A localization team is an essential group of people that help kick start, manage and ultimately execute large localization projects within your company.
Whilst they might not always have the actual title of a localization team member, there can be literally dozens of people that help support the localization project manager throughout the process, from various departments within your company.
Typically, localization teams are present at large enterprises such as Netflix, Facebook, Uber, etc and they have a varying skill set that includes strengths in collaboration, organization, and marketing, to name a few. But, medium-sized companies also have the need for such a team – they might just be juggling multiple roles.
Before you set about creating a localization team, it’s important to understand the localization process and what exactly the team will be involved in so they have the right tools to get the job done.
With a big localization project in front of you, it’s normal that you’ll want to understand the responsibilities each team member will have so you can create a good localization team – let’s take a look at exactly that!
Planning your localization project
Let’s go back to the very beginning. The questions that formed your localization strategy will need to be looked at again when thinking about who should be in your localization team:
- How many words are you localizing?
This includes the content of your website, but also offline marketing materials, social media, legal documents, etc.
- What languages are you translating into?
How many markets are you planning on entering and in turn, how many languages do they speak? Take into account that many countries speak more than one official language.
- What’s the deadline for the project?
When are you planning to launch in those new markets?
A few simple, but key questions. That’s because you could be dealing with 1 or several new markets, you might be translating the whole of your website, or just a fraction of it, etc. The possibilities are endless, but it will certainly help you see in black and white just how big your localization project is and just how many members will need to be on your team.
Who should be in your localization team
Now we’ve got that clear, we can start delving into the actual roles that typically make up a localization team. Again, this might vary depending on a number of factors, particularly on the subject of localization tools, but we’ll get to that later.
It’s also important to point out that not everyone in the localization team is solely dedicated to the localization project. In particular, you’ll be overseeing several people that already have a defined role in your company, yet still play a crucial part in the process.
Let’s take a look at the most common roles and responsibilities.
Localization project manager
We’ll start with the obvious one, there needs to be a central localization project manager that oversees the whole process, otherwise, it can lead to slowed down timescales, lost translations, and ultimately a not very well executed localization strategy.
A localization manager manages the process from start to finish, gets the best out of translators, manages internal stakeholders, and delivers the project on time.
They’re there to hold the whole project together and ensure everyone is working on the right tasks and to the same timescale.
Marketing/ content team
Your marketing and content team will play a big part in localizing your website, after all, they’re the ones that have created the content and are the ones currently managing new content and updates.
They’ll be responsible for identifying and knowing what content should be localized. You might be thinking, “Isn’t that just everything?”, but a solid localization strategy will have already identified what part of your website should be localized and which bits of content won’t be relevant in your new target markets.
This can be because you might not be selling all your products and services from your original market in a new one. Whether that’s to do with taxes, restrictions, cultural differences, etc, it’s not an uncommon scenario.
You’ve got the content, now you need the translation. It’s unlikely that you’ll have a team of translators within your company (even if you have bilingual staff members) so this will almost definitely be a role that’s outsourced and where a localization tool will help in your workflow.
Whether you choose to work with freelancers of a translation agency, it will usually come down to a question of budget.
Of course, machine translation (the very words can be scary when used in the context of a localization project) can be a good place to start and give you the means to easily make post-edits. We’ve listed the do’s and don’ts of using machine translation in a localization project in a recent article to give you a better reference.
You’ll want to get your designer involved in part of the process as the look at feel of your website and marketing materials may change for certain markets.
This isn’t always a big change, but it can be something subtle like changing an image that’s more culturally appropriate. We’ve put together a list of other multilingual design tips to be aware of.
Not always a necessity depending on your localization tool, but if you’re doing localization the traditional way, you’ll need a team of developers to actually upload your newly translated website. Plus, decide whether creating multiple websites for multiple languages is feasible.
They’ll be an essential part of any ongoing localization project and often you’ll be very reliant on when they can push your translation live.
That’s why most localization project managers choose to use tools to alleviate this step. Learn more about how Weglot can help in this step.
Reviewers and quality assurance
Of course, no localization project can be complete without a team of people checking the quality of the translations and ensuring everything works perfectly in the new markets you’re targeting.
This could be part of the translator’s role too, however, it’s better to get a second translator that wasn’t part of the original translation team.
Every good localization project wouldn’t be complete without a website localization tool/software. Finding one that can incorporate many of the roles above will ease the workflow for your website localization project manager.
If your goal is to create a well-put-together localization team, then hopefully this article has given you somewhere to start in understanding the essential roles and responsibilities for each person you’ll need in your team.
To understand in detail more about localization and what exactly is needed, check out our resources and articles to learn more.
Using a localization tool that can combine and minimize the time it takes to launch in your new markets will undoubtedly help ease the process. To try Weglot, a leading website translation solution, simply sign up for our 10-day trial.