What is “Glocalization”?

A popular new trend in language, it seems, is to combine two words to invent a whole new word. I first heard of glocalization in a human geography class I took back in high school, and though first glance it seemed to be an odd word, it’s meaning is self defined when you realize it’s a combination of globalization and localization. You may have seen “Think Global, Act Local” bumper stickers around town encouraging people to do their part in their local area to yield a better global outlook; this stems from that same idea.

I like to think of glocalization as a sort of grassroots campaign. Instead of the classic globalization tale where products are simply introduced from a point source, the sources grow from everywhere. Globally-centric ideas are spread through direct interactions with a specific locale. Rather than inject an idea into a specific culture, practitioners of glocalization come to understand a locale’s needs and help them develop something to aid that need specifically. If something seems or feels foreign, interest in it fades quickly. This is why when glocalization is taken on in a marketing or product development approach, it is so important to pay attention to what foreign customers are saying so that your company can work together with them to fill their needs.

If you know of any other “combo-words” that have entered into your vocabulary, let us know. Comment below or send us a tweet @lingoport.

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Keep Score of Your Internationalization Efforts

Those in the localization industry have become more aware of the importance of internationalization as a part of their overall globalization efforts. Software internationalization in particular can be difficult to articulate and efforts can be prone to errors without the proper help.

Lingoport has come across a number of companies that have issues with tracking the status of their internationalization efforts, resulting in hindered global development cycles. A delay in internationalization is compounded to further delays down the road in releasing products in new locales. Such delays cost companies in terms of their bottom line.

To help businesses fight this problem, Lingoport has developed a score card mechanism within Globalyzer to help development teams find, fix and monitor internationalization issues. The score card can be tailored to the specific needs of each development team and be used in a number of programming languages.

Join us for a free webinar on Thursday, June 16 at 10am EDT (3pm GMT) and 2pm EDT as Adam Asnes and Olivier Libouban of Lingoport review the i18n score card specifics and discuss:

  • The Internationalization Score Card setup and analyst input.
  • Using Globalyzer in the Internationalization Score Card.
  • The Internationalization Score Card utilities.
  • A workflow to integrate the Internationalization Score Card in a continuous integration environment, and more.

The webinar targets technical managers, software engineers, test engineering managers, QA managers, internationalization and localization managers, and anyone facing ongoing software globalization and internationalization challenges.

Registration is free and is available at:

This webinar was inspired by a discussion at last March’s Worldware Conference where Adobe, Autodesk and Yahoo! held a panel on how they are tackling the problem of measuring globalization compliance. The video and description are viewable at http://i18nblog.com/2011/03/28/worldware-presentation-i18n-assessments/

The Basics of Unicode

We’ve posted a number of things in the past about Unicode. From 30-minute epileptic movies to a brief Unicode introduction video (which has been one of our most popular YouTube videos), the subject has yielded great interest. I wanted to recycle an old article written by Lingoport President, Adam Asnes, as a sort of introduction to the basics of Unicode.

Unicode is essentially a global dictionary of tens of thousands of characters. It allows for companies to create applications and websites that are translatable and eliminate any need to redevelop the same site or app over and over again in a different language. Remember that when you boil down software, you reach the binary level of zeros and ones. This mapping of zeros and ones is what’s called character encoding. The issue arises when there are not enough zeros and ones to represent accented characters or the more complex characters of Chinese, Japanese and Korean. Unicode solves this problem by creating an extended character encoding map, creating a more manageable translation process. No longer are we in the bad old days when websites and applications based on different languages needed to be developed independently.

The full article, including a more technical approach, can be viewed here: http://www.lingoport.com/unicode-primer-for-the-uninitiated

Internationalizing and Localizing Cisco’s TelePresence Webinar Recording

In this one-hour online event, presenters from Lingoport, Sajan and Cisco reviewed and discussed some of the challenges faced in internationalizing and localizing TelePresence, including several technologies used in its various components. The presenters also discussed how i18n development, localization and testing were tightly integrated into Cisco’s development and QA process, producing better engineering and linguistic results. Thanks to those of you who attended the live webinar.

Top Ten Internationalization Mistakes to Avoid

This is a summary of an article written by Adam Asnes of Lingoport. For the full article, visit http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-management-mistakes 

Sometimes the best way to learn is through mistakes you have made in the past. While this may be true in the personal arena, making mistakes in business is costly. Lingoport has seen a number of internationalization mistakes cost companies money in the past. Here’s a list of the top ten problems businesses looking at internationalization need to realize.

  1. Don’t forget what drives internationalization: new customers in new markets
  2. Don’t assume internationalization is just an older software legacy issue: no framework, however new, is capable of internationalizing itself.
  3. Don’t assume you can treat internationalization like any other feature improvement when it comes to source control management.
  4. Don’t assume internationalization is just a string externalization exercise: the scope of i18n is much greater.
  5. Don’t wing it on locale: be sure to consider both language and location.
  6. Don’t create your very own internationalization framework: speak to somebody who has done it before.
  7. Don’t think that the team internationalizing your software can work without a working build: developers should be able to test as they go.
  8. Don’t run out of money: projects suffer from underscoping, resulting in costly release delays.
  9. Don’t use a half thought-out character encoding strategy: use Unicode.
  10. Don’t use your same testing plan, or just rely on localization testing, when your functional testing needs to grow to include internationalization requirements.

For full details, read the full article here: http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-management-mistakes

Static Program Analysis Tool Tutorial

We’re going to be posting a number of tutorials on our internationalization analysis tool, Globalyzer. The first installment is an introduction to Globalyzer and overviews how to create rule sets, prioritize strings and set parameters. Stay tuned for our next tutorial.

Internationalization and Canada

This is a summary of an article written by Adam Asnes of Lingoport for the September 2010 issue of Multilingual Computing Magazine.

Canada can serve as a valuable stepping stone for companies looking to take the first step towards global development. With minimal barriers for American companies to doing business in Canada and the strength of the Canadian dollar (allowing American exports to be cheaper), partnership opportunities are springing up everywhere.  Companies looking to sell in Canada can do so without overhauling their product, but they do need to consider a few differences. In terms of translation, there are a few words that need to be looked at since Canada is a new locale (language+location) such as “center” vs. “centre” and “color” vs. “colour.” While English translations are easy to identify, remember that Canada has two official languages: English and French. While my Canadian language law knowledge is no broader than this scene from Canadian Bacon, I do know that companies looking to do business with the whole of Canada or the Canadian government need to adapt their software to support French as well.

There are a few more internationalization issues to consider when adapting a product to a Canadian market. Most stem from entry of data: postal codes, shipping addresses and business logic. While internationalization is never easy, Canada does present a great opportunity to test i18n efforts. The proximity to the US, sharing of time zones and general lack of language barrier allow for easy communication allow for clients to simply pick up the phone and say, “Hey, is it working?” and get an immediate response. In this way, companies can springboard their internationalization efforts having the reassurance that their development strategy works.

For the full article, please visit http://www.lingoport.com/internationalization-and-canada