Website Localization Case Study

California Government Operations Agency


The California Department of Technology, Government Operations Agency (GOA) needed a localization project to be completed urgently in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For this particular project,  Avantpage was asked to localize the entire revamped website, along with the ongoing updates, to keep California residents informed about all areas of impact around the COVID-19 epidemic.

Key topics include disease prevention and health, state and county initiatives to help curb the virus, financial issues, and general FAQs. records over ten (10) million views and serves more than a third of the population in California – those who don’t speak English at home or report that they don’t speak English very well.

The initial project was to assist the California Department of Technology with the translation of the entire website into seven (7) different languages – Spanish, Arabic, Chinese (Traditional and Simplified), Korean, Tagalog and Vietnamese.

However, the project expanded beyond the initial scope to include a translation memory alignment strategy as well as the development of a custom connector that enables a smooth transfer of bulky files. 

    When asked if the California Department of Technology would continue to partner with us, they replied

    “If you’ll have us.”

    Our Solution

    The GOA’s greatest challenge is that the website had to come together very quickly, and because of the nature of the outbreak, needed to be updated on a daily basis. The project, at the direction of the Governor’s office, was to have all the content translated by human linguists and the turnaround time for the launch of the site was very short. The overarching goal of the project was to deploy the website in English plus seven (7) languages and to establish a mechanism to process changes to the translated content in as near as possible to real-time to the English updates. 

    Given the specific challenges, our team designed a phased approach:


    Phase 1:  Review, Repair, & Error Mitigation for website localization

    Initial translations, using a machine translation technology, were performed before Avantpage was engaged.  However, for Spanish and both Chinese languages, the quality was deemed insufficient. In order to ensure consistent quality, our team reviewed and re-translated those three (3) languages and performed a Translation Memory Alignment on the other four languages. While these linguistic steps were taken, Avantpage IT and GOA IT teams collaborated closely to design and build a custom connector to facilitate and to ensure the smooth transfer of bulky files between the client content management platform and Avantpage’s Translation Management System.  The connector provides for secure, rapid file transfer and placement of the content.


    Phase 2:  Update & Prioritization of the Translated Content

    Due to the dynamic nature of the pandemic and the State’s response, a second process was needed to ensure that posting updates to the translated content follow the English version as quickly as possible. One specific consideration is the content that is viewed as urgent and needed to be moved to the front of the line. The Avantpage team created a tagging convention and used it to prioritize the content delivered daily to be translated. Avantpage Project Manager’s role is to ensure the consistent timely delivery of the “Priority” pages to GOA the very next day, in the morning. The non-priority updates follow, generally same-day, according to the statement of work.

    The Outcome

    Overall, our client, the California Department of Technology, Government Operations Agency was and still is extremely satisfied with the localization efforts put into

    The speed with which our team was able to deliver over two hundred fifty thousand (250,000) words in seven (7) languages, the technical flexibility demonstrated throughout the process, the careful management of the budget helped to garner positive feedback.

    When asked if the California Department of Technology, Government Operations Agency would continue to partner with us, they replied “If you’ll have us.”

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