What Is Localization and Why Do You Need It?

“We need to think global”, “we are going global”…are expressions used daily in many companies planning on expanding their business activity to foreign markets. However, to successfully do it, they need localization. Localizing your content allows you to reach new audiences, build credibility, and increase sales. It also helps you build loyalty among existing customers.

But, what is localization (L10n)?

Localization is not the same as translation. Translation is the process of converting text from one language to another. Translation is one aspect of localization, but localization is more than that. It is the process of taking a product and tailoring it to a specific locale/market. It consists on ensuring that the whole user experience is pleasurable and feels natural as if it was directly created in the target language and for the target audience. For this purpose, in addition to translation, the localization process also includes:

  • Adapting graphics and design to target markets
  • The study of colors and how the work in different markets
  • Modifying content to suit the tastes and consumption preferences of other markets
  • Changing of tonality and politeness level
  • Converting currencies and units of measure to local requirements
  • Using proper local formatting for dates, time, addresses, and phone numbers
  • Addressing local regulations and legal requirements

Translating your website, mobile app, or software into the language of the country you want to do business in is a great start. But it is not enough. It should be localized. Localization should also include marketing materials, product manuals, training materials, online help, user interfaces, quick start guides, service materials, product warranty materials and terms and conditions.

And, why do you need localization?

Because localization makes content more appealing, which as a result makes the audience more likely to buy. Research shows that 57% of consumers said that the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price. Therefore, localization leads to profitability and growth expanding your reach to new markets and making your existing customers feel more at home.

There are many examples of companies that have failed to localize their message to different markets with terrible results. Some have become the laughing stock of a country because of a strange-sounding or funny translation, others have offended a local community by using the wrong images, colors or wording, and others have even faced costly law suits due to localization mistakes. The unwanted effects of a localization fail can cause intensive damages to your brand image.

And the truth is localization is not easy, it is a challenge that can seem intimidating to many companies. But it does not have to be that way with the help of the right partner, a language service provider with all the resources necessary to produce high-quality localization on time and on budget, thereby reducing your need to be involved in the day-to-day execution of the project. And here is where Iter Translation can help. We have the experts and the technology to handle any type or size of localization project from websites, to software, to technical documentation, multimedia, training and eLearning, and marketing materials.

Let us help you reach new audiences! Contact us today.