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Friday, September 04, 2015 : Speak the Language of Your Customers!

If you thought that English was the most widely spoken language in the world, think again. Its Mandarin, with more than a billion speakers compared to around 510 million English speakers around the world. That taken care of, the other 8 most spoken languages around the world include, in order of preference, Hindi (with all its myriad dialects), Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Bengali, Portuguese, Malay-Indonesian and French.

While businesses around the world are spreading their wings to other regions of the world, their primary concern is the language and cultural barrier. With more non-English speakers turning into customers that these businesses wish to sell their products and services to,localization services are in great demand.

Localization is essentially translating business documents, corporate communication and marketing collateral into the target language and keeping cultural and regional aspects in mind while doing that. To quote an example, mere translation from English to Arabic might be easy, but to understand that in the Arab world, even illustrations are “read” from right to left, this is cultural knowledge.

Localization experts are translators who are essentially native speakers and understand the nuances of the language as well as the cultural undertones of the geographical region. This is very important because even though a language can be spoken in two different countries, the cultural and social customs of both the countries may differ significantly and hence these are also kept in mind while localizing the business communication.

There are many domestic and international localization service providers who have on their panel expert translators who are native speakers of their language. They are trained and certified by relevant authorities to translate written documents as well as speech and video as well. These experts put their veritable expertise into the job at hand and create a flawless translated work which is apt for the target region.

Contrary to popular belief, localization is not a one time job, but an ongoing process. Software development, for example, is a continuous process with bug fixes, minor updates and newer versions coming out regularly. Hence localization should also follow the software development lifecycle.

With more businesses entering newer shores, localization service providers are gearing up to provide the best quality at affordable rates where all the concerned parties are satisfied. Competition is heating up and the playing field is all set to see some high octane contests.