When you think “localisation” the first thing that comes to mind is the positioning of objects. However, with translations, it’s about adapting communication to a country or region. The translated text must do more than just convert the meaning of words from one language to another.
Localisation takes translation to the next level by applying vocabulary, connotations and language used by persons to whom the text is addressed. For instance, as shown by the 2014 Common Sense Advisory survey, consumers choose to buy a particular product because the information was provided in their native language.
The goal of language localisation is to convey the MEANING in a way that’s relatable and personable for the customer
Localisation is used not only when translating from one language to another. Many times, the same language requires adaptation between its variants.
This is the case, for example, with Latin America, where some Spanish variants are used: Mexican, Argentinian or Columbian. Therefore, the texts addressed to people in particular countries of the region require adaptation to resonate better with prospective customers.
Localisation – when?
Localisation is a must nowadays. Certain specialised translation texts require language localisation. Above all, the special touch of adaptation applies to products and services, such as:
- computer games,
- marketing materials and ads.
Localisation also applies to specific elements of documents or products addressed to a foreign customer. Many times, it is necessary to adapt these elements so that the translated text reads correctly. In particular, the following items should be adapted or modified:
- numbers and dates > different formats of writing dates in British and American English,
- measurements > different units of volume, weight or length (sometimes even the same units have different values, such as ounces in UK and USA),
- cultural elemens > such as bank holidays in a given country
- language elements > such as variants of English, Spanish or Portuguese
- graphic elements > in some countries certain images may be seen as offensive
Localisation – why?
There are several reasons why a company should consider localisation when entering an international market.
As I mentioned before, customers are more prone to buy products based on information provided in their native language. Therefore, limiting language barriers for customers will translate into a better user experience. Brands that are trusted enjoy better sales conversions. In other words, a localised website will make it easier for the customer to make a buying choice.
Customers trust more those brands that go local. Communication with customers in their own language makes them feel more comfortable and in control. Therefore, it promotes the brand as one that cares for its customers and understands what they need. A happy customer will more likely become the brand ambassador, too.
The customer must feel that the product has been developed with his needs in mind
Localisation helps to avoid stepping on a cultural mine. In addition, it ensures that the customer will not associate the product with something hilarious or offensive. Companies that release a product while skipping the localisation step often have to bear serious consequences. For instance, their image suffers, the ROI drops, and they often have to withdraw the product or redo the whole campaign. Even some globally recognised companies have not managed to stay error-free when it comes to translation and localisation.
Localisation – for whom?
Localisation is the key to positive brand identity. At the same time, it focuses on a customer in a particular country or region. It allows a product or service to be recognised globally and to be accepted locally. Any company that wants to build a relationship with a foreign customer should use localisation services. This is because localisation is the key to reaching prospective customers and building a positive association with the brand.
The translation is often not enough to successfully localise a product. It is just the first step of work on a text. The next one is to refine and adapt the text to the needs and context of local culture. Above all, the goal is to build a relationship with the customer, to generate positive associations and emotions. It is the emotions that make the customer want to buy a particular product or service. Other tools, such as advanced software, technical support and practical knowledge on a particular country or region are needed, too.
Contact me to discuss your next project addressed to the Polish audience. You need a reliable translator that knows the local context well, that speaks the language natively and understands all the nuances of Polish reality.