localisation industry

Unlocking growth through localisation

Opportunities abound

27 / 10 / 2021
Emirah Mohiudeen
Localisation Manager
How big is localisation? What are the growth opportunities that it offers in terms of job creation, market growth, and industry growth? It’s bigger than you think, and opportunities abound!

Believe it or not, the localisation industry was one that actually thrived during the last 18 months or so. Even though the film industry ground to a halt, and perhaps even because it did, content producers, including those in film and television, were looking for ways to get their already-produced content out to more people, since they were limited in what they could produce.

That’s where localisation came in. We take the “foreign” content, be it a product, advertisement or television programme, and adapt it to be relevant to a local audience. It may involve translation, dubbing, subtitling and various other tools to make it more “local”. With studios all over the world looking to give their content “legs” so it could travel, localisation experts have been very busy. Add to that the fact that in recent years the quality of global content has improved dramatically, making it more readily accepted by other audiences. We have seen a number of high-quality productions – telenovelas, sitcoms, documentaries and full-length films – being made in countries like Sweden, Turkey, India and many others. Without the localisation industry, these productions would never be accessible to people from other countries.

An example of this is the work we do on two originally-Turkish telenovelas, which we localise to the South African market. You may know them as Doodsondes and Deur Dik en Dun. Both programmes are dubbed into Afrikaans, but more than merely translating them, we adapt certain phrases, sounds and words so that they are more relevant – linguistically and culturally – to the local audience.

This process counts on a variety of specialised team members, including translators and writers, creative directors, editors, sound engineers and project managers, each with a vital role to play. And it stands to reason that the more localisation services are required, the more people are needed to make it happen. It may seem like an obscure industry, but localisation is growing – and hiring. Locally, we are seeing massive opportunity for job creation and industry growth.

If you’re a young person with the skills needed to fit into the world of localisation, why not consider it as a career?

Content is King, now more than ever before, so localisation is here to stay – and thrive.
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