Monthly Archives: November 2011

Localization and Innovation Should Go Hand And Hand

“CSOFT International Ltd., a leading provider of multilingual localization, testing, and software development solutions for the global market, announced its inclusion as one of eight “Innovative Application Software Companies Under $100M to Watch” by market research and analysis firm International Data Corporation (IDC). The annual competition (IDC #230938) distinguishes CSOFT and TermWiki, the cloud-based technology that facilitates collaborative creation, translation and management of multilingual terminology, for contributing innovative solutions to a new emerging model of enterprise that includes web, mobile and social elements.”


Localization should be a catalyst for innovation. It’s only when it becomes a part of a dead process that localization and innovation cannot coincide.


The Importance of Localization

A great discussion on the pitfalls of companies not pursuing a China First strategy:

“Their product design was totally done at their headquarters keeping in mind Western consumers without taking into account the habits and wants of Chinese consumers. Popular Western brands are simply being brought into China without adjusting for local tastes.

The designers at that footwear company did not factor in that Chinese women like to emphasize they have small feet or that men rarely polish their shoes with wax. As a 33-year-old woman in Chengdu told my firm, “The shoes look great on western women with long legs and big feet, but I need something not as clunky.”

Even worse, the head of marketing refused to let his colleagues based in China alter advertising developed for the home market in any way, even forbidding the use of Chinese language in all ad copy. Posters and brochures in China were identical to campaigns run in Africa, Europe and America. Consumers told us later in interviews they were confused by ads with English taglines and product descriptions. Most had “no idea” what the writing meant which “often drove them to buy other brands.”

Search Engine Optimization and Localization Go Hand And Hand

Localization shows up as one of the top five considerations for Search Engine Optimization:

“Localization Guidelines

search-engine-localizationUsers will be less likely to provide credit card information, sign up for your newsletter, or simply trust you, if their experience is flawed by a less than professional translation, so don’t rely on automated translator tools (albeit powerful but not perfect) such as Google Translate for your website.

Once you have your perfect translation, it still may need to be optimized for search. For example, more colloquial terms frequently have higher search volumes. Using a keyword more than once may be better than using a synonym that is rarely searched for. Striking the right balance between an SEO friendly localization and an eloquently worded translation is key.

Lastly, consider cultural factors when deciding how to allocate funds. In depth product research may be more crucial in some countries than in others. China is an excellent example of a market where you’ll likely need to spend more resources to understand the nuances of the consumer psyche.

Without a doubt, cultural relevance and content quality will affect conversion rates.



A 98 Billion Market

Mobile App downloads according to research firm Berg Insight will reach 98 Billion  by 2015.

“….revenues from paid applications, in-app purchases and subscription services – so called direct revenues – reached € 1.6 billion in 2010.

…direct app store revenues to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 40.7 percent to reach € 8.8 billion in 2015.”


Stay tuned and we’ll show you how to get a bigger slice of this pie.


The Booming Chinese App Market

The Wall Street Journal reports on the importance of localization in the Chinese App Market:


“Firstly, the most important thing is localization. I mean the products should be as much in line with Chinese lifestyles as possible (including details like the product’s name, logo, voice and text). For example, Chinese prefer “Chinese poker” to Texas hold ‘em.

Then, in the initial phase, practical applications (e.g. reading tools and information-related software) will be more popular compared to games and entertainment apps, since the former can be used repeatedly.”



Think That Localization Doesn’t Matter With Apps? Think Again

“Total mobile application downloads for both smartphones and feature phones in China will reach 5.5 billion next year. “As the app market in the West gets crowded, content providers and developers are eyeing new markets, such as China, which has the world’s largest subscriber base,” says practice director Dan Shey.”


Although Sinoway can handle a wide variety of languages, its specialization is in the Chinese market. With localization team members in both China and the US Sinoway’s localization style gives a real local look and feel not just at the country level but down to the regional and city level.



Know How To Bargain To Sell High End

Chow Tai Fook, the large jewelry retailer in China is now going for an IPO.

“There are other Asian touches. Customers looking in the showcases are offered tea or water by eager salespeople clad in identical black pantsuits. While prices of gold items are pegged to the market price, if the browsers find a diamond ring or jade necklace they like, the bargaining begins. The salesperson whips out a calculator and furiously punches in a lower price, with customers free to make counteroffers in a scene that would make a salesperson at Tiffany gasp.”


Although localization is not the make or break factor in all products or services, if you don’t know how to play the game you can’t get off the ground.




Don’t Just Follow Technological Trends

Some very useful insights on the limits and uses of the latest and greatest technology in translation management systems. We should never get carried away with getting the latest software and lose sight of what we are trying to accomplish.

What is Localization?

In the industry, localization is simply considered the translation of software or a website into one or more different languages.

We at Sinoway consider localization to be much more than just translation.

Localization should be the customization of a service or product for a particular market. People respond to something in their native language much more than in a foreign language. Localization is about maximizing the end user experience. No one has the patience to read illegible instruction manuals, or navigate a bizarre webpage or software.

In other words, localization is crucial as a marketing tool to build brand loyalty. The more difficult it is for your customer to appreciate the value proposition, the less likely you will have repeat customers.

Sinoway is dedicated to localization that transcends translation and adds real value to the user experience.