Navigating Localization Careers – Which Sector?

W1siziisijiwmtgvmtavmjmvmdkvmduvmtkvmzc3l0fex0xvy19dyxjlzxjfu2vjdg9ycy5wbmcixsxbinailcj0ahvtyiisijgwmhg2ntbcdtawm2mixv0

Andrew Jones Translation/Localization Project Management & QA, Language, Localization Engineering...

A guide to 10 major vertical markets in the translation and localization industry.

With so many niches and sub-sectors, it can be hard to take a backward step and objectively assess your options and think clearly about the range of different business environments and project types that are available for your next move. 

But along with salary package and working environment, the sector of the industry in which you work can also have a big impact on your daily role, the skills you build and the long-term direction of your career.

Whether working as part of an in-house team or within an agency, there are significant differences between different vertical markets.

If you’re curious to know what’s our there, take a look through our quick-start guide to 10 of the most prominent sub-sectors of the global language services market.

1. Transcreation

 
 

What’s involved:

Transcreation is a term commonly used within the marketing and PR sectors, and usually refers to the local adaptation of promotional or advertising materials. A nuanced form of localization, transcreation deals with how to successfully adapt things such as ad campaigns, slogans and endorsements into new markets. As opposed to traditional translation, transcreation may involve creating entirely new content in the target language to accurately replicate the tone, style and context of the original in a way which will resonate with local audiences.

What to expect:

Exposure to marketing, PR and advertising communities, working with creative professionals and copywriters, developing an understanding of international brand management as well as online and offline marketing channels.

2. Legal & Financial

 

What’s involved:

Legal and financial are among the most highly specialized niches of the translations market owing to the high levels of accuracy demanded by documents supporting major financial decision-making or legal processes. Within legal a growing sub-sect is Intellectual Property translation (IP), which deals with the management of international patents and protection of innovation.

What to expect:

An environment centred on quality and specialism (from vendor selection to rigorous QA processes), potential late hours accommodating ‘rush’ projects, a geographical focus on major global cities, awareness of information governance and possible exposure to e-discovery and data forensics technology.

3. Gaming

 

What’s involved:

Supporting the videogaming sector blends multiple service and technology requirements. Localization of game content requires not only translating in-game content, but also access to resources such as foreign-language voice artists and recording studios for in-game audio and advanced graphic design capabilities.  

What to expect:

Colleagues passionate about gaming (many gamers in their free time), understanding of platform nuances (mobile, PC, console), robust QA and testing services to detect and fix functional and linguistic bugs.

4. Life Sciences

 

What’s involved:

‘Life Sciences’ is a broadly-used umbrella term that usually covers scientific industries including Medical Devices, Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology and related fields. Language projects within the sector can range from adapting marketing and promotional materials much like any other sector to supporting deeply specialized processes such as Clinical Trials and Linguistic Validation.

What to expect:

Focus on Quality Assurance (quality audits, securing and maintaining ISO certifications), highly specialized translator vendor base, awareness of regulatory constraints and requirements.

5. Multimedia

 

What’s involved:

Language services for the media and entertainment industries typically have a greater focus on audio localization (e.g. dubbing) and on-screen captioning / sub-titling. With an ongoing explosion in digitally-available content as platforms including Netflix and Amazon Prime Video begin to generate their own content, multimedia localization continues to expand rapidly.

What to expect:

Local and in-country networks of recording studios and voice-over artists, captioning, dubbing and sub-titling, supporting traditional broadcast and digitally-distributed media, potential exposure to related markets including e-learning.

6. E-commerce

 

What’s involved:

E-commerce localization focuses on helping e-retailers successfully reach and engage customers on a global basis. With its origins in website localization, the industry has now evolved to include many elements of digital marketing to ensure that translated websites and digital stores not only read and function correctly for the user but also convert visitors to sales.

What to expect:

Multilingual SEO, User Experience / User Interface design, e-commerce infrastructure platforms (e.g. Magento, Shopify) omnichannel marketing and conversion rate optimization (CRO).

7. IT (Software & Hardware)

 

What’s involved:

The ‘IT’ bucket remains a large and complex sector in itself, incorporating giant technology corporations (such as Oracle, Facebook, Microsoft and Salesforce), up-and-coming Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) companies, mobile apps and hardware providers (think Hewlett-Packard, Dell and Canon). Depending on where you are in the market, you could be working on the technology industry’s next hottest thing, or helping translate a troubleshooting manual update for an obsolete device.

What to expect:

Exposure to product development, internationalization, content management systems, localization engineering, QA and in-language testing and UX/UI design.

8. Industrial & Manufacturing

 

What’s involved:

A market sector traditionally centred on high volumes of technical documentation, Industrial & Manufacturing can include industries such as automotive, aerospace, mining, chemicals, construction and energy. Projects can be varied in nature, from technical manuals to health and safety communications or training materials.

What to expect:

Technical documentation and drawing, user manuals, installation and maintenance guides, regulatory compliance, R&D, catalogues and inventory lists.

9. Travel & Hospitality

 

What’s involved:

The global Travel & Hospitality niche combines a few elements from several other categories, with obvious components from E-Commerce and also Transcreation. Largely focused on website localization and online sales, this space focuses on successfully reaching global audiences for hotels, resorts, accommodation rental and the travel sectors (airlines, car rental etc).

Along with site design, effective international branding and seamless user experience, multilingual SEO is also part of an integrated strategy to drive relevant traffic to sites.

What to expect:

Website localization, app development and adaptation, exposure to multicultural marketing and branding, social media strategy, booking engines & pricing algorithms and international search engine marketing.

10. Government

 

What’s involved:

Both at the national and regional level, government translation requires much of the same service delivery as other sectors whilst remaining commercially unique. Typically controlled by rigid procurement processes which aim to be both selective and inclusive simultaneously (ensuring service quality whilst sharing spend across a diverse range of business suppliers), the public sector can mean predictable long-term contract opportunities across areas like health services, defence, finance and communications.

What to expect:

Complex purchasing frameworks, highly structured bid & tender processes, focus on document and website translation projects, multi-year contracts, transcription and exposure to security clearance requirements.

***

Are you looking to explore new areas of the global translation and localization market with your career? Adaptive Globalization places professionals in 30+ countries from our 4 office locations across the US and Europe.

***

You can check out Adaptive Globalization’s full list of jobs across the translation, localization and interpreting sectors here.