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Is Localization a New Term for Translation?

Is Localization a New Term for Translation?

The world of translation is changing day by day. New opportunities, new business areas, and new visions are emerging. The translation profession no longer means simply transferring words by looking at a dictionary. With globalization, many unique job descriptions have appeared in the translation sector, one of which is localization. So what is localization? Is it translation, or does it have a much more comprehensive job description?

Localization is such a vast area… Yes, it also includes translation; a source is transferred to the target language. But translation is just one of many areas required for localization. You need to know how to market, sell, and sometimes code. Let’s say you translate a website; it may be necessary to make small changes within the site according to the target culture. For example, you may need to adjust the color of the ‘reject’ or ‘accept’ terms of use buttons. This is why translators in the localization sector are called localization experts, which means you must do more than master the source and target languages.

Examples of Real-Life Localization

A company that wants to open up to a new market will achieve much more successful results if it understands the importance of localization. No matter what product or service you provide, you must address people from other cultures differently. Even if you are one of the biggest brands on the planet and the whole world knows you, it is indispensable to do localization when entering a new market.

With the following real-life localization examples, you will understand how important the subject is!

KitKat in Japan:

Nestlé did a very successful localization while introducing its KitKat product to the Japanese market. KitKat is pronounced “kitto katto” in Japanese, which has a very similar pronunciation to the term “kitto katsu,” which means definite success. This resemblance has been so ingeniously used that a new tradition has emerged in Japan: parents have begun to gift KitKat bars before exams to bring luck to their children.

Mercedes in the Chinese Market

The famous automotive company Mercedes Benz found a nickname that the target audience could use when opening up to the Chinese market: Bensi. However, it has not been a very successful localization because the word “bensi” means “hurrying to die” in Chinese. Of course, no one was eager to buy cars marketed under that name!

A creative localization in Ice Age

Scenario localization is quite common today. We see a lot of TV content adapted from foreign series. The Ice Age scenario also went through a very successful localization process before it was released to the Turkish market. In the first film, we see the Dodo birds marching and singing, “The world has come to an end.” If you listen carefully, this is a successful adaptation of the Turkish military cadence “Yaylalar Yaylalar.” It appeals to the target audience and successfully conveys the message from the source.

All these localization examples demonstrate that companies wishing to open up to a new market should get localization services!

Is Localization a New Term for Translation?