A Definition of Localization and 3 Reasons Why It Is Essential for Businesses

  • AUTHOR Andie Nguyen
  • PUBLISHED ON: 12월 9, 2021
  • PUBLISHED IN: Localization

Thanks to globalization​, in recent years, the term “localization” is becoming more and more familiar to public audiences, especially for businesses that are looking to expand their reach in the global market. As brands strive to attract more global audiences, they need to speak their customer’s language. At this point, they usually land on 2 options: translation and localization.

To help you understand localization better, I will present a basic description of localization and how it is different from translation in this article.

A Definition Of Localization

In a nutshell, localization is the process of adapting your content, products, and services from a language to another without changing its core meaning. But how is that different from translation? Well, “localization” is a broader prospect that contains “translation” as well. Translation is just one aspect of localization even though it makes up the biggest part of localization.

For example, when creating the film Inside Out, Pixar created an Arabic version where the characters move from right to left rather than left to right as in the English version of the movie. In this case, not only does the language of the movie are translated but the factor of language display is also adapted to the customs of the target market.

So, what other aspects of localization are apart from text translation. Overall, localization includes:

  • Changing content and writing direction to suit the tastes and norms of target audiences;
  • Adapting graphics and pictures to display translated text properly;
  • Formatting document to suit preferences and document display;
  • Changing elements such as currency, date format, address, phone number, colors, legal requirements, and many more.

To conclude, there are various other elements to make changes when it comes to localization. Content, paper size, metric measurement, text length, etc. all have to be taken to consideration. In short, every element of the files has to be adapted and conveyed in a way that suits the tastes and norms of your target audiences.

The Importance Of Localization For Businesses

Communication to consumers from multiple countries speaking multiple languages is imperative for businesses to expand to the global market. 

Boost your sales

Suppose your company is looking to introduce new products to the global market. In that case, localizing related materials such as product manuals, product introduction, and so on is a must-have stage. 

This process is to ensure that your customer understands clearly what you are selling. Based on a survey of more than 3,000 global consumers in 10 non-anglophone countries in Europe, Asia, and South America, 75% prefer to buy products in their native language.

Enter new market more easily

When entering a new market, there are a lot of barriers you might face, including legal processes, logistics hurdles, communication, etc. which might slow you down. Although localization can’t help you remove all these obstacles, it can help you perform your task easier by eliminating potential cultural mistakes that can damage your brand image. 

Competitive edges compared to your rivals

In short, localization will help level the playing field, especially if your competitors don’t localize their product or content. This is because localized content creates a sense of familiarity with your customers. 

Take, for example, you and your competitor both trying to sell shoes via websites. All information on your website (including product information, shipping FAQs, return policy, etc.) is displayed in your customers’ native language, making it easy for them to understand what they are looking for. The website of your competitor, on the other hand, is only speaking their own language. Visitors have no choice but use Google translate to find what they need. And Google translate is not always correct (in some cases, it might do more harm than good). So, It is obvious which site will have higher sales.

Choosing The Right Language Service Provider For High-Quality Localization Service

The language industry is enormous, and the providers are also numerous. They vary from freelancers with almost no experience or skill to language agencies with years of experience. Depending on the project size and requirement, there are different options for you to determine. 

If you only need to translate unimportant documents, a lower rate freelancing translator will be a more suitable option. However, suppose you need to localize materials in various file formats to multiple languages in a short time given. In that case, a professional language agency like MOBICO is what you need.

With more than 40 years of experience in translating and localizing Asian languages, MOBICO can provide top-notch localization services for our customers. We have a wide range of native-speaking translators that can provide translation for up to 180+ languages. Furthermore, our staff always strive to give you the best services possible.