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How Arduino localizes its edtech products and makes developers happier

“We looked at other localization management software, but no other option across the market offered such an easy solution, especially from the developers' perspective.”

Gaia Castronovo

Education Localization Specialist at Arduino

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Key integrations used with Lokalise

About Arduino

Arduino is an open-source electronics platform that has provided easy-to-use hardware and software solutions for over 18 years. The company produces boards, modules, shields and kits that, combined with Arduino's software, bring innovative solutions to consumers. It has a truly global presence with its products currently available in 46 languages.

 

Lokalise had a chat with Gaia Castronovo, who has been Arduino's Education Localization Specialist since 2019.

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Localization as a gateway to new markets   

Arduino is one of the best tools to help educators all over the world to provide STEM education. Despite the feeling that English is the universal language for all things tech, it is most common for schools to provide STEM education in the local language.

 

Moreover, in some countries, ensuring that the teaching process is only conducted in the state language is mandatory, making global edtech providers’ lives a little more complicated.

 

Bearing in mind these local needs, Arduino decided their educational products absolutely had to be localized.

 

Plus, the company works together with many partners that offer educational solutions to national programs or they apply for governmental grants. To receive the funding or to be eligible to participate in government programs, their products have to be available in the local language.

 

Before hiring Gaia, Arduino didn't have a role that covered localization project management, and the localization process was significantly slower and more inefficient. Localization at Arduino was carried out at a speed of approximately one language per year for one product. 

 

Since Gaia’s arrival and the implementation of Lokalise, Arduino's educational branch has completed around 60 localization projects.

 

Evidently, proactive work combined with effective localization software can make a huge difference.

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Issues with the previous TMS tool

Arduino's educational products can contain large chunks of content. Their best-selling product, for example, contains 120,000 words. Having a personal relationship with translators turned out to be crucial to ensuring the outcome is audience friendly. 

 

Before starting to use Lokalise, Arduino used a different translation management system (TMS). But according to Gaia, it lacked some crucial features and had limits on translation word counts. Upgrading to this TMS' subscription plan was prohibitively expensive and, as Gaia saw, the localization process slowed down because of the translation limits; she knew they needed to switch to new software.

Lokalise as the number one choice of developers

Gaia was introduced to Lokalise by developers from other companies she had consulted with. They had experience with Lokalise and loved its features and functionalities, especially when it came to automations and saving time. Plus, Lokalise didn't have any translation capacity limits, which was one of Gaia's primary concerns.

 

Another significant reason for Arduino's choice in favor of Lokalise was that developers could work on iOS and Android projects simultaneously, namely for Arduino Science Journal.

 

With their previous TMS, Arduino's team always had to work on two separate projects at once – an Android product version and an iOS one. This caused unnecessary risks that translators could translate the same content for the Android and iOS versions differently, and the error would go unnoticed because of the unfortunate lack of visibility and transparency.

 

As emphasized by Gaia, using Lokalise now allows Arduino's developers to “close the circle” of the workflow quicker, and they have become huge advocates of the Lokalise software. “Our developers refuse to work with any other localization software, and they only want to use Lokalise. It saves them time and energy and removes a lot of pain points.”

“Our developers refuse to work with any other localization software, and they only want to use Lokalise. It saves them time and energy and removes a lot of pain points.”

Adding to the developers' excitement about using Lokalise, Gaia points out that the software has more options and features than their previous TMS. An integration that comes in especially handy is GitHub. Gaia also adds that Arduino plans to begin localizing their lengthier content soon. “Lokalise is great for developers, but I also want to use it for what I always use TMS for – longer-form content translations. The fact that most of this content is stored in GitHub, which Lokalise has an integration for, means that it should be easy for me to get started.”

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“Lokalise is great for developers, but I also want to use it for what I always use TMS for – longer-form content translations. The fact that most of this content is stored in GitHub, which Lokalise has an integration for, means that it should be easy for me to get started.”

Biggest benefit is reflected in saving precious developer time

When asked about how she measures translation quality for Arduino's educational products, Gaia tells us that it's definitely not an easy task. Arduino's products also teach coding, so the content has a lot of code in it. Unwanted content translations sometimes occur.

 

Gaia uses tags to lock content, she ensures better visibility of the content that isn’t translated, writes translation guidelines, and stays in touch with the translators to make sure everyone's on the same page regarding the desired outcome. “I would recommend Lokalise to teams that have developers on board and especially to those who work with app development. The software will save you time, energy, and money, especially if you pay your developers hourly. If they can do the work faster, you'll need less of their time and, therefore, will be able to save some expenses.”

“I would recommend Lokalise to teams that have developers on board and especially to those who work with app development. The software will save you time, energy, and money, especially if you pay your developers hourly. If they can do the work faster, you'll need less of their time and, therefore, will be able to save some expenses.”

Gaia says that if Arduino weren't using Lokalise, the localization process at the company would be much more complicated.

 

Developers' workload would be greater and more laborious. In addition, Gaia herself would have to manually make sure that both of the product versions were in progress and that the translations always matched. With Lokalise, you can focus on your core work and business development because the software allows developers to “set it and forget it”.

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Capitalizing on new business opportunities thanks to localization speed

For Arduino, it's clear that localization is an ongoing process, which facilitates entry into new markets, meaning that the process never really ends. 

 

On top of their regular content, governments sometimes suddenly announce projects that Arduino and their partners want to take on. Because they are able to localize their products into a particular language quickly, the company can capitalize on these new business opportunities. Gaia adds that speed is essential in such cases, and Lokalise really helps with that. 

 

In 2019, Arduino's education products saw a significant increase in sales, mainly thanks to localization. The product localization led to stronger relationships with partners and eventually helped sell more, serving as a seed for growth in the upcoming year. 

 

 “For example, Arduino's student kit is now available in Portuguese – and it's a real product that needs marketing support. Before that, it was just asking customers to buy our products and giving them a promise of soon-to-come localization. The promise alone is not enough to make sales, and you need to be ready when you enter a new market.”

“For example, Arduino's student kit is now available in Portuguese – and it's a real product that needs marketing support. Before that, it was just asking customers to buy our products and giving them a promise of soon-to-come localization. The promise alone is not enough to make sales, and you need to be ready when you enter a new market.”

The student kit is Arduino's top-selling product from the educational branch, and without localization, it probably wouldn't be. Despite the kit's content being lengthy, it's already available in 7 languages, and Arduino aims to localize it into at least two more languages by the end of 2021. 

 

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If you’re curious about what Lokalise can do for your company (and especially for a tech team that participates in the localization process), book a demo with one of our product specialists. See why companies such as Amazon, Depositphotos, Yelp, Revolut, Notion, and more, love working with Lokalise.

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