Global technological advances bring people together. In the world of gaming, players that literally span the planet can team up in a single multiplayer effort conducted during real time. Through innovations like this, cultures are steadily becoming more familiar with one another. As a result, international markets continue to grow; and perhaps this is the reason technology products like Sony’s Playstation franchise often come accompanied with simultaneous release dates in multiple countries.
In 2013, the Playstation 4 was released on the same day in the United States and Canada. A series of increasingly swift release dates followed on an almost weekly basis around the world, culminating in a final unveiling at the end of February, 2014 for the company’s home country of Japan. Sony used a combination of localization techniques to achieve maximum effect across the market.
Given their size and scope, the expense of simultaneous translation and localization to different countries was assumed; meaning not all of Sony’s methods are realistic for smaller organizations. However, what they’ve done is certainly worthy of consideration. Sony combined localization techniques. Japanese was the source-language behind the system’s development. Because their localization process went hand-in-hand with development, Sony was able to release their product in other markets, get all the bugs out, and then release it in their home market. This means where their most dependable numbers came from, home, could be protected from unnecessary first-generation release gaffes. By combining simultaneous translation of an integrated variety with other methods of localization, Sony achieved maximum effect. When considering localization, it makes sense to know the main methods, and find ways to use them to your advantage.
Integrated, Coupled, and Over-The-Wall Localization
An integrated translation process is virtually the same as what’s called simultaneous translation. Basically, as a product is put together and tested throughout varying Beta phases, its translated counterparts are developed in parallel. While this can cost more, it also gives the developer greater control over the final product, and assures that the proper quality will be attained. Integrated translation does end up being the most costly of the three, however, and that’s why most larger organizations stick to Coupled localization techniques, where local distributors and vendors involved with selling the product work hand in hand with the developing organization to localize it. This ends up being slightly more cost-effective. The downside is, this technique won’t allow for simultaneous release, in most cases; there will be a cushion between a product’s release in its source country, and its release globally.
The least expensive of the three is often called Over-The-Wall localization. Basically, whoever is tasked with selling and distributing the new product in a country’s local marketplace is tasked with localizing it to the population. Quality control issues are downright massive in such a scenario, but the financial burden of localization is removed from the parent company, and as a result many smaller organizations choose this method. The experts advise taking a little from column “A”, and a little from column “B”, as this is the most cost-effective. Coupled localization process is often advised until a certain financial event horizon has been passed, as in Sony’s case.
Simultaneous Translation Requires Professional Services
If you do decide to go the simultaneous route, while the additional expense is likely to yield higher returns, you can still save money by using a service which specializes in software localization. Most such organizations also have translation specialties in many other capacities. Certainly, it’s possible to hire an in-house department, but it will take longer and likely cost more. It’s best to use the professionals. Organizations like GlobalVision are experts at working hand-in-glove with a developer as a product is being prepared for simultaneous release in multiple markets. Additionally, Coupled and Over-The-Wall localization endeavors can also be streamlined via organizations like GlobalVision. Whichever method your company decides to make use of, taking steps toward simultaneous translation simplifies release and maximizes effectiveness. Getting a translation service involved in development phases provides preparation which allows for flexibility later on; and that’s what proper consolidation of developmental resources should do.
So in terms of making sure your product is properly tested, accepted, and produced; simultaneous translations will make sure your company does not hit “game over.”
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