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What is the difference between translation and localization services?

Are you confused between translation and localization services? Or maybe you’ve been looking for the best way to set up a translation or localization project? This article will help you understand what these terms mean and how they relate to one another. Let’s jump right in!

Translation services

The translation  is converting text from one language to another language. The translation may be required in cases where specific laws, standards, and regulations do not allow the direct use of one language in another country. 

For instance, a company offering a product in a foreign market will have to have its manuals translated into the other language as per the requirement of that country’s laws. Businesses often use the help of  a translation service online. The workers there make sure that the quality of the translation meets all the requirements. 

Localization services

When we talk about localization services, we refer to the process of converting text in one language into another language after taking into consideration the linguistic and cultural preferences of a target audience. So the final product, in this case, must be designed keeping in mind the distinct cultural environment of a target audience.

For instance, some countries do not want to share their birthday information or do not like choosing their “gender” while filling out personal profiles on various websites. Some companies have their localization teams, but some still prefer to deal with localization services

What is the difference between translation and localization services?

Translation and localization are used together for the same project; however, they serve different purposes. While translation converts text from one language to another, localization adapts a product for a foreign market.

For instance, you want your product to be marketed in the Spanish market. The localization process will ensure that the text is translated into Spanish while keeping in mind the cultural norms and linguistic preferences of an audience in that country.

This way, it’s ensured that these texts are culturally appropriate and easy to understand by Spanish native speakers.

If you need the services of translation or localization agencies, it’s essential to make sure that you are working with an experienced company that can offer you the best quality.

What are they used for?

There is a big difference between localization and translation services.

The translation is somewhat of a broad word, which means a need to convert one language into another language. The most significant aspect of this is the lack of consideration of the culture used in the text.

It does not always work in every instance. It may be crucial to consider local cultural factors for marketing purposes. If a company is trying to sell food products in Germany, it must conform to the German food standards. If not, the product will not sell there well, regardless of the quality of translation. That is why translation will be appropriate for documents and materials that do not require cultural adaptation.

But when we speak about localization, we suppose it is a process that involves adopting a product for a country or culture. The greatest thing about localization is that it is specifically tailored to the needs of a particular country.

For instance, the German version of an app was created by an American company and translated into German. It is not very suitable for the German market, as it does not consider German cultural preferences. It may cause the text to be nonsensical, confusing, and not understandable to native German speakers. Even corporations made such mistakes before, and later they had to have full rebranding campaigns to save their reputation. That is why if your goal is to enter new markets, you would better consider localization. 

The benefits of using localization services

When you need to translate your product, the appropriate language standards must be followed. The translators involved in this process require detailed data regarding the target market and the local culture.

There are technical aspects to consider as to how the text will be delivered (for example, certain words should not be translated), grammar, formatting, style, etc. This means that if you want to increase your market share, you must ensure that your translations follow set standards, given the language in which they will be used.

Therefore, you must verify who they are using (translating for) when using a translation service. You need to ensure that the standards are followed and that the text is translated correctly. Thus, when you are entering a new market, your product will look “native”, the new audience will understand you clearly. It will help your product to be popular, and customers will become more loyal with time, as they will see that you care about their needs. And this means that they may even share your articles or links on your services/products with their friends who speak only their mother tongue. Thus the potential market will grow daily.

How to choose the best service for your business

With all the talk about globalization, it can be easy to overlook that all countries are not created in the same way. Just because you are starting up a business in one country does not mean you can pick from a large pool of translators you need to find your team! You should do some research to find preferred service providers and make sure that they have trained translators from those regions to where your products or services will be sold.

Also, a company that has language specialists will automatically mean that the translators who work for them only work with one client at any given time. It means that the quality control is more rigorous, and translation errors are easily detected and eliminated quickly. Make sure that your team meets these 2 most essential requirements.

Final thoughts

The terms “translation service” and “localization service” are often used interchangeably, but there is a big difference between them. A translation service requires text translation from one language to another. A localization service goes beyond translation to consider cultural differences and local sensibilities. It means that translation is just a part of localization.

A good localization service will ensure that your translated content sounds natural in a target language. It will also consider differences in grammar, syntax, and vocabulary. Above all, a good localization service will ensure that your content is culturally relevant for the target market, and your product or service doesn’t look odd.

Now that you know what translation and localization services  are, you may strategically choose the best service provider to fit your needs. 

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