5 Reasons Why Product Localization Fails

Last Updated May 17, 2021

man upset after localization failed

Discover a handful of potential product localization pitfalls and how to avoid them.

Product localization for international markets is now faster and more efficient than ever.

Online resources allows you to learn about localization before you make an investment. And yet we often hear of failed international product release attempts or mishaps.

Here are the top five reasons why product localization falters. Avoiding these mistakes will increase your success rate.

1. Improper Internationalization Prior to Product Localization

Many localization efforts fail because they are inaccurate or incomplete.

Following established internationalization standards to prepare code for localization is a must. Begin by adopting Unicode and externalize user strings.

Next, perform pseudo-translations and carry out quality assurance steps.

Then create a complete localization kit. Your kit should include:

  • resource bundles
  • install script
  • help manuals
  • other files that end users see when they’re using your product.

Finally, double-check your localization kit. Be sure it’s complete and accurate before the localization effort starts.

2. Lack of Process

An outdated, unproven product localization process will have consequences for your company’s future. Not having one to begin with will be even more detrimental.

Before you begin localization, design your plan for each of these key steps:

  • Preparing the files
  • Building the translation database
  • Leveraging the translation
  • Reusing the translation

Establish a process that permits easy file processing and translation replication.

Project reference materials for each language in your target market is also essential. That includes style guides, translation databases, glossaries, and translation knowledge bases.

3. Debilitating Budgets

Professional translation and localization requires a financial commitment. There’s the initial effort put into project, then the ongoing maintenance.

Major projects require sizeable investments. Your localization efforts will be waylaid by unexpected delays and expenditures if they are not managed properly.

Before setting a budget for localization, estimate the cost of a failed attempt. Do it right the first time with the help of a professional product localization service.

4. Stifling Product Localization Schedules

The right strategy, a strong process, and a large team can help hurry localized releases. But there is a minimum time investment for a quality result that a rush job can’t meet.

Give localization projects the time they deserve, even at the expense of time-to-market. A short delay in a successful product release is better than the fast release of a failed product.

5. Inexperienced Staff

Your localization project calls for good project managers, translators, engineers, and layout staff.

Hire experienced translators with an excellent command of the source and target languages. A good knowledge of your product’s subject area is also key.

Complement them with competent layout and engineering staff. Delegate to a project manager capable of delivering on time, on budget, and up to your standards.

Get the Best Product Localization Service

The recipe for localization success is simple: the best technology, people, and processes. Sidestepping the budget and schedule requires experience and smarts.

The best way to avoid these pitfalls is to work with an experienced product localization service.

Contact us today to get started.

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