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What are the Different Types of Localization?

by Sean Patrick Hopwood 11 months ago in list
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In today's business world, there is stiff competition that only strategic businesses survive.

In today’s business world, there is stiff competition that only strategic businesses survive. National visibility is no longer the end goal. Successful businesses are going beyond boundaries and getting international visibility.

To do this, these businesses are using localization as an expansion tool. This tool helps to capture the diversity in people and their cultures.

What is localization?

Localization is the translation of content from one language to another. But it doesn't end at language translation; localization includes changing other aspects too. These include cultural nuances, visuals, shapes, currency, slang, etiquette, and even humor.

Creating different content for British, American, and Australian markets is localization. In spite of speaking English, they all have differences that set each region apart.

To be successful in all these three regions, it would be wise to tailor content for each of them. Otherwise, you risk locking a good part of these markets out of your products.

There are different types of localization for different purposes. For the process to be successful, you'll need to know exactly what your business needs. Below are some of the different types of localization.

Website localization

This is the first point of contact between your business and a potential customer. So if they click on it and find a language that's unfamiliar then chances are they'll move on. And it could be worse, you may have translated the website but not localized it. The difference between the two actions is often obvious to a native reader.

To avoid such costly mistakes, your business should invest in website localization. Website localization is more than text translation. The graphics on the website also need to be in line with the communication and cultural needs. The tone of the website should also meet the standards of the target audience. Along with these, the localization of the website should also meet cultural requirements.

An important part of localizing a website is getting the scripts right. This will mean harmonizing the translated scripts with the source codes. The website, graphics, codes, and messaging should be compatible with the original.

Software localization

This is the type of localization that's common for applications as well as video games. Software localization calls for the changing of all components of the material. This includes the source codes, the graphics, the interface, and documentation among others. For this process to be successful you'll need to design a localizable user interface.

This means that all elements that will be visible to the user will need to be localizable. This data includes currencies, dates, and times. A good way to make this easy to localize is to have the information outside the source codes. This will make it easy to edit the external codes to the necessary languages.

Multimedia localization

This is the localization of audio or video media. This includes content such as music, videos, movies, e-learning content, and advertisements. Multimedia localization is important when it comes to reaching a wider audience. This is because multimedia is fast becoming the leading source of information.

More apps are adding video and audio features to keep up. Multimedia localization involves processes like dubbing, voice-overs, and subtitling. Some movies also use on-screen translations to pass the message.

Multimedia localization involves several steps. These start from the translation of the script all the way to recording voiceovers. The technicians then synchronize the voiceovers before processing any graphics. The video produced is then tested for quality against the original.

Product information localization

This is what you do when you're trying to introduce a product into a new market. For this to be successful, you'll need to translate all information about the product. This includes all the product information like contents, manuals, and tech support. Anything that someone may want to know about your product should be available.

Product information in a language that's easy to understand makes it easy for people to buy-in. This will improve your business’s chances of thriving in a new market.

Where to get quality localization

Any type of localization needs different types of qualified people to be a success. This is especially true when it comes to complex projects like software localization. But, for all types of localization, maintaining the brand of the business is important.

This is why you shouldn't leave anything to chance when expanding. Identify all the types of localization that your business may need. Most businesses actually end up needing a combination of some of the aforementioned types so prioritizing one over another may affect your business' chances of expansion.

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Sean Patrick Hopwood

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