If you are like most of our readers, then you are familiar with what technical translations are and why they matter for your business. Localization is an important aspect of the translation process, and many of our clients are unaware of exactly what it takes to localize a product, website, or document. In today’s post, we will provide you with a comprehensive guide to what localization is and why it matters for your business.
Whether you need language localization or technical translations, GlobalSpeak Translations is here to provide you with the efficient and precise service your company needs to succeed. We work with companies all over the world to help them extend their reach and increase their bottom line — get started with a free, no-obligation quote today!
What Is Localization?
At its most basic, localization is the process of translating a product or content into another language while also changing other features to better accommodate another culture’s preferences. Aspects such as color scheme, design, layout, address format, and phrasing will all be addressed in the localization process. Instead of marketing your business as a US-based business in a foreign market, localization helps you to market your business just as the native competition does. This can make your brand’s messaging campaigns more effective, as it will generally increase your reputation in the local community.
A Localization Example
Suppose you are the owner of an energy company based in the United States and you’re looking to expand your business into the global market. Of course, you will need to begin by investing in technical translations in order to provide foreign workers with accurate instructions while they build your new location. However, once you begin marketing your business and trying to turn a profit on your investment, you will need to tailor your advertisements to the country in which your business operates.
Continuing the hypothetical scenario, consider the imagery your business currently uses in its marketing campaigns — will members of a foreign audience feel like they are represented in your advertisements, or are you still using advertisements that would be more effective in the United States? Moreover, are your advertisements utilizing colors that are favorable with your targeted demographic? Many foreign markets have starkly different color preferences than those found in the United States, which means that you may have to develop an entirely new campaign for your new endeavor.
You may not have thought about these important aspects of localization when we started the thought experiment, but we hope that it has helped you understand how important — and common — localization is. In fact, you have almost certainly made purchasing decisions based on effective or ineffective localization in the past. For instance, how often do you hit the “back” button when a product or website you click on does not have a description or pricing listed in your native language? The importance of familiarity cannot be understated when it comes to marketing your business and building your brand.
Other Important Considerations
- Societal norms: As you are probably aware, the United States has vastly different societal norms than other countries. Hand gestures, the way people interact, and numerous other conventions can be perfectly fine in one context, but offensive in another. Hiring a professional translation agency to help you localize your brand can help you avoid making any faux pas.
- Symbolism: As we noted above, the colors you choose for your brand and your advertising can have very different connotations around the world. In the United States, red is often used to symbolize love or excitement. In African cultures, red is a symbol of grief, death, and misfortune. Moreover, the symbols and animals you use in your advertising can also carry different connotations depending on the location. Our localization experts can help you determine the right messaging and branding for your business.
- Formatting: The format you use abroad is the last important consideration we will cover in today’s post. Have you ever filled out a form for a service in the United Kingdom? If you had to enter your phone number and/or birthday, then you probably noticed that they are arranged differently than the forms we commonly fill out in the United States. You may need to create different forms that have room for more than one last name, accept special characters, and translate currencies. All of these considerations can help your business succeed when entering a global market.
Contact Our Technical Translation Agency
We hope that this post will serve as a useful post when you decide to bring your business into another market. If you would like to learn more about how our translation agency can help you with language localization or technical translations, then please fill out the form below and we will get in touch with you as soon as possible.