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IKEA: Global content, local audience

The story:
Next has been producing IKEA’s Japanese customer magazine live since 2007. The master version is produced in London, but localization—and communication—is much more than just translation.

Rendering one language into another is just the start of the localization project. In fact, the work only just begins when we get the text back from the translator.

Our Japanese writers and editors rework the text to wash away any sense of translation. Their task is to make the words read and feel as if it had originally been written in Japanese by a native writer. This is a difficult process, even with languages as similar as English and Swedish. Translating English into Japanese takes a lot of effort. With a vastly different structure, Japanese is completely different from any European language.

Once we have a text that reads well, our experienced Japanese designers begin to work on the pages, making the design choices that will give the work a natural look and feel.

Not all the materials comes from outside, either: we produce original local material exclusively for the Japanese market. Each issue of Japanese live includes material produced by Next, in Japanese, for Japan.