As your organization develops and grows, you’ll definitely branch out into supplying other markets. After all, if you only conduct business in your own country, you are essentially undervaluing yourself and leaving money on the table.
But entering a foreign market may be challenging. The way people consume content, look for items, and shop differs between the US and consumers in Europe, China, or the Middle East. This is where localization comes in. With localization, you can modify your offerings and messaging for each new area you enter, increasing the relevance of your brand to customers.
In this post, we’ll discuss localization in detail, including what it is, why it’s important, and how it can help your business.
What is localization?
The world is more connected than ever now. Today, people speak about 7,000 different languages, ranging from Swedish to Chinese. To reach the majority of the world’s population, it takes about 52 languages. This means that if you’re creating a company with a worldwide clientele in mind, localization should be your first concern.
Localization is the act of adapting a piece of material’s entire meaning for a new locale (i.e. a set that defines the region and language preferences) which includes translation, related visuals, and cultural considerations that affect how your content will be interpreted.
Making your software, website, or app appear as though it was designed with that specific audience in mind is the goal of localization. Users are more receptive to fully localized information than merely translating English words because it combines pertinent cultural flavor to make it feel familiar. Language, tone, message, user interface, color and imagery, time, date, number and measurement formats, and payment mechanism are all taken into account during localization.
Depending on your audience, localization can take on a more nuanced form to accommodate the distinctive dialects of a particular region in a country or within a language.
Translation vs localization: How are they different?
Localization requires translation, but the two are not the same. For instance, a Korean site can be translated into English but it would be of little importance if the design continued to be optimized for Korean characters and the majority of the items on the webpage weren’t offered for shipping to the United States.
On the other hand, translation only entails translating written words from one language into another to keep the original communication and message. Localization goes beyond translation by considering the culture of a location and the nuances in language that pertain to that culture.
How about localization vs. internationalization?
What about localization vs internationalization? Are they the same?
Localization is the actual process of adjusting a previously internationalized product to a particular culture. The completed product should ideally feel familiar to the target market, or in technical terms, the target “locale.”
Internationalization, on the other hand, is the process of enabling a website or software for adaptation. Your product should be designed and developed to support many languages, geographical preferences, and cultural conventions without requiring multiple code changes.
Why is localization important?
Localization is crucial for businesses regardless of their size. By concentrating primarily on English-speaking markets, you are neglecting a substantial portion of the global population. Around 7.8 billion people live on the planet, and 1.35 billion of them speak English. Additionally, just 360 million individuals worldwide are native English speakers, which means that the majority of them choose to deal with other languages. Localization is crucial for global businesses for the following three reasons:
• A fast-track ticket to enter new markets. You’ll be prepared to launch your program into more markets once it’s finished through early internationalization and localization implementation.
• Increases your customer base. Localization makes sure that your customers appreciate your product and tell others about their experience. You’ll develop more steady revenue streams as new clients turn into repeat buyers.
• Enhances the user experience. Through localization, your software may adapt to the language and cultural trends of the users in any given location, resulting in a fantastic user experience.
Given that 75% of consumers will choose whichever provider offers them information in their native language or preferred language, it is wise to ensure that your software or website is usable in sizable areas where English is not the native tongue.
A strategic concept that can help a brand thrive abroad, localization is now becoming a need for businesses that wish to succeed worldwide. You can create a connection with your target market and enhance the recognition of your brand in local marketplaces by localizing your software, website, products, or marketing activities.