The search for a good localisation company should ideally involve multiple criteria. Your checklist should include aspects such as linguistic capability as well as cultural and contextual knowledge. At a different level, you may also need to assess the technical capabilities of the company offering localisation services, especially if you are aiming for a comprehensive localisation campaign that includes visual as well as textual media.
At a very basic level, the company you choose for localising your content should be fluent in the specific target language. Although different languages may belong to a common family, there are nuances of expression and tradition that vary from region to region and country to country. Therefore, you need to be sure that the company has access to experts with bilingual proficiency in the original as well as the target language.
Contextual knowledge is equally vital to successful localisation. Your localisation partner should have deep cultural awareness because the symbols of communication have literal as well as contextual meaning. Unless your partner is deep into the local culture, they won’t be able to give you that deep and accurate translation for your content.
Versatility is the key to effective localisation. Remember that your audience expects to receive marketing content in a variety of forms and formats. Does your localisation partner have the capacity to deliver on multiple fronts, translating your website, social media, software, and other customer-facing content for various media?
Visual and design knowledge
Does your partner also understand the visual language of the target audience? Remember that colours, shapes, signs and symbols carry different connotations in different cultures. This knowledge is crucial to the accurate translation of visual media such as banners, logos, and another insignia. Focusing exclusively on linguistic translation can lead to losing the meaning of your content in translation.