Translation localization involves translators adapting a translated text to the requirements of a specific geographical area. They adjust the content to make it sound familiar and easily understood by the target audience. Localization can include elements such as cultural references, illustrative colours and images, local dialects, adaptations of dates, times, or currencies, and units of measurement, as well as local information.
For high-quality localization, localization translators must have specialized skills compared to general translators. They need to have an in-depth knowledge of the culture, idiom, and lifestyle of the people from the source and target area. Ideally, native speakers of the target language should carry out the translation, but it is also essential to choose translators with specific knowledge of the target region or dialect.
Therefore, companies looking to expand into new markets find localization particularly beneficial. It enables them to reflect the local culture, translate content into the local dialect, personalize their product or service, adapt promotions and events to the national holidays of the target country, and comply with local regulations where necessary.
Certain types of translation require more localization than others, depending on their specific nature and the need for cultural, linguistic, and technical adaptation. Here are a few examples of types of translation that often require extensive localization:
Websites often contain region or country-specific content, such as information about local services, promotions, cultural references, and news. Localization is crucial to ensure that the website is tailored to the language, culture, and local preferences of the users.
Software and application localization
Localization of software and applications involves adapting the user interfaces, menus, error messages, and all textual contents to align with local standards and preferences. This includes adjusting date formats, units of measurement, currencies, and region-specific expressions.
Video game translation localization
Video games are often designed for a global audience and require extensive localization to provide an immersive and tailored experience for players in different regions. This includes translating dialogues, subtitles, graphics, virtual product descriptions, character names, and cultural references.
Marketing and advertising material localization
Marketing materials such as brochures, advertisements, flyers, and promotional videos need to be adapted to the preferences, cultural norms, and local sensitivities to effectively reach the target audience. This may involve adjustments in tones, styles, images, slogans, and cultural references to maximize the impact of the marketing message.
Multimedia content translation localization
Translation of multimedia content such as films, TV series, documentaries, and online videos requires thorough localization to make the content accessible and appealing to international audiences. This includes translating dialogues, subtitles, audio descriptions, and visual elements to ensure a consistent and immersive experience.
From a company’s point of view, localization helps reach more customers in several ways:
1. By establishing a stronger connection with the target audience and adapting content to make it easier for customers to understand what the company has to offer.
2. By providing a smoother browsing experience to make customers feel that the content is personalized for them.
3. By increasing exposure for the company, even people who are not familiar with the company’s language can be reached.
4. By building trust; if the company operates in different parts of the world, its reputation will grow.
5. By understanding better to sell better, in order to tailor services and products to the target audience increases receptiveness and the likelihood of customers buying from the company.
Localization for international markets
In summary, localization enables companies to better reach and serve international markets by adapting to the linguistic, cultural, and technical specifications of each target region. Localization needs to be paired with good-quality translation to attract audiences all around the world.
If you want to know more about translation, read this article about project management in translation and localization.
Or this one if you want to know more about translation in marketing.
Don’t forget to read about our series of ebooks, where we offer advice to clients interested in translating their websites into other languages.
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