Translation and localization are often used interchangeably in the business world. However, the difference between the two is huge. It is imperative for businesses – those that are planning to go global, or did already – to understand the distinction between the two in order to use translation and localization services to their advantage better.
Let us come straight to the point:
It can simply be defined as a word-to-word transformation of text from one language to another. Translation focuses only on the linguistic aspect and ensures that the meaning in the source and the translated language is exactly the same. Same meaning is pivotal to the success of any translation.
Localization is a completely different phenomenon all together. In principle, it is about transforming products, services or websites, not just linguistically but also culturally, to suit the sensibilities of the people in the target market. Though translation is an indispensable element of localization, the latter takes into account a host of other details by incorporating the cultural perceptions and emotions of people.
For example, if a website localization company targets the US and the Arab world at the same time, its website for both should not just be in their respective languages, but have different images and videos also, to suit people of different sensibilities. To be precise, the US website may contain images of women in fashion apparels, alcohol etc.; however, the same images may not be used for the other site considering the religious beliefs and practices of that region.
WHY LOCALIZATION IS IMPORTANT
There is ample empirical data, which indicates that a majority of customers prefer surfing or buying from the internet in their native language. In fact, many trust such sites more and are willing to pay more for the same product, just because it is available in their own language.
Many businesses read this data literally and spend money and effort in getting their websites translated from the source to a native language. However, they fail to understand that, apart from language, cultural preferences and sensibilities play a major role in making prospective customers warm up to your products and services, and to the website in general.
Translation without localization may still result in a fairly high bounce rate on your website. So, choose both services wisely.
Though both translation and localization are important in their own ways, the cost of not being able to discern the difference between the two could turn out to be huge for your business.
We, at Bablic, can take care of all your translation and website localization needs. Trusted by thousands of businesses, Bablic is cost-effective, amazingly hassle-free, and simple. Try us to tap into your business’ global potential!