Localization—Making Every Project a Close Fit for its Target Market

Your document, website, or software interface was carefully designed in English to be accessible, easy to understand, and as friendly as possible, while communicating your message in a compelling way. Going global requires the same care for your target market, if you’re going to compete successfully. Localization is the process that ensures translations are finely tuned to be as understandable in your target market as at home.

Different character sets and alphabets can complicate this process. Units of measurement must be accurately converted, as well, to avoid misunderstandings and errors. In addition, cultural references and metaphors that work in English may not be appropriate in other nations. It is even possible to cause offense by unintentional mistakes in translation and incorrect use of idiomatic expressions. Finally, with languages such as Spanish, Portuguese, French, and others, local or national differences in the use of these languages offer unique challenges for translation.

ILS is always sensitive to local and cultural issues when providing your translations. We will alert you to any cultural issues in your material that need to be addressed and help correct them for your target audience. We can customize any translation to suit local language use or create more neutral, internationalized versions that can be easily adapted to the needs of specific target countries.

Localization strategies may include:

  • Developing glossaries & style guidelines
  • Editing locale-specific information
  • Reformatting text in graphics
  • Adjusting HTML code & scripts for websites
  • Revising software to meet country standards
  • Linguistic and functional testing
  • Ongoing quality control

Internationalization—Coping With Regional and National Language Differences

A common situation arises when documents and other textual material are translated into Spanish. Spanish, as spoken in Spain and in Latin America, has many variations in vocabulary and even in grammar. What is clearly understood in Barcelona, for example, may present difficulties for readers in Caracas or Mexico City. The differences are relatively small, in most cases, but may need to be addressed. Preparation of a neutral version of translated material makes it relatively easy and economical to achieve localization for any Spanish-speaking country. If your company does business in several Spanish-speaking countries, localization can be a powerful competitive tool, making your documents and other materials user-friendly for each nation. ILS is equipped to handle these localization issues, and can help you simplify the process.

Handling Every Detail of Your Translation

Wherever you do business, it’s crucial that you communicate in a way that conveys your message accurately and with sensitivity to the target nation and culture. Throughout the history of commerce, mistakes in translation have been a source of lost business, through inadvertent insult or cultural error. Localization takes local customs, language differences, metaphorical and idiom differences, and many other issues into consideration and produces translated documents that speak to your target audience clearly and respectfully. At ILS, our native translators are always sensitive to these issues, and help you communicate the message you intend.

Ready to begin a new translation project?