What is localisation?
“Localisation (also referred to as ‘l10n’) is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale or market. Translation is only one of several elements of the localisation process.” (Wikipedia)
Or as Gala states:
“Localisation is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale. The goal is to provide a product with the look and feel of having been created for the target market to eliminate or minimise local sensitivities.”
Localisation goes beyond translation. Content is specifically created for a country, region, a group of people, or local business practices by considering the customer’s language, culture, and local needs.
Although it’s not just about translation, this is obviously a large part of getting your message across:
Figures from Gala state:
- It would take 83 languages to reach 80% of all people in the world, and over 7,000 languages to reach everyone
- 56.2% of consumers say the ability to obtain information in their own language is more important than price
- 95% of Chinese online consumers indicate a greater comfort level with websites in their language; only 1% of US-based online retailers offer sites specific to China
Common Sense Advisory states:
“72.4% of people said that they are more likely to buy a product with information written in their native language. Localization makes products and services more accessible on a global front.”
From the moment your business, brand or website is localised, it is important that your audience can communicate with you. End users will expect you to speak their language. The service quality has to be impeccable. You may want to have the tools or people in place to handle the communication by email, social media, Skype or actual meetings.
I can imagine an important role for professional interpreters here.
A professional interpreter always considers the cultural norms, local customs, language specifics, and sensitivities when speaking with foreign clients.
Some issues they might handle are:
1. How to respond to queries and calls from foreign markets?
2. How to contact your target audience?
3. Who is responsible for the quality of translations in your localisation projects?
4. How to communicate about local customs and regularity compliance laws?
5. Do the members of your audience work with the same communication channels?
Your localisation success depends on whether your translated product or content comes across as clear and flawless as possible.
If you want to know more about localisation please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or have a look at these books;
– A practical guide to localization
– Globalization strategies for Global E-Business
– The Localization Reader: Adapting to the Coming Downshift