Localization is part of the set of interdependent processes known by the acronym GILT, Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation (1). If we observe them individually, it can be established that translation is a process by which the meaning of a text written in a source language is communicated through an equivalent text in the target language. In terms of localization, the most popular definition, proposed by the now defunct LISA (Localization Industry Standard Association) maintains that this activity involves taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate for a locale, that is, the country and the target language in which this product will be used and sold (2). Although we talk about software, videogames or applications localization, among others, in recent years we have witnessed the unprecedented growth of web localization, a communicative, technological, textual and cognitive process through which interactive digital texts (or websites) are modified in a language and sociocultural context of reception different from the original ones (3). On the other hand, internationalization consists of the identification of all the local information that appears on a website; that is, that information that is dictated by the language and culture of the country where it was originally designed: dates, numbers, currency, contact information, etc. Finally, globalization combines the processes of internationalization and localization, and consists of the design of websites that can be used in different countries with a minimum of changes. It is a concept that belongs more to the area of marketing than to the technical area.
The continuous process of change in the economic environment, with the acceleration of the globalization process and the development of the knowledge economy, is systematically pushing companies towards the challenge of facing foreign markets. In this context, the success of websites as global platforms for communication, the exchange of information or the sale of products and services has led to the development of localization processes, closing the gap between Internet users of different sociocultural and linguistic contexts. The economic importance of this phenomenon is increasing, and its meaning is attested by the growing body of research devoted to localization, specialized conferences and the number of institutions offering training courses for professionals in this field. In addition, in the context of the current information society, access to multilingual and translingual information is of great interest and has experienced a boom in recent times.
Based on this reality and the fact that the translation and localization of websites contribute to encouraging
the success of small and medium-sized Spanish companies or SMEs abroad, the present proposal, LOCWEB_PYME, arises. Within its framework, we present different studies and analyses currently being carried out:
Analysis of the current presence of web localization in Spanish SMEs
Localization as an essential factor in the internationalization of companies
Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2017d). «Web localization as an essential factor in the internationalisation of companies: An approximation of Spanish SMEs». Rocha, Á. et al. (eds), WorldCIST 2017: Recent Advances in Information Systems and Technologies, 11-13 April, Porto Santo (Portugal). Luxembourg: Springer, pp. 511-520, ISBN: 978-3-319-56535-4, DOI: 10.1007/978-3-319-56535-4_52.
The internationalization and localization of websites are complex and expensive processes, which is why many companies are reluctant to carry them out; however, the long-term benefits outweigh by far the initial costs. Despite this, in relation to electronic commerce and its online presence, Spanish companies still have a long way to go. According to a report made by the web hosting company Nominalia in 2015, 36.20% of Spanish companies still lack a corporate website, although 22.41% do have one or more domains owned by the company waiting to develop their page. Interestingly, the same study shows how 89.6% of users consider it essential that a company has a presence on the network, even if only for question of image and reliability.
In this first pilot study an analysis of the presence of web localization in Spanish companies in 2017 is carried out. The sample is based on the selection of the 50 best medium companies published by the Círculo de Empresarios (Business Circle) in April 2014 and was finally constituted by the 34 that had a website localized. In the design of the initial methodology, two types of indicators have been established: indicators for evaluating the websites of companies and indicators for evaluating web localization. The first ones focus on the quality of websites: a) quality of the system, understood as website functionality (ease of access, usability, responsiveness and design); b) quality of information (accuracy, reliability, coverage and ease of use), and c) quality of service (empathy, interactivity, joy of the site and aesthetic appeal). A Likert 0-4 scale has been used. In the evaluation of the web localization, the translated text is as relevant as the adaptation to the locale. The criteria are based on three dimensions: a) visual plane (format), b) navigational plane and c) contact information plane. They have been measured with a Likert 0-2 scale.
The results of this first analysis indicate that the aspects related to the quality of the system and the quality of the information reach an acceptable average score on the websites evaluated, while this does not occur in relation to the quality of the service. With these results it is understood that Spanish companies do not pay much attention to the different potential types of web users and that their websites offer little possibilities of interactivity with them. It is also observed that, in relation to design, the vast majority of these websites do not allow access through different devices such as tablets or mobile phones. One of the criteria that shows a lower score is reliability -among other aspects, only a small number of websites frequently update the information or indicate the date of the last update- followed closely by the ease of use.
Localization and SMEs of the Spanish chemical sector
Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Gutiérrez-Artacho, J. (2017). «Web localization: the Spanish SMEs as case of study». 12th Iberian Conference on Information Systems and Technologies (CISTI), 21-24 June, Lisboa (Portugal). IEEE, pp. 1-6, DOI: 10.23919/CISTI.2017.7975872.
Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2017). “Web localization of Spanish SMEs: The case of study in chemical sector“. Journal of Information Systems Engineering & Management, 2 (3), p. 15, DOI: 10.20897/jisem.201715.
This second pilot study focused on SMEs in the Spanish chemical sector. The initial sample of the study started from the SMEs of the Spanish chemical sector awarded in 2015 by FEIQUE (Spanish Chemical Industry Federation) in its I CSR Awards (Corporate Social Responsibility) and by the 2015 DHL Atlas Export Awards. Additionally, the companies of this sector present in the prestigious and selective international directory of web information DMOZ were taken into account. The final sample consisted of the 31 companies that had localized websites.
According to the results obtained, the general quality of the websites, with 2.5 points, is above the average (Likert scale from 0 to 4). The highest score is obtained with the quality of the system with 2.9 points, followed by the quality of the information (2.7 points) and, finally, the quality of the service (1.9 points). In general, the quality of the websites of the chemical sector is good in terms of the system. In terms of ease of access, websites have acceptable results.
Regarding its usability, it can be said that websites in this sector are effective, efficient and satisfactory (3.2 points). However, 61% do not have the necessary technology to properly access the website from any mobile device. Less than half of the companies (48%) are active in social networks -Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Blogger, Skype and Instagram are the most outstanding- and, of these, only 15% allow the creation and publication of opinions and contents. 69% use RSS syndication technology that facilitates the notification of an update or publication of new information on the site.
In terms of web localization, contact information and location aspect has the best rating (with 1 point obtained from the Likert scale from 0 to 2). This is followed by the navigation aspect (0.9 points) and, finally, the visual aspect (0.8 points), which had the highest number of indicators evaluated.
The results reveal that the localization of websites of Spanish SMEs must be significantly improved.
Localization of the corporate websites of Spanish SMEs: evaluation of characteristics and quality
Indicators for the measurement of the quality of localization
|Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2017c). «La opinión de los expertos sobre la formación en nuevos perfiles profesionales de la traducción: el método Delphi como herramienta». XV Jornadas Hispano-Rusas de Traducción e Interpretación, 14-15 June, Moscow State Linguistic University (Russia).|
|Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2017a). «El método Delphi como herramienta de evaluación en la formación en nuevos perfiles profesionales de la traducción». 5º Congreso Internacional Entreculturas de Traducción e Interpretación, 27-30 June, Universidad de Málaga (Spain).|
|Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2017b). «El uso del método Delphi como herramienta de evaluación consensuada en la didáctica de la traducción: el perfil del traductor-localizador». Del Valle, M.E. (coord.), Congreso CUICIID 2017: Congreso Universitario Internacional sobre la comunicación en la profesión y en la Universidad de hoy: Contenidos, Investigación, Innovación y Docencia, 25-26 October, online, p. 226-240.|
Given that there are no agreed indicators for measuring the quality of localized websites, in this phase of the project we have applied the Delphi method. It is a systematic, interactive and collaborative process aimed at obtaining opinions and consensus based on experiences and subjective judgments of experts. Through successive anonymous rounds of consultation, experts offer their opinions and subjective judgments anonymously until a consensus is reached gradually. This technique has been used to clarify the evaluation criteria, since web localization is a novel field and there is not enough a priori data to outline the interpretation of the object of study. In a preliminary manner, a list of mandatory criteria was developed to evaluate the quality of the localization, starting from the discussion of the translation criteria of different contemporary schools and of case studies from the perspective of their adaptation to web localization. This previous analysis allowed us to classify the criteria into three main groups: linguistic criteria, cultural criteria and technical criteria.
In turn, the linguistic criteria were divided into five categories: content errors, lexical errors, morphosyntactic or grammatical errors, stylistic errors and typographical errors. The cultural criteria were organized around three categories: page content errors, errors related to the sociocultural norms of the target language and errors related to the visual aspect of the page. For its part, the technical criteria are structured into six categories: operation of the website, textual content, audiovisual content, segmentation, visual appearance of the website and web positioning. In addition, each of the errors were subdivided into three classes depending on whether they were very serious errors (that impede communication), serious (that severely complicate communication) or mild (that made communication slightly difficult).
The next stage of the study consisted in the selection of the group of experts, made up of professional localizator, localization experts and localization company managers. To achieve this goal, nine experts from different nationalities participated, which were selected from the list of speakers who participated in the prestigious conference about localization, LocWorld32, held in Montreal in October 2016.
Subsequently, the questionnaires were designed and sent. In this case, three rounds of consultation with the experts were necessary.
Round 1: in the first round, together with the preliminary analysis sheet, an online questionnaire was added, created with the Survio tool, and two open qualitative questions aimed at gathering the opinion of the experts regarding the relevance of a tool of evaluation of the quality of localization and that also allowed to identify new criteria proposed by the experts that could be included in the preliminary analysis sheet.
Round 2: for the second round of consultations, it was forwarded to the experts the preliminary analysis sheet modified according to the suggestions that they have contributed in the previous round and they were asked to assess the importance of the evaluation criteria in ordinal terms (low, medium or high importance) to achieve a consensus of 85%. The percentage of consensus would be obtained by adding the percentages of the average and high importance.
Round 3: in the third and final round, in order to refine the final selection of the evaluation criteria, the group of experts was asked to decide if the indicators that had not reached the minimum consensus of 85% should remain or remain outside of the evaluation tool. To do this, they were sent a questionnaire in which they had to assess the permanence of each criterion separately with a closed question (yes or no). They were also asked to voluntarily briefly explain the reason for their choice. In this round, a consensus of at least 85% was also required to include the criteria in the evaluation instrument again.
The final classification of criteria for assessing the quality of the corporate websites of Spanish SMEs, after being validated by a group of experts, is shown in the following table (in Spanish).
Evaluation of the quality of localization
Cultural references in web localization
Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2018a). «Identificación y adecuación de los referentes culturales de la localización web de las pymes españolas». 36º Congreso Internacional de AESLA: «Lingüística aplicada y transferencia del conocimiento: empleabilidad, internacionalización y retos sociales», 19-21 de abril, Cádiz (España).
Cultures are a reflection of the society that has created it, its values, its beliefs and its history. Each culture contains a different reality and, by extension, a totally different way of speaking and expressing oneself. This means that the translation of cultural references can become an arduous job for the translator, which often requires good prior documentation. The translator must be an expert not only linguistically but also culturally.
This study focuses on the identification and resolution of translation problems involving cultural references in the localization of websites. For the analysis of this work, an initial sample of the 75 Spanish companies with the greatest projection for the future has been used, prepared by the London Stock Exchange Group, a company specialized in the study of the international market. The final sample was constituted by the 23 Spanish SMEs that provided their website translated in English and French, the languages involved in the study. A checklist has been prepared, endorsed by experts in web localization, to evaluate the cultural references of each page. It assesses three main aspects: the final result of the text, the data that seriously hinder the understanding of the text and the data that slightly impair the understanding of the text.
Practical recommendations aimed at SMEs for the localization of their websites
Based on the studies carried out and the problems detected in relation to the quality of the websites and the quality of web localization, a series of recommendations aimed at SMEs has been developed. These can be consulted here.
The translator-localizator faced with the processes of web localization of SMEs
Web localization constitutes a novel field of study. From the translation perspective, localization would be equivalent to the website conforming to the typological, discursive and gender conventions of the target culture, adapting that website to a different language and culture. This means much more than simply translating the content of the pages. The content of a web page is formed by text, images and other multimedia elements, and all of them must be translated and submitted to a cultural adaptation. The user should never notice that this site was originally created in another language. In addition, commercial and business translation has certain characteristics that must necessarily be studied and taken into account in order to achieve the desired communication goals (Zhu, 2015).
Strategies for the localization of commercial and business web information. Towards a model for the didactic of translation-localization
|Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2016). «Teaching methodologies for new professional profiles in the translation market: web locators». Gómez Chova, L; López Martínez, A.; Candel Torres, I. (eds.), ICERI2016 Proceedings: 9th annual International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation, 14-16 November, Seville (España). Valencia: IATED Academy, pp. 3384-3392, ISBN: 978-84-617-5895-1, DOI: 10.21125/iceri.2016.1791.|
Lachat-Leal, C. (2016). «Serious games localisation. Playability and translation strategies». 8th European Society for Translation Studies (EST) Congress. Translation Studies: Moving Boundaries, 5-17 September, Aarhus (Denmark). Poster.
|Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Gutiérrez-Artacho, J. (2017b). «Training versus profession: from translation to web location». Gómez Chova, L.; López Martínez, A.; Candel Torres, I. (eds.), Proceedings of INTED2017 Conference, 6-8 March, Valencia (Spain). Valencia: IATED Academy, pp. 5461-5469, ISBN: 978-84-617-8491-2, DOI: 10.21125/inted.2017.1274.|
Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Gutiérrez-Artacho, J. (2017c). «Los procesos de enseñanza-aprendizaje de la traducción desde una perspectiva profesional e interdisciplinar: la localización web como nuevo mercado». XV Jornadas Hispano-Rusas de Traducción e Interpretación, 14-15 June, Moscow State Linguistic University (Russia).
Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Rivera-Trigueros, I. (2017). «Competencia comunicativa y nuevas tecnologías en el proceso de localización web». IX Coloquio Internacional sobre Investigación en Lenguas Extranjeras (CIILE 2017), 21-23 June, Universidad de Granada (Spain).
One of the most hotly debated topics in the context of higher education is the frequent division between university education and the labour market. In particular, labour market to which graduates in Translation and Interpreting are faced is complex for several reasons. It is a multimedia market, dynamic, with short delivery times, which requires high quality, based on teamwork and, mainly in recent times, dominated by emerging activities such as web localization.
Our multidisciplinary research team deals with the localization of websites from a double perspective: the one related to the business world and a didactic perspective. Our proposals in the field of didactics, in which we have a long research career, are based on two fundamental pillars: a teaching-learning environment based on our PATT model (Professional Approach to Translator Training) in Spanish MPDT (Modelo Profesional para la Didáctica de la Traducción) and the use of information and communication technologies as fundamental tools in this context.
As detailed in several publications (Olvera-Lobo et al., 2007, 2008a, 2008b, 2009, Olvera-Lobo and Gutiérrez-Artacho, 2010, 2014, Robinson and Olvera-Lobo, 2011, Robinson, Olvera-Lobo and Gutiérrez-Artacho, 2013), the creation of the PATT model (Professional Approach to Translator Training) was proposed aimed at i) familiarizing the translation student with the working method of the translation agencies, recreating the production chain of the professional market; ii) promote teleworking as a team, self-learning and interdisciplinarity; iii) provide a framework and useful tools for teachers and researchers to incorporate new technologies into the classroom and, in the same way, offer them the possibility of reproducing the professional work environment in the academic environment; and iv) promote coordination between subjects in the university teaching of translation.
One step further in the development of the PATT model is the incorporation of new professional profiles, as is the case of web localizators. The PATT model adapted to the web localizator profile seeks the interaction and collaboration of the team of translators-localizators with other professionals constituting an extensive group of different agents that cooperate in the development of the web localization project. As detailed in the publications mentioned above, in LOCWEB-PYME we are adapting our PATT model to the field of web localization for SMEs. With this objective, we intend to identify the role of the different agents involved in the localization processes, determine the tasks of the localization-translation specialist and establish guidelines and work protocols for the advice and orientation of the web localization-translation specialists oriented to SMEs in order to facilitate and improve their professional performance.
In this framework, as explained in Gutiérrez-Artacho and Olvera-Lobo (2017b), a research has been carried out from a deep and extensive bibliographic review that has allowed to determine the competences necessary for the professional performance of the translator in the context of the web localization of commercial and business information. Some of these competences are: computer competence, organizational competence, experience in the field, virtual teamwork, ability to produce high quality results with limited delivery times, knowledge of industry and e-commerce trends, SEO knowledge (Search Engine Optimization), familiarity with software and market web platforms, familiarity with audiovisual translation and cultural interest.
Terminology and localization
Robinson, B.J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Castro-Prieto, M.R. (2017). «Terminología y localización». JEFE-Vi: I Jornadas de Español para Fines Específicos, 13-14 October, Vienna (Austria). Presentation.
A field in which terminology can make a significant contribution is in the creation and translation / localization of websites. Using the appropriate terms for a specific topic is often a challenge to which the terminology can respond helping to reduce misleading elements in the content of the websites, which contributes to its usability and ease of interaction with the user and performance in general. Therefore, it is crucial to offer university training in terminology integrated within the framework of training future translation / localization professionals.
This paper describes the training in terminology proposed for students of the degree inTranslation and Interpreting. The methodological framework of this training is based on the creation of terminological glossaries in the appropriate format for its later application in the MultiTerm terminological database. The pedagogical medium used for the training terminology, within the framework of the subject Translations and Variants of Spanish, in Spanish: Traducción y Variantes del Español (4th year of the degree in Translation and Interpreting, Autonomous University of Madrid), has been dubbing and subtitling. In this way, different translation strategies have been applied for the adaptation of several audiovisual documents. Finally, this training proposal in terminology has been incorporated into the translation class through our Professional Approach to Translator Training (PATT).
Generic competencies, teamwork and localization
Olvera-Lobo, M.D.; Robinson, B.J.; Gutiérrez-Artacho, J. (2018). “Generic competences, the great forgotten: Teamwork in the undergraduate degree in Translation and Interpretation“. World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology, 12 (11), pp. 4190-4194. Presented at ICERI 2018: International Conference on Education, Research and Innovation, 22-23 March, Prague (Czech Republic).
Graduates are equipped with a wide range of generic competencies which complement solid curricular competencies and facilitate their access to the labour market in diverse fields and careers. However, some generic competencies such as instrumental, personal and systemic competencies related to teamwork and interpersonal communication skills, decision-making and organization skills are seldom taught explicitly and even less often assessed.
In this context, translator training has embraced a broad range of competencies specified in the undergraduate program currently taught at Universities, and opens up the learning experience to cover areas often ignored due to the difficulties inherent in both teaching and assessment. In practice, translator training combines two well-established approaches to teaching/learning: project-based learning and genuinely cooperative –or merely collaborative– learning. Our Professional Approach to Translator Training is a model focused on and adapted to the teleworking context of professional translation and presented through the medium of blended e-learning.
Teamwork-related competencies are extremely relevant and they require explicit and implicit teaching so that graduates can be confident about their capacity to make their way in professional contexts. In order to highlight the importance of teamwork and intra-team relationships beyond the classroom, we aim to raise awareness of teamwork processes so as to empower Translation students in managing their interaction and ensure that they gain valuable pre-professional experience.
With these objectives, we have developed a range of classroom activities and assessment tools. One of our contributions in this context has been the design of transparent instruments of self-evaluation and peer-review in the form of descriptive criteria (rubrics) , which, in our opinion, guide the learning process and offer the students excellent possibilities to advance in the attainment of their achievements. Students participate in several translation projects whose organizational development follows the same pattern throughout the course. In each translation project, five aspects are evaluated: i) translation as a product; ii) the quality evaluation of the translation as a product -this scale measures the level of agreement between the quality analysis of the translation of the team / individual and that of the moderator / tutor-; iii) the public presentation of the translation made by the team as a product and as a process; iv) the individual written report as a product; and v) collaborative teamwork as a product. For the evaluation of each of these aspects a set of descriptive criteria is used. These can be consulted on the article.
In the final part of our study we focus on pedagogical issues related to the training of specialized translators and localizers who will be working in the field of web localization. These skills should be developed in a specific course in which the study of the particularities of web information, Web 2.0, internationalization, globalization and e-commerce have a weighting as relevant as those skills particular to a localizer-translator.
Computer tools for web localization
Gutiérrez-Artacho, J.; Olvera-Lobo, M.D. (2018b). «Computer tools in the teaching of translators as website localization professionals». INTED2018: 12th annual International Technology, Education and Development Conference, 5-7 March, Valencia (Spain).
Web localization as a translation modality has certain characteristics such as the need to work with different types of files and formats (image, audio, video) as well as a series of technical and cultural specificities that complicate the process in terms of time and effort required to complete it. In the context of a hypercompetitive market and with the aim of reducing production times without scarifying the quality of the final result, it is essential to use CAT tools (Computer Assisted Tools) by web localization specialists.
With the aim of improving the training of these specialists, in the present work a thorough bibliographic review has been carried out through two of the most relevant databases (SCOPUS and Web of Science) and the popular Google Scholar tool in search of Information about the most used IT tools in the area of localization, placing special emphasis on web localization. Likewise, a classification of these tools is presented according to the stage within the localization process in which they are useful.
In November 2017, consultations were carried out in SCOPUS, Web of Science and Google Scholar in which the particularities of each of the interfaces of these tools were taken into account, so that we tried to use equivalent search parameters with the objective of obtaining comparable results.
The highest number of publications was found in Scopus (181), followed by Google Scholar (97) and Web of Science (43). However, after a detailed review of the texts, it was confirmed that there is a shortage of publications whose main research area is exclusively translation, in which reference is made to localization tools. Most articles were published in journals whose main topic is information and communication technologies in general. However, within the relevant publications for our analysis, we identified a large group of tools involved in localization processes, which have been classified into eight groups.
|Computer-assisted translation||Across Personal Edition, Anaphraseus, Araya, Atlas, CafeTran, DéjàVu, EsperantiloTM, MemoQ, Memsource, MetaTexis, MultiTrans, OmegaT, OpenTM2, SDL Trados Studio, Swordfish, Tr-AID, Wordfast|
|Web localization||Alchemy Catalyst, CatsCradle, Drupal Localization System, Globalsight, Localized Website Design Advisor, Lokalize, Poedit, SDL Passolo, Virtaal|
|Machine translation||Crossroad, Dr.Eye, LabelTranslator, LogoVista, PROMT, TransWhiz|
|Translation memories||MEMOrg, MemoQ|
|Terminology managers||SDL MultiTerm, TermExt, TermStar, WordSmith Tools|
|Text and corpus analysis||AntConc, TextStat, Translearn|
|Web accessibility||Acrolinx, aDesigner, Clarifai|
|Other tools||Alipi.us, AppleTrans, JILT – Bookmarklet|
Computer Assisted Tools: tools that include software to assist human translators and that can effectively reduce the time of translation. SDL Trados is currently the most used in the market.
Tools for web localization: they usually facilitate the translation of the user interface, the online help and the documentation that goes with the product. They are often used in cases in which assisted translation programs reject certain formats.
Machine Translation: it produces good results for translations between western European languages, not being the case when the languages are very different (Spanish – Japanese) or have a large number of declensions, genres, etc. Texts produced by a machine translator usually require post-editing.
Translation Memories: they suggest translations stored in the memory and show the percentage of correspondence with respect to the new text segment that is being processed. It is a linguistic database that stores translations for future use on a constant basis.
Terminology managers: is an expandable database that allows the management of terms (creation, management and extraction).
Text and corpus analysis tools: tools that provide functions for lexical labelling and partial analysis of sentences in the source language. With these tools, localizators can perform full sentence analysis by reducing the corpus monitoring time.
Web accessibility: tools that automatically check aspects about the accessibility of websites.
Other tools: all those that could not be included in any of the previous sections but that provide effective help to localizators.
Although the list of useful computer tools in localization processes and the classification that is offered of them are not exhaustive, they are tools with presence in specialized publications. In addition, these are not exclusively text editing tools, but offer specific elements for the treatment of web pages as well as specific utility components in the different phases of the localization.