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.

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

Cisco, Lingoport, and Sajan Join Forces to Present Live Webinar on Internationalizing and Localizing Cisco’s TelePresence

Online Presentation Reviews Many Best Practices and Reveals How Lingoport and Sajan Assisted Cisco in Overcoming Internationalization and Localization Challenges

BOULDER, CO – May 10, 2011 – Lingoport, a leading provider of software internationalization tools and internationalization consulting services, announced today that it will co-host a Webinar with Sajan, a leader in global language services, and Cisco Systems, a worldwide leader in networking solutions, on the challenges overcome in the internationalization and localization of Cisco’s TelePresence.

The free Webinar, hosted by Adam Asnes of Lingoport and Gary Condon of Sajan, is scheduled to begin at 9am PDT on Thursday, May 19. Richard Faubert, QA Manager for Cisco, also joins the presenters as they will discuss the internationalization and localization of Cisco TelePresence in a case study format.

Adam Asnes, founder and CEO of Lingoport, notes: “Since its launch in 2006, Cisco TelePresence—an exciting telecommunications system that provides high-definition 1080p video, spatial audio—has been making a powerful impact on corporate meetings, communication and travel. TelePresence is global in its very nature, and so we are proud to be a part of the team contributing to its adaptation for global markets.”

In this one-hour online event, the presenters will review and discuss some of the challenges faced in internationalizing and localizing TelePresence, including several technologies used in its various components. The presenters will also discuss how i18n development, localization and testing were tightly integrated into Cisco’s development and QA process, producing better engineering and linguistic results.

Registration is free and space is limited. To learn more and to register for this event, please visit: https://www1.gotomeeting.com/register/191028129

This online event targets professionals involved in software development, internationalization and localization, including Technical Managers, Software Developers, Localization Engineers and Managers, Internationalization Engineers and Managers, Product and Project Managers, and anyone with a stake in releasing software for global markets

About Lingoport
Lingoport helps globally focused technology companies adapt their software for worldwide markets with expert internationalization and localization consulting and Globalyzer software.
Globalyzer, a market leading software internationalization tool, helps entire enterprises and development teams to effectively internationalize existing and newly developed source code and to prepare their applications for localization.

For more information, please visit http://lingoport.com or http://globalyzer.com or contact Lingoport at +1 303 444-8020 or info@lingoport.com.

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Leading Internationalization Services and Tools Provider First to Officially Open BBQ Season

Lingoport, a leading provider of internationalization tools and internationalization consulting services, is pleased to announce that it, and no one else, is the first to officially open the office barbecue season in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Conditions could not be better as children are preparing themselves for a fun-filled summer under clear blue skies and near 80-degree heat. Festivities will also include a surprise performance by Snoop Dogg, making Lingoport the leading provider of internationalization barbecue entertainment. Lingoport marketing director Chris Raulf notes that, “We weighed our options in terms of what sort of event to hold at the beginning of summer, and we decided that a barbecue would best fit the bill.”  Spencer Thomas, leader of the Lingoport Grilling Union, agreed with Raulf’s decision, saying that, “Barbecues are pretty chill.”

Several food items of note will also be in attendance, including:

  • Hot dogs
  • Hamburgers
  • Ketchup
  • Buns
  • Non-meat based items for those who choose the vegetarian diet
  • Filet mignon, courtesy of Lingoport president Adam Asnes
Guests are welcome to attend this exclusive event, but must RSVP in advance to receive a guest pass. Passes can be made available through contacting Spencer Thomas at sthomas@lingoport.com. Hats and shirts will be available for purchase to commemorate this festive occasion.

Preparing an E-Commerce Site for a New Locale

This is a summary of an article on Lingoport.com from October 2009.

As I have shared in previous posts about localizing content for a specific locale, creating a website that works in multiple target locations is essential for creating an international business. If your company website sells to an international market or creates content that appeals to people around the world then it is important to communicate in a clear manner.

The process of preparing  a site can take time, but it is important to do it right the first time in order to save costs. Remember that simply translating a website into multiple languages doesn’t necessarily make it easier for international customers to use your site. There are differing date formats, currency formats, and address formats to consider; i.e.: England uses “postal codes” while the US uses “zip codes.” This difference is rather subtle, but as a company selling to international customers, it is important to be as clear and concise as possible throughout the purchasing process. This point brings up the difference between simply translating a site to multiple languages versus translating a site to multiple locales. Locales are more specific, obviously, and have their own purchasing behaviors.

On the more technical side, the architecture of the code in the back end of a site will likely need to be changed to support a new market. The process of internationalization extracting embedded code stings can more easily improve the process of translation, and ease the work load of software developers by cutting back the time it takes to search through lines and lines of code. Additionally, supporting the character set support Unicode offers will dismiss any mis-translated gibberish.

Now if you’re operating a smaller operation and consider machine translation, through Google Translate for example, then there are easily implementable strategies to consider when catering to an international audience. Using short, concise wording in your site’s content will help the machine translation better communicate your message. Additionally, when repeating the same idea, use the same phrase so that foreign readers can identify that you are talking about the same thing. Staying knowledgeable and up-to-date with your customers will go a long way in garnering success.

For the full article, please visit http://www.lingoport.com/building-a-site-for-worldwide-customers

Agile Challenges for Localization

This is a summary of an article written by Adam Asnes of Lingoport for the Jan./Feb. 2011 issue of Multilingual.

Agile development has changed the way that software has been developed and has yielded many positive results. Agile allows for development in short, three week sprints, resulting in more frequent product releases. It allows for companies to keep up and push the threshold of software development without dealing with all the administrative issues that can delay a release, often rendering a product obsolete since it is out-of-date. Undoubtedly, this leaves customers happy too as they get frequent updates and can stay up to speed on a weekly/monthly basis.

With rapid development becoming more popular in the international arena, developers using agile need a software analysis tool that can stay up to speed with frequent updates.  As part of the software development process, internationalization fits right in to agile development. Agile is a never-ending process of development and refinement, as is internationalization, so both go hand in hand when implementing an agile strategy.

Usually the final step in the development process, localization has been put on the back burner when it comes to software development. I think of it in terms of a ripple in a pond. The initial oscillations carry more momentum, are more powerful and are the most noticeable. As the oscillations spread out, they get weaker, have less momentum and are often overlooked. The initial splash in agile development is much more exciting and it often gets all the glory in terms of creating a great product. As that splash moves outward, there is less excitement as it spreads to new “locales.” What I’m getting at here, is that localization is somehow disconnected from agile development. Localization takes more time, and cannot be done in the same short intervals as development. There are more things to consider: which locales are best and how long do these customers have to wait to receive the latest version of the product. This disconnect cannot be solved, but there are ways to enhance the development process so businesses don’t waste too much time. Read the full article at http://www.lingoport.com/agile-challenges-for-localization