Best Practices for Managing Languages Globally

  • NEED

    All large, international companies struggle with the challenge of communicating effectively online and offline in their customers’ languages of choice.  There is significant research that shows the vast majority of customers strongly prefer to communicate and shop in their native languages, and are much more comfortable buying online in their native languages.  And, if customers are not proficient in English, they will even regularly use raw machine translation to understand English content on websites.  Most companies are dedicated to providing their customers with a better experience than that.  Many companies also seek to provide an experience that is “localized” to the markets in which customers reside, not just straight word-to-word translations of English websites, but experiences that take into account the way customers shop and communicate in local markets.  Dialog and Dell collaborated on a best practices research study focused on optimizing language performance and translation capabilities.


    The study focused on identifying best practices for optimizing language performance, managing translations and scaling language capabilities.  Dialog completed 20+ interviews with 12 Fortune 500 companies and 8 language globalization subject matter experts.  The study included companies in several industries, including:

    • Travel & Leisure
    • Consumer Packaged Goods
    • Consumer Apparel/Sporting Goods
    • Technology
    • Internet/Media and Services.

    Participant companies were screened via external best practices research (e.g., ByteLevel Web Globalization Scorecard) and initial screening interviews to identify targets for in-depth best practices discussions.


    Dialog identified strong benefits accruing to companies who have adopted hub-and-spoke globalization models, where certain functions such as globalization strategy, vendor management, translations management and excellence, localization platforms (TMS) and translation memory (TM) are managed centrally.  Yet, other functions such as in-language experience optimization, language site performance and translation quality and localization are handled most effectively in-market working closely with local sales and marketing teams.  Significant improvement in online language conversion/experience and translation process performance is highly correlated with globalization best practices.

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