Website localization is a service that has risen to prominence in recent years in response to the need to satisfy the requirements of today’s user-centric market.
The concept of User Experience (UX) is becoming increasingly bespoke, with websites being customized to suit the target audience in question. And an essential part of this is ensuring that digital content is adapted to reflect the target culture, rather than purely focusing on translation.
What is localization?
On the simplest level, website localization – and indeed localization for any kind of text – is the process that happens after translation itself.
The translation process concentrates solely on the linguistic side of the text, converting it from the target language to the source language. The result is a translated text which remains faithful to the original, yet is fluid and easily understandable for the target audience.
Localization goes one step further, introducing the concepts of linguistic and cultural adaptation. This process not only makes a text more accessible for native speakers of a specific language, but also helps to guarantee that the message is instantly and completely understandable by ensuring that it comes across naturally and spontaneously – as if it were originally conceived in the target language and culture.
It’s a process that draws on a range of different disciplines, helping to bring the content in line with the expectations of the target audience using not only language but also the specific cultural, social and communicative reference points to which target readers are accustomed.
As such, localization usually offers plenty of poetic license to translators, who are entitled to make significant changes to and departures from the original text.
Localization focuses on linguistic elements such as:
Yet the most elements targeted during localization are cultural and social:
These are just a few of the many complex issues you need to consider when localizing content.
Why localize a website?
Localization is a process that is applicable to any type of text. Having said that, there’s no doubt that localization is most effective in areas just as communications, advertising, marketing, software, apps and websites.
Any content that targets users with the aim of engaging them, helping them and winning and retaining their loyalty can’t afford to overlook the benefits of localization.
There are nearly 4.54 billion people on the internet nowadays. According to Common Sense Advisory, 72% of internet users demonstrate a strong preference for browsing and/or making purchases from websites which have information translated and localized into their native language.
Often, a well-localized website can be more important than price when it comes to deciding to make a purchase.
Translating a website may make it easier to understand the information, boosting user confidence and increasing the conversion rate, but localization further optimizes the Customer Experience (CX) by ensuring the content is not just accessible but carefully tailored to fit the expectations of the user.
Website localization starts with translation, but also includes:
Website localization – as we’ve seen – is a highly complex process, drawing on a range of specialist skills in order to ensure optimum effectiveness. As such, it’s vital that companies turn to professional translation agencies, with a team of dedicated professionals, for all their website localization needs.
The only way to guarantee that content is of a high quality in every language is to draw on the collaborative efforts of qualified translators, transcreators and native-speaker copywriters, underpinned by SEO specialists in the target languages. It’s this approach that will boost engagement with end users by optimizing the positioning of a particular website in local search engines.
For any company looking to expand around the world, localizing their website, marketplace or online store is essential. But not all localization services are equal! Come and discover ours – you’ll be amazed by the results!