Localization is frequently confused with translation. However, the two terms refer to different stages of language transmission.
Translation is the process of transferring meaning from one language to another. The objective of translation is to convey a message’s original meaning while accounting for cultural and regional variances between languages.
Humans have been using translation for centuries, dating back to the invention of the written language. Modern translators work with advanced tools and technologies and rely significantly on software to ease and optimize their tasks.
Translation is used by organizations worldwide for content as varied as product labels, technical manuals, user reviews, marketing materials, annual reports, and more.
Language localization differs from translation in that it entails a thorough examination of the target culture to better adapt the product to local requirements.
Customizing a product or service to a particular location is known as localization. Localization is made up of numerous steps, one of which is translation. The localization process may contain the following steps in addition to translation:
• Adapting visual appearance to display translated content in the locale’s language properly
• Customizing sorting operations to a single locale’s alphabetical order
• Changing date and time formats, addresses, numbers, currencies, and other data for specific target locales
• Adapting visuals to meet the needs and preferences of a target market
• Tailoring material to a target location’s preferences and consumption patterns
The objective of localization is to give a product or service the appearance and feel of being designed expressly for a target market, regardless of language, cultural preferences, or geographic location.
A Comparison of Translation and Localization
Though distinguishing between translation and localization might be challenging at times, localization generally covers substantial, non-textual components of products or services. In addition to translation, the localization process may include rethinking the physical structure of a product, adjusting graphics, incorporating local currencies, using a specific format for date and time, addresses, and phone numbers relevant to the location, color choices, cultural references, and so on.
These adjustments are designed to discover local sensitivities, prevent clashes with local culture, customs, and standard practices, and penetrate the local market by blending in with its requirements and wishes. Localization, for example, seeks to provide country-specific websites from the same corporation or distinct editions of a book based on where it is published.
The use of technology in translation and localization has become increasingly significant. The translation, editing, and proofreading industry currently strongly favors technology in the translation, editing, and proofreading process because it offers substantial advantages in project management workflow automation, terminology uniformity, and quality assurance. The following are the most often used language technologies:
A Translation Management System (TMS) is software that helps you organize and manage your translation and localization tasks. The TMS is an essential tool in putting together everyone’s work in a localization project because it frequently involves several individuals who are often based in various locations. The TMS organizes and automates project management workflows, collects project data, prepares reports, combines relevant elements like machine translation (MT) and translation memory (TM), and provides access to quality assurance tools occasionally.
In short, the TMS serves as a workstation for all of the tools essential to a successful translation and localization project.