Localization is often confused with translation, which is no surprise really, as the ultimate goal of both translation and localization is to convert a piece of content or information from the source language into another language. While these two terms might mean two very different things from the perspective of a language geek, we think that localization complements translation in the same way that a good dessert complements a tasty dinner. Sounds confusing? Let us break it down for you!
What is localization?
The localization process consists of many different activities, the most important ones being:
1. Translation – this is the starting point of the localization process, where PortLingo or another language vendor converts written words from one language into another.
2. Adaptation – this is the process of making the necessary improvements to ensure your product or service looks and feels natural in the target country or culture. This may include extra DTP services to modify the graphics, adapting the content to suit the preferences of the target country, converting numbers to local currencies and units of measurement from imperial to metric, changing the format of dates, addresses and phone numbers, addressing local legal requirements and introducing other changes that might be expected by the target audience.
Choosing a localization service over translation will ensure that your message is better perceived, leading to increased sales, brand awareness and a better reputation in your target market. On the other hand, as you may now have realized, localization is a more complicated and time-consuming service than translation, so it all comes down to your goals and expectations.
Should I choose translation or localization?
That is always a tricky question, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ in the world of translation. The good news, however, is that PortLingo’s team of professional language project managers will always research your business specifics and project requirements before suggesting any solution.
We believe that it’s not that important whether we refer to it as translation, localization or even globalization or internationalization services, as long as you are happy with the results achieved by the decision of going global and adding new languages to your business portfolio.