Difference Between Translation and Localization
Updated: Apr 30
People like to read content created in their native language, especially if their level of understanding of the content language is low or non-existent. When your website attracts viewers from all over the world, you need to start offering more to enhance your retention rate. The localization and translation of your website seem like an essential step forward to offer a better user experience to foreign visitors.
The terms Translation and Localization are used interchangeably in many industries. Even global businesses think that they are the same with little variations. If you want to increase your business and make it global, you have to add local color and flavor. Translation and localization do that very effectively. But you must know there are a lot of differences between localization and translation.
It is the process of changing a source version of any content. It may include a document, web content, course material, and multimedia into the relative language with a proper syntax that makes clear sense to your readers, viewers, or learners. They can understand the content easily.
Localization is the method of translating and adjusting different types of content or products to a specific locale and culture. Context plays an important role in localization. It also considers formal and informal settings of the content. Making sense and giving the exact meaning with the intended emotion in that particular area and cultural settings increase the effectiveness of communication.
The translation covers language barriers
Translation transfers the meaning by changing the words in one language to another. It focuses mainly on the language and delivers the exact possible meaning in the target language.
Localization is specific for the region
Localization adjusts the online content and makes it deliverable for regional specificity. It’s about polishing your message and arranging it to meet the cultural, functional, and linguistic needs. Words, colors, clothing, cultural symbols, and other cultural elements play an essential role in the process of localization.
For example, if you want to localize the online content design, you can’t use green in Indonesia, because it is forbidden there. But you can use it in Mexico as it’s the national color of Mexico.
The translation is neutral
The translation process has no effect on cultural differences. It takes a neutral stand toward many cultures and plays an important role in the language part. You can make your organization as global and neutral by covering all cultures and races. Avoiding culture-specific jargon, using images of all races, and formal language can help you to increase business with just language translation.
Localization fulfills cultural and functional needs
If your business organization wants to compete, your website content must be localized keeping in view the global multilingual workforce and variety of customers and markets. You should consider the cultural and functional factors while localizing your online materials, marketing, and other web content.
Cultural factors include colors, shapes, visuals, graphics, and social codes. Functional factors cover linguistic content, descriptions of any product or service, addresses, date and time formats, phone numbers, and much more.
Translation works for technical subjects
It works for many subjects such as law, science, medicine, and finance. If e-learning or online training is idealized, translation is the best choice.
Localization is best for highly emotive content
It includes marketing and website content. When you want to offer a higher level of customization according to the specific region and culture, you can always go for localization. You can do localization either for training content or web content.
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