This week, Latvian translation software startup Lokalise announced that it had raised $6 million in a recent funding round. With a focus on translation and localization of apps, websites, and games, Lokalise provides a Software as a Service (SaaS) product that helps users improve workflow and processes when updating for different languages and regions.

“Initially we were just a handful of coders building a product for a pain that we ourselves were experiencing,” said Lokalise co-founder and CEO Nick Ustinov. “When top-tier customers started knocking on our doors we saw the larger opportunity at play. We quickly realized that the greatest challenge to scale Lokalise is in attracting the best go-to-market talent. Having met good VCs in both Europe and the US, we are happy that we picked Mike Chalfen as our partner to realize our vision.”

Lokalise aims to streamline the localization process, allowing users to upload language files or integrate them directly with GitHub or GitLab so that it automatically updates changes. Additionally, users can browse each sentence in different languages from the service, and a team of translators can edit text in the Lokalise interface all on the same page.

Similar to cloud-based platforms, Lokalise has collaboration features through comments and mentions, as well as assign tasks and trigger events based on completed tasks, like an email notification. Furthermore, Lokalise allows users to use Google Translate or a marketplace of professional translators, with built-in spelling and grammar features to spot errors.

“Most customers work with internal or external individual translators or language service providers (LSPs) directly,” Ustinov said. “The SaaS product generates 90% of our revenue — the revenue breakdown between the SaaS product and the marketplace of translation services is 90%/10%.

Founded in 2017 in Riga, Latvia, by tech entrepreneurs Petr Antropov and Nick Ustinov, the company has since attracted over 1,500 customers in 80 countries, from early-stage businesses, to scaleups and Fortune500 companies, including Revolut, Yelp, Virgin Mobile, and Notion.

“Every business has an online presence, yet inefficient localization remains a painful barrier to geographic expansion,” said lead investor Mike Chalfen. “Lokalise changes that. It has amazing customer references. Its beautifully designed collaborative tool and powerful integrations position it to disrupt the industry’s complex and archaic business processes. I am excited to partner with this ambitious team to build a new category leader.”

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Netflix Partners with NMG to Localize Streaming Services

Localization

Addressing issues related to content, user interface, and payment options, the partnership will grant greater access to the Netflix streaming service for Russian viewership.

Partnering with Russia’s National Media Group (NMG), Netflix will now localize its services to Russian viewership in the effort to expand access to the streaming service. Though the international version has been available in Russia since 2015, the partnership will bring significant updates to both the content and services starting from Mid-October.

One important change will be in the payment options. Available only to payments in Euros previously, Netflix will now allow viewers to pay in local currency, including payment options in rubles. With the collaboration, the company also has plans to increase the number of local Russian films, as well as to make updates to the user interface to better serve Russian viewership, including offering full access to Russian subtitles and dubbing. The films and services will be available to subscribers globally, as well.

“NMG confirms partnership with Netflix. According to the agreement between the two parties, NMG will act as the Netflix services operator in Russia,” said NMG CEO Olga Paskina. “We are currently working on full localization of the streaming service, which will enable us to provide Netflix’s services and content in Russian. This deal is in line with NMG’s strategy to achieve leading positions in digital and content media segments in Russia.”

Accounting for around 25% of Russia’s TV market, NMG will become the primary operator of the streaming service in Russia. The partnership is expected to comply with the Russian media legislation, which stipulates that foreign entities can only hold 20% of a company. Although the partnership will open new avenues for content, NMG will not be responsible for creating any additional content.

“Netflix is available in over 30 languages around the world,” said a Netflix spokesperson in a statement to Broadband TV News. “Almost five years after launching our English language service in Russia, we’re excited to provide a fully Russian service for our members in partnership with NMG.”

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Website localization basics and a Jooble case study

Localization Basics

There are 195 countries in the world, and each country has its own unique version of language. Add to that the fact that there are more than 4.5 billion daily internet users and every user would prefer to read the content in their own language. In fact, 72% of users spend time on the websites in their own language and 72.4% are more likely to buy from a website that offers them information in their native language.

So how do you reach the new potential markets and enhance your digital presence in order to please international customers? The answer is website localization.

The intricacies of going global

If you’re new to this, you’re not alone. Many website owners confuse the terms localization and translation. While they might keep localization in mind, all they do is simply translate the website copy which predictably leads to poor results. In order to truly win the hearts of international clients and retain your brand reputation, you need to clearly understand what are localization and translation and how they differ.

Translation is simply translating the copy from one language to another. You have “a red apple” in English and “une pomme rouge” in French. Simple as that.

Localization is far more tricky. It is a process of adapting your product (i.e. a website) to a specific market or audience in accordance with the audience’s culture. Think of design elements as an example. If we compare the Canadian and Japanese Coca-Cola websites, we will see that the design differs drastically. While the Canadian website seems to have a clearer layout and displays the messages about the brand’s value and mission, the Japanese version of the site seems over packed with information and images. But is it wrong? Not at all! The trick is, Asian audience loves to learn as much information as possible about the product before buying it, so Coca-Cola clearly did some quality research before launching the Japanese website.

Now, localization may seem quite a hassle. Not only do you have to translate all the content, but you also need to take care of metrics and dates, images, and even layout. So why would you decide to localize your website? Here are some of the biggest benefits.

Increased credibility and brand reputation. Customers love when a brand takes care of their needs and goes extra mile in an attempt to deliver a superior user experience. Therefore, an international brand that caters to its customers and knows about the different cultural aspects is more likely to win people’s hearts.

If a user goes to a website and sees that it’s available in multiple languages, including their native one, this immediately boosts trust towards this website and encourages the user to explore and browse it. On the opposite, if there is only one language present on the website, it might lead to a high bounce rate. After all, 60% of global customers “rarely or never” buy services or products from English-only websites.

Increased market share and revenue. Website localization means the expansion of your digital presence and therefore, entrance to new markets. And if you enter the new markets prepared, this will inevitably result in increased revenue and bigger market share. A study by Shutterstock confirms that 71% of marketing decision-makers from the US, UK, and Europe increased their sales thanks to the localization.

Competitive advantage. Finally, website localization can serve as a valuable competitive advantage. Think about it: while there may be dozens (if not hundreds) of companies similar to yours, hardly several of them will make an attempt and become truly international. Therefore, if you show that you really care about all your customers, this will become an unbeatable advantage.

The challenges of localization

While localization is indeed a great way to connect with the customers worldwide and significantly boost your reputation, it also has several pitfalls that not many entrepreneurs are aware of. These are the localization challenges that have to be considered in order to avoid major financial and resource losses. These challenges include:

  • Great variety of languages and dialects
  • High costs in terms of coding and translation spendings
  • Various cultural issues to consider
  • Great variety of processes involved in localization

Though they may sound complex, it’s actually not so difficult to resolve them if you use the right tools.

Website localization: A step-by-step checklist

Now that we know what exactly localization is and how it benefits one’s business, we can look at the actual process of localizing your website:

  • Market and competition analysis: at this stage, you will determine the most potential and profitable market to enter.
  • Definition of the project scope: assess the project in order to set the deadlines and requirements for all parties involved in localization.
  • Choice of a third-party services provider (localization company) or assembly of an in-house localization team and assignment of roles.
  • Use of Hreflang tags and Unicode: this helps make the website compatible with multiple languages.
  • Work on design: visual elements of the website should correspond to the particular cultures that you target.
  • Translation of the website content: make sure to pay attention not only to the text but formats as well (such as dates, time, and other metrics).
  • Renewed SEO strategy: different countries have different keywords that rank the highest so you will need to work on that aspect as well. For example, 20% of all Google searches are in local languages, so you want to consider that.
  • Compliance with local rules and regulations: you need to double-check if your website and all its contents correspond to the rules and regulations of the countries that you target.
  • Testing: before launching the website, it is obligatory to test it and see whether it works equally well in different languages.

It is worth mentioning a few localization risks that testing can successfully identify. Probably the most common issue is the lack of space: while some languages require less space, others will demand significantly more. Compare “Hello” and “Bonjour” — these two words have an obvious difference in their length. Other issues include text direction, messages adaptation, notifications, and so on.

Website localization is a complex process and every step takes time and resources. However, there are ways to make localization easier and faster.

Use automation — a lot!

Automation is a great time-saver in terms of localization, so don’t hesitate to use it. If you have a lot of text to translate, you’ll very likely use translation memory and glossaries. A translation memory is a tool that keeps track of the translated copy, stores it, and notifies the translator in case a text similar to the already-translated one is encountered. As for the glossary, it is a compilation of all specific terms that can be met in a text (for example, medical terms) alongside their context. With the help of a glossary, translators can always know what a specific term means and when it should be used.

There are a variety of available computer-aided translation tools that store translation memories, help automate the translation process, and speed things up: SDL Trados, SDL Passolo, OmegaT, Sisulizer, Poedit, MemoQ, and more. Automation is also offered by CMS and translation platforms: for example, when a translation is approved, it can be automatically published in a CMS with a CLI — command line interface or API. Such little things end up saving a great amount of time.

When preparing big chunks of text for translation, it’s easy to slip into the temptation of machine translation, but you should not rely on this without a solid professional strategy.

The thing is, localization is quite complex and there are many examples of the cases when it went wrong. There are hundreds of examples of marketing translation fails even from the biggest brands like Coca-Cola or KFC.

And if you need an example of a really clever localized website, ASOS is your choice. The brand has different and customized messages about shipping for every available location: “Shipping to Collection Points” for France and “One-day Shipping for 15€” for Italy. The company clearly did some research and found out which messages would elicit the most response from the customers.

A quick case study: localization of Jooble portal

Jooble is a job search portal that is now available in 60 countries, so it came as no surprise that the company needed to expand its reach and translate the website into different languages. The company required website translations into 16 languages, including Tagalog.

To begin with, Alconost requested materials from Jooble that would help their translators properly understand the context. For this, Jooble provided many screenshots of the user journey. These were then uploaded into the cloud-based translation software Crowdin and were carefully considered during the translation process.

In addition, the source texts were provided in the form of .docx files containing text with HTML code. The translations were carried out directly within the HTML code; all tags needed to be kept intact, as they’re essential to website formatting. In this way, the translations could be integrated into the customer’s system directly upon completion. The translators, aside from being native speaker professional translators, had extensive experience working with HTML texts.

Once the translations were added to Jooble’s website, we conducted a full linguistic testing, where we were able to fix some “long strings” that did not quite fit into their allocated places.

Ultimately, Jooble was able to create a simple user interface that would work for all regions. With the help of the screenshots provided, the translated website copy was made to be enticing to the users. Jooble also made sure to add popular searches to the home screen ー it automatically displays the types of job that would be most interesting for someone from that region, thus augmenting the click rate.

 

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Loïe Favre is a localization expert at Alconost, a US localization company that specializes in software, apps and game translations whose aim is to disseminate useful information about the translation industry for language professionals, localization managers and companies. Originally from Canada, she has worked for ten years as a translator and translation manager.

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Anuvadak Platform Translates India’s MyGov COVID Site

AI, Localization

The expansion of COVID-19 information now to include 10 of India’s 22 official languages will ensure millions of Indian internet users access to vital information. Reverie Language Technologies hopes this is just the beginning for Anuvadak, its website localization AI.

In the effort boost access to the internet among India’s multitude of languages, Reverie Language Technologies has leveraged its machine translation AI Anuvadak to automatically publish the MyGov COVID-19 page in ten Indian languages.

Launched as a platform to publish websites in Indian languages, Anuvadak accelerates the process of localizing content to better serve the needs of 536 million Indian-language internet users. Along with translating language using neural machine translation, the platform can also automatically update websites, manage workflows, and optimize SEO search results using built-in web analytics.

“It is a platform that accelerates the process of creating, launching, and optimizing your website in multiple languages,” said Reverie Language Technologies CEO and Co-founder Arvind Pani in a recent interview. “The platform enables you to connect with customers in their language with faster go-to-market and effortless content management. Anuvadak can scale down the website localization time by 40% and can save as much as 60% of the localization and content management costs.”

After winning the QPrize in 2011, Reverie Language Technologies became the first company to offer language computing solutions for all 22 official Indian languages. However, despite India’s claim to the world’s second-largest English-speaking population, only around 10% of the Indian population speak English. Accordingly, the vast number of internet resources serve a minority of Indian internet users.

As COVID-19 cases continue to rise, access to information one’s native language is still vital globally, and many around the world are calling for efforts to deliver information in a timely manner. The increased language capacity on India’s MyGov website will play a major role in disseminating life-saving information as epidemiologists gather new information about the virus. Furthermore, an internet with broader localization strategies will ensure Indian internet-users with more equal access to opportunities in business, education, and cultural exchange.

“We are focused on building products to address all user engagement aspects, be it input, search, voice, translation, or localization,” said Pani. “We plan to empower more number of the rapidly rising Indian-language users with our language by enabling large businesses and governments to connect with more people in regional languages.”

Although a great effort is still needed to deliver access to information through the internet and technology to India’s diverse language speakers, Anuvadak will contribute to the broader effort to serve Indian internet users.

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Paper Mario’s Controversial Translation

Localization Culture

Nintendo’s Paper Mario video game localization team has sparked a dispute about how it translated sensitive language from Japanese to Traditional Chinese.

Even without the pressure COVID-19 has put on game developers, video game localization requires several considerations. From redesigning food graphics or fashion choices, to adapting jokes to better communicate humor through culture, a video game localization team can stumble into sensitive content without even realizing it.

Nintendo’s July 2020 release of its newest game Paper Mario: The Origami King has sparked a dispute on social media about its localization process, specifically related to its translation into Traditional Chinese.

The argument centered around the translation of a conversation between game characters Toad and Mario. In the Japanese version of the exchange, Toad says he wants “human rights” and “freedom,” but the traditional Chinese version translates to “plain outlook” and a “peaceful life,” according to social media activist ShawTim.

The Japanese words for “human rights,” 人権, and “freedom,” 自由 are both part of the Japanese Kanji characters, many of which derive directly from Traditional Chinese. In fact, the only difference in the two words would be that the second character in “human rights” would look like this: 權.

With such a direct translation clearly available to the translation team, ShawTim’s believes the changes might shed light on pressure from the Chinese government, or at least the Paper Mario Chinese localization team’s proactive measures to avoid making waves in Mainland China.

Still, Niko Partners Senior Analyst Daniel Ahmad pushed back on any conjecture that the change was forced by the Chinese government. In a twitter thread, Ahmad questions the claim that the Chinese government exerted any direct influence, adding that the game has not yet been released in Mainland China.

He goes on to retweet an explanation that points out how the Chinese translation uses puns to make a statement about both better governance and origami. The tweet says that the joke is about toads not being forcibly folded into origami. “Toad needs a neat appearance” and “Toad needs a peaceful life” are puns — the pun is that 平整 (neat) and 平静 (peaceful) both have the component word 平 in it, which is a Chinese word for flat.

Along with the punning that occurs in the Chinese translation, the two end-words reflect linguistic play. Pronounced “Ping Zheng” and “Ping Jing” using Pinyin phonetics of Mandarin Chinese, respectively, the second character in each phrase carries a “J” and “Ng” sound to create a slant rhyme. In this way, the translation might elicit more of a jocular tone than a politically indignant tone, even while insinuating heavy subject-matter.

Whatever the video game localization team’s intentions on the translation, this dispute reflects a natural response to the sensitive nature of localization. Even in the absence of geopolitical disputes like that between Mainland China and Hong Kong, the process of translating from one language or region to another could unleash a world of unintended connotations.

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Journalist at MultiLingual Magazine | + posts

Jonathan Pyner is a poet, freelance writer, and translator. He has worked as an educator for nearly a decade in the US and Taiwan, and he recently completed a master’s of fine arts in creative writing.

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Multimedia Localization Service Market Report Released

Localization Strategy

Multimedia localization deals with subtitling and translating scripts, creating voiceovers and dubbing, as well as animation, graphics processing, video production and so on. Importantly, the multimedia localization service industry has demonstrated adaptability in these trying times, with one video game localization team even using video calls to record voice actors.

Despite the disruption to the world economy this year, the continued success of the multimedia localization service industry would make sense considering its growing relevance in our daily lives in recent years. As with trends occurring in other language-related industries this year, the ingenuity and adaptability of the multimedia localization service industry appears to have the capacity for an upswing. Market.biz released a report recently on the impact of COVID-19 on global multimedia localization service market size, status and forecast 2020-2026 that will elaborate on the state of those trends.

Consisting of comprehensive data that aids in the detailed appraisal of the multimedia localization service industry, the document provides a summary of regional and global developments, the overview outlines the scope of the study, key market segments, ongoing trends among manufacturers, suppliers, and industries operating within the multimedia localization service market, and the implications of COVID-19 on each market by type.

Relying on SWOT analysis —a compilation of company strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats—that focuses on revenue and forecast by type and by end users in terms of revenue for the period of 2015-2026, the report analyzes the global multimedia localization service status, future forecast, and growth opportunity.

Furthermore, the report identifies cloud-based and web-based aspects of the industry, profiles key players and analyzes their development plans and strategies. Among these key players are Rev.com, 3Play Media, Language Link, RWS Moravia, Morningside Translations, One Hour Translation, AMPLEXOR International, Translated, ABBYY, Aberdeen Broadcast Services, Acclaro, ALTA Language Services, Andovar, applingua, Aspena, Click For Translation, Day Translations, Dynamic Language, Boffin Language Group, Argos Multilingual, among others.

Along with the numerous list of key players, the report was also conducted worldwide, in regions as North America, Europe, China, Japan, Southeast Asia, India, and Central & South America. With its global reach, it aims to define, describe and forecast the industry by type, market, and key regions.

As COVID-19 continues to spread, Market.biz anticipates “the global impacts of COVID-19…will significantly affect the multimedia localization service market in 2020.” Some companies are finding ways to respond, but many markets are already impacted, with flight cancellations, travel bans, restaurant closures, slowing supply chains, stock market volatility, and falling business confidence becoming the norm during the pandemic. The report provides a detailed analysis of what all these disruptions mean for the multimedia localization service industry.

 

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MultiLingual creates go-to news and resources for language industry professionals.

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Game Localization Editor Discusses Voice Recording in Quarantine

Localization

PlayStation spoke recently with game localization editor Allie Doyon about her voice acting work on the localization team for the upcoming English release of videogame 13 Sentinels: Aegis Rim. Released in 2019 by Osaka-based video game developer Vanillaware, the dramatic scif-fi adventure game experienced great success, receiving nomination for the Seiun Sci-fi awards as the only game in the award show. Since that time, the game has planned a release once they have localized the game for an international audience.

Doyon, who describes the game as “a surprisingly heartfelt mystery across time, space, and human lives,” jokes that the process of voice recording into English presented a number of challenges, with the voice director providing extensive explanations to actors as they entered the recording booth.

As if getting the voice right in studio were not a sufficient challenge, COVID-19 brought about even more technical challenges, as it forced the crew out of a close-quarters environment. After some time to brainstorm possible solutions to this hurdle, the team came up with the alternative to record over video conference calls.

Setting up spaces in closets and other makeshift studios, the team had to work overtime to complete the recording, yet Doyon seems excited about the finished product. “Certain aspects of this game presented an incredible acting challenge,” she says about her team of studio owners, engineers, and other actors, “and I’m so impressed with how well they nailed it.” And regardless of company or team size, nailing it requires important considerations when working remotely.

Doyon has worked on game localization teams for a number of other video games for Japanese game developer Atlus, which produced 13 Sentinels: Aeigis Rim. Some of her credits include Catherine, Persona 4: Golden, and Persona 5. In her final note about her most recent project, Doyon jokes about how scrumptious food appears in the game, emphasizing the yakisoba pan, a Japanese novelty with stir-fried noodles stuffed in a hot dog bun.

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Journalist at MultiLingual Magazine | + posts

Jonathan Pyner is a poet, freelance writer, and translator. He has worked as an educator for nearly a decade in the US and Taiwan, and he recently completed a master’s of fine arts in creative writing.

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