Widgets Magazine

Why we can’t do without Localisation anymore?

It would be flawed to assume that the call for localization has little to do with commerce and communication and more to do with culture

Author Sushobhit Saktawat Last Modified Friday, 19 May 2017 (20:56 IST)
It doesn't really take a genius to figure out why has become a fundamental need for the modern globalized universe. When Amazon sells its product in India, it sells it in Rupees not in US Dollars. When Goal website tells us when the ‘El Clasico’ between FC Barcelona and Real Madrid is going to by played, it tells us the time in IST not in GMT. And when even a Spiderman film is released in Bihar, they take care to dub it, not in Hindi, but in Bhojpuri, a language which is not even recognized by the Constitution of India!

And why not! We are living in curious times, where on one hand, globalization has reduced the world to a Global Village, while on the other hand everything is becoming hyper local and forever streaming to be localized. Every person living in these curious times has become a "Rooted Cosmopolitan", a universal citizen speaking in a "local lingo." These effects are at their drastic display in India, a deeply polycentric country, despite having one national language, one national flag, one unified code of rules and laws and now, sure enough, even with a general taxation system!

India has been such a diverse and fruitful market for the powers of globalization, that they can't afford to take their eyes off it at present times. And yet, there is not enough awareness for the needs of the localization among these very messengers of globalization who look upon India as some sort of cash cow! The fact that Indians can read, write and speak in English in large numbers, and they are not only willing to work in English, but they are even keen to flaunt their knowledge of it at times, only helps those who can afford to think that they can come to India and successfully do business here without giving much damn to the needs of Localization.

Not many of us know that the greatest footballer of our generation Lionel Messi can't speak English! There goes a joke that Messi should leave Barcelona and try to play in the English Premier League, if only to learn English and be able to converse in it. But Leo is not too keen to learn it, he prefers to speak in his mother tongue Spanish, and yet when he speaks, they all make sure that the world must get the meaning of his each and every word. Sure enough, they can't leave out a global star just because he prefers to speak in his own language. Similarly, nobody should think that the world can leave India behind and move on, overlooking Indian regional languages. This is not to suggest that India should indulge itself in a neo-nazi style of cultural nationalism, but if even Oxford Dictionary had to accommodate words like ‘Jugaad’ and ‘Juggernaut’ and ‘Avatar’ for not finding any proper resonance of them in their own language, why India can't assert to give its languages their rightful place in the world!

It would be flawed to assume that the call for localization has little to do with commerce and communication and more to do with culture. Today India has emerged as a key driver of the world economy. Growing at 7.3% per year, India is now the world’s fastest growing economy. One of the factors fueling this growth is boom in mobile adoption. Till 2020, India is set to become world’s third largest smartphone market behind the US and China with nearly 750 million users! The advent of Jio has enabled all these people with a 4G internet connectivity. Nobody in its good sense can afford to overlook these colossal number of people, many of whom are still not well versed in English and would want to operate their phones and computer in their own vernacular languages, not to mention to consume digital news and entertainment content in their respective languages too.

When Barack Obama comes to India, he woos Indian people by using a popular dialogue from a Shahrukh Khan film. This is his way to help him connect with a larger number of people from a country he deems critical to his geo-political and economic interests. But when American IT companies come to India, they stick to their standard English diction used as the default language in their various communication devices. This is destined to change very rapidly in times to come. Localisation is the new language of world commerce and communication and any company with universal ambitions can afford to overlook it only at its own expense!
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine
Widgets Magazine