What is Localization and Why You Should Use It

What is localization is a question we often hear from the businesses that decide to modify the content and design of their websites, apps, or video games to target specific language speakers. Learn more about localization and how it works in our article.

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You probably know why translation services are important, especially for international businesses or those planning to enter the arena. The translation is quite a natural thing today and has numerous benefits, helping a business to reach a much bigger audience. Yet, what can be even more effective is the localization. While everybody seems to talk about it nowadays, what is localization after all?

Language Localization: Going Far Beyond Translation

Essentially, localization is a process very similar to translation, however, it makes the game somewhat further and aims right at the target audience’s perception. To be more specific, localization means adapting the translated content to the local audience, making it as relatable as possible for the people. The result would be not only a well-translated product, but also an easily recognizable one and, hence, attractive.

The examples of localization are many, with the simplest being adapting the spelling of certain words to American or British English. For instance, the word «localization» itself will be spelled «localisation» in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other countries of the British Commonwealth. Aside from localizing textual material, a number of companies localize audio content by dubbing movies, and some video game companies even go as far as redesign certain graphic elements to appeal to the local audience.

To get the localization meaning more precisely, imagine, for instance, reading a company’s blog that refers to the local concert or movie screening in your area. For an even better option, imagine, watching a movie trailer and hearing a familiar voice, which would be a superstar singer or actor from your country doing the voice overdub of a prominent role in the film. Would you now be more interested in the company whose blog you just read or, maybe, you’d like to go to the movie theater and see the movie with your favorite singer or actor doing the overdub? High chances are that you would.

Yet, what does localization mean for the business that does not work with movies or video games? Basically, it primarily means the textual localization, the first example from the paragraph above. The questions, however, might still not end by this time. Another good question would concern the audience of localization services.

Who Needs Localization?

For the most part, the big international businesses and those that plan to go global have to localize their content in order to enter the foreign market successfully. Making the product or service accessible, relatable, natural, and attractive for the customer in another country is essential and lies in the localization definition itself. In essence, localization sells the product or good the business offers to a very specific target audience limited by a certain geographic area.

So, perhaps any company or business with an existing marketing strategy would need to localize its advertising or otherwise public communications content. Some of the cases worth mentioning separately are those businesses and promotions that might not be associated with local culture or which promotional campaign might sound nonsensical, silly, or offensive to the local audiences. But more on that later.

Whatever business niche you occupy or whatever exact need in localization you might have, however, it is important to use professional assistance. In case your company does not have its own translation or localization department, there are a number of localization companies that are ready to help. Alternatively, there are a number of localization tools that you can obtain from the localization providers online as well. In any case, professionalism must still be kept.

Importance of Choosing the Best Localization Provider

The absence of localization might lead to rather mediocre promotional results and even might be dangerous for the business’ reputation or success in the region. Oftentimes, a literal translation into another language might be perceived as nonsensical, ridiculous, or even offensive. In other instances, it might serve the function opposite to the promotional campaign of the business, distracting the audiences from the product, service, or business overall. So, localization is a vital element for the promotion of any business in a foreign country. When it comes to starting a localization project, however, it is important to make it look and sound neat, natural, and overall professional-looking.

Despite being a process that prioritizes the overall experiential side of translation and does not have to be extremely strict and formal, professionalism must still be present and evident. All in all, the process of product localization is quite thorough and requires some research in order to fit the local language perception, traditions, values, culture, and sometimes even local history, events, typical hobbies, and dialect. So, just like, for example, with medical translation services or whenever you need a manufacturing translation, it is crucial to get help from certified specialists.

Whether there is a need in localization of website, mobile app localization a voice overdub for the film or TV series, or making sure that an employee handbook looks and sounds as if it was developed in the target country, one must hire somebody who understands all the nuances of the local language, culture, trends, and preferences. An even better option is using the local professional. While someone with a proper interpretation degree will produce a great translation, someone who lives in your target area will certainly know how to make the needed content sound engaging, funny, or simply natural for the locals. In this regard, the best localization provider will certainly never fail and will guarantee the increased level of attraction to the product, service, or advertisement a company has to offer. So, when choosing one, it is viable to check out the ratings and pick a provider that would offer something that you are looking for exactly.

Useful information: Ask video game localization companies to help you with a professional translation of your game.

Final Thoughts

While using TheWordPoint.com translation service is important for a successful promotion or otherwise business presence, localization takes it to a whole new level. Not only does it make the product, service, or promotional content of the company simply understandable for the local audiences, it makes them accessible. With localization applied, any sort of content or offering becomes closer and more relatable to the potential customers in a specific country or region. Whereas translation aims at the audiences’ eyes or ears, localization aims at the audiences’ hearts, thus, hitting harder and guaranteeing greater success!