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Communication is global. We see this in how we communicate on social media to how we do business. For example, global marketing used to be a priority of only multi-national corporations, but now, even small companies and individuals selling their products on eCommerce platforms need ways to communicate with people around the world.

To open new markets and appeal to customers around the globe, it is important not only to speak their language but understand their mentality. In business, a popular marketing principle is to comprehend the customer journey. This means having a clear idea of how a prospective customer sees your product or brand and what it seems to say to them.

To succeed with understanding best how to truly communicate with people around the world, translation is only one step. In some cases, localization is required for the complete cultural integration of your brand into that particular market.

Words do not simply tell us things. They convey feelings, inspire confidence, evoke emotions and provide comfort. Images and sounds are also useful in advertising to appeal to specific types of customers, and which images and sounds are appealing differ according to culture. Red in the United States may convey something very different than the color red conveys in Asia. Localization takes into account these elements that are often overlooked in regular translations

Localization and Translation: What Is the Difference?

Localization and translations are related concepts and tasks. Translation can be considered an essential step in localization, but localization expands the task of translation to include other elements.

Translation is the process of conveying speech or text in one language to that of another. As every translator knows, there are different ways of translating. Some translations are literal or are word for word translation that conveys precisely what is said without making allowance for expressions, connotations or other considerations aside from the words that are said or written.

Even when striving to produce a literal translation a translator may give a less literal translation to a certain expression so the other party will understand. For instance, if a speaker or writer in English will say “the grass is always greener,” instead of translating the expression word for word, which may leave the other party puzzled if they do not have the same expression in their language, the translator may find an expression that means something similar in their language or maxim expressing the idea that people tend to want what others have.

Localization goes a bit further than the example above and, instead of just looking for similar expressions in another language, will pay careful attention to cultural connotations and popular slang as well as etiquette, colors, and images that may communicate well in other cultures.

Examples of Effective Marketing Strategies Using Localization

Smaller companies can learn from multinational corporations such as Coca-Cola and Netflix. Since the 1970s with its culturally diverse and featuring the song “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” Coca-Cola has made a worldwide imprint by mastering the art of localization.

Coca-Cola’s campaign of putting 150 different names on its cans allowed the brand to almost literally address potential consumers. However, Chinese consumers tend to be a bit more formal when using first names. In China, Coca-Cola adapted its ad strategy to using nicknames instead of first names, such as “Classmate” and “Best Friend.”

Netflix is also a company that understands localization since its selection varies from country to country. Netflix makes the most of user search data and views of trailers and actual shows to determine which videos they should offer for streaming in which parts of the world. They also provide dubbing services to make it easier for their customers to enjoy global content

Translation Versus Localization: Which Do You Need?

There is no need to think of translation and localization as a choice between two different things. Instead, translation and localization are different aspects of the same process. Depending on the type of business, the market, translation may be enough, localization may be better or you may need both.

A typical website contains different types of content. The web copy on the home page is me1ant to provide an introduction and impression of your brand and encourage visitors to click on a link to find out more. Other pages may contain informative content that is meant to convey information.

For expository and informative content, a regular translation may be sufficient. However, it should be noted that the translation should be well-versed with the terms used in your industry. For instance, if you have a legal website, you will want a paralegal or at least someone with significant experience in legal issues to translate the text.

Localization services may do a better job of appealing directly to the emotions, which is what you need for your home page or content that is meant to drive conversions, encourage people to click or sign up, or calls to action. Finding a localization expert that can make your content compelling to consumers in other countries may involve tweaking an existing translation and adding colors, images, and slogans that will appeal to a culturally specific group of consumers.

You may hire a translator and a localization expert, but often, these can be the same people. They should have a deep knowledge of the country or society and may even be native. Even fluency in a language does not always create a feeling of intimacy with a culture that a person develops living in those societies for some time.

About Our Localization Services

We offer translation and localization services for a variety of platforms. Our experts can generate texts, refine website copy and assist with marketing texts. Our team is not only fluent in languages, but is well-versed in the cultural context and the mentality of your target audience. Our services will ensure texts are faithful translations and will strike the right chord with the reader or listener. We have a multi-faceted communication approach with our localization services and pay careful attention to connotation, visuals, and trends.

About us

Strato Language Services is a multidisciplinary transcription and translations company that was founded and built on the premise of providing quality language solutions to a broad base of clients.

Contact details

33 Ballyclare Drive, Ballywoods Office Park, Cedarwood House, Johannesburg

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