In the past few years, I’ve scoured the internet looking for resources for localization professionals. The internet can be a great tool, but it can also be overwhelming. When we search for l10n terms in a search engine, we often get vendors or Wiki articles and less often get directed through channels without digging. I’ve collected a lot of my findings overtime and wanted to add an article to my localization blog that has many of the resources I find helpful in the field.
Below I have categorized these resources and provided links to point you in the right direction. If you enjoy this article and find it helpful, I’d certainly appreciate a comment or share!
Localization educational resources
Being a firm believer in continuing education, there are so many resources available that professionals can take advantage of to continuously improve their current skill set(s) and master others. In most fields, it could be assumed that those who are not keeping up with trends and industry developments can quickly find themselves behind the technology curve. This is especially true of localization which has seen some real industry change in the last 30 years in moving from manual processes to highly automated. The challenge of any educational program is to stay relevant and current so we’ll need to see which of these continue to update their programs.
During my searches, I’ve had the privilege of pursuing multiple localization certifications as well as other less formal educational opportunities. Perhaps you are new to the field and are an aspiring localization professional or maybe you have been in the field for some time but looking to enhance your understanding of localization?
Here are a listing of the ones that I know personally. If you know a localization course or certification program that I have not listed here, then please feel free to email me and I’ll take a look at it. If it’s valuable to Backpacking Diplomacy readers then we’ll be sure to add it in on a future update. Note: These ARE NOT in any specific order outside of alphabetical by organization where the material can be found.
Comments: This course by Dr. Nitish Singh offers information on a range of localization and international digital marketing topics. Ever focused on international growth, Dr. Singh brings in interviewees from professionals around the globe. This course is affordable and accessible.
Comments: A course developed in collaboration with Microsoft, this course discussing designing and developing software for international rollout.
Comments: Over the last few years, LinkedIn has made efforts to join in the online learning craze and offering courses. There are several videos and courses offered within LinkedIn’s learning environment. Most online localization courses require that you pay upfront and complete the course within a set time, LinkedIn’s model is a subscription basis that you only pay for the time you need access and you get one month free. Maybe a good place to start for someone looking for some quick tips on the more technical side of localization.
Comments: The Localization Institute is one of the leading organization in hosting conferences and educational opportunities for localization professionals. This course is designed and created by some of the most experienced leaders in the field. Unless it’s been updated since, the 2016 version of this course was somewhat dated, but still offered great information for people new to the field.
Format: online and classroom
Middlebury Institute of International Studies
Comments: The renowned Middlebury Institute in Monterrey offers a full MA degree in translation and localization management. Students are likely to get a well-rounded education in t8n and l10n program management as well as a solid formal background in the filed. Likely on the more expensive side of educational offerings, this may be best suited for people looking to make a career shift or looking to focus in after undergraduate studies.
Comments: An online MOOC offering courses in a lot of topics erring on the technical and programming side. This course was created in collaboration with Google and it is free according to the Udacity website.
Udemy is part of the wave of online education providers that are changing the way we see learning. Traditional class methods are becoming less crucial to continuing education.
Comments: This course by Pablo Muñoz is digestible and a good overview of game localization. Pablo also touches on many topics and common issues that localizers will face in any field.
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
University of Groningen
University of Washington Course:
Comments: An established and highly credible university, UoW offers a 3-course localization certification which covers many topics in translation, localization and internationalization in-depth. This course is of the more expensive, but is led by industry professionals from big name organizations such as Microsoft.
- “The International Multilingual User Group has been a forum for language technology professionals”
- Microsoft Community Localization
Localization Blogs to follow
Keeping up with any industry is not always an easy task. It requires a lot of time and effort, sometimes even financial resources are required for access to learning opportunities such as in the case of conferences and workshops. These conferences and workshops are often very cost prohibitive for each professional not sponsored by their company or organization. In these cases, blogs and podcasts can be great ways to learn about trends, best practices or just connect with other localization professionals. The irony in localization is that it has a global impact and reach while it could be considered a niche field with a relatively small group of professionals, which is great for connecting to others.
So who should you follow and where should you be reading? Definitely read the localization blog on Backpacking Diplomacy! Kidding of course; this website may be new to the localization blogosphere but there are many other well established bloggers and content producers who are great to follow and read up on.
- App Localization blog
- A Localization Consulting firm from top industry leaders
- ATA Blog list
- An inclusive list of agencies and organizations associated with the ATA. These blogs tend to be more on the translation/translator side of things than on the localization, but all topics are relevant
- Bayan Tech
- Bayan Tech is a LSP with some diverse blog posts on topics such as religion in localization
- Common Sense Advisory
- Has many articles and reviews on translation and localization related topics
- Jensen Localization
- A LSP, which has a robust localization blog.
- Media Loc
- Media Loc is a LSP located in Manchester UK
- Moravia, a LSP, has one of the most followed localization blogs on the internet. A wide range of topics can be found on their blog.
- Multilingual magazine
- Multilingual magazine can be an interesting read for keeping up with industry trends in localization.
- Insights for international expansion
- PhraseApp has an interesting blog by a team of software and translation localizers
- With the first Podcast launch in 2016, Kathrin Bussman has interviewed many localization and international marketing professionals.
- Other articles worth a read
- The American Translation Association has an annual conference for buyers and sellers to get together and talk about various topics in the industry.
- GALA has an annual conference for localization vendors and professionals.
- LocWorld is a leading conference of for localization professionals and vendors. There are many localizations for this conference and it is constantly changing cities.
- There are a healthy number of language related conferences or events that take place throughout the year. The above are among the more well-known, but check with MultiLingual magazine for a rolling list of events by month. Nimdzi has put together a great guide for 2018 events that is allows for search filters by country and event type.
Technical Localization or Internationalization resources
The internet is a wealth of information. It can also be overwhelming to find the correct resources that you need or just tools and tricks that can help you to be a more effective localization professional. This list contains a alphabetized group of resources that I commonly refer to or would recommend for people who need to info.
- Android Localization
- General App Localization – Tips for localization you app for Android operating system
- Global Playbook – A digital book from Google with tips for going global
- Localization Checklist – Google has put together a great l10n checklist for Play Store apps.
- Play Store Localization
- Supporting different languages and cultures – Google’s top tips for customizing your product internationally. For the tech-savvy.
- Angular-translate resource for assisting to more easily localize your app
- iOS Localization
- Microsoft Term Base
- Microsoft has developed an free online database for glossary of terms used inside of their products. If you are ready to build a glossary for your software, then this can be a helpful resource for you.
- Ruby on Rails
- Stack Overflow
- On the more technical side of things, Stack Overflow is typically a great resource for finding solutions to issues that others have encountered. If you ever get an issue in your code, then you will most likely be led to Stack Overflow.
- Case Converter
- There are many case converters online and they are really helpful tools when managing a translation memory (TM) or CAT tool or just for everyday tasks.
- Character Counter
- Inline with a case converter is the idea that character counting is a necessary tool for localization professionals. Many CAT tools or document editors (such as MS Word) offer character counting tools or limitations, but manual work does not unfortunately. In order to not run into common localization issues, you’ll most certainly want to double-check your character count to avoid truncation or text overflow.
- Online OCR
- If you are ever in need of scrapping text from an image without manually typing it out, I’d recommend you use an online OCR, or optical character recognition, program. They are typically free and often user-friendly. There are most certainly paid softwares that do OCR, but if you don’t often need them then online tools are the best.
- Case Converter
- Web Localization
- Documentation sites
- Nearly every CAT tool, program, or application has documentation. They’re often great resources for you.
- Documentation sites
There are many language related or localization books on the market. I’ve not had the time to read them all unfortunately. However, of those that I have, I found these below to be useful.
- A Practical Guide to Localization – a good classic overview of almost every concept in localization (about 15 years ago). The textbook is very outdated, but also gives you a lot of background on principles in localization and internationalization that are still true today.
- Found in Translation – is a nice read from two people within the industry. It covers a range of topics including the importance of language in general, which I found to be motivating.
There are many professional organizations that offer networking and learning opportunities for l10n professionals. Here you’ll find a listing of a few organizations and informal meet ups:
- American Translation Association
- The European Language Industry Association
- Globalization and Localization Associations – “a global, non-profit trade association for the translation and localization industry“
- A professional organization in Silicon Valley that’s been around since the 1980s
- MeetUp has tons of groups and organized gatherings for localization in many cities around the world. There are gatherings in many major cities such as Berlin, New York City, Philadelphia, Rome, San Francisco, Seattle, Tel-Aviv, and Tokyo.
- Women in localization
- “the leading professional organization for women in the localization industry“
- There are many other more localized (please excuse the necessary pun), organizations that vary by country such as the Translation Association of China (TAC) or Japan Translation Federation (JTF) so it is worth noting that this list is by no means inclusive. If you feel something deserves an add, please contact me.
Localization job market/job finding tips
So you want to work in localization? Is it the allure of working with other languages or cultures, perhaps the challenge of adapting a product to multiple international markets? Regardless of what it is, working in the localization industry can be challenging and rewarding. In the future, we may write an article on tips for finding a localization job, but for now, we’ll just point you towards a few resources. Note: these are currently heavily US-focused, but I’d be very happy to add international job posting sites.
- On their job boards page, GALA posts relevant listings for t8n and l10n professionals. Though, we’ve noticed that they tend to be more for LSPs.
- For most domestic (USA) and some international localization jobs, there’s no better resource than LinkedIn. The volume and concentration of localization jobs posted will be a helpful resource for you.
- A review site with a job board.
It is worth mentioning that localization jobs can take many forms and titles. Though localization is typically viewed as a niche field, the inclusion of all GILT and digital marketing categories makes the field more broad. Here are some common job titles that do localization related tasks:
- Internationalization Architect
- International Digital Marketing
- Localization Manager
- Localization Project Manager
- Localization Specialist
- Project coordinator
- Project manager
- Program Manager
- Translation Project Manager
Have you found this article useful? If you liked it please feel free to leave a comment in the section below or share. Sharing is caring!
Disclosure statement: the links that I’ve provided above are resources that I have found useful. I do not intend to promote one organization or website over another. If you have a question or issue with the links that I’ve shared, then please contact me directly. This article is meant to be a useful resource for localization professionals. As always with my site, if you choose to visit or purchase any of the products that I’ve mentioned in this page, or others, I may receive a small contribution from Amazon or affiliated sources. These funds will be used to maintain the website and to contribute to future content generation.