Localization is a vital, but less talked-about part of the technology industry — and it can lead to a lucrative career, too. Now, to help people enter the field, Google just launched a free course on the Udacity online learning platform called Localization Essentials.
This six-lesson series is fronted by two Google localization professionals, and features interviews, guides and quizzes, and represents a gentle introduction to the localization field. It introduces you to the challenges localization engineers face on a daily basis, as well as the tools they use. The course also gives you a hint of what you can expect from a career in this field.
A career, I should add, that pays pretty decently. I looked up the salaries of localization jobs on Glassdoor. While junior-level professionals don’t really make bank, those in management-level or senior positions do.
This isn’t just Google being nice. It’s a vital part of their strategy for growth, as studies show 85-percent of people won’t use a product if it isn’t in their native language. And given that the vast majority of Internet user growth comes from outside the Anglosphere bubble — in India, Africa, and Asia — it’s more vital than ever that Google’s products are universally accessible.
And Google is a company with a profound thirst for localizers, thanks to its international focus and global ambitions. It employs a swathe of language experts who, each year, translate 100 different products. According to Christina Hayek, Arabic Language Manager at Google, the company produces the equivalent of 400 copies of Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace each year in over 70 different tongues.
You can check out the course here, and read more about it on the Google Developers Blog. If you’re good with languages and want a job in the technology industry, but don’t necessarily want to be a coder, it’s totally worth checking out.