In today’s globalized world, it is important for businesses to be aware of the importance of localization. Localization is defined as “the process of adapting products and services to local needs.” It can also involve translating content into a specific language or formatting information in terms of culture-specific conventions.
If your business caters to more than one country or region, then translation/localization could help make sure your message reaches everyone properly. If there are different legal frameworks across countries (e.g., copyright regulation), having localized versions available in those regions may be necessary so as not to confuse customers with conflicting requirements. And lastly localization helps your company to connect with a new culture.
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Why is localization important?
When one is marketing a product in another country, the most important aspects of marketing are understanding that culture and adjusting accordingly. From font choices to color schemes or word choice, it’s all about how you can tailor your content for people who live there (or speak the language). The process might sound complicated but localization means getting maximum exposure from different cultural contexts by considering what those cultures need to know. And with international trade becoming increasingly globalized, this practice has become more essential than ever before.
One example of when localization matters: A company needed a translation for its promotional text on Facebook pages–but not just any translation would do! They found out that their audience responded best if they used some Spanish words mixed into their post’s original language.
How do you localize?
A good process for localization is to start with a content audit. This helps identify the languages that you need to localize for, and can also help discover what types of translations are needed (e.g., promotional text vs product description). It’s important not only to translate your content but analyze it in order to see where cultural adjustments might be necessary or desired.
Other tips include:
- Include visual cues such as images, icons, and graphics so people from different cultures will understand them properly.
- Use localized fonts when appropriate (Arabic calligraphy may require Arabic font).
- Make sure translated copy reads well–using phrases that don’t make sense in another language isn’t helpful.
- Be mindful of cultural differences from one language to the next, and make adjustments as necessary.
Software and website localization
Software localization is the process of adapting software for sale in a particular country or region. This includes translating computer readable text into different languages, and altering graphical user interface elements to reflect local language usage conventions as well cultural practices.
Website localization refers to replacing all textual content on a website with translated versions in order to support more than one locale/language.
Software localization often requires some level of re-coding, but website localization only needs translation from English–in other words it’s less complicated!