If you didn’t know before today that Translation and Localization are different, then keep reading to find out how exactly they’re different.
We hope you won’t get it twisted, however. Localization and translation have the same aim: to help your company, business, or brand reach new audiences in an effective and familiar way. This means that no matter where your audience is in the world and the language they speak, they can gain access to your products and services.
What is Translation?
Translation aims to maintain the original meaning of a message when it is adapted/ reworked from one language (the source language) to another (the target language).
It’s important to note that translation isn’t a word-for-word process of conversion; Instead, its ultimate goal is retaining the original meaning both through the use of vocabulary and the choice of idioms used.
What is Localization?
Localization complements the efforts of translation. The main aim of localization is to make the text not only linguistically correct but also to ensure that it is culturally accurate based on the region it is intended for.
When it comes to understanding localization, one of its significant intentions is to ensure that all information is culturally connotative, including images, use of color, etc…
How Do Translation and Localization Differ?
We now have a basic understanding of translation and localization. We’ll now move further in-depth to understand the differences between the two and show exactly how they complement each other.
Translation vs. Localization
If you couldn’t tell prior to reading this blog, then we’re happy to point out this vital bit of information:
Translation is the starting point, while localization takes it a step further and expands into the layout and formatting of information.
Sometimes, a message is translated from the source language into the target language with the sole intention of conveying the literal meaning of the target language.
Where localization comes in is afterward for quality control and quality assurance. The localization process also takes the adaptation of images into account. Additionally, layout adjustments are taken into consideration. A great example is the fact that the English language is read from left to right, but in other languages, such as Arabic, Japanese, and Hebrew, the text is read from right to left.
The Localization Process
In essence, translation is actually part of the localization process. In its entirety, localization aims to communicate to your global audience that the content they’re exposed to has been specifically created for them.
When it comes to localization, we could safely say that the experts in this field have to think about everything. They must take into consideration things such as:
- Localizing the website and mobile apps
- e-commerce websites site to include user experience (UX)
- Localize social media and all its contents
- Localize all digital products
- Tag lines and other elements of branding to include the brand name where necessary
- Sign-up forms, check-out pages
- The currency, units of measurement
- Date and time formats
From our list above, you should notice that the majority of what is localized is based online. This is because it is the best way to connect with your international audience. It gives the service provider the opportunity to meet and exceed the users’ expectations.
Of course, the best customer experience for your chosen region has everything to do with the culture. This, therefore, means that research has to take place in order to reach and meet your audience’s expectations.
The use of keywords and other SEO-related information also comes in handy within the localization process. For example, what may be considered slang in one culture may very well be inappropriate in another. The use of images also helps to make the overall localization process complete.
Do You Need Translation or Localization?
We’re now clear that without translation, the localization process would be greatly lacking. On its own, however, translation fulfills so many functions. Of course, they come in different forms. The majority of the internet is currently published in English, while only approximately 25% of the world is able to speak and read English.
This means that the remaining 75% of the world is at a disadvantage when it comes to accessing content on the internet in their language. This is where translation comes in. Living in a globalized and interconnected world means that in the very near future, language accessibility has to increase for business and other arrangements to occur.
Let’s Wrap Up
Translation and localization are not the same. However, they’re both important and serve their purpose. We now understand that translation is one of the first touch points for localization, but localization isn’t necessary or required for translation to take place.