There is a slight difference between website translation and localization. Translation entails changing a text to a new language while keeping the context in mind. You focus on changing the existing content on a website to another language while ensuring it mirrors the style and tone of your source content. It’s often applied to technical documentation such as medical and legal documents. For example, you can translate a manual for a new medical technology piece from English to French while ensuring the text matches precisely.
Localization considers the cultural, visual, and technological aspects of changing a website to fit users in a different region. It adjusts several elements to ensure the translation appeals to the culture receiving the message. For example, localization adjusts the culturally sensitive material, slang, expressions, idioms, and legal requirements.
Instead of translating the content word for word, localization adapts the language to fit the local culture of the target market. However, the most striking example of localization is offered by language adaptation. For example, the phrase “raining dogs and cats” has a different cultural connotation in the US and Brazil. Therefore, you cannot translate the phrase literally and achieve the same meaning.
Understanding the difference between these terms can help extend your website reach more efficiently. Sometimes translating your website can lead to problems of intent and clarity. This happens when machine translation doesn’t follow a professional editing cycle. If you plan to write an informal blog post with humour and idioms, you must consider the cultural implications since they may have different meanings in two cultures.
High-quality localization services can help increase your return on investment. A perfect example of localization is the Coca-Cola campaign that was localized for different regions. The goal of localizing a website is to convert the product into a simple message to your target audience. The translator must take cultural norms into account and transform the syntax into phrases that make sense to the target audience.