Yanina Andrieieva is a UX writer with a passion for localisation. That comes naturally for a professional operating three languages in her work. From the experience of collaborating with designers, translators, and product and localisation managers — here are some notes on how multilingual UX writers can help you minimise the risks of going global with your product. Yes, even if they’re not native English speakers!
1. They’re everything everywhere, all in several languages
A degree in linguistics gave Yanina the knowledge that every language you master comes with getting its language picture of the world.
What does that mean? With a multilingual UX writer on your team, you can be sure that you get not a dry translation but localisation at its finest. And those people definitely can tell the difference!
Even the most prominent players in the market have flaws in their product localisation here and there (and it’s a normal thing to witness, trust Yanina). Yet, multilingual UX writers can:
a) make sure several localisations of your product are definitely of high quality;
b) help you to establish the process with guides and practices that would help your translators to understand the peculiarities better and not do their work blindly.
2. English is not their native language? That’s a superpower!
Yes, that’s right. Of course, the level of mastery is crucial, especially considering that English is used as a base language for most products. But with a non-native English speaker as a UX writer, you can be positive that they are lifelong learners for sure. First, they strive to elevate their English level all the time and make sure to double-check (which is the bread and water of every UX writer, but hey, double-double checking never did any harm).
The next benefit is that they definitely know how to explain the goal and use every string they write in the most accessible way possible. This leads us to probably the most actionable point of all…
3. Multilingual UX writers are a gold key to your localisation
Many companies have this standard process of sending strings for translation to outsourcing professionals. This way works but also has some hidden rocks.
Translating lines of product texts without knowing the contexts or design element this text belongs to can lead to a lot of confusion. Small notes with hints can make a difference in the places where this risk is at its highest. And who would be the best at creating them if not multilingual UX writers who know how tricky this or that element’s text can be from a personal experience?
Every language is fantastic and unique, just like creating its localisation for your product. And those who juggle several of them at once while making the best UX possible for your users are probably one of the best guides in the high-quality localisation journey. (Yes, even if they’re not native English speakers!)