Corinne is the Social Media and Content Lead at BLEND. She is dedicated to keeping global business professionals up to date on all things localization, translation, language and culture.
This month, we sat down with Nathalie Duran, Senior Digital Marketing Specialist at AMD. Advanced Micro Devices, Inc. (AMD) is a global technology company that specializes in manufacturing semiconductor devices used in computer processing. AMD’s products are available in North America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa, Greater China, and Asia Pacific.
Join us as Nathalie shares her journey from localization in the entertainment industry to AMD, how AMD’s localization team builds local trust and credibility, and her ultimate advice for any localization professional. Read the full interview, or watch the videocast below:
Thank you so much for joining us, Natalie. Let’s start with getting some background on you, your career path, and how you ended up in your current role at AMD.
I went to college in Colombia and after I graduated, I moved to the United States to study English as a second language. During that time, I became a Spanish teacher and a translator. I did that for a couple of years, but I needed a more lucrative income, so I went back to school for video production.
After school, I had an internship with Cartoon Network, so I was in Atlanta at the time. That was my first encounter with localization, which to be honest, wasn’t even called localization at the time. But I know now that we were doing localization because we were working on program launches for Latin America. We worked with Argentina, Mexico, Brazil, and Colombia.
It wasn’t called localization at the time, but that’s what we were doing.
Then after that, I became a production assistant for TNT. They have the licenses for all the award shows in Latin America, like the Academy Awards, the Grammys, and the Emmys. I had the opportunity to work as a production assistant with excellent talent in the world of voice-over. That was my initiation to working in the dubbing and subtitling world.
After that, I moved to LA and I became a project manager for a small dubbing and subtitling studio. I worked there for about seven years, and then I decided to expand my career in localization by joining the digital marketing world.
AMD’s localization team was looking for a producer with a background in video production. That was a good match for me because that was my background and I wanted to continue working with languages and cultures, but I wanted to transition into the tech industry. And that’s how I ended up at AMD!
Can you tell us a little more about how localization plays a role at AMD? How is the localization team or department structured?
At AMD, we have a centralized localization process, and our localization team is the point of contact for all marketing localization requests. We cover all of the products and everything that launches at AMD, and it’s really exciting. We do have dedicated localization producers for each of our business units, and they are aligned with the different areas of the business.
This is a good strategy because we are getting really involved in the product planning process. When we are road mapping, our teams go through everything that is coming up at AMD, and we make sure that we connect with those teams.
If we don’t have those relationships yet, then we are always building relationships and making sure that we are covering everything that’s coming up and being really proactive about it.
What do you feel is AMD’s greatest localization strength?
I think that our localization team is the greatest strength because we are all subject matter experts. We ensure that we tailor our content to address the local needs, concerns, and interests of the market. Our team not only understands the brand, but we also understand and care about the specific challenges and aspirations that our audiences have.
This is very relevant because then we build trust and credibility and we make our brand feel more relatable.
My colleagues are from all over the world, from Japan, Korea, Ukraine, Mexico, Germany, and Italy. It’s like the United Nations.
As you said before, a while back, the localization industry didn’t even have a name. But today, the importance of localization is becoming more and more recognized. It can still be challenging, though, for localization employees to gain budget and resources.
Do you have any tips for localization managers who are looking to demonstrate the value of localization?
Yes, I think that first, you have to identify the key stakeholders and understand their priorities and their concerns, right? Because different stakeholders might be interested in different aspects of the localization. Some of them are interested in their revenue growth, while some are interested in brand consistency or customer satisfaction.
So once you identify that, then you have to provide concrete data. How do you do that? Well, with statistics and asset utilization. This allows you to highlight the potential benefits of the localization of a product in a specific region.
I also think that you should include metrics so that you can show your stakeholders how revenues have increased, how customer engagement has improved, and if there are higher conversion rates.
I also think that if you reduce customer support requests, then that’s another good sign that you’re doing a good job with your localization, especially for eLearning materials. If you use case studies and examples from your projects to prove to stakeholders that there’s a possibility of increasing the localization for one specific market, then I think that will add value to your team. I also think it’s important to use localization case studies from other industries to show successful localization outcomes so that you can learn from other companies as well.
From your experience in the industry, what piece of advice do you have for other localization professionals or perhaps someone who is new and wants to enter the industry?
I think that you have to have a holistic understanding of language and culture, right? I think that it really helps if you have one foreign language that you know very well besides English.
I also think that you develop your cultural sensitivity by immersing yourself in different cultures, reading foreign literature, watching foreign films, and interacting with people from diverse backgrounds. That helps a lot in the world of localization.
At a more technical level, it’s also important to familiarize yourself with industry localization tools, like computer-assisted translation (CAT tools), translation management systems (TMS), and content management systems (CMS). If you are constantly familiarizing yourself with these tools and learning these tools, that will also enhance your productivity.
I also think that attending industry conferences is important because then you connect with other peers and professionals. Networking is always valuable and it always leads to job opportunities and collaborations.
So before we wrap things up, let’s get into our rapid-fire questions. What is your favorite language?
And your favorite localization tool?
I think CAT tools, any computer-assisted translation.
What’s the best place you’ve ever traveled to?
What’s the best localization advice you’ve received?
To stay up to date with the industry trends and all the emerging technologies, especially AI. Everybody is talking about AI. Also to remain competitive and relevant so your help is always needed.
What would you say is your localization nightmare?
Last-minute changes of the source. Someone will say, “I’m just changing one word,” and that one word will impact 18 languages and hundreds of assets.
Who is your localization role model?
I really like Nataly Kelly from the blog, Born to be Global, because she’s a marketer at heart, but she is also an expert in localization and international strategy. I think that combination makes her a subject expert matter. She just contributes really specialized knowledge to help organizations make informed decisions and to solve problems in localization. I’m always reading her blog.
Which brand is your localization crush?
Spotify. I travel to Colombia a lot, and I love their interface there. I love how their multilingual interface is curated for the region. For example, when I go to Colombia I’ll have curated playlists, album titles, artist names, and styles. I can see that it’s been localized for Colombians. When I’m in the United States, it’s a completely different experience and I really admire that about them.
Thank you so much, Nathalie, for joining us. It was so nice to speak with you and hear all your wisdom.