Why are localizing translations and using uniform terms important?

Are you going to expand your product or service into foreign markets? To be able to succeed, you will need to have all the documentation that is critical to your business translated and most likely also localized. Especially in more technical fields, it is important to prepare a glossary of terms. Why are these steps necessary to ensure that your good intentions to profit abroad do not backfire?

Localization of a text as a way to success

You can have a perfectly set communication strategy and marketing texts polished to the last detail, but if the foreign reader does not understand them, all your efforts will be in vain. To make your message clear and readable to a native speaker, it is necessary not only to translate it correctly and factually, but also to adapt it to local customs and realities. Text localization serves these purposes.

What is localization and how does it differ from traditional translation?

Localization and translation are often confused or treated as one and the same. This mistake can have negative consequences for companies that decide to expand into foreign markets, starting with failed branding efforts and ending with being in the red. It is not enough to simply translate the website and product descriptions, user manuals, or internal documentation; the texts also need to be localized.

And what exactly is meant by localization? It is a complex process of translation from one language into another, taking into account the cultural and linguistic specificities and characteristics of the target country and adapting the translation style and tone to the target audience. As a result, a well-localized text is considered by the target reader to be an original text written by a native speaker in his/her country.

Imagine you decide to launch your consumer electronics e-shop in the English market, and forget to include local units of measurement and weight in your product descriptions. While this is a detail that a potential customer would probably understand and be able to recalculate the values themselves, it adds delays and is a sign of unprofessionalism that could discourage them from buying from you again. Weights and measures, currency units, and time or date formats are typical for the application of localization.

In addition to the clarity of the content, the localization of websites and marketing texts is also important as regards SEO and website traceability, so it is more than necessary to analyze the keywords that are typical for the segment in the target country.

Other examples of localization

Localization is not only used in online sales, but in almost every industry you can think of. High-quality dubbing or subtitle translations cannot do without local knowledge, just as localization is used in computer games. In all these cases, sooner or later you will come across expressions and phrases where a bad translation can lead to the loss of the meaning or pun on which the message was based.

Software solutions, mobile phones and electronics in general, or manuals, internal documents, and especially business contracts, which could have fatal legal consequences, cannot do without localization.

Quality translation is not possible without uniform terminology

Before you hand over all the documentation to your translation agency for professional translation, do not forget to prepare your company’s technology dictionary or glossary of terms. If it is not available to translators, the consistency of terminology and style could be compromised. While your company materials would be translated grammatically correctly, there is a risk that specific terms would have different meanings in different passages, as some words and terms have multiple translations.

In addition, all this is time-consuming and costly in the commenting and proofreading process. To improve the quality of the final translation and consistent terms, professional translators also use CAT tools that save time and ultimately the customer’s money.

Do you need to localize your website, software, or company documents to succeed abroad? Do not hesitate to contact our agency, which will set up an implementation team for your project tailored to your requirements.