Localisation means tailoring content to a specific audience or market, to make the product more suitable for that market segment or geographic area in terms of not only language, but cultural nuances and the overall “look and feel” of the product or content.
The purpose of localisation is to make the product or content appear as if it has been developed specifically with that market segment in mind, considering their language(s) or dialect(s), cultural preferences and/or where they are located in the world.
Translation is just one of the multiple stages involved in localisation. As well as translation, localisation may consist of:
- Tailoring information about your product or service according to the preferences or consumer behaviours of a particular market segment
- Editing images for your target audience
- Making adjustments to the design and layout of your page so that the translation fits in place of the source text correctly
- Currency conversions and making sure that measurements, eg. distances and diameters, meet local standards
- Adapting contact details or dates and times to suit local conventions
- Taking local laws into consideration
So the localisation company may make changes to not only spelling and tone, but currencies, units of measurement and legal information.
Localisation in business can include translating the user interface, user guide and/or accompanying documentation, ensuring that any graphics used and general logic are culturally suitable for the end user. There can be subtle differences between versions.
Software localisation involves translating the user interface and messaging to another language and adapting units of measurement, time and date, currencies, contact details and sometimes even file formats to suit the target audience.
Website localisation refers to making adjustments to a webpage to suit the language and culture of a market segment. This adaptation should reflect cultural and linguistic preferences from the images to the general layout and design, while still communicating the original ideas and message of the product. It’s essential that the information communicated is concise and easy to understand to avoid cultural miscommunication or causing offence.