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What's the best way to make progress in localization? Aglaia Pavlerou, a localization expert and manager, joins us on the Localization Process Pod to share how incremental improvements brought on a big change. From better localization quality to a more positive approach towards localization, and even business success.


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Key takeaways

  • Dedicated localization teams offer more value than just localization. Their attention to detail and holistic view helps them support other teams with unique insights.

  • In-house teams allow more direct management and quality control compared to outsourcing entirely to LSPs.

  • Understanding the processes used by vendors is important to identify areas for improvement.

  • Consistently using the same translators offers improved quality, thanks to their commitment and their familiarity with content and terminology.

  • Showing quick wins can help get support from management for localization initiatives, and enhance collaboration with other departments.

About Aglaia Pavlerou

Aglaia is a localisation expert passionate about product localisation and translation quality. She has 16 years of experience working for LSPs and advertising agencies, as well as in the travel/hospitality and music/ticketing industry as a resource manager, project manager, account manager and localisation manager, as also an independent localization specialist for start-ups and well-known brands.

Enjoyed the Localization Process Pod? In every episode, we'll be learning from one guest about the way they do localization for digital products. Subscribe here, on LinkedIn, or on the Localization Station website to get notified about the next ones.


Michal: Hi, welcome to a new episode of the localization process pod.

It's been a while since we met. Some unsettling developments in the world meant I had to take a moment to regroup. But I'm so glad to be back to talk about the best ways to create localized digital experiences for international audiences.

 So just to quickly refresh your memory, in every episode of the podcast, we meet with someone from a different company to grill them on what they're doing right, what they're doing wrong, and how they are optimizing their processes for a better localized experience.

Today, I'll be talking with Aglaia Pavlorou, a localization expert with 16 years of experience in the field. Aglaya worked as a resource manager, as a project manager, account manager, localization expert, and localization manager.

So she did it all. And she has some fantastic insights to share with you all today. So Aglaia, thank you so much for taking the time to be here and share your experience.

 I think we're going to talk today about a role that you have been doing, but not doing at the moment, right? It's a previous role.

Aglaia: Yes.

Michal: Yeah. So you want to tell me a little bit about it?

Aglaia: Sure. I started as a translation project manager for a company. It was a B2B company in the travel industry. So a hotel wholesaler that would then provide a selection of rooms to different travel agents across the world. So I initially started working there alongside the content team, the team responsible for checking all the information attached to the hotels and the rooms and writing bespoke hotel descriptions for these locations.

And we would just be exporting all that content, sending it out to an LSP. And then it was just coming back and fed back into the system. So before I joined, there was the intention of having this content coming back, reviewed by internal language speakers. And there were quite a few of them because we had quite a few salespeople responsible for different markets in Europe.

However, it was not their main responsibility as it happens in many companies. This is an additional task that sometimes due to the workload, people cannot really pick up. So the company felt that they were investing a lot in translation, but there was no one there to check the quality or ensure that this is exactly what they need, provide some feedback, provide some guidance to the translation agency.

So when I joined, I started looking at the content that was coming back. I had a few meetings with the translation agency trying to figure out what their process was, understand how they were approaching these exports that we were sending. I started looking into organizing that content better. So potentially rather than sending any new hotel descriptions that we were writing, we wait and do this once a month and maybe group them by destination or some other form of organization so that there is some consistency in the content and it's not just random things coming in for translation.

I also asked that we use exactly the same translators every time and because there was no sort of big time constraint on our hands, we could wait until the team is available to pick up this work again, provide some consistency there. And then I looked into providing some very top line feedback. Everybody who works in localization and translation, they can... if not proofread, at least proof check some of the languages. So sometimes just looking at things in bilingual view, you can already look at anything that can go wrong, you know, punctuation, all this kind of like top line things. So I would provide feedback at that level. But then of course there was a lot of content and there was not enough progress as we would have wanted.

So I suggested that we just take some time to regroup. Look into what is the most common feedback? What is it that we're missing? And we realized that it was mainly the terminology that that particular industry was using that we were not getting right. And even if, you know, sometimes the translators would get it right, there would be no consistency through every batch.

So I suggested to my manager to bring in some freelancers to help us kind of create those reference materials in the first place. My suggestion was that we bring in a team of translation freelancers, ideally specialists in the area of travel. We just bring them in for three months. They have discussions with internal language speakers.

They learn how do we speak to, you know, partners in our local markets, understand the lingo. They bring also in their expertise and we take three months to put together a glossary and some style guides for every market and set the standards that we would then share with the translation agency. At the same time, the best way to put together these reference materials is actually starting to translate the content yourself.

That's how you discover exactly what is needed. So, We did this, I think it was at the time when remote working for full time employees was not really an option. So we had to build this team in-house in London and it was really a great experience for me.

The company sort of thought this was a great idea, but they did not really want to invest so much in that. So I did the recruitment myself, through translation platforms that I was also using as well, getting in touch with some of the universities in London that I had collaborated in the past. And I put together a team of 80 translators. So that was for French, Italian, German, Spanish, simplified Chinese, Japanese, and Brazilian Portuguese.

And the results straight away were spectacular. And that's because when translators come in and they start looking at the content, they don't just look at it from the point of translation. They just analyze it, they double check it, you know, they question it. So we started seeing the results, not just in terms of building up these references and all the translation quality that the team was producing, but also productivity and how that had increased due to putting together this very detailed process.

It was really amazing. So we ended up extending the lifespan of that team and the whole thing became permanent. And that was kind of like the first step. And then we continued with a few more, but that was kind of the big first step that helped us to very quickly show the business what was the value of having these people in house and sort of committed and focused to that content full time.

Michal: That's amazing. So first of all, what I like about this. We're just at the beginning and you just started telling me about it, but I really like that you kind of took control over what you're doing in localization. I think a lot of the times companies, they relinquish that control to the LSP, to the vendor, to whoever's kind of managing their process.

And then you don't know what to fix, right? You know something is wrong, but you have no idea how to fix it because you don't know what's going on. I think... you say that hiring linguists was the first step. I think that was the first step. It's kind of just taking control over it and saying, okay, we need to understand what's going on so we know how to fix it, so we know how to improve it and optimize.

That's amazing.

Aglaia: I think this is a really big challenge when you join a company, when you're client side and you come in, you have to assess where in the, kind of like, localization journey this company is and find the best solution for them. It's quite nerve wracking. It's a big responsibility, something that you take on yourself.

You coming in as a specialist, you're the only person that is specialized in that area in a company where everybody else is interested in something else. That might be hotels and rooms and swimming pools that are closed for the month, you know, causing issues. And you're there thinking about language and terms and things that they're not really important to most of the company.

So it's a big responsibility and It's also very difficult to make a decision that would also make sense down the line considering how quickly things change and how quickly companies grow.

Michal: Yeah, absolutely. if you were the only person, kind of, advocating for better localization, how did you manage to convince your colleagues, your management, to go ahead with this?

Aglaia: At the time I had great support from my manager, who was the marketing team lead. We were set up under marketing. And... not speaking just English, I think that already gives someone more insight into why translation is important and why it is something worth looking at.

She was very supportive and we basically put together a business case where we showed the expected return on the investment of just having these freelancers in for three months time. It was very difficult, obviously, because we're making a lot of assumptions about potentially the money saved down the line.

But also, and this is, I guess, a topic it's always coming up in discussions about how to influence the localization process in a company is how do you attach a value to translation quality and content quality. Because it is very difficult. And that's how we started this conversation. How can you prove that translation quality has directly affected great results in the market. It's very easy to do it when there is localized content or not, but it's very difficult to say, okay, this exact percentage of increased sales in the market is due to the fact that the localized content reads so much better now.

Michal: Yeah. The experience is better and not just exists. Absolutely. I completely agree. So how do you manage to prove that? How did you manage to say, okay, localization is better now because we have invested into this process and hired people who are more invested in the quality and then it led to better results.

How do you manage to prove that?

Aglaia: It sort of happened a little bit indirectly. So, for myself, this is the thing that I could sort of put forward, that with the same budget that we allocate to translation every month to outsource it, in three months time, I can set up this team. Which obviously, you know, having a team in house, it also has all these overheads, you know, so I took that into consideration. I propose that we can make this investment, bring this team in and obviously get to translate the same amount, but also at the same time, look at all these important quality questions and put together all these references that we think are very, very important.

So once I managed to show that this budget would be more or less the same and we'll be getting more out of it, that was the first step. So that was an easy comparison to make. But basically what happened down the line was that... Because the content was organized better before sending it to translation, so putting it together in batches where, you know, we would just work on translating descriptions of hotels around the same area, it was easier for the translators to also provide feedback to the content team.

So whilst we were doing this process and we were sitting right next to the content team, we were able to flag either inconsistencies on the content or maybe mistakes in the descriptions, typos... Obviously, whenever you put something through a translation platform and you keep repeating certain words and the typos are even more obvious from the beginning, the moment you open up the file, you see something is 97 percent match and then you see the typo. So they're very easy to pick up.

So we started having these conversations, or maybe sometimes arguing about what color is the roof of a certain hotel. Between the content team and the translation team, there were some fun moments. And we then realized, having brought all these experts... because this is another thing that I wanted to do when putting together the team. There were some younger linguists that might have just left university. They were very eager to work and I know how difficult it is sometimes to find an in house translator position. So I know this is a very exciting opportunity. You know, there was a lot of drive on their side, but also I had some more experienced translators. Some of them had actually worked in other travel companies and they brought a lot of expertise with them.

So I basically opened up the space and I let them take the lead and influence the processes and bring in all this expertise. So at the time I was actually really young and I was just there as a translation project manager. I was just there coordinating and bringing everybody together and ensuring that we're using a process where all of this work can be documented. As we kept working, I realized that there is a way that we can organize this work because the content, in a way, it was repetitive, but there was no consistency.

So, what we suggested to the content team is... why don't we organize all these hotels based on their areas? So, what if we would break up London, let's say Central London, in six or seven different areas that make sense? How people would look for them, you know, when they want to book a hotel, they will probably look for West End, Covent Garden, Liverpool Street, you know, around either transport hubs or areas of entertainment.

And then once we have decided how to split this, then we can just write really nice area descriptions. And then whenever we have a new hotel in that area, we just drop that description there. This means that we have this consistency every time, mentioning the same sites and means of transport.

And then this means that also the content team can save about 15 percent of their time when they write a new hotel description. Then there was a lot of practical information that was kind of repeated all the time. So whether there was a private parking facility in the hotel, if it was a parking facility nearby, if there was a swimming pool available...

So then we said, okay, how about we standardize all the sentences, but we always describe this in the same way. So we prepared this kind of defaults and this is how to describe the swimming pool, the parking facilities, et cetera. So, by doing all this work, the content team started saving about 20%, I would say, whenever they were writing a new hotel description.

That, times the amount of work that the team was going through... I think at the time they had maybe six or eight writers that were also doing a lot of fact checking and a lot of other tasks, but that was the main task. That brought huge savings. But also that meant that when we moved to translation, we had translated that area description once, and then that was a match every single time. Same with all the other kind of default description sentences. We translated this once and then it became a translation memory match. And that also kind of brought up our productivity. At some point, the team was able to go through 5,000 words a day. Which was amazing.

So the more we invested in the process and looking at the content and rearranging and reorganizing it, there were savings on both sides on both teams. And at the end of the day, this is what the leadership of a company wants to see. Savings, either time savings or cost savings. And at the same time, we're able to improve the quality of the English content and the translations.

And then that sort of started coming through. As I mentioned, indirectly – feedback from either the sales teams, receiving feedback from the local travel agents saying how the content is really great. It's very consistent. It's very easy to look at the hotel descriptions and kind of compare and explain to clients what are the hotel's best features, because the rest of the content is kind of similar, so you don't have to read through carefully, you just look at what is different and you can focus on that. That also helped the company secure some partnerships. So bringing in this great quality English content and translations helped them work with some really famous brands.

 One of them was a very big airline that also provides holidays under the brand. So they would kind of link their flights booking option with. a hotel booking option and that would actually fit through our system. Because it would not only bring the allocation and the competitive prices, but also would bring in our content.

So that was one of the pluses in the process. I think the markets where the quality of translation really was shown through was in China and Japan. And I think this is where there were great sales wins because the content was really, really great. And we would get this feedback especially from Japanese sales team, that the content was one of the biggest draws for travel agents to work with that company.

Michal: Why do you think it was so dramatic in those markets? Do you think that it was just by chance you had really good linguists, like increasingly better content for those markets?

Aglaia: That's a very good question. I think it might be a combination of the two.

I think there's also an added layer of difficulty trying to break into these markets from Europe or a brand from these markets breaking into Europe, there's another level of difficulty. In a previous job, I was the person responsible for resourcing translators for a luxury jewelry brand that was aimed at some of the Asian markets.

So they had really great, beautiful ads and great content. And we had to adapt these for Japan and for China, Taiwan and Hong Kong. When we won the business, we had to do several tests to see sort of what teams of linguists would work best. So we had a small pool of translators who were specialized in that area. And then we would do tests with different content to see what is the best combination, who should be the editor, who should be the translator, swap the roles around, swap the teams around to find the best match.

And what we found out was that the best results we would get was when the translator was based in country. And when the editor was based either in Europe or in the U.S. The translation was always correct to begin with. And then we would get that kind of like final finish from maybe translators who are based in Europe or in the U.S. and have kind of like a better understanding of the marketing and branding nuances that are sometimes sort of hidden in maybe the artwork or the copy.

So that was the winning combination and we sort of stuck with that. Which was also making work a little bit different, working with all these time zones. So, I'm not really sure, but I think, and I've also seen it other times, being able to bring the translators in house, even on a part time capacity, and expose them to how the company works, and involve them in different processes. I think this is where, it's not just a job where you just open a file, you translate, and then you send it back. You give them the opportunity to immerse into everything that the company is about. So you don't just see the content, but you also see the values of the company, the goals, the long term strategy.

And obviously the more time you spend being attached to a certain brand, the more you sort of...become part of it as well . And I've also seen it for myself when I have been freelancing, when you get a better insight into the company and how it works and what happens to the content before it comes to you, what happens to it afterwards, you get this kind of like full view of how things are working and how small decisions or small details influence the process before and after.

Michal: Yeah, absolutely. I want to take us back a little bit in the conversation. You mentioned that you proved the value of the quality improvement in the savings for the company. Which is a really big aspect of it, but I'm also curious if you managed to test how that improvement influenced the way that your users and customers behaved within the website.

And were you able to collect any data that kind of showed that improvement in localization actually? Affected the bottom line, the usage rates, any analytics or data in that space.

Aglaia: So that was not really possible in that specific scenario because the company at the time did not have their own website because it was a B2B company, not a B2C company.

They were sort of plugging all this content into other websites.

Michal: I see.

Aglaia: It was very difficult for us to be able to get that direct data on this, other than having the information from the sales teams on other feedback they got from the ground or how they use this updated and improved content as an additional tool to get new partnerships signed.

That was something that I was not able to look into at the time, but it is something that I'm interested in and I'm looking to different ways to implement it in my current position. And I'm just thinking if it is possible to actually break down feedback on the user experience to look into how the language has affected that. I think it's very difficult to do that because it's not just the language. It's not just translation. It's also how the design interacts with every language and then how far this is localized and adjusted to the local market.

The localization process also plays a role, whether linguists are able to look at the whole website page and work on it in one go, or do they get just one paragraph without context that then gets plugged in, and they have no overview of what comes before and after . It is difficult to break that down and break down the user experience between the functionality and the language. So it is something that I'm looking into and trying to find different ways to measure that, apart from potentially including a few questions about that in surveys sent out to customers.

Michal: Yeah, it is really hard because I think, first of all, like you said, it's really hard to differentiate what really impacts the user patterns and the way that users behave on your website because it can be a result of a lot of different things, both cultural and design and localization, content...

it could be a lot of different kind of things and a lot of different things combined and even the state of mind of people at that specific area and that specific day, it could really vary. So it is really hard. What I find is the best way is to just design tests for that purpose, because otherwise it's really hard to just be able to isolate that very, very tiny aspect and see what impact it has. And so if companies do want to be able to measure localization quality, they need two versions of localization. And no company has two versions of localization unless they're actively trying to create them to actively test the impact of localization quality, which is, you know, it's out of preference.

It's not something that a lot of companies put at the front of their agenda. But I do think that if companies were to give it a try and even do just small tests every once in a while, every year. Just to see how much your quality can improve or how much impact it can have. They really do stand to gain a lot.

And I think the story that you're telling here is, is really a testament to that. Because I think you took some sort of leap of faith, right? You came and you improved localization without actually knowing that it's going to make an impact. And it made a huge difference for the company. I think it's something that you have to just leap and do. You have to really believe that it works and try it because otherwise I'm not even sure if you can... because the opportunities for improvement that you have discovered during localization, I'm not sure if anyone could see them in advance, or from the outside.

Aglaia: Yeah, absolutely. I think something that localization brings in any company and any process that it is involved is... Most of my colleagues and a lot of my friends who are in the industry, we always bring in organization process improvement. We're always looking at ways of improving the ways of working. We're always looking at ways that improve accuracy, attention to detail, improving timelines, reducing costs. I mean, no one wants to do three rounds of review because somebody forgets to send the updated version or the updates on the line, you know, everybody wants to be very efficient and we kind of bring these qualities everywhere we go.

So whenever you change roles and you find yourself in a different environment, such as the one where I'm now, you kind of bring all this experience with you and you start asking the difficult questions. Who's going to review this? Who's going to sign off this? And you basically bring these efficiencies together in any process.

This is something that always, always adds value. And it's kind of like the start of a journey that you never really know where it's going to go. Because we always look at the content and the copy in a more kind of like systemic way. If that makes sense. We're always looking at the content thinking, what's the best approach for this? Should this be translated, localized? Is this just maybe creative translation? Does this need to be transcreated? So we're always looking at the best possible process for the best possible outcome.

Michal: You mentioned that when you made this significant improvement, the biggest thing you did was bring linguists into the team and kind of have them work with you and have them really get invested in your brand and your needs and company's needs.

So why do you feel that this made such a difference compared to the way that you worked before?

Aglaia: I think it has to do with the brand and the content in question in every case. It might be that if the subject was maybe a little bit more, I don't know, mainstream or easier to translate. I mean, hotel descriptions, it's something that everybody's familiar with.

I think this is something that kind of is part of a bigger conversation. What is the quality expected? This kind of ties in with why some of the biggest translation companies in the world seem to be more focused on sales , but they seem to not focus so much on what it is they're delivering back to their clients and also not treating their translators in the best possible way.

How can someone get away with this? And I've seen it in practice many times that sometimes the client expectations are not really high. It might be that we, as professionals, we always try to get 10 out of 10. Sometimes for a client, a 7 out of 10 is acceptable. And I've seen it in the past. We would do a very detailed process of translation, editing. Then we had an internal terminology team checking, making sure that everything is implemented, the client glossary, the client style guides, and then we would send them out for review to the local marketing offices and no one would get back to us.

I think this is why sometimes translation agencies will deliver things that might not be a 10 out of 10. And sometimes that's okay, because also the expectations are a little bit lower. But the moment that I feel that if I'm involved in something, my expectations are always higher.

Michal: I think it's all tied together, right? Because if it's so hard to define quality, and it's so hard to measure quality, then people learn not to expect quality because they say, okay, so it's just impossible. It's just impossible to achieve. So why should we focus on this? Why should we invest our resources or time or effort onto this when it's just not achievable?

And I think the more that we put the focus back on quality and how to define it and how to measure it, then maybe it'll become more feasible for companies too. And then maybe they'll focus a little bit more on just giving more attention, if they're not part of the localization team. Like you mentioned, the marketing teams, the product teams.

I think once they understand that it's feasible and it's doable, then it becomes more of a priority, because it becomes... Something that's actually possible to do a real possibility.

Aglaia: Yes, I think it's also very difficult to be objective when it comes to translations. And I think this is one of the main conversations that we will have all the time, no matter which side of the fence you are, getting feedback on translation saying, "Oh, I'm not very happy with this translation. It sounds like Google translate." This is my favorite kind of feedback for translations.

So it's very, very subjective to define quality. Especially when it's not discussed between localization professionals where we can sort of break things down and be more specific. Sometimes it's very difficult to have these discussions with people who are not part of my industry. And I think this is one of the main problems. It just makes things even more complicated when trying to explain why quality is important, why localization is an investment and not just a cost, and why sometimes the end client is not getting what they want because they have not been able to express it in advance.

Michal: Sometimes there's also a lot of emotion. You mentioned feedback and how hard is it to get objective feedback. Cause you can't really be objective in language and it's the same in writing. It's the same when you localize. I think whenever you deal with content, there's always kind of subjective feedback and it's subjective not just because it's your own opinion, but also because sometimes you're in the market, sometimes you're not in the market when you're localizing, sometimes you know the brand well, sometimes you're an external vendor and you don't really know the brand and then that feedback doesn't make sense to you because you're not so invested into how the content is written for them.

I find that a lot of times when you take the ego out of the conversation and you say, it's okay that there's feedback. Cause it doesn't mean that any of us is wrong. It just means that maybe something is more right for the brand or something is more right for the market.

And when you take that emotion out of it and it becomes much more of an efficient conversation because we're no longer talking about what you did wrong, what I'm doing wrong. Or I'm no longer attacking you for something that you did. We're having a conversation about what's best for the brand or what's best for the audience.

And we have a shared purpose, I guess, or a shared goal. And then it becomes much more efficient and much more beneficial sometimes.

Aglaia: I really agree with this. This is why we need these contributions and the feedback from the local markets to get to the right point. And I brought this comparison up a couple of days ago, discussing some internal feedback. When we put together an English copy for something that will be highly visible, maybe go out to clients, partners, it usually is seen by 10 different people within the company.

It will be potentially the copywriter, some of the stakeholders. If it has to do with the product itself and the product managers will have a look to ensure that all the technical details are correct. And then it will probably go through a few rounds of revisions. And we think of this process as a process that makes sense, that it is productive.

So why do we feel that once the translator works on this exact same copy, it should be ready, adjusted for the market, ticking all the boxes. But I feel that sometimes the local teams think, oh, this is not what I expected, but they don't understand that they should be part of the process. And this is a very long process. Even if you work exactly with the same translator and provide this feedback, there will be improvement, this is a longer process to get someone to adjust their style to your expectations.

It's very easy to say, okay, this is how we'll be translating these terms, and this is how we'll address the audience, you know, singular or plural. These are usually being done. But when it comes to finessing the style, to reach a point where the local team will have to make no changes? That takes quite a bit of time.

Michal: Yeah, because right now when people started working with like generative AI for writing, for creating content, then it becomes really expected that you get this kind of rough draft. Then you have to give feedback on it, you have to adapt it, and at the end you get a result that you like. But it takes a while.

And it's funny because it is the process that's supposed to be when you write with a human as well, because nobody can really understand everything you're expecting in one go. It's really hard to do. And so you have to have that kind of iterative process of doing something, getting feedback, and doing it again, and getting feedback, and sometimes even bringing it to market and getting more feedback. To get it as optimized as possible, as effective as possible.

And it's so reasonable for us when we work with machines, we work with Gen AI. It's not really reasonable for us when we're working with humans, despite the fact that we have more bias and more our own opinions and we bring more of our own emotions to the table. So it should be even more reasonable, but I think maybe we're not used to it still.

Aglaia: Yeah, I agree. And it would be great if that was the wider sentiment behind this, but I don't think it is. And this is something that was sort of expecting, that the moment you start this process of putting your translations through local review and requesting feedback, you open up a very big can of worms. You have to be ready for it.

And this is also one of my questions when I'm recruiting for translators is how do they handle feedback? Whether that feedback is reasonable or unreasonable. How do you handle this? How can you defend your work? What is it that you fall back onto when people will say, "Oh, but I don't like this. This should be not X, but Y".

As you said, it's nothing personal and you need to take on feedback. You need to accept it. You don't have to take it personal and you have to be open to it because this process is not really perfect. It's just, there's always room for improvement, as you said. So it's just difficult to manage everyone's expectations.

Michal: Yeah, but I also, I think, because I asked you before, why do you think that bringing people into the team made them better linguists? And I think it's part of it. I think when people are feeling like they're part of the team, it could be the same linguist. I think when they're working within the team versus when they're working as kind of an external freelancer that's not part of the team and not part of the process.

They will provide different results. You'll get better work when the person is actually invested into your company. When they actually feel like you expect more of them, then they will provide better work. Even if it's the same person.

 So I think this feedback and this kind of iterative process, it's also part of it. Because when you do the iterative feedback with a person, then they feel like they're part of the team. They don't feel like... a toaster or something that you put the bread in and you take it away. They feel like they're part of it. And I think it makes them do better work as well. Yeah, I compared people to a toaster. I'm sorry about that.

Aglaia: For me, what I consider a success when I join a new company is when I try to come in and bring in a new process and maybe introduce the translators. At some point we reach this kind of benchmark moment when the local team will say, you know what, we don't even need to look at this. We trust that X translator has done a great job. They know what we are talking about. They know how we would like to express ourselves. So we don't need to have this review step. We just go forward and we're going to have a look at the final artwork and then we're ready to go. This is what makes me really happy.

 We're about one year into having this translation team looking after the bulk of translation. So it's great to see how the translators are also invested on the brand, how they will themselves flag things that we should be looking into or using the product, noticing things.

 They are also invested because they feel that the output of what we're putting out there is part of the work. They want to feel good about what it is that is available within the market. And they feel that it also represents them. So I'm very, very happy about that because I feel that the responsibility is sort of shared, but also the great results can also be shared across all of us.

Michal: I'm curious. Can you share what the previous company was or is it like a mystery company?

Aglaia: It's not a mystery company. It's a small B2B company based in London called Travco. It's been about almost 10 years since I've worked there. So...

Michal: Oh wow.

Aglaia: Yeah. A lot of things have changed in the company. And yeah, sometimes I will pass by and still see the office there.

Michal: Where do you work today? What company do you work for today?

Aglaia: At the moment I'm working for Dice, it's a music ticketing app based in London, and it is available in a few markets... the UK, the US, France, Italy, Spain, Portugal, Germany, and now expanding to India, and a few other markets. And I'm responsible for the localization of the app and all the partner tools and communications.

Michal: So I'm curious... What difference you see from the work that you did 10 years ago, for the travel company, to the work that you're doing today? What kind of the major differences in the way that you work?

Aglaia: I think the main difference is that translation technology has really changed and improved since then. And this is one of the reasons why I find what you do very exciting and very interesting because I think all translators who are working on the localization of apps are also UX writers for their language.

And this is something that I would like to introduce as a process in my company. So... be able to look at any new or updated features, and work on them for each language alongside the UX writing. Being able to look at the user journey for that particular feature

Michal: Or on the localization station email list for updates.

Aglaia: and be able to design the content in the best way for the local language. And also being able to give feedback on the design while this is open to discussion and not after everything is finalized and checked and wrapped up.

Michal: We touched on so many important topics. And there was so much that you said, I think would really resonate with people. Thank you so much for taking the time to share everything. Cause really, I think there are a lot of lessons to be learned here.

Aglaia: Thank you for this opportunity. I didn't think that I would have a lot to say that might be useful or important, but it was a great, great conversation. Really good questions.

Michal: Yeah. This was really fascinating and there was a lot of things that people can kind of benefit from hearing. I was really surprised to hear that was 10 years ago, because that felt like a really modern approach.

There are big companies that are not doing half of the things that you did 10 years ago. So that's really impressive. And then seeing how you're starting to iterate on UX content and UX localization these days in your company, I'm sure it's going to lead to really great content at the end. And I really support that too. I think that the more localizers are treated like writers in the climate that we have today and the way that we're doing content today, the better content is going to be and the easier it's going to be to create that as well.

Aglaia: Yeah, absolutely. I think the conversation that you have started is really, really important, is not for linguists to kind of like put themselves into boxes, because I think this is something that we struggle a lot in the industry.

We're very worried about stepping out of our comfort zone and picking up new things and picking up new skills. And I think this is a great way. You see this happening, you know, in other industries and in other areas around what we do. People move from one kind of like aspect of this world to another. And it should be the same of us. The fact that we might be working in a different language, which is not English, should not be restrictive. So that makes me feel very excited and optimistic about the future opportunities for localizers and translators.

Michal: Yeah, absolutely. That's been amazing. So thank you so much for being here. Thank you for sharing your experience and sharing your tips and your ideas. It has been really, really interesting.

Also, thank you, my listeners, for caring and staying passionate about localization. I was really inspired by Aglaia's take on localization quality and her actionable outlook. I hope you'll take something from this too and try to make localization better at your company, step by step. If you're as passionate about localized user experiences as I am, make sure that you join our community. There's a link on the Localization Station website and it's where we have really interesting discussions about localization quality and technology. There are job postings, so if you're interested , please join the community. We would love to have you there.

And if you want to hear about new episodes of the Localization Process Pod, be sure to subscribe on Spotify, on YouTube, or on the localization station email list for updates.

I was Michal Kessel Shitrit and this was the localization process pod. I really hope to see you again for another localization process review soon. But until then, I hope you have a great day.

Achieving cross-company collaboration with Aglaia Pavlerou

What's the best way to make progress in localization? Learn how incremental improvements brought on a big change.

Michal Kessel Shitrit



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