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Since ancient times, people have tried various ways to communicate with each other. Intercomprehension has not always been easy for people who live in different geographies and have different cultures. Linguistic and social variations are among the factors that have interrupted ongoing communication efforts throughout history. Every society has its own unique expressions, proverbs, and words with some specific meanings. It is not always possible to translate these words or phrases into another language. In the translation of cultural elements into another language, the absence of a word in the target language to meet that meaning complicates the translation process. At this point, we come across the term localization. So, what exactly is, and what isn’t, localization?

What is Localization? 

Localization is a practice of translation used in many different domains from products and services to literary works. Thanks to the localization applied by translators, especially regarding scientific, academic and technical texts, the text transcreated in the target language gets a style specific to that region or locality. Let’s take the translation of a novel as an example. A novel with a very strong spirit and a very fluent style in its own native language will not be able to tug on its readers’ heartstrings when translated without being localized. A similar case also applies to technical texts or product/service catalogs. For example, a technological device manufactured in the United States is produced on the basis of feet, not a metric unit. The details in the user manual are also described in this way. However, the manufacturer must use meters as the unit of measurement when it wants to introduce the same product in Turkey. Localization in translation is something exactly like that. It matches the text to be translated to the cultural norms and practices of the target language.

Localization Types 

Localization in translation is performed in many different areas. Especially in the marketing field, it is more important that the advertising messages address the culture of the target language rather than their whole and complete translation. Therefore, advertising localization is of great importance, especially on websites that promote products or services. Professional game localization is one of the most preferred areas of the practice of localization. It is much more successful for creative translators who know the game world and have an excellent command of both languages to translate a game into the target language. The fields that use localization in translation may be listed as follows:

  • Game Localization
  • Software Localization
  • Digital Content Localization
  • Web Site Localization
  • Mobile Apps Localization
  • Localization of Literary Works

Through its more than twenty years of experience, Mirora offers many localization services, especially for games and websites. If you would like to get information about this service, you may conveniently contact us via e-mail or phone.

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Localization involves adapting a product’s translation to fit the cultural, functional, and linguistic specifics of a target market. It extends beyond mere translation by modifying elements like images, layout, and even software and hardware to suit local preferences and comply with local laws.

Localization ensures that a product or service is culturally and linguistically tailored to the target market. It enhances user experience, boosts sales potential, and strengthens a global brand’s reputation by demonstrating sensitivity to local norms and preferences.

While translation focuses on converting text from one language to another, localization adjusts all elements of a product or service to align with the cultural, social, and legal facets of a target market. This process includes modifications to units of measure, date formats, and cultural references.

Industries that greatly benefit from localization include software and gaming, marketing, e-commerce, education, and entertainment. These sectors often require highly localized content to effectively engage users and comply with local standards.

A localization specialist is responsible for adapting content and products for specific regional markets, ensuring that translations are culturally and contextually appropriate. They work on translating language, modifying graphics, and ensuring compliance with local regulations, among other tasks.

 A prime example of localization is seen in Netflix’s strategy of producing region-specific original content. For example, the series “Sacred Games,” tailored for the Indian audience, is set in Mumbai and integrates Hindi dialogue and local cultural references effectively. This approach highlights Netflix’s commitment to engaging diverse global audiences by resonating with their specific cultural contexts.

Another example of successful localization is Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” campaign, which personalized bottle labels with popular local names in various countries. This campaign not only fostered a personal connection with consumers but also respected and celebrated the diversity of names and cultures, significantly boosting engagement and sales globally.

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