GILT is the acronym used to define the steps or processes required in software localization to produce a global product. These steps can be applied to any product or service that needs to be designed/used for a global audience. The acronym comes from the first letters of the words: Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation.
Due to the Internet and communication speed, nowadays products and services can go global quickly but, should follow this ordered procedure for a successful globalization. We used LISA’s website (former Localization Industry Standards Association) to find accurate definitions:
- Globalization handles the process of marketing a product or company worldwide.
- Internationalization creates a product that can be marketed worldwide. The idea is to be able to change the language without redesigning the product.
- Localization adapts the product to the linguistic and cultural specifications of a given region.
- Translation is the process of reproducing a text from a source language into a target language.
Imagine the GILT process in a marketing agency for a product’s marketing material. The Development Department would undertake the Globalization stage. They would gather comments and suggestions from focus groups and distributors around the world to create the best product possible, taking into consideration the world market and demands. Then, the Design Department would do the product’s Internationalization. Its task is to create the best marketing campaign suitable for all markets, in a very generic way, indicating the areas that will stay the same for all markets and the areas that need to be adapted or localized to a specific market. The Production Department will take over the Localization process, changing all the parts that need to be adapted according to the local market, including changes to ensure colors, graphics and other elements of the campaign do not offend the target audience; the text boxes are big enough to handle language expansion; and the text can be read left to right and vice versa. And, finally, the Translation will be done to reproduce the campaign to any particular language required for the project.
The GILT process requires a lot of coordination and planning but ensures the success of any globalization effort and allows timely control of all activities and potential problems.