Localization is a tricky process that requires both creativity and technical knowledge. Pulling it off well can make or break the success of your game, app, or website. In this article, we’ll take a look at a brief intro of localization, categories, processes and workflow, common localization management tools, and lastly, get to know the advantages of using localization software.
Although 52% of all websites are English, it only reaches 25% of all internet users. Thus, localizing one business helps get more prospects and stay ahead of competitors. Today, localization is a strategy that is on the rise. It’s time to tap into new markets and create a global presence, which means going local. The fact is this particular niche offers an excellent opportunity for businesses to realize their global potential and gain access to 4.72 billion internet users around the world.
What Is Localization?
Localization is adapting products to different languages, regional differences, and technical standards. This includes translating text, adjusting for regional conventions and customs, and tailoring media for audience preferences in that market. However, it involves more than just translating the text into another language. It also includes cultural adaptation, including design and development changes that make products and services more relevant to users in other countries. Similarly, localization is an essential step in the software development process and one of the most critical elements of international marketing.
It has two main categories: Cultural and Linguistic. Cultural one which is adapting a product to a specific culture, while the linguistic one is adapting a product to a particular language. The difference between these two categories is that the cultural category focuses on changing content. In contrast, the linguistic category focuses on the development of the entire enterprise, not just one department.
There are two main localization processes: direct and indirect. The direct process is where a software/service is translated into another language or regional dialect. In contrast, the interface is translated into another language in indirect localization. Still, the actual code stays in its original language. While direct localization is generally more expensive, it can be more effective in some cases. Furthermore, it allows the original meaning of the software to be preserved and for users to get a better experience. However, this method can be costly as you need to translate the software, localize it, and test it.
The cost of localization can vary depending on the size of your project. Mostly it depends on the type of software you are developing and the language you are translating into.
These tools are a necessity for any translation company or individual translator. The most common localization tools are CAT tools, which allow you to translate text from different segments of a document in one go. Similarly, Translation Memory (TM) and Machine Translation (MT) tools are also helpful for translators. They allow you to reuse previously translated text, saving you time and money.
Tools like Google Translate and other alternatives are not considered as localization tools.
Why You Must Localize Your Business
When entering a new market, a localization management system is a key to success in today’s global market. To reach the desired level of quality and increase profits, businesses need to manage their services and products effectively in different languages and markets. The localization management system is mainly used to comprehensively and efficiently manage the translated project and related products. It collects all kinds of data from each step in the translation process, such as project name, completed date, translator name, edited date, etc. In other words: if you don’t localize your game, app, or website when entering a new market, you’re setting yourself up to fail.
Most global online consumers (72.4%) prefer to use their native language when shopping online, and 55% of global consumers also state that they would only buy products from websites in their language. So, without localization, you may lose a big number of potential clients.
Localization Workflow Management
More importantly, we also need to understand what localization workflow management is. This is a process of translating and updating content for every locale. It involves setting up a localization process that everyone can follow, from translators, editors to developers. If you’re not using these tools, it’s time to start. These tools offer assistance in tasks such as management of translation vendors, review and approval processes, and even translation memory archiving. Once you choose the best workflow management tools for your project, they will be set up to handle the tedious aspects of the localization process.
Benefits of Localization
Let’s see what the benefits of localization are.
- First, it helps companies improve their global reach. The Internet has opened up many markets to small and mega business owners causing businesses that don’t localize their content to miss out on an enormous global market as 87% of customers would not buy from an English-only website. They can lose up to 13% of users.
- Second, it improves brand awareness and customer loyalty. You can create a stronger bond with your audience with localized content and services by making your content more accessible.
- Third, localization increases search traffic by 47%, as well it boosts website visits by 70% and increases conversion rates by 20%.
- Also, it increases sales and profits by reaching the local customers with their products and services.
- In addition, according to Appia 86% of localized advertising campaigns yield higher click-through and conversion rates than their English counterparts.
- Furthermore, through this process, local companies can enjoy the benefits of global markets without having to invest heavily in development plus they get increased customer satisfaction because each market gets individualized attention based on its inhabitants’ need.
- To sum up, it gives a more competitive advantage to your business. Localization is a great way to differentiate your business in the market. You’re showing that your business is progressive and willing to spend money on research to understand different cultures better.
In short, localization tools are a must for the IT industry. It is essential for a company that wants to sell their products in foreign markets that speak different languages, to localize their product first. Certainly, localization is an integral part of internationalizing products. Above all, it’s how you make sure that people from other countries can enjoy your product.