What are Localization Services?

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With so much terminology about these days you’d be forgiven for scratching your head when it comes to translation, localization, internationalization and globalization. Many don’t really understand what’s what and how it all fits together.


In this video, we answer the FAQ – “what is localization?”


What is localization? Isn’t it the same as translation?


Hi! I’m Neil Payne. One of the ways we like to communicate with our clients is through video. And every now and again what we’ll do is we’ll collect together a whole group of FAQs and answer them on video and put them out on the World Wide Web, obviously to our clients. So what’s today’s question?


Right, a question we get asked a lot is “What is localisation?” There seems to be a lot of confusion about translation, localisation, transcreation, globalisation, internationalisation… there’s lots of –sation’s out there.


But just to give you a summary of what localisation is: localisation is not translation. Translation can be part of a localisation process. Localisation is about taking anything, so we are talking websites, we can be talking apps, we can be talking even chairs and desks, we can be talking advertising campaigns. Anything. Anything that you want to take and put in a country or a culture that’s foreign to where it was produced, or made or created, that will go through a process of localisation. Very simple localisation: think of food ingredients. If you’re going to be selling your food product in another country, you have to localise the ingredients; not only in the language, but according to the legal requirements of that country as well. So that’s localisation.


Another example of localisation could be a website, and if we’re going to go the whole hog, what we would look at is every element of your website, so that could be the use of icons, it could be colours, it would be dates, times, measurements, addresses, URLs… you name it. We just look at every single aspect to make sure that that website is going to work correctly in the country or culture it’s being localised for. So, localisation, you can apply to absolutely anything. And the way you need to think about it is: how do I adapt, change, mould whatever I have that I’m taking into that different country, to make sure it works according to their culture, their language, their expectations, their legal system, etc.


Translation is simply about translating the words and that would be part of the localisation process. If you have any more questions about localisation, and how it all works or what the differences are, please send us an email or give us a call, we’d be happy to explain it further.

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