What is localization?
What we mean by ‘localization’ is the adjusting of a product to a particular foreign market. This adjustment is based on language as much as it is on culture, and it usually comes about after a long translation process.
Localization becomes more necessary and complex when it involves the translation into a language whose culture is very different from that of its original language. Therefore, localization requires an intensive study of the target’s culture with the objective of adapting the product to local necessities.
Localization is typically associated with images, colours and graphics, i.e. anything visual. However, things such as date formats, abbreviations, acronyms, etc. are also elements that undergo the process of localization.
What products are usually localized?
Localization is most commonly associated with the translation of software, videogames and websites, and other documents and manuals. However, when creators begin the process of developing software or videogames, the first thing they do is internationalize the content, that is to say, they aim to create content that would be well received and understood by the whole world.
When is a product localized?
After the product is internationalized, and just before it’s presented to the public of different countries, that’s when the process of localization occurs.
Who normally uses localization?
Localization is seen as a business essential, above all to those companies who have branches in various countries and who want to create different web pages for those branches. These would be developed differently depending on the target country, or even region. For example, when developing a web page aimed at Arabic countries, a good localizer, who wishes to increase the funds of the company who has commissioned him/her, will know that in order to captivate the highest possible number of visitors, the web page would be better off and “more local” if it would be in pan-Arabic colours, i.e. red, green, black and white, instead of blue or pink. Another key element of localization is currency. If you visit a web page of a Spanish company who have a branch in Russia, in the section where you can buy products online, note that the prices will not appear in euros but in rouble (Russian currency).
Clearly, then, when a product is taken to the international market, localization becomes an essential.
Are you a company and would like to have it localized? Write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on +34 644 98 18 60
This post is also available in: Spanish