Translation Lifecycle: The 5 Phases Of The Localization Maturity Curve

The way you approach a translation project depends on what phase of the localization maturity curve you’re in. Learn more about the translation lifecycle.

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Jessica Rivera



What Is the Translation Lifecycle of a Company?

Global expansion is one of the most impactful and effective ways to grow a business. As a result, many companies rely more and more on translation and localization of content to expand. To do both requires planning and consistency, which can be difficult for a business to handle on their own.

The translation lifecycle of a company is directly related to the localization maturity curve. Each of the five phases of the localization maturity curve has a strategic process in place to move a company to the next level, until full localization is reached.

In the graph, the y-Axis displays "International Requirements/Dependency," while the x-axis displays "International Maturity". The black line through the bar graph is the "vendor support curve". As localization phases develop, companies mature internationally and have higher levels of international requirements. This means that companies that are more global require higher levels of localization and more translation.

The entire translation life cycle requires a lot of communication and collaboration with others for successful results. As a company becomes more mature and requires higher levels of international dependency, the more support is needed from a language services vendor such as MotionPoint increases.

Here are the phases of localization:

Phase 1: Manual

The Manual phase applies to companies that are most likely just beginning their international expansion journey and do not have translated content on their website. During this phase, international maturity and international requirements are low, and translation processes are unpredictable and ad hoc - most translations are manual and are chosen for specific use cases. There's no centralized approach to handling translations, which can leave businesses vulnerable to lose market share to better organized competitors.

Phase 2: Automated

The Automated phase occurs during a low level of international maturity and international requirements. Some translation automation tools may be leveraged to perform translation projects. This can include machine translation solutions such as Google Translate. Perhaps business is manually translating ads and blog content, which are beginning to gain some traction in the marketplace. This is the phase where a business may want to start translating to scale and increase visibility among the target audience.

Phase 3: Agile

As your international maturity grows, so do your international requirements. You may find your business needs to translate content into more languages and think about integrating localization rather than simply translating. The Agile phase refers to the agile methodology of working in sprints. Each translation and localization project can be considered a "sprint" and encompasses more than plugging text into a machine translation program. All elements of a company brand and website needs to be localized in (possibly) different languages and requires a process of doing so effectively over and over. In this phase, translation technology is well-defined. A business can use standard tools and have defined roles to ensure that localization is appropriately prioritized. Most importantly, metrics can be created to rate future performance.

The Agile phase is where the vendor support curve is the steepest. At this point, it's recommended to hire a translation and localization company like MotionPoint to ensure translation and localization projects are handled efficiently and effectively.

Phase 4: Centralized

The Centralized phase occurs when translated languages are well-established and the bulk of the translation and localization adjustments are taken care of by a dependable, centralized entity, such as MotionPoint. Since most or all of a company's translation and localization content is in place, translation memory software will automatically take care of updating preexisting words and phrases. Continuous translation will ensure website content is accurately updated in a timely manner as the company continues to grow.

Phase 5: Expert

In the Expert phase, a business is considered to be at peak international maturity and international requirements or dependencies. Depending on the size and nature of a business' website, it may make more financial sense to build a translation and localization team in-house. However, there are drawbacks to building an in-house team. In-house teams can result in numerous hidden costs related to employing a full staff or additional resources to handle translations, and it can drain the time of existing staff as responsibilities related to translation are added to their workload. An in-house translation team also leaves projects open to time creep and incurs the opportunity cost of latency in go-to-market indefinitely.

No Matter What Phase You’re In, MotionPoint Can Help

The localization maturity curve is a helpful way to focus on an upward international growth trajectory for content translation and localization. With focus and planning, there's a clearly defined path to success and an expectation that processes and strategies will be implemented correctly. MotionPoint offers 翻译服务 that can be tailored to your business needs. MotionPoint can perform high-quality translation and localization of business content, and establish thorough translation and localization processes to carry your business through the translation lifecycle.

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关于Jessica Rivera

作为MotionPoint负责全球销售和企业事务的执行副总裁,Jessica Rivera为公司带来了对全球业务、执行领导力以及整体团队和文化建设的专业了解。她在与领先的SaaS和金融科技公司的C级高管合作方面已有超过15年的经验。

Jessica Rivera的头像
Jessica Rivera

人事与绩效执行副总裁 / 首席法务官