Helping you expand into new markets by adapting your messages to suit the culture of your target audience
What is language localisation?
Translation and localisation are both ways of reaching new audiences. Translation is what makes your content understandable, but localisation is what makes it relatable.
Translation vs. Localisation: What is the difference?
Translation conveys the meaning of the original source-language document through an equivalent target-language text. Localisation takes this a step further, and is about more than simply converting text from one language into another. By localising your content, the translator seeks to adapt your message in a way that better connects with the local culture.
Translation is only the first step towards localising your content. Overcoming linguistic barriers may help you get your message across, but you also need to tackle any cultural barriers. Doing so will allow you to establish yourself as a key player in the local market. In the end, if you want your business to go global, then localisation needs to play an integral role in your marketing strategy.
Connecting with your target audience
Localisation is all about providing international audiences with clear content that speaks to them on a cultural level. The target text should feel as though it was originally created specifically for your new audience.
This means that there is no one-size-fits-all solution, even when delivering content to audiences that share the same language. When marketing in the UK, America and Australia, the same company would need to take a different approach for each audience.
Both translation and localisation can help you enter new global markets and expand your customer base. However, translation is just one part of a broader localisation strategy, which involves multiple techniques for effectively addressing your local audiences’ needs.
In order for a business to be truly successful abroad, products and services need to be tailored to each locale by taking into account specific cultural differences.
Which elements do I need to localise?
Once you have defined your target audience, the first step is to think about your written content. The more culture-specific references your copy contains, the more difficult it will be to translate into other languages and cultures. You will need to adapt your translations in a way that remains true to your original intentions, while also feeling familiar to your target market.
But there is a lot more to localisation than just text. It involves a whole range of other elements, making sure the overall impression of your documents has the right impact on your audience.
- Visual content and graphics
It is important to consider all the visual elements that appear in your content. This includes images and videos, as well as colour palettes and emojis. More than just stylistic preferences, these elements often bear symbolic meanings that vary across different cultures.
You need to make sure that your visual content is not offensive, inappropriate or full of negative connotations.
- Layout and design
Some layout changes might be necessary in order to display your localised text appropriately. This could include reversing the placement of menus and buttons when translating into languages that use right to left script.
- Metric units
Help your audiences browse through your content more easily by using local currencies and units of measurement. It is also a good idea to use local preferences for formatting dates, times and contact details, such as addresses and phone numbers.
- Legal aspects
Make sure you comply with any legal requirements that apply to your target market, especially regulations concerning user data protection.
Who should I trust with my localisation needs?
Creating an effective localisation strategy and putting it into action can be tricky. You need to find someone who can understand your business goals, and then use the right skills and resources to help you achieve them.
This is why an accredited language service provider (LSP) would be your safest option. An LSP has both the technical know-how and linguistic expertise to ensure that your content takes off across multiple local markets.
With more than 25 years of experience, we use all the latest localisation trends to help you stay one step ahead of the competition. Combining linguistic excellence in multiple language pairs with expertise in a wide range of fields, our specialist teams will support all your localisation needs.
From marketing campaigns to website content, software and user interfaces, we will make sure that your target audience receives a quality experience localised to them.