How Localization Helped Rebuild South Africa|
South Africa, a country torn by apartheid, has phoenixed over the last decade as a market worth exploring. In this article, we analyse how strategic localization has helped the country gain its rightful place among the world’s developing economies.
But how exactly did localization boost the country’s economy? What type of companies are interested in localizing to South Africa? Read on as we tackle these questions below.
How did localization push South Africa’s economy forward?
By opening subsidiaries in the African country, these companies have also generated jobs, which, in turn, fueled the economy, increasing its per-capita GDP, consumer confidence, etc.
Localization and language standardization
Endangered languages such as isiNebele, spoken by only 2.1% of the population (according to data from 2011), could regain their rightful place among South Africa’s languages through translation and localization.
The African Network for Localization (ANLoc) supports translation projects targeting the country. These endeavours help preserve many endangered South African languages. However, ANLoc argued that thorough quality control checks must be conducted to ensure accuracy.
To launch granular quality control procedures, the agency started working with industry stakeholders. Businesses looking to expand into South Africa should follow ANLoc’s example to ensure their translations are of the highest quality.
Remember – localization is more than just transposing your website or brochure content into another language. It means paying attention to the linguistic and cultural uniqueness of your target market.
In recent years, an increasing number of localization initiatives have emerged in rural South Africa. The Ulwazi Programme is a far-reaching localization project in the KwaZulu-Natal province. To preserve the isiZulu language and culture, the KwaZulu-Natal community members use a wiki-based platform to compile a massive digital archive of isiZulu native texts. The project enjoys great popularity amongst isiZulu speakers and also indicates the high demand for localized content in native South African languages.
But this is not the only large-scale localization project in South Africa. Individual translators and bloggers are also playing their part in africanizing the web. In his blog titled Localization and Digitization in Africa, Musa Baloyi, a Xitsonga-speaking software engineer, voices his frustration regarding the incompatibility between translation engines and his native language. He is also the author of a further-arching project – an online Xitsonga dictionary, currently under development.
Going local? Here’s what you need to know!
Using the services of a localization agency like Pangea Global can help you achieve growth in some of the most discerning markets. Our local translators and localizers will make your app shine in 75+ languages, including Afrikaans, Sesotho, Xhosa, and Zulu. Interested?