Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market, and the localization industry is an incredibly exciting and diverse one.
Localization brings together professionals in linguistics, business, and technology to tackle challenges such as helping clients take their products and websites into new language markets, providing essential health information to multilingual refugee populations, and using neural networks and artificial intelligence to build better machine translation systems.
Localization generates $40+ billion per year worldwide, and it is the 4th fastest growing industry in the United States.
BYU’s Translation & Localization minor provides students an introduction to the industry, and helps them build core knowledge and experience for pursuing a career or graduate studies.
Our program is one of the only undergraduate programs of its kind in the US, and we collaborate closely with localization professionals and companies to continually refine our course offerings, and help our students connect with jobs and internships.
To declare the minor
Contact your primary major advisement center.
To transfer courses from another university:
1. Contact the BYU Transfer Evaluation Office to verify that your credits have transferred to BYU.
2. Contact Dr. Yvon LeBras to discuss which transferred courses can count towards the minor.
1. Contact Liberal Arts Advisement & Careers to find out if there is a pre-approved substitution.
2. If there isn’t a pre-approved substitution, email Dr. Yvon LeBras to discuss your proposed substitution. You will most likely need to provide a syllabus for the course you are hoping to use as a substitution, and you will need to show how it matches the learning outcomes of the course that it would substitute.
-Terri Zoller Kersh, 2017 graduate
Because so many companies/organizations are engaging globally, job opportunities in the localization industry are diverse and constantly evolving.
Many localization professionals work for companies like Adobe, Domo, Blizzard Entertainment, and Netflix, helping lead their international strategy and projects, while many others work for companies that provide localization services (language service providers, or LSPs) such as Multiling, Lingotek, US Translation Company, Translators Without Borders, Transperfect, and Lionbridge.
In general, localization jobs can roughly be broken down into three broad areas: linguistics, business, and technology.
Below are some examples of different roles within each area.
The business side of things is where the rubber hits the road in the localization industry. As with the linguistic and tech fields, there is a wide diversity of career paths—everything from project management to sales to marketing and so on.
Some common business sector jobs include project manager, project coordinator, operations manager, account manager, sales development rep, sales manager, account executive, marketer, CEO, CFO, CTO, HR, administration, etc.
Linguists deal directly with adapting written and spoken texts from one language to another, but jobs in this area are not limited to translators and interpreters (though they are very important in the localization process).
Other common jobs for linguists include editors/proofreaders, terminologists, and computational linguists.
Localization is a tech-driven industry, and there is a constant need for talent to help move the industry forward. The work in this area includes things like developing translation management systems, building web connectors, designing software, QA testing/engineering, ensuring content is prepped and localized correctly, improving machine translation systems, and just about anything you can think of.
Common jobs in the tech field are localization engineers, internationalization engineers, software/web developers, quality assurance engineers, computational linguists, and technical account manager.
Although someone may start out working in one of these three areas, it is very common to transition to different areas throughout a career. For example, a translator or localization engineer may end up moving into a project manager role and from there into other business-focused positions.
Check out the links below for more information on careers and career paths in localization:
And check out these short interviews with localization professionals to learn more about their career trajectories and get insights into the industry: