What You Need to Know About Working in the Field of Localization Management

By: Erik Angelone

what is language localization?

If you are interested in working in language localization, an M.A. in Translation from Kent State University will provide you with the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the localization management field.

What Is Language Localization?

Localization is the process of adapting a product or service to the locale of a specific market. When something is “localized,” it should fit in seamlessly with the standards, morals, and culture of the other country. Language localization is very different from translation, as it requires a complete analysis of the target culture and takes into account cultural differences, traditions, symbols, and expectations.

Translation is focused on interpreting written text from one language to another. It requires an extensive analysis of the given text and careful effort to ensure that it receives a precise translation that conveys its intended meaning.

Localization, on the other hand, considers cultural differences, traditions, and the broader meaning of the text, with a greater focus on locale for the final translation.

What Is Language Localization Used For?

Now that we have answered the question “what is language localization?” we can explore how it is used and what it is like working in the field. 

Language localization is used around the world by companies of any size, in almost every industry, especially those that market to or want to reach out and cater to diverse audiences. Localization work includes a variety of practices, including:

  • Adapting written content to better suit the tastes and consumption habits of other markets
  • Adjusting graphics and visuals for target markets
  • Modifying layout and design to properly show the translated text
  • Converting to local currencies and units of measure
  • Utilizing proper local formatting for phone numbers, dates, and addresses 
  • Adopting local regulations and legal requirements 

Additionally, it’s important to review and understand all of the cultural differences at play so you can best reach your audience. 

Localization management projects typically involve contributing to the following:

  • User interfaces
  • Product descriptions
  • Marketing materials
  • Legal documents
  • Customer support
  • Websites

It is important to recognize that language localization is not only used in regions or countries where people speak different languages but can often be needed in places where the same language is spoken.

What Does Working in Localization Require?

Since the purpose of language localization work is to make everything more accessible and relevant to all of your audiences, it is important to possess varied skills that help you do this.

  • Language proficiency – Being fully immersed in both the source and target language is essential while working on language localization
  • Cultural awareness – Localizers need to understand cultural norms, traditions, figures of speech, and even terms that can be considered offensive
  • Project management – Language localization work can mean working on multiple projects at a time, so it is important to prioritize accordingly to meet deadlines
  • Continuous learning – As you work on projects, you will be exposed to nuances and details that will help you in future work

Other aspects that can benefit you while performing language localization work include knowledge of CAT tools, good communication skills (both with clients and an internal team), and the ability to adapt to new technologies that emerge in the industry.

Working in Language Localization

With an M.A. in Translation from Kent State University, you will have various localization career paths to choose from. Common careers for those working in language localization include:

  • Translator
  • Editor or proofreader
  • Language coordinator or reviewer
  • Project manager
  • Software localization engineer
  • Software testing and quality assurance professional
  • Internationalization engineer
  • Technical manager
  • Regional sales manager
  • Supply chain manager
  • Solutions architect

In addition to the various career paths to choose from, there are numerous other benefits of earning your M.A. in Translation from Kent State.

Localization Courses Offered at Kent State

As part of the M.A. in Translation program at Kent State, you will need to complete courses that cover all aspects of translation, localization, and language project management. 

In particular, one of the required localization courses in the program is Software Localization. This combined lecture and lab course introduces students to the field of localization and answers the question “what is language localization?” Additionally, the course teaches students the basic concepts and techniques required for localization work. 

Also, if you are planning to work in the field of language localization, we recommend taking Language Project Management as an elective. This localization management course is one of the best localization-oriented classes for students who plan to work as a project manager, as it teaches students to use the project management software required for the job. 

In addition to our localization management courses, our M.A. in Translation offers courses such as:

  • Specialized Translation Practice (in the medical, law, and technology fields, and more)
  • Editing
  • Terminology and CAT Tools
  • Project Management
  • Intercultural Communication in the Language Industry
  • Documents in Multilingual Texts

Start Earning Your Language Localization Degree Today!

Interested in earning a language localization degree from Kent State? Our M.A. in Translation is conveniently accessible both online and in person. This degree equips students with the skills, knowledge, and experience they need to be successful in the translation industry and any localization career.

Other key aspects of our translation degree that incorporates localization project management attributes include:

  • Full-time and part-time course structures
  • 36 semester hours of coursework
  • Preparation for varied careers in the language industry
  • Internship openings for academic credit
  • Small class sizes for greater student-faculty interaction
  • Award-winning faculty dedicated to student growth

Additionally, the degree is available in six language concentrations, including:

Our M.A. in Translation program also opens up a wide range of career opportunities in addition to localization careers. This includes:

Overall, Kent State’s translation degree will prepare you for future opportunities and lead you down the road of success. Apply today!

Contact Us About Working in Language Localization

Language localization work is waiting for you. To take the next step in your career, be sure to start the application process for our program.

And to learn more about Kent State’s M.A. in Translation or working in language localization, contact us today!