Localization goes beyond simple “regular” translation and incorporates the cultural dimension. This requirement is inherent to the internationalization of global commerce. This service is called localization and differs from translation in several ways.
In most cases, the process of localization deals with cultural adaptation. Localization is needed for regions or countries where different languages are spoken or for regions or countries where dialects or variants of the same language are spoken. Thus, Spanish as spoken in Spain differs from Spanish as spoken in South America, and similarly, idioms and word choices vary between the countries where English is the official language: the United States, the United Kingdom, Canada, etc.
Localization also brings to translation an advisory component. The “localizer” is a real player in the company’s internationalization. As experts in the target market, able to guide clients through their implementation strategies, they are entrusted with this cultural task. Localization requires that the entire structure of presentation be re-
Many translation agencies localize products for their clients’ accounts. In most cases, these are products in the domains of IT and marketing: translating a piece of software and its documentation (instruction manual, user manual, assistant, installation guide, online help file, brochures, packaging, images, etc.).
But localization can also be important for the translation or adaptation of all kinds of documents and websites into another language. Even if the Internet has removed borders and geographic distances, language barriers remain an obstacle to conquering new markets. Translating your website allows new clients to discover your services, products, and most importantly, your company.
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