Globalization has opened gates for international trade. Digital platforms are especially reaching the corners of the world. The competition is on the rise. To reach the target market even across the borders of countries and towns, the businesses are choosing to communicate on the local level. They choose to localize their content or product or service to resonate with the local crowd. Let us get into the details.
Localisation is converting any type of content, a product name, or the service to suit it best to the target audience. A product or service provider needs to communicate with the target audience in the language that they understand.
However, localizing is more than that, it is about considering the religious, cultural, and political beliefs of the target audience. By doing so you fit your brand in the local market. Also, it increases the reach of your content or product, or service on a very micro level.
Many contexts have technical terminologies which a common reader cannot understand. In such cases only translations will not help, the language localization has to be considered. When your content is available in your native language you are informing, educating, and marketing about your service or the product to the audience, you are connecting with them on cultural levels.
This helps you in creating a bond with them. When the audience is connected with your brand it helps in customer retention and they will surely come back to you because they know you consider them.
Localisation also includes the following things-
So localizing doesn’t just mean translating the content from one language to another, it is about changing all the above-mentioned things too.
Localisation helps your audience to communicate with the audience effectively. When you are planning to take your company on an international level, localization plays a vital role.
Following are the five major benefits of localising the content.
1. Helps you Enter the New Market- When you wish to enter the new market, you will face many challenges, such as legal, logistic, and cultural differences. Localization can not just break the language barriers but it also connects with you on a cultural basis. A localisation strategy can help you tap the untapped market.
2. Better Level for Competition- When you enter the international market you also have to face local competitors too. And it is very difficult to stand out from them. These local businesses will gain the trust of the audience at ease as compared to the international ones. When you localise at such a level, you are directly entering the market and competing to aim with your target audience. It will be appreciated that you being an international company are thinking and adapting to the cultural differences. On the global level, if your competitors are not into localising, you will gain that advantage over them.
3. Higher Customer Satisfaction- Localising helps you show how committed you are to your customer. They will buy your product or the service when you show them your product in their language with the help of product localization and while adhering to the cultural differences. It makes it easier for the customer to shortlist your product instead of your competitor’s products.
4. Customers Become Brand Loyal- When you tailormade your product considering the cultural sensitivity your customers tend to become brand loyal. The consumer starts trusting your brand. These satisfied customers will be retained for a longer period and will promote your brand by advocating it to others.
5. Localization Will Increase Your Revenue- When you localize your content/product/service, you are targeting a huge potential consumer. You will see some increase in revenue after localising your brand. This way you also get to tap the untapped market which will bring out the revenue.
Mobile and Desktop Applications- This is the most commonly used thing in today’s digitalized world. We have everything at our fingertips. But we still keep looking to search for the things in our language. That is why the demand for localizing mobile and desktop applications is in high demand.
Some applications are not self-explanatory. When they are not so easy to understand, customers will not embrace your product. So to get a catch hold on the users, the developers have started considering various aspects in app localization, such as designs, color schemes, and the use of words.
Games- Yes, even games can be localized. There are multiple game developers now taking game localization on high priority. The user experience is high when the gamer plays the game in the local language. Especially when it is about role-playing games. Those games which are in a foreign language and are popular would be in high demand on an international level.
In such cases, it would be better to localize the instructions and the entire game. It improvises the experience of the gamer to the next level. Also, your game is reaching different regions and gaining popularity too. Because you are thinking about the user and showing them that you are culturally sensitive towards the user.
Websites- Have you seen that drop-down in the right or the left corner of the website, which gives you an option to convert the website in multiple languages? Yes, that is website localization. It is more than just the translations. Websites, such as E-Commerce sites, can easily penetrate new markets by localizing the content. It doesn’t matter for the buyers even if the price is high when they have fully understood its usability. They can target the audience even further by presenting the product descriptions in their native language.
Films and Media- We know how international cinema has crossed borders and giving a better cinema experience to the viewers. For example, Japanese animes are promoting this genre by localizing the content. They are providing the dialogues by giving translated subtitles and voiceovers in multiple languages.
There is a huge difference between the localisation and translation. These concepts have overlapping meanings. Both concepts have different processes. The translation is more about word-to-word translations whole, on the other hand, localizations are changing the language of the content while adhering to the cultural differences between the regions.
The translation is a simple process of converting the content into the target language simply by changing the language of the words. The translator does consider the cultural differences on a micro-level.
However, on the other hand, localisation is a detailed process. It changes the language while changing the color combinations, images, and other typesettings that will suit the cultural aspect of the region.
Let us take an example- The use of units and currencies.
When you want to sell something in the international market, you have to mention their currencies. If you wish to sell the product in Europe you have to use “€” as a price label. On the other hand, “$” when you wish to sell the product in the USA. Localising is about considering all these small things while converting the content into another language.
Following are the three major differences between translation and localization-
1. Cultural and Religious Differences- Both techniques cross the cultural barriers with a different approach. When the content is just translated, it provides the same information in a different language. It conveys the exact possible meaning of the content by focusing more on the language-based criteria, such as grammar, syntax, and meanings.
On the other hand, content localization transforms the content according to the cultural background of the target market. Localization is one step more than translation. It changes the language while considering the cultural and religious beliefs.
For example, using green color on the websites in Indonesia will not be appropriate as the color is considered unlucky in northern parts of Indonesia. But green is the national color of Mexico.
2. The Tone of the Content- The translation is more professional and technical while the localisations make the content emotional. The translated content has a neutral tone, the reader may read the names but it is less likely that he/she will understand the meaning of it.
The concept remains unclear leaving the main motive unachieved. There is an informal tone in the localised content. It is more interactive than the translations. Localization focuses more on the regional aspects.
For instance, many Arab countries follow right-to-left transcripts. So when localising the content, it should be written in the same manner.
3. Industries Demands- The demand for translation and localization services varies as per the industries. Firms such as law, research, science, medicine, and finances demand accurate translations as localization is not relevant. Any change in the content of these types is not acceptable. So it has to be word-to-word translations.
On the other hand, businesses such as e-commerce or advertising agencies, particularly focus on the localisation of the content to hit the target market exactly.
Language Experts- The most important thing is the language. Enquire about the languages that the localization company is providing. They should be able to provide you the localization services in all major local, national, and international languages. So that if you wish to localize the content in more than one language you do not have to search for another agency again and again. You can get the solutions under one roof.
Cultural Experts- Other than being a language expert, the agency should be able to prove to you their cultural efficacy. They should have cultural experts too who can understand the minute detailing of the various cultures. Many of the time the language experts are themselves a cultural expert too. Understanding the cultural differences while localizing the content is of utmost importance. As if it is not considered it will be just a translation.
Certification- A company should hold a valid certificate of ISO certificate. It proves that the company has a range of language and cultural experts. These experts have pursued their translation education from reputed colleges or universities. This education has given them the authority to certify the translations mentioning the accuracy and completion of the content localization.
Cost and Time-Saving- The agency should be able to provide you the service in time and should suit your budget too. They should promise a shorter turnaround time. If you are not sure about which agency is giving service at the most reasonable price, you can ask for quotations from one or two agencies. Compare it and then choose the best one.
Client Support- it is another necessary thing that the client should consider. The company should be able to support you till you get our project back. They should be able to answer your queries and update the whereabouts of your project. Also, they should have a keen eye for the detailing.
To sum up, irrespective of the quality of the product or the service that you provide, your company name will only spread globally only when you connect with the target market. The emotional, cultural and religious connection is very necessary to stand firm in the competition.
When you resonate with the customer they understand your message and offer packages. So whenever you plan to penetrate the international market, think about choosing over localisation than translations.
Translations can convert the content but they will not convert the target audience into the definite buyer. A localization process on the other hand can connect with the customer. This communication directly reaches to the hearts of the target audience, converting them into the buyer.
Also, this is not just for the one time, the buyer retention is also high when you choose a localization than the translation. So the localization brings you a double benefit over the translation.