We might not always notice it, but localization plays a large part in our daily lives, especially when it comes to using technology. Whether you watch an advert on TV, open social media, or order food via a delivery app, chances are you’ve seen localized content. The localization industry reaches far and wide.
Today, we’re looking at what the future holds for the localization industry, with a focus on technology.
This article doesn’t delve into machine translation. If you’re interested in finding out more, have a look at our recent translation technologies article.
Will localization continue to be as important?
In order to answer this question, we need to first look at why localization is so important today. Localization is the process of transforming content for an audience in a specific country or region. It goes beyond simple translation, looking at factors including cultural references, layout, color, units of measurement, imagery, and more.
Fully localized content should feel as though it was locally made.
Taking this approach means companies can resonate with local audiences, capturing their attention, and speaking about what’s important to them, even with a global strategy.
Localization services in the future
The incredible rate of digital adoption over the last few years has seen the world go online. Businesses now have more options than ever for reaching international customers.
Just take online shopping as an example. By 2025, the ecommerce market is expected to have grown by 6.7% in just five years. Shoppers are getting more and more used to ordering from their houses.
So how can foreign businesses continue to create the same levels of experience they do in their own countries, especially now they meet their customers and partners in person less often?
Localization services hold the answers, with personalized experiences, tailored to individual audiences, which are increasingly important and will continue to be into the future.
Technology impacts the localization industry from all angles. On one hand, agencies are working with clients who need localization for hi-tech products. However, it seems there is still a way to go.
In a study last year, 35% of respondents said their company’s department used high-tech products without documents and interfaces translated into their native languages. Only time will tell if this gap can be closed to help remove language barriers at work.
In-house technology for localization
On the other hand, localization agencies work with technology themselves, which is everchanging. As the industry is shaped in the coming years, new needs will emerge and the use cases for new technologies will grow.
For example, a translation management system (TMS) is a platform used to manage translations and localization work. A language services provider can manage, optimize, and even automate its workflows through a TMS. This works well to meet current demands.
But, what will this look like in the future?
A recent discussion between industry experts was hosted by MultiLingual, part of which examined just that. Experts held different ideas as to the exact future of how a TMS will support localization in the long term, but they agreed that the solution will change.
Many speakers said that future usage will be based around supporting users to work efficiently and continue to easily interact with content. That might be in the background, or in conjunction with other platforms. Most importantly, whatever a future TMS looks like, it needs to be there to support the outcomes that the client wants.
Future Group – Localization experts
At Future Group, we work with companies across the globe to help them resonate with their audiences. To find out more about our localization services, please send us a message. We also regularly publish articles with information and insights on our blog page.