In the rarest of cases, a word-for-word translation is sufficient. Rather, professional localization, i.e., the adaptation of the content to the sales market, is required - for example in the case of software and advertising texts. 3di info explains what is the difference of translation and localization, and which one is important.

What is localization?

Localization means adapting the content of a website, software applications, games or other to the conditions of the users of a target market. Because every region has its linguistic, ethnic, cultural and religious characteristics. Localization goes beyond just translating content word-for-word. 

Among other things, the following will be adapted:

  • Times (12 versus 24 hours)
  • Number formats
  • Address formats
  • Various units of measurement
  • Dates (order of year, month, day)
  • Phone numbers
  • Currencies
  • public holidays
  • cultural norms
  • Symbols & graphics
  • Fonts, etc.

In contrast to this, with a "translation" a version of a document is transferred into another language. So, a translation is part of the localization process. Depending on the type of text, a verbatim translation may not be sufficient because the text is difficult for the recipient to understand or, in the worst case, piqued or even annoyed because it means something completely different in the target country. An example here are proverbs and sayings. These cannot be translated 1: 1 unless there is an equivalent in the target country. Even allusions to well-known personalities or present-day phenomena can quickly "backfire" in other cultures. So, if you don't know and don't pay attention to the culture of your customers, runs the risk that the message of his texts won't get across. The devil is known to be in the details. 

Act globally, communicate locally

Flawless translations and localizations are essential for the international success of products. Language creates trust and sympathy and thus increases sales. Studies have shown that the majority of Internet shoppers only buy from online shops that are available in their native language. The second finding: Products are much more likely to be bought if the descriptions and product information are available in their own language.

After all, texts are an important part of the product. The great danger of unsuitable translations or localizations: They cast a bad light on the product and are subconsciously associated with poor quality. At best, they trigger a shrug of the shoulders or a fit of laughter in the target group, sometimes they lead to great damage (image). It is not enough, just to translate texts times with a free tool or a co-worker, a time instruction in the required language to transfer this task.

Localize instead of embarrassing

In order for localization to be successful, not only language skills are required. It is necessary to know the specifics of the target markets and the traditions, cultural peculiarities, values and habits of the consumers living there. Translators know exactly how to address their compatriots and put words and texts in the country-specific context. This ensures that the texts reach the target group as they are intended. A well-known example is the Mitsubishi "Pajero" car model. In Spanish, “Pajero” is an expression of the vulgar language, which is why the car is now sold under the name “Montero” in Spanish-speaking countries.  

Author's Bio: 

Thriller Author | Craftsman | Entrepreneur | Recovering Neuroscientist | Shaves Head with a Safety Razor and Drinks Black Coffee | Love to write on new things.