localization and translation

Localization vs Translation Services

Localization vs Translation Services

(Last Updated On: November 14, 2023)

Most of us have probably never thought about the difference between localization and translation. Most of us think there is no difference, but there is. In some cases there may be very little difference, but there are some important ways in which translation and localization differ. This is one of the important things you should think about before hiring a translation company.

Localization and Translation Services

Why is this important to you?

Well, if you want or need a truly understandable document for people in your target audience, you will need localization, not just literally translated material.

As you know, translating is actually converting written text or spoken words from one language to another. This doesn’t mean that it should be translated without changes in word order, cases, or sentence structure. Translating also means choosing the most appropriate word in the target language. Often there is more than one option. Usually there are several options. Most languages have many ways to say the same sentence. A translator’s job is to give you the meaning and the spirit of the text, and the best way to say or write it in the new language. Translation is not translating “word for word” without sense. That makes a huge difference between a computer translation and translation companies who use humans, and that`s why your choice shouldn’t be a translation program.

the scope of localization
translation and business expansion

Here is the point of localization and translation

Localization is taking a product and making it linguistically and culturally appropriate to a target language or country where it will be used or sold.

One language, for example French, is not the same in France and Canada. In localization, translation is just the beginning. Your materials shouldn’t only be translated into a foreign language, but also adapted to fit the other culture. Localization deals with graphics, proper forms for dates, measuring, adoption of local currencies etc. For example, in some countries measuring for distance is in miles and others in kilometers.

Sometimes, literally translated sentences in some countries sound offensive, or if you try to translate some sentences or proverbs, they just sound like nonsense.

Short-term investment for your long-term benefit

Localization and Translation is a short-term investment for your long-term benefit. When deciding to move ahead with the translation of your content, it is necessary to remember which one of these two you require for your situation.

Translation focuses on a particular language, which makes it perfect for specific texts, manuals, instructions, technical papers, and, medical data.

And localization focuses on adapting and changing source language into the target language, to convey your message with maximum influence on the target audience. To know the difference between translation and localization, let’s start with a simple description:

Website translation is the method of translating a source language of web content such as text, eBooks, multimedia, or apps into a target language by substituting words from one language to another in context.

Website localization goes beyond translation to change the source language and other site elements to appeal to the customer’s cultural preferences in their target language.

Localization and translation means even rethinking the size or physical structure of a product so it better suits the target audience. It also requires recognition of local sensitivities and using translators who know the local culture and the local market. Use native speakers if at all possible. These are important points that you should ask the company you negotiate with, before you hire them and trust them with the important task of localization and translation.

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