The three-year COVID-19 pandemic was a catalyst for entrepreneurs and emerging businesses all over the world to grow rapidly and vigorously. Online businesses are the man/woman of the hour, and divergent businesses came to the scene to market their products and reach many potential clients.
Emerging businesses focus on several aspects, notably the language they use to communicate with their customers but they also have to account for the cultural context. In other words, putting a significant localization plan to the product.
Localization vs. Translation
The translation is an integral part of the localization process, but without a doubt, each has a different scope. The translation process converts the source language to the language of targeted recipients, whether written or spoken (i.e., document translation, consecutive translation, interpretation… etc.). It is worth mentioning that translation fields are numerous, but the most common ones are legal, medical, and technical translations. Meanwhile, localization goes beyond words; it goes through the culture and its related nuance in language.
In other words, it is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific dialect, culture, region, or country. Localization does not only deal with written content. It also deals with images and choosing the right ones for the targeted market, using correct measure units as well as the local formats for dates, addresses, and numbers. Thus, a good localization team must not include only linguists but also web developers, designers, and local market experts.
When to localize?
As mentioned, localizing the content is very important to promote your business, especially when you need to reach more potential customers. Localization services can be used to enter new markets, expand business in existing markets, and boost engagements with your product. Top localization services include web localization, software localization, app localization, game localization, and more.
Web localization is one of the most localization services required worldwide. To localize a website, you need to adapt its visual and written elements to meet users' expectations as well as the language and cultural preferences in a way that maintains the website’s integrity in order to make navigation easier.
What it takes for website localization to reap fruits?
To ensure the quality of website localization, the process includes several steps, notably the content analysis step. This first step is essential to get a better idea about the project and elements that may need localization. Next comes the internationalization and web translation step, which includes separating source code from elements that may need localization, in addition to creating a flexible layout. One of the integral steps of the web localization process is creating a project brief or “localization toolkit.” The project brief must contain all background information needed to localize a website professionally. Quality check is also an essential step in localizing a website in order to ensure process efficiency. It is better to make quality checks after the initial language translation and localization. Then a check on content and imagery consistency will be required.
Just as significantly, professional localization services need factors besides the human element. Localization providers need suitable tools and processes to maintain the localization process’ consistency, efficiency, and quality.