Empowering a new generation of localization professionals

Have you ever wondered what makes billions of users around the world use Google products in their native languages? This isn’t magic: It’s the work of a dedicated localization team. Spread over more than 30 countries, our team makes sure that all Google products are fun and easy to use in more than 70 languages.

But localization goes beyond translation. While references to baseball and donuts work well in the United States, these are not necessarily popular concepts in India. Therefore we change these, for example, to Cricket and Gulab-jamun. Our mission is to create a diverse user experience that fits every language and every culture. We do this through a network of passionate translators and reviewers who localize Google products to make sure they sound natural to people everywhere.
With more and more people from around the world coming online every day, the localization industry keeps growing, and so does the demand for great translators, reviewers, and localization professionals. This holds true especially for countries like India, where an increasing number of users, in an increasing number of languages, is getting online. 9 out of every 10 new internet users in India over the next 5 years are likely to be Indian language users (KPMG-Google Study 2017). Companies and government organisations might like to localize more and more products and it opens plethora of opportunities. This means the Indian localization industry is on the cusp of a strong phase of growth.

So, as part of Google’s mission to build products for everyone and make the web globally accessible, no matter where users are, We’ve recently launched a massive open online course (MOOC) called Localization Essentials. The course is completely free to access on Udacity. Videos and course transcripts can be downloaded and used offline. The course covers all localization basics needed to develop global products and to work in this expanding industry. Indian users already welcomed this free online course enthusiastically: Their enrollment is the highest, second only to US users, with more than 700 Indian students already enrolled and taking the course and the number still growing.

By sharing our knowledge, we hope that more culturally relevant products will become available to users in India and we hope we’re providing users, language experts, product managers and developers opportunities that they might not have had before. We’re looking forward to seeing how sharing this localization knowledge will impact users in India.

By Bert Vander Meeren, Director, Localization, Google