Localization is the process of making effective communication among the masses, more obtainable. It is the overall process of target studying a specific culture, and then adapting products or content for a specific market. Translation is simply one part of many that make up the localization process.
Other Localization Tips To Consider :
- Images & colors must be culturally appropriate (For example, Western civilization may equate the color green with nature, while Eastern civilization may equate it with religion)
- Software & products must perform accordingly
- Translated words must maintain cultural relevance
The goal is not to alter translated materials so that they happen to accommodate cultural sensitivities but to provide a translation that appears made for the given culture.
So there’s a lot that allows the process of localization to work. The goal is not to alter translated materials so that they happen to accommodate cultural sensitivities but to provide a translation that appears made for the given culture. Localization, on a general level, concerns itself with the non-textual portion of the given product or service. Translation (the content, essentially), though an incredibly important part of localization, is merely a cog in the machine.
According to Gala Global’s Translation in Global Business, “there are many statistics that effectively illustrate the need to localize content for each target market.” The following statistics are references from Gala Global’s “Why Localize?“:
- Reaching 80% of the world would require 83 different languages, and over 7,000 languages to reach everyone.
- Consumers totaling more than 56% say that obtaining information in their own language is more important than price.
- Multinational enterprises, totaling 65%, believe localization is important for achieving higher company revenues.
- North American executives, a total of over 70%, expect increases in revenues from foreign operations, sales and/or imports.
- The ability to communicate information on a clear and accurate level in multiple languages is a critical success factor in not only cross border mergers, but also acquisitions.
- 95% of Chinese online consumers indicate a greater comfort level with websites displayed in their language.
- Only 1% of US-based online retailers offer sites specific to China.
The process of localization requires great care, which means local market assumptions, characteristics, and general knowledge or understandings should not be assumed. Design concepts, coding, layout formats and spacing all play a part in the process of localization. Though there may be a lot to concern yourself within this process, the benefits may far outweigh them. Contact us for more information about the localization process, or to figure out how your brand can take that next step forward.