10 Oct The Art of Localization

I recently met with the CEO of a localization company who has been in the business for almost two decades. We discussed some key insights into the translation industry today, including the commoditization of translation services. At the industry level, the bigger players are eating up the smaller, craftier translation houses, jeopardizing the true art of translation and forcing prices down. In such a competitive environment, quality drops, and the focus becomes the bottom line. This means getting as many projects as possible at the lowest price and turning them around as quickly as possible. What does this all mean for your global business?


In short, quality suffers. And when quality is poor, cultural relevance to your foreign market is lost, and this means fewer sales for your global company. And because you have no language expertise (that’s why you hired a localization company!), you’re in the dark and don’t know that your translation company is to blame for your loss of market share or your inability to tap into potential sales.

The next time you hire a localization firm, ask them less about pricing and delivery timelines and more about how they’re going to ensure that their translation will reach and speak to your intended market.

By the way, if you don’t know what localization means, here’s a good definition from the Globalization and Localization Association (GALA):“The process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market.”

GALA also correctly notes, “Translation is only one of several elements of the localization process.”

By Nina Gibbs, Managing Director

Savi Global provides business planning and advising, marketing strategy, and translation and interpretation services to American companies working globally and to internationals starting business in the U.S. For more tips, advice, and resources for your global business, subscribe to Savi Global’s monthly eNewsletter.