4 Life Success Principles from Software Localization

Since a large portion of my day as a software localization expert is dedicated to helping global software companies localize their products for global expansion, I’ve noticed at least 4 localization principles that can also apply to each one of us in our own lives – regardless of profession, industry, or occupation.

Localization is the process of modifying products or services to accommodate for differences in distinct markets (translation is a major part of the process). It is also the fourth fastest growing industry in the US (source: GALA). Since we’re all always modifying ourselves to accommodate for situations in life with the intention of moving forward, here are 4 helpful lessons from the industry of localization.

1. The Source Quality Matters Most.

In the localization industry, regardless of the expertise level of the translator, the translation can never be better quality than the English source provided by the client – as the saying goes: “Garbage in = Garbage Out”.

Your achievements in life can also never be greater than the the source of it all – YOU! (with God’s help, of course…). That’s why it is so important to invest in yourself first, to ensure there’s a “quality source” behind your thoughts, actions, and goals. Investing in your education, skills and knowledge will increase your market value and unique abilities.

Since the information we consume impact our thoughts, if you want quality results, protect your mind and screen out the information that doesn’t serve you because it impacts your thinking. Spend less time reading the news or watching TV (even though it’s really fun – I love the show Newsroom!), and more time on personal reflection, personal development, and self-education – because the source quality (i.e. you) matters most. Get really good at something worth being good at!

If you want to be rich – invest in your business, but if you want to be happy, wealthy, and healthy – invest in yourself first.


2. Think Big, Think Global!

Nowadays, when software companies develop software, they must consider global markets early in the development stage to ensure the development allows for system localization. In other words they must “think global” and think big – worldwide – from the start.

If you’re going to do something, you might as well think big from the beginning. The internet allows us to reach most people in the world today, so it’s easier than ever. If you provide something of value to help people worldwide with services, talents, knowledge, etc. and have the ability to reach a global audience online, why limit yourself? At the end of the day, how big and wide reaching will your impact be?
Think big, think global.

Think Big quote


3. Build a High Quality Network.

In a localization project, only suitable and professional resources can be used in order to achieve high quality results. A technical translator doesn’t take on translating medical material, for example, just like a brain surgeon won’t be skilled in filling your cavity.

For that reason, at our company, the trusted network of professionals are screen thoroughly for quality, according to very high standards including: translators must be certified professionally, in-country (living in the target market), have relevant industry expertise, and a minimum of 5+ years of translation experience – just to name a few standards.

In life, we all need others to support us in our mission and goals. It’s safe to assume that most great accomplishments in world history were achieved by teams of people (though often with a leader). Humans were created to live in communities for that reason – we help each other accomplish things by sharing knowledge, expertise, support, and inspiration.

If you want to accomplish great things, be sure to develop a high quality network, and set some real standards to ensure your life’s resources will be supportive and help you arrive at the desired destination. In other words, you become who you surround yourself with. It’s human nature to be influenced by the people that surround us, so surround yourself with the right people.

4. Your Terminology Is Critical To Your Success.

Every industry and profession has its own unique terminology – and that’s also true for each one of us.

In localization, a heavy emphasis is placed on terminology and glossaries, to ensure the translation of unique terms and common terms convey the meaning intended in a specific industry. A well prepared and updated glossary, can minimize many mistakes and can have tremendous impact on the end result.

Language has tremendous power to impact our lives. Words can start wars and bring peace. Your daily internal dialogue and common vocabulary can shift your mindset, empower you, and change your experience of living. Watch some of these powerful videos and you’ll see for yourself.

Your day-to-day glossary has a lot to do with your outcome so be intentional about your choice of words. Never use words that weaken you, such as: “If only…”, “I’ll try to…” “I hope…” “I’m just bad at…” etc. It may sound silly, but when you say such words, they becomes real for you. Your choice of words not only affects how you behave and what actions you take, but it impacts the listening of others. Words shape how people see and listen to you: either as a leader of your life, or one living in the effect of it.

Thoughts become words, words become actions, and massive actions create results in your life.

Which one of these success lessons will make the most difference in your life? Which lesson will you take on?

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