As with any business, people drive success. Talented localization professionals are crucial to any Linguistic Quality Assurance (LQA) operation. The talent search for qualified professionals is a comprehensive one, and Supply Chain Managers (SCMs) are no strangers to the qualities and requirements the search requires. What does it take to be a good fit for Chillistore? A combination of hard and soft skills; the ability to assess the linguistic quality of any project; and a willingness to collaborate with the Quality Management (QM) team. What exactly does each qualification entail? We’re breaking it down.
Balance is Key
What are the “on-paper” qualifications we look for in an LQA reviewer? First and foremost is a degree in Linguistics or Translation. We also want a subject matter expert, with excellent command of the source language.
If you tick all of these initial boxes, then we look for deeper skills, such as good communication and the ability to provide quality feedback. “Quality feedback” means feedback that remains as neutral as possible — AKA your assessment of content isn’t bogged down by your own preferences.
Of course, not all content — and not all translators — operate in the same way. Reviewers can’t take a “one size fits all” approach, or they risk doing a disservice to the project. We look for reviewers who will get to know the client’s expectations, and who will work with translators to meet those expectations (while respecting translators’ individual styles). After all, reviewers are the last step in the LQA process, meaning their job is to add the cherry to the sundae.
Know the Challenges
LQA reviewers aren’t simply editors, tasked with filling the page with red marks. Being a reviewer requires strong communication, since reviewers and translators frequently work together on solutions. Reviewers should be able to dole out feedback, as well as accept it.
When does “feedback” come into play? After a reviewer enters their corrections for a given translation, a translator then has a chance to agree or disagree with the suggested improvements. LQAs need to be completed efficiently, which means the QM team must communicate their feedback in a timely manner.
This brings us to another quality: responsiveness. Reviewers must answer emails within a requested time frame, which can sometimes be stressful. A good reviewer can respond quickly, without skimping on the quality of their instructions and feedback.
Our QM team spends a lot of time making sure all LQA guidelines are clear and concise. This makes it easier for reviewers to do good work.
LQA is a collaborative process, and understanding that is crucial to overcoming any challenges that may arise during a project. Translators and reviewers alike need to remember that two heads are better than one when it comes to creating high-quality products. A talented team has the client’s well-being at heart, and a talented reviewer is open to a translator’s input and suggestions.
Our QM team works hard to make sure the LQA process is smooth from start to finish. Every small step in the LQA journey is important to creating a high-quality result. We ensure that everyone involved has the time and communication necessary to put quality first.
Everyone has a work style that suits their individual needs. For some people, working on a written piece, while eating lunch, while petting the dog helps them stay sharp and efficient. For others, a one-at-a-time approach is the only way to finish something. There’s nothing wrong with falling anywhere on this spectrum. What can become more of a hindrance than a help, however, is the idea of multi-tasking as a demonstration of hard work. That’s why Stopping Multitasking is our third biggest challenge.
There’s ample research showing that multi-tasking can often reduce productivity, as well as mental stamina. It takes time for the mind to process a switch from one focus to another, which burns energy you might need. So, every time you go from writing an email, to reading an article, to grabbing a snack — without completing one of those tasks in-full — you expel more energy.
Why, then, is multitasking — and the ability to do it “well” — so often considered a skill? For the person multitasking, it can create an adrenaline rush, making you feel more productive than perhaps you are. For an onlooker, it may look impressive that you’re able to “shift gears” so quickly. But are you really producing quality work?
We’ve identified some tips for both group work and individual work, which can help mitigate multitasking brain exhaust. To organize our tasks and assign time limits to them, we use Manic Time. Trello is another helpful project organizer, which allows you to assign tasks to yourself and your teammates, as well as due dates. It’s important to assign a lead to each workflow, so you know who’s responsible for organization within that project.
When it comes to meetings, it’s important to identify them as work items — i.e. things that require your full attention. They necessitate preparation, concentration, and follow-up effort, so it’s important to block out time for all of those steps. Each day, look at your calendar and assess how much time you need for meetings, as well as the associated work. Be realistic; if a meeting is two hours long, chances are, you’ll be a bit drained afterward. Don’t plan on completing a major project after a long meeting, or you’ll set yourself up for disappointment.
It’s also important to be realistic about what requires a meeting, and what could simply be an email or Trello discussion. There’s no sense in adding extra time or effort to projects that don’t require face-to-face steps. A lead is especially crucial when it comes to meeting organization. The lead can identify who’s actually needed in a meeting, so as to avoid wasting people’s time. The lead can keep track of what’s discussed, and add the meeting minutes to Confluence (a collaborative documentation tool we love).
We’ve also begun a process called “Pull and Release,” which is where a lead pulls someone into a meeting to discuss a finite topic, and then releases them once their piece is complete. This way, multiple people don’t have to participate in entire meetings, and can spend time and energy on more pressing topics. Meeting etiquette should mirror your most focused project etiquette. Silence all distractions, like texts, Slack notifications, or other apps. Take notes, engage with your teammates, and save answering emails for after the meeting.
- Select one project or task you want to focus on
- Set a time for 25-30 minutes and work exclusively on that project
- Take a two-three-minute break
This very focused approach helps quiet outside noise, while still allowing you the freedom to touch on multiple projects in one day.
The bottom line? Trying to do too much at once is not the answer, nor does it make you cool or impressive. Sometimes, it’s important to let the tortoise have its moment.
We’ve come a long way as women, and a lot of the world would probably be worse off without us. With women dominating in fields such as art, science, and politics, we want to look at how women are dominating in localization. Women in Localization Ireland is hosting a competition to celebrate how far we’ve come and Chillistore is a proud sponsor of the event!
Localization is a big deal, and the work of translating a product for international consumption is a fast-growing field. With all that growth, there’s so much to learn, and Women in Localization Ireland wants to reward your knowledge-sharing and tips by giving five lucky winners a copy of ‘The Language of Global Marketing’ by Wendy MacKenzie Pease.
Want to join the competition and get the chance to win a copy? Share your favorite learning resource on the topic of Global Digital Marketing, SEO and Content Creation.
All submissions received before Friday 13 May 5pm IST will be included.
Share your tips here. The Chillistore team wishes you good luck!
International Search Engine Optimization (SEO) — when used correctly, it can boost you to the top of the web, increasing your global marketing presence. But how does it work, exactly? And how can you be sure you’re implementing it correctly?
We’re providing you with our definitive, comprehensive guide to successfully implementing international SEO. This is our best advice, all in one place. Read on!
International SEO 101 – Research your Keywords
When it comes to international SEO, native languages are key; visitors will spend more time on a website if it’s in their native language (twice as much time, to be exact). That means your SEO keywords need to not only be translated, but translated well. A direct translation doesn’t always account for cultural specifics and regionally varying dialects. Culture is fluid and mobile, and so are keywords. Conducting regular keyword research is crucial to staying up-to-date with evolving markets.
Take time to consult a subject matter expert or an experienced linguist who understands your target location are qualifying research approaches, Native speakers and in-country linguists will provide you with the nuances necessary to appeal to your target audience.
Reflect User Behaviors
Comprehensive “research” isn’t limited to researching keywords. You want to understand how your users operate and what they respect. What search engines do they use? What websites do they link to in their own work?
For example: if you’re looking to enter Asian markets with your content, you can’t just assume Google is the go-to. There are other search engines, which you’ll need to acknowledge and understand if you want to appeal to your audience.
Stay on top of your multilingual SEO strategy by making sure your research and your technical strategies are up-to-date.
Create Engaging Content
Search engine algorithms seek out quality. But what does “quality” mean, in the context of content? Well, that varies from search engine to search engine, and between countries. Spend time understanding the specifics of your target countries, and make sure your content is aligned. Generally, producing “quality content” means producing original, relevant, frequent content that sparks meaningful interactions with your users.
SEO Media Too
Video is becoming more and more popular among users around the world — it’s quick, visually stimulating, and — when done well — can be memorable. People are more likely to click on websites if they contain video content, and search engines fish through videos that have attached scripts. If your content has video components, take the time to pair your multilingual videos with multilingual SEO. This will help boost visibility.
Beyond Translation: Advanced SEO
So, you’ve spent time choosing contextually, culturally, and regionally appropriate keywords. They’re specific and targeted. Congratulations! That’s the foundation for strong international SEO. But if you really want to take your SEO game to the next level, you can make a number of technical tweaks to complement your SEO keywords. Here are five things you should consider:
1. Site maps and hreflang
Let Google and other search engines know which languages your site targets by using the hreflang attribute in your XML sitemap. You can specify both the target language and the target country in the code. This makes it even easier for search engines to help users find your localized website in their language.
2. Inbound links in target countries
Ever wonder how search engines decide to rank websites? They consider a number of characteristics, including how many other websites link to it and the text within those links. But getting a lot of inbound links isn’t enough — they have to come from quality sites in the same language, ideally in the same country as your localized site. Global marketing is like domestic campaigning, in that you should spend time and money building quality backlinks or incoming links. This will help you make an impact on your international traffic, search engine ranking, and conversions.
3. In-country local servers
Does having your site hosted locally influence SEO? There’s some debate. According to Google, as long as you use the right ccTLDs, hreflang attributes, and geo-targeting with Webmaster Tools, it doesn’t matter where your site is hosted. However, it’s important to remember that Google isn’t necessarily the search engine of choice in your target country. Research which engine is most common for local users, and then decide if that search engine cares about local hosting.
The ccTLD (country code top-level domain) usually indicates the target country for your website. For example, search engines immediately know that a domain that ends with “.in” is targeted to users in India. Many SEO experts argue that Google and other search engines like Naver, Yandex, or Baidu favor ccTLD for searches in countries outside of the US.
If you have multiple sites with a lot of duplicate content because they are in the same language (for example, .com, .co.uk, and .au might share common text), Google says to use the rel=“canonical” link element, to avoid being penalized for duplicate content.
If you’re ready to build your own multilingual SEO strategy, Chillistore is ready to help! We provide keyword research and localization, website localization, cultural adaptation and a range of other global marketing services. Find out more about our multilingual SEO and cultural adaptation services, or contact us to request a consultation.
Time to spice up those strategies!
Just as languages differ from country-to-country, so do business practices — specifically, communicating via email. You want to hit the correct tone for your audience, and that means knowing when to adhere to, or deviate from, conventions. Our series on business correspondence is designed to give you the tools to communicate with any country. On today’s docket? Spain.
There are a few general things and some particulars to consider when you communicate with your business partners on the Iberian Peninsula, let’s break them down into four elements:
1. Do the Groundwork
Business in Spain has a personal element, which is important to respect when conducting deals. Spaniards expect to establish strong bonds before closing deals, which means building genuine personal relationships. How do you do this? Be polite, and avoid directness. Spanish business differs from business in the US in that it skews polychronic — people tend to work on multiple deals and goals at once, as opposed to throwing themselves into one at a time. In fact, pursuing one deal relentlessly could be construed as inconsiderate.
2. Know Who You Should Be Talking to
Spanish companies tend to be hierarchical, which may differ from the “one big team” model that’s common in the U.S. People expect to work within clearly established lines of authority, meaning senior executives make decisions, and rarely delegate their work. While the country’s official language is Spanish, Catalan, Basque, and Galician are also official languages in their respective regions; it’s important to address your audience in their native language. This shows respect and an added personal touch.
3. Hit the Right Tone
While personal connections are paramount in Spain, that doesn’t mean you should take a casual tone in all business dealings. Social media has encouraged the use of the informal “you”: “tú” (singular) and “vosotros” (plural) in Spain. However, it remains a good strategy to stick, at least in the beginning of a conversation, with the formal you “usted” (singular), and “ustedes” (plural), which is still predominant in today’s Spanish business correspondence.
4. Use the Proper Structure
A Spanish email should begin with the correct salutation. When addressing someone in Spain, be sure to use their first name, followed by their family names. Family names usually consist of the father’s last name, followed by the mother’s last name. It’s common to use Mr./Mrs. (“Señor/Señora”), or Dear Mr./Mrs. (“Estimado señor/a”), plus the father’s family name. If the person you’re addressing has an academic title, use that instead of the first name, followed by the family name. You may also hear someone being addressed by the titles “Don” or “Doña”.
Next up? The introduction. Although optional, introductions help create a cordial atmosphere. The idiom “We inform you that…” (“Le informamos de que…”) is a typical example.
After the introduction, you want to state your case clearly and in an organized way. Close out with a simple, polite sign-off. You can offer greetings, apologies or services. Idioms like “Yours Sincerely” (“Atentamente”), “Sincerely” (“Cordialmente”), or “Kind regards” (“Saludos cordiales”) work well.
Ready to send an email to Spain? Hopefully this gives you a better idea of how to correspond with your co-workers in Spain.For more guidance on effective communications strategies for foreign countries, contact us!
You have a lot on your plate — the dogs are barking, the kids need feeding, and all of your work work needs finishing. You have emails to send, documents to edit, and meetings to schedule. Beginning your to-do list feels like a task in-and-of-itself.
We’re identifying our top challenges at Chillistore, and while “asking for help” is our top challenge, prioritizing our work is a close second — and the two are related. Most of the time, if we don’t prioritize our tasks, we don’t know how much help we actually need. Think about it: you can’t ask for help and then just hand your computer over to a willing helper. You need to explain why you need help, as well as what kinds of help would be most effective. Break down your workload into digestible bits (hand the helper your keyboard, or your mouse — not the entire computer!).
What’s the best way to break down tasks? We find it easiest to gather all of the “quick tasks” on our lists and complete those first. You’ll feel accomplished, which will likely encourage you to dive into the meatier tasks.
It’s also important to check the flow of your work — have you been in a consistent rhythm, or have there been starts and stops? If there are tasks that seem stuck, ask yourself why that is — perhaps the ball is in someone else’s court, and you need to nudge them. Or, perhaps you’ve had a mental block and haven’t been able to complete something. Regardless, acknowledging what’s stuck and why is the first step toward becoming unstuck. Completing what you can, and making a plan for what’s to come, are great ways to create forward motion and momentum.
Understanding your unique process is also important. Our internal conversations have led us to conclude that trying to keep our to-do lists in our heads can become overwhelming. Try as we might, we can’t all be like those waiters who remember every order without a notepad! At Chillistore, we use the Pomodoro method to keep ourselves focused and on track. This method focuses on breaking large tasks into smaller ones; combining smaller tasks and completing them as a unit; and dedicating 25 uninterrupted minutes to the task(s) at hand. After each 25-minute session, you get a short break! This method allows you to stay organized and complete things efficiently, without getting burnt out.
While we subscribe to Pomodoro, we understand that not everyone’s prioritization looks the same. Some people are able to maintain consistent schedules from day to day, while other people’s change regularly. For example: Marta is able to schedule a set amount of “immersion time” per day, during which, she closes her apps and focuses on work. Mari, on the other hand, finds that blocking time on her calendar doesn’t always work — things come up. Instead of foregoing immersion time altogether, she simply moves it to another time that’s more aligned with her schedule.
Once you know your process, you can identify any necessary prep work. Su’s mornings are regularly packed with meetings, so she does her prep work in the afternoons. Before finishing her work day, she outlines what needs to get done the next day. This helps one day flow into the next, without too much confusion. Someone else, however, might do their clearest thinking in the morning, and so might get organized during the first part of the day. Both approaches are okay, so long as they work for the individual.
Another key to prioritization is being realistic about your expectations. Keeping a tidy calendar might work for one person, while another person might completely neglect the calendar’s insistent notifications and reminders. What type of person are you? Can you stay organized digitally, or do you need a paper calendar? Do words work, or do you need cues and reminders to stay organized (like the ringing of an alarm)? Understand how you function, accept it, and use it to your advantage. There’s no wrong way to function, so long as you’re completing tasks in a way that works for you.
Now, let’s get back to work!