Report by Hannah Leske and Gabriel Karandysovsky.
The language services industry is fast gaining visibility in global business circles — and it’s about time, one might add. The work of language industry professionals, from translators to localization program managers, underpins the success of many global enterprises today. More and more decision-makers at the highest levels of enterprises are beginning to understand the role language plays in the continued growth of their businesses.
And yet, for all the progress made, for the dozens of influencers, the well-established industry conference circuit, the information exchange and shared learnings, some areas remain shrouded in mystery. Understanding the challenges and aspirations of localization buyers is one such area.
We might chalk it up to the fact that most companies don’t want to or are unable to show what’s going on under the hood. And that’s okay. Once translation is underway, there often isn’t enough time to look beyond its transactional nature to try and learn more about the motivations and aspirations of the work giver. Nimdzi’s research shows that nearly everyone, whether on the client side or service provider side, is focused primarily on getting the job done — on time and to a desired level of quality (more on this later).
That’s why, in the summer of 2020, Nimdzi launched its ongoing series of interview-driven reports, the Nimdzi Lessons in Localization. We wanted to bridge the gap in knowledge between peers, but also give localization managers the platform to highlight their teams’ successes, how they overcame challenges, and what they have planned for the future.
The present report is the culmination of over 65 interviews with different companies as well as a separate survey Nimdzi conducted among localization and translation managers at the tail end of 2021, the results of which have thus far never been released to the public. We collated a vast collection of data points about localization programs worldwide to create a snapshot of some of the typical business challenges, objectives, and strategies of these stakeholders. We look at internal operations on the client side, how team leaders interact with their broader company, which tools are most popular, how supply chains are organized, and much, much more.
This report, with its 20 lessons split up into four chapters, is aimed at buyers of language services who are interested in benchmarking their own efforts or in learning how other companies tackle similar challenges or who are simply curious about what others in their position are doing.
Read on for a look at the lessons we learned along the way!
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