Localization, simply, is the process of localizing and adapting a product or any kind of content into a target market with regards to its culture, customs, and vernacular expressions.
The aim of localizing content is to give a product the look and feel that it’s been specifically created for that market regardless of their location, language, or culture. That brings us to the importance of localization, which is incontrovertible in this matter if one wishes to send their message across multiple countries.
Know Your Target Market Before Localizing
There are a lot of media to reach out to the audience you would like to address. One of them is through your website. Before localizing a website, it is important to prepare some guidelines to determine the target market. It will depend on what country or region you want your message to reach. You need to get information about your target so that you could adapt the content to their culture and current trends.
Some countries might have different preferences or lifestyles than others. For example, while in the U.S. business is more relaxed, in Poland it is more formal. If the content is translated into Polish using the American approach, it might come across as loose or unprofessional. So you might want to keep these kinds of factors in mind. You can find another interesting example in one of our previous blog posts ‘’Localization Impact on the Conversion Rate’’, shows that talking in the market’s language is very important for the sales operations of the companies.
Knowing the difference between localization and translation is crucial at this point. While translating the content would be just having the text accurately translated in the other language, localization is almost rewriting the content in a way that the target audience would understand as if it was written for them in their language.
The Importance of Cultural Context
Although cultural globalization is very active today, the cultural context remains important in reaching the target audience. Having a global marketing plan without a strategy to overrun the cultural gaps means having an incomplete plan which is destined to fail. A comprehensive understanding of people and places that you want to do business with has to guide the development of any international marketing, globalization, or localization strategy.
The benefits of globalization have been the subject of many studies. Despite these benefits, we can’t and we won’t see the effect of globalization as reflected in every detail of local cultures, so it remains important to know the visible and invisible subtleties of the local culture.
A well-known example would be that in Japanese culture, following business protocol is crucial and the Japanese are very strict about it. So, if you wanted to do business with a rule-following Japanese citizen, you would need to understand the differences between your culture and Japanese culture. For instance, in Japanese culture, there is no or little sarcasm. So, if your content is sarcastic, your Japanese partners won’t understand it, even if they understand they may not welcome it.
For all those reasons mentioned above, the significance and effects of glocalization should not be underestimated. You may develop your products or services globally but they are served locally. Barriers that exist because of the cultural differences are not blockaded if you avoid nationalism and apply deviceful measures that welcome local norms.
What are the Top 10 Languages to Localize Your Website?
When you want to go global and attract more visitors to your website, you will need to decide what languages the content should be localized in. Even though there are more than 6,000 languages spoken on earth, ten of them covers around 80% of the population. So, if you are targeting a bigger crowd rather than a niche audience, you might want to think about localizing your content into these languages:
MotaWord Localization Services
When you take a look at the current market conditions, website localization is a vital element, especially if you are dealing with an international crowd. With more than 21,000 professional translators working on our platform, MotaWord is highly equipped to localize your website into more than 95 languages. Moreover, with our website translation plugin, we provide a smooth process for you, considering the complex structure of the web.
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