Localization and Client Requirements
A localization project, just like many other projects in different areas of expertise, relies on the relationship between supplier and client. The client enters the project with a wide variety of needs, requirements and specifications. In order for the project to succeed, both parties must collaborate and share information.
Understanding the Context
As localization experts, we must understand the business environment in which our clients operate. Every company operates in a specific business ecosystem. Precise localization starts with understanding the client’s industry. This knowledge is crucial for establishing a precise concept directory, which will help us throughout our work process. The concept directory is not written by us alone, but rather with our client. The client also helps us define important parameters, including the project’s designated culture, product/service target audiences, and more.
Doing the Research
As we ask our client important questions, it is recommended to perform preliminary research on the client’s markets, competitors, competing products, case studies, and so on. The better we understand our clients’ business environments, the easier it will be to find the appropriate wording for our project. Seasoned localization professionals look for data both online and offline. Sometimes, the client will provide important data sources – but it’s best to rely on independent research.
Localization is not an automatic process. Far from it. It is an active thinking process that requires both common sense and intuition. We may come across dilemmas we are unable to solve on our own, or questions to which we cannot find answers. This is where our relationship with the client kicks into high gear. More often than not, the client will know the answer. If not, then we can conduct a brainstorming session and come up with a satisfactory solution.
The Bottom Line
Clients have many requirements, but the most important requirement is that the project be conducted to their satisfaction, so that their product or service can integrate successfully into the new market. To fulfill this requirement, we must strive to facilitate an ongoing dialogue. Success is always reliant on cooperation.