The localization market in Latin America is still underdeveloped, mostly due to a history of political and economic instability that marked the region and that has been overcome only in the last two decades. However, there are already quite a few translation companies located in Latin American countries. The one-day event organized by GALA (Globalization and Localization Association) in October in Lima (Peru), sought to emphasize the importance of cooperation among self-employed translators and localization companies. It means sharing experience and strategies, and in short, to unify the region and achieve greater presence for it in the translation market. Spanish is the second most-spoken language in the world after Mandarin Chinese, yet less than 5% of websites are available in Spanish. It is spoken by about 550 million people in the world, then why not think about Latin America?
GALA acquired the think! brand of events in 2013. This time, the local organizers were Fabiano Cid from Ccaps in Brazil, and Maria Cecilia Maldonado from SpeakLatam in Argentina. Their speeches focused on the growing importance of Latin America as an emerging market and the difficulties facing those starting a translation company in Latin America.
One of the sponsors of the event was Translated in Argentina, a group of localization companies who joined forces to help each other grow their presence in the country and worldwide. They call it "coopetition" (a play on words “cooperation” and “competition”). One of the biggest benefits is a reduction in marketing costs for those involved.
However, cooperation and a focus on highlighting the importance of the region were not all that was discussed. Customer satisfaction and brand positioning are also extremely important. We talked about marketing strategies, both related to growth within the region and abroad. All too often, foreign companies focus on simply translating their content, without adapting it for the local audiences and cultures.
Some measures suggested to achieve these goals were creating a strong corporate image through presence on social networks like LinkedIn or Facebook and a focus on building and maintaining good relationships with customers. At the same time, we should not ignore the importance of technology and tools for translation vendors and translators. They help to manage time and workflows better, while increasing consistency and quality of translations.
Andovar has been present in Latin America since 2008. Our first office was in Buenos Aires, and in 2011 we moved it to Medellín in Colombia due to high inflation and difficulties in doing business in Argentina. After talking to our colleagues from other translation companies, we know that these issues remain a challenge there to this day.
Think! Latin America offered a glimpse of what the Spanish-speaking localization market still lacks and how to overcome these shortcomings. World renowned for its culinary tradition, Lima was for a day a pot for brewing ideas on how to raise the profile of the industry in the region.