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Live Blog from Dublin Web Summit: The $19 billion localization industry

Lunch was great and the mood has considerably improved with 600 full bellies.
First afternoon presenter in the social media track is David Sowerby of Straker to talk about the $19 bn localisation industry.
Less than 1% of the population of China can read your content if it is English yet Asia represents the bulk of the world’s growth markets.
Common Sense Advisory produce some great reports on the localisalation industry including one published 2 years ago called Cant Read, Wont Buy. Only 25% of people would buy from non native-language sites (less than 10% in Asia).
BUT the localization ecosystem is evolving. Google Translate is he most accurate of all the translation systems. The Accuracy of Google Translate is between 40 and 60% (% of words per thousand that were retained after human edit). The only real cost in translation is human intervention so the more accurate the machine can translate it, the less expensive it will be to do it right, to a publishable standard.
The best that Straker have ever seen, with some manipulation, is around 80%.
On average you will pay between 20c and 35c per word for an accurate translation. The Net Cost is approx 21c per word, half of which is for the translator.
An average 300 page website with 120,000 words in 4 languages would cost US$78,000 and would cost $19,500 per year to maintain.

Tip number 1: Machine translation is free, use it.
Tip 2: Machines can learn and get more accurate. Use humans to train machines.
Tio 3: do not use humans to shift content from machine to web.
translation is a service you should pay for per hour. Do not lay per word.
Tip 4: Translation is not a commodity. Quality counts bit quality does nodt equals cost.
Tip 5:Speed is vital. The faster a translator can go, the lower your cost.

About the author:
Jonathan Campbell is a Director of Select People, a specialist headhunting firm and also the co-founder of social media consultancy Social BPO/ Social Talent, which grows and manages talent communities on social media sites for recruiters. Check out our Facebook Page: for more information.

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