Writing for Localization: Hands-On Workshop and Best Practices


Lisa Pietrangeli
Executive Director of Business Operations, 36Software


Online Courses

Writing for Localization: Hands-On Workshop and Best Practices

12 October-16 November 2016 (Wednesdays) | 11:00 AM – 12:30 PM EST (GMT -5)

Decisions made during content development impact the quality and consistency of the translated versions of the content. In this online course, you will learn the difference between Translation, Localization, and Internationalization; learn best practices with writing methods and content management; and learn about the tools of the translation industry. Through best practices, tools, and building a dynamic knowledge base, participants will learn how to make their companies’ localization process more efficient and achieve consistently higher quality translations.

This course will provide participants with practical information about how to create a localization process that works. We will consider the participants’ current content development processes and determine how to improve content development in order to improve localization.

Through collaborative assessments and practical exercises participants will learn how to create a knowledge base and develop a localization strategy for their companies. We will discuss tools and technology, how translators work, how to select an LSP, how to optimize translation reuse, how authoring methods affect translation, and other important practices that are necessary for an efficient localization process.

Although the course caters somewhat to tech writers working within organizations as localization managers or those for whom localization must be considered in their content development process, freelance writers and consultants will benefit from the information just as much. Being familiar with localization best practices goes hand-in-hand with authoring best practices and makes anyone more employable.

Session Descriptions

  • Defining Translation, Localization, & Internationalization
    • Examples of successes and failures
    • How to avoid confusion
    • How writing styles and methods affect translation and localization
    • Cultural challenges and other localization issues: Case Study
  • Discussing participants’ current experience
  • Defining a Knowledge Base and viewing some examples
  • Assignment: Term Bases and Glossaries
  • Review Term Base assignments together (for those who are able to share) and talk about successful term bases, what they’re for, why they’re important, and how to maintain them
  • Discuss the technology available and how to integrate a term base into it.
  • Discussion about how content development impacts translation and localization
  • Discussion about how translators work vs. how tech writers work
  • Discussion about Translation Memory—how it works, how it’s used, how it’s maintained, the role of the LSP and translators, etc.
  • Assignment: Additional work on Term Base and creating a maintenance plan
  • Quick Term Base review
  • Introductory discussion about best practices in writing including topic-based writing, using a CMS, optimizing reuse.
  • Begin discussion of style guides and how they impact translation and DTP. Topics include: what to include in a style guide, layout and design, when to have language-specific syle guides.
    • We’ll review some examples including any that participants are able to share.
    • We’ll also talk about the types of content, documents, templates, and applications that the participants are working with.
    • We’ll discuss the impact that a good style guide can have on overall cost and time required for DTP.
  • Assignment: begin a style guide template or make changes to existing guides, depending on the participant.
  • Review assignment—Look at Style Guides and consider what they are going to be used for.
  • More examples of different project types and other supporting reference materials.
  • Discussion about project hand-off:
    • What does your translation vendor need?
    • How will they use it?
    • Continue discussion about how translators work
    • Who’s responsible for updating, maintaining, and storing information in your knowledge base?
    • What should you expect from your LSP project manager?
  • This session will focus on localization as a process.
    • Project handoff
    • Anticipating timelines
    • Anticipating costs
    • How to deal with updates mid-project
    • What LSPs need
  • Content and translation reviews and approvals
    • How this step can support or thwart all efforts made
    • Regulatory requirements—based on specific industries and globalization efforts
  • We will discuss media and how best to organize and use graphics, icons, images, call outs, screen captures, etc.
  • Assignment: Outline current process and potential process improvements
  • Cover anything we were not able to in the first 5 sessions
  • Discussion about assignments in detail.
    • We’ll talk about process efficiencies from the perspective of what they can do now and what needs to be part of a long-term strategy. This will include considering other departments and content sources within their companies.
  • Discussion about what everyone has in their new knowledge base, what they still need, what they can do to improve their localization process further, what efforts can be made to improve content development to further improve localization, etc.
  • Discussion about writing methods, current technology likes and dislikes, understanding of reuse and management for both content and translation.


Lisa Pietrangeli is a managing partner and executive director of business operations at 36Software. At 36, Lisa specializes in working with clients to develop customized content development strategies. Lisa brings over 16 years of experience to 36Software, having worked extensively with companies around the world, helping them to streamline their content development and localization processes.

Before joining 36Software, Lisa was director of global client solutions at Language Intelligence, where she worked with clients to develop internationalization strategies for all stages of the content development process, from authoring through to translation. Her extensive experience has included everything from project management, resource selection and management, to business development, localization consulting and managing client relationships. Her experience, combined with her analytical skills, make Lisa an ideal partner with whom to evaluate content development processes, develop proof of concept, and tailor solutions for organizations of all types and sizes.

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