Localization is the process of adapting content or a product for an audience in a particular country or region. The aim is to boost local customer engagement and satisfaction. Localization extends beyond translation; the product or content is adapted at both a cultural and linguistic level.
This process makes the content or product both appropriate and attractive to the new, international audience while retaining the original meaning. Changes can be made on small or large scales, to incorporate local languages, customs, and behaviors. These can be related to text, content, layout, message, user experience, or visual presentation of content.
In order for a customer to engage with a product, they need to feel as though it was made with them in mind. It should be in line with their user habits and feel local and familiar. Simply translating a piece of text that was intended for another audience won’t necessarily trigger the same emotional engagement again. Localization companies take into account the product’s impact on the user or reader while ensuring that the correct meaning shines through. The content seems natural and resonates with the audience.
How your company presents itself is crucial to the type of customers, partners, and investors it attracts. Consistency across international markets is vital to maintaining a strong brand image. However, symbols, taglines, and cultural references are not universal, they can have different connotations and meanings internationally.
Major companies such as Pampers and BMW have famously missed the mark with vast international campaigns, using imagery that baffled or even offended audiences abroad.This is why it is important to engage the help of region-specific experts who understand the new target market, saving time, money, and reputation.
Localization can help businesses capture a greater global market share. Over half the world’s searches are performed in a language other than English. Properly targeted content can, therefore, help to capture the attention of new customers and open up new opportunities.
Once a product or service has been adapted to suit the geographic area, it can then be scaled up or down in that market as your business needs.
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Our team of specialists
Future Trans’ software localization combines the specialist knowledge of our IT engineers with the linguistic expertise and cultural knowledge of our localizers. Our engineers ensure that your software operates in the same way as it did in the original language. This produces a top-quality, user-friendly finished product.
Meeting your needs
Software localization companies should be adept at working with any file format and employ a strong quality control system. At Future Trans, we provide both of these services and also offer a tracking system that allows you to monitor progress, modify, or add to your requirements.
Website localization is important for user experience and search engine optimization. At Future Trans, we are experts in this field.
Search engine optimization
Search engine optimization is the process of making a website appear at the top of search results. It can be a complex process, involving enhancing content with the right keywords and improving technical aspects of a website.
All keywords should be localized; native speakers located in different countries often use different search terms. For example, in Spain, the word used for car is coche, while in Latin America the term carro is common. Similarly, people around the world can use Anglicisms such as low cost when searching for discounts and deals. Using the wrong keyword could mean missing the target market entirely.
URLs, meta descriptions, and other technical elements also need to be well-localized to make sure that search engines correctly index a page.
Translation takes an idea and reproduces it in another language. The meaning is equivalent to the source text and the new text is well-written, clear, and readable. Translation alone may be enough for technical documents such as medical reports or legal files which need to stay highly faithful to the original text.
Localization is more comprehensive and takes into account aspects of local and regional cultures. It is a process that ensures the new reader or user can identify with what they see and that messages have the correct emotional impact. Localization services cover both language and visual elements, to create a seamless experience.
Localization is a complex process that involves specialist knowledge of a specific culture, high-level language skills, a deep understanding of the product or service’s domain, and expertise in localization methods.
Finding solutions to localization needs is a skill that develops over time. For example, some countries don’t have equivalent terms for technical translations and imagery can have entirely different meanings in different countries. Experienced localizers know how to overcome these obstacles.
Hiring experienced localization companies also save time as fewer revisions are needed, meaning you can focus on other areas of your business. If you want to be sure that your work is error-free, professional localization services are the answer.
Why choose Future Trans?
At Future Trans, we specialize in African and Middle Eastern languages and cultures. Our localization services are available in over 120 languages.
Our localization team members are:
With over 25 years’ experience, we have worked with major businesses from around the world to ensure that products and services are suited to markets in Africa and the Middle East.
Future Trans is also an ISO17100 certified localization company. We work with trained project managers to identify the needs of each project and meet client goals and expectations. We can help with budget optimization and develop a plan based on your goals.
Get in touch to find out more!
The talented Future Trans team is ready to provide a stand-out customer service to brands and businesses looking to expand into Africa and the Middle East in the following areas:
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Localization services involve adapting a product or service so that it looks and feels local to a specific geographical area. Specialists ensure a product or service is culturally and linguistically appropriate by making small or large changes to the text, visuals, or technical elements. Localization services can also help companies’ content to meet local requirements and regulations.
Localization services are made up of engineering, adapting, and testing, based on what is needed for each individual project. Localization companies can help you assess your project and optimize your budget to get the most out of their services.
There are approximately 7.5 billion people in the world and only 360 million of these speak English as their first language. In order to connect with potential and existing customers outside this Anglophone market, companies turn to localization services.
Localization agencies help businesses to stay locally relevant on an international scale. Products and services resonate with customers when those products and services feel as though they were made for them. Localization can help businesses go global, heightening user retention, and increasing customer engagement and satisfaction.
Localization is a multifaceted process and any adaptations depend on the needs of the project. However, the main elements of localization include:
Globalization is the process of making a product ready for use in multiple countries, regions, or areas, on a technical level. A globalized product will support multiple languages and be able to load international content.
For websites, apps, and other software, code, and language norms are standardized, while elements that relate directly to certain languages or geographic areas are separated from the source code. This makes the product ready for translation or localization.
Localization is the process of adapting the product to fit with the cultural and linguistic norms of a specific region. Localization services can focus on almost any aspect of the product, from the text, to the user interface, to the backend, and more. A well-globalized product makes the localization process smoother.
Localization testing is performed after the initial localization is complete. Checks are undertaken to test whether localized elements of the product or service function properly, read accurately, are visually correct, and are well-suited to the locale in question. This is usually done by a native speaker.
Localization testing is different from globalization testing, in which technical checks are carried out to ensure a product or service is potentially able to function in any country. See above for the difference between globalization and localization.
Localization testing is an important localization service and should be done before a product or service is launched as a form of quality assurance (QA). This way, you know that your product value proposition is correct and that your company’s messages will resonate with customers.
For example, video game localization testing covers in-game text, speech or voice-overs, imagery, the functionality of gameplay and settings, subtitles, and more.
Content localization focuses on adapting what the user sees so that it is culturally and linguistically relevant to them. This involves making changes to both textual and visual elements.
The text could be simply translated for a new, international audience. However, ideas can have different meanings in different languages, emotive content can have a different impact, and cultural references can be lost on a foreign audience.
Localization companies can help by adapting the text to be suitable for the reader, wherever they may be. This ensures that the reader can connect and engage with what they are seeing.
Localizing visual elements
Likewise, visual content such as images and videos need to be appropriate to the new geographic area. Gestures are not international, while symbols and icons can have specific associations in different places.
Even colors need to be considered when launching content abroad. Red, for example, is often associated with warnings or anger in the United Kingdom (as seen on stop signs and dangerous product labels), in Japan it is said to denote heroism, in parts of Central Africa red is a symbol of life and in China, it is associated with courage and fortune.
Many major brands have fallen at the first hurdle when creating major marketing campaigns by not engaging with localization services. The results have included adverts with confusing imagery and even offensive connotations. Localization services are an important part of any content creation strategy. Employing the help of a professional localization agency such as Future Trans adds long term value and quality.
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