What is your role at Wish?
I’ve been at Wish for about a year and half, and I’m the manager of our globalization program and solution teams. The Wish Globalization team is diverse with a good representation of people across the globe. Our Globalization Team comprises 12 Localization Strategy Managers (LSM), two Globalization Solutions Managers, and two Program Managers. Our team is mostly based in San Francisco, but with a remote work policy we are all over the globe. We work with approximately 250 linguists worldwide. These linguists are in-country and support us for all of the languages Wish supports.
Was it like this even before COVID?
Pretty much. There was more of a need to be in-office, but we still had linguists all over the world.
How did you end up in localization?
Localization is a unique field, and to be honest, I don’t think there are many people who start their careers and say out of the gate, “I’m going to go into localization.” This was absolutely my situation.
I started working with a software development company in Scottsdale, Arizona, to support their Portuguese-speaking clients. I was asked to review the app and help identify the errors. As I looked at the app, it was seriously broken with significant translation issues. I didn’t know what I was looking for or what exactly was wrong—I just knew that it wasn’t right.
I figured I couldn’t be the only one who’s ever looked at putting an application into another language, so I started looking into how to do this on mobile apps and web apps. I found out there were these things called internationalization and localization, and realized, okay, we have to do all this. So I learned about it, got certified as a localization project manager, and I’ve been in localization management ever since.
What’s the difference between translation and localization?
People think translation and localization are synonyms, but they’re very, very different. Translation is just one aspect of localization. Localization encompasses the whole process of adapting target content for the local market and making it feel natural.
For example, with colloquialisms and euphemisms, you can’t always translate things word for word, because they make no sense. My favorite U.S. saying I used to hear often was “you hit the nail on the head.” That’s something we say all the time in the U.S., but this saying is challenging to translate into many other languages. People will think you’re literally talking about putting a nail in someone’s head. What you need to do is create another way of saying the same thing without translating it directly. This is transcreation and localization, really putting the content into the target market’s culture and language.
So what localization challenges did your Wish team face before you discovered Venizum?
Another challenge was that we often did not have contextual references for the linguists. They needed clear details about what they were localizing, and it was often impossible to provide this type of context to our linguists. We also didn’t have a way for the linguists to review this content after localization to ensure we got everything right. We realized we had to have automation in place to make it a consistent, measurable, and repeatable process.
So how has switching to Verbis changed things for both the localization team and for Wish as a whole?
Now, the business development team doesn’t need to send us files, and we don’t have to import files, which eliminates an entire section of the workflow. The ability to have a visual of what we’re translating, and give us that context, provides an opportunity to be much more exact in our translation.
This means we’re faster, leaner, smoother, more accurate, and more successful. We don’t miss things, and there’s less rework. This will help many pieces within the company to become more streamlined.
You’re using the full suite, right?
Yes. There’s a lot more to what Verbis can help us with than just our business development content. There’s a whole slew of things that we’re implementing that will help make us more effective in reaching our clients.
You were already using a translation management system before you came to us. Why did you choose to add Verbis?
Our TMS system handled the heavy lifting, but it just didn’t have all the pieces that we needed it to have. When we were first told that we would move content into Salesforce, my first reaction was, “Wow, this will be a significant challenge. I am familiar with Salesforce, and it would be very difficult to connect our TMS system to Salesforce.” But you guys fit that niche perfectly. You were quick with a solution and had the expertise we needed to solve this problem, and we didn’t have to find lengthy workarounds for our localization steps.
We’re making use of Verbis in multiple ways. Venizum is helping us connect and fine tune everything, not only the knowledge center in Salesforce, but the marketing cloud and all the different pieces we have to touch.This allows us to translate content from an entire business group we weren’t working with before, to an automated, repeatable, and measurable process. We can set different KPIs so we know the health of the program.
How do you use these processes and KPIs?
Verbis allows us to create automation so we can grab content at a scheduled time, begin work and apply various workflows allowing us to be more accurate and consistent in our interactions with our stakeholders. We can better measure our deliverables and see how successful we are at meeting our internal KPIs.
Thank you, Brock. It was a pleasure to speak with you.