Localization vs. Translation

Localization vs. Translation

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Though these terms are often confused, #localization and #translation are unique concepts.

Knowing what service to choose is of great importance, especially for businesses looking to expand their audiences globally.

While translation deals with adapting your message to a new market, localization focuses on delivering a wholesome experience that meets the new market`s cultural expectations.

You see, translation is the process of converting text from one source language to the other. The whole idea of accurate translation is to retain the exact meaning of a text in the original language it was translated from.

The content and context of the message remain the same, irrespective of the target audience.

The idea behind localization is to identify and address cultural expectations that will allow you to better connect with the target audience and boost your business’s appeal.

The ideal result is that the target audience will not sense they are reading a translation.


Here are some of the most important factors the localization process addresses:

  1. Cultural, Regional, and Linguistic Context

 This generally involves considering many linguistic factors that relate to the local nuances, terminologies, and slang that natives in the region can easily identify with.

Proper localization might also sometimes require you to even tweak important brand elements like your brand name.

  1. Design

 Whether you are localizing your website or your sales and marketing material, keep in mind, that layout, colors and images will also be part of the localization process.

Different languages use different alphabets and characters. As a result, some translated texts will need more or less space than others.

Colors can also mean different things to different local audiences. You would have to research how each of your target audiences perceives certain colors.

The right images can pass a stronger message. If you are addressing the Chinese market, for example, add Chinese models.

Shapes, object sizes, icons, and lettering styles are equally important too.

  1. Currency, Calendar Systems, and Other Units of Measurements

 This element of localization is particularly important in online stores. Things like currency, units of measurement, and date systems vary according to country and region.

Consider that an online shopper ordering items from another country would prefer to see prices in his own currency.

In a nutshell, choosing to #localize your brand, products and services will allow you to establish your brand in new markets, outdo your competition and boost revenue.


Researches show that on average, localization yields 2500% ROI. This is a whopping fraction no business would choose to miss out on.


For more information on translation and localization services, feel free to reach out to us!

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