If you have ever inquired about the services of a translation company, you might have noticed the term “localize”. Some agencies use this term as if it were a synonym of “translate.”
However, localization is one of the steps that are carried out in a translation process. And one that is particularly important, since it is what makes the difference between a great service or a mediocre translation.
Localization and other related concepts in translation services
The translation process is much more complex than a mere translation. It includes revisions, stylistic adjustments, verifications, adaptations, etc. Within these activities inherent in translation services are localization and other related concepts.
Globalization is the name given to the process consisting of adapting a company’s needs of all types to international trade. This includes the translation industry, but also legal, logistical and even cultural matters.
This concept seeks to ensure that the design of any element is linked as little as possible to the language of its developer. It is thus easier to translate it later, since it lacks features exclusive to that language.
Lastly, localization is the name given to the process consisting of adapting an original product or service to the target market. This process takes into account the codes of the source and target languages, to “translate” the product.
The export of goods and services
Each market has very specific conditions, since it is affected by innumerable constraints, such as historical, cultural, economic, political elements, etc.
Therefore, to guarantee a successful reception for your product or service in various markets requires making use of the aforementioned techniques.
If you internationalize the design of the good or service, you’ll make the adaptations that may have to be made when exporting it easier.
The globalization of your company will allow you to operate naturally in more markets.
But the localization of your service or product is what will really get the recipient to feel it as his/her own.
Technical aspects of localization
Think, for example, about what happens when you translate a text from English to Arabic. The source and target languages are read in opposite directions. Therefore, it’s not only a question of you choosing the right words. It’s not even enough for you to adapt the source expressions to the target culture.
You’ll have to make the technical adaptations to the product that include where to put certain elements. A moving subtitle must move in the opposite direction, the cover of a book will become the back cover, and the highlighted elements must have their positions changed in a mirror effect.
This is why whoever carries out localization tasks must be very alert to all these elements.
Guarantee of success
Localization must take into account cultural and technical factors. This makes it much more difficult work than a mere translation. That’s why the only guarantee of success is to commission the work from a translation agency or native translator with extensive experience.
Are you going to launch onto the external market? Hire the localization services of our translation company.