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Japan pushes itself ahead, and we have something to say there: Logrus participates in the Japanese Translation Forum conference (JTF)

December 26, 2012

Japanese goods are well known throughout the world, and however much of a paradox it may seem, now there is a goal that lies before the Japanese companies – that of an increased participation in international markets. Japanese enterprises understand that quality translation and localization for more than a couple of languages is of utmost importance for successful presence in newer markets. The complication is, the supply chain is now shortened and multilingual localization is something that Japanese LSP should provide.

But what approach should be taken for the successful resolution of this problem? Is creating new, company-specific localization structures worth it? Or should outsourcing be considered? And how should a provider of localization services, striving to establish long term relationships with prospective clients, adapt its offers to the needs of the global market? How do you choose a supplier that you can trust? For Japanese relations are very important.

It was these important issues that were discussed in a joint presentation by Hans Fenstermacher, CEO of GALA, the international non-profit industry association, and Denis Novikov, head of the Logrus multilingual department, which was held on November 28 at the ‘Japanese Translators' Forum’ Conference.

The organizer of the conference was the professional association Japan Translation Federation, which is supported by the Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry of Japan, and carries out activities aimed at the development of the Japanese translation industry. This includes networking among its members and regulating the quality of their services. Translation is considered a very prestigious profession in Japan – it is, in a sense, a "closed caste profession," that treats foreign influence with caution. The session by Hans and Denis was the only one that was presented in English – the rest were in Japanese, and without interpretation. On the other hand, Japanese companies tend to bring its advanced technology to the international market and are therefore very interested in multilingual localization. Attending the conference was not easy for foreign companies, but Logrus, as a member of GALA, received a special invitation.

Choosing localization strategy, a company can make a bet on internal resources. However, along the way many challenges await it – because localization is not limited to the translation process, and requires a special infrastructure. Increasing the number of project managers is not enough – it is necessary, in fact, to create one organization within another, handling wholly different tasks. Services of a specialized company, with professional localizers, are eventually almost always cheaper, and need only the right approach tin the selection of a partner, with consideration to more than just the price of its services. After all, low prices often turn into problems with the quality, scalability and later difficulties in the implementation of complex processes. There are many other important factors: the reputation of the supplier, its participation in the industry, development and innovation, organizational structure, the methods of selecting translators, and quality control procedures. The most important thing is a sober assessment of the complexity of the localization process, precise articulation of requirements and thoughtful questions concerning, once again, more than just the price and timeline. By following the philosophy of "more and cheaper," in the end you can get a well-disguised "worse and less."

The presentation on ‘Managing the global network of localization service providers’ inspired sincere enthusiasm and interest, even by industry veterans. The audience appreciated the informative value and a practical presentation which contained no abstract scheme, and instead had clear and consistent principles that can be effectively used in everyday work. In feedback from participants, Denis actually introduced the "full tutorial on the organization structure of the translation." Such deep, expert knowledge of the industry is characteristic of employees of large suppliers of complex linguistic solutions. Only such companies – providing a full range of services in a position to work out methods and backed by a large team of qualified professional staff – are able to successfully solve major problems in the global multilingual localization market.

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