A native professional for your localization needs.
I specialize in software and website localization to help companies effectively communicate with global audiences.
What Is Localization?
Localization is the process of adapting a product or content to a specific locale, country or region to account for differences in distinct markets. Localization (also referred to as “l10n”) differs from translation in that it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to properly adapt products and services to local needs. In addition to translation, the localization process may require personalizing graphics, customizing content and adapting conventions to target markets in order for products and services to look and feel like having been created specifically for that particular target audience.
If your software company is trying to identify new opportunities to tap in new markets with your existing products or services without localizing them, most probably prospects won’t even try them. Linguistic barriers would deter even the most determined buyers, if they can’t retrieve meaningful information from UIs or support portals, because they may not make the most out of your tools nor get any help when issues arise.
This is particularly true for websites: web pages that are not localized miss their main objective – being informative. If the readership cannot access information, those pages are not of much use to them. Undoubtedly, interested prospects may put some effort in overcoming such obstacle thus moving forward, but others may well just move away. When confronted with such situations, consumers’ reaction is generally a drop in interest, because they fail to identify with what they see.
Typically, websites should not demand any efforts from visitors, all the more if the related companies are trying to sell them something. So, a first, important step for businesses willing to expand their reach would be to localize such text to give readers a sense of familiarity and start getting them engaged.
Linguistic Accuracy Matters
However, pages that are badly localized or linguistically inaccurate push customers’ interest away even further. Linguistic inaccuracy can get even worse, up to the point that it gets utterly incomprehensible at times, as if machine-translated, thus failing to grab readers’ attention because no message is coming through. A visitor would get the feeling companies are not really interested in communicating clearly with their leads, thus resulting in the opinion that the same lack of accuracy, reliability and professionalism is surely to be expected from their products or services.
Websites should serve the purpose they were created for: provide information, primarily – even if the final purpose is generally to sell. If they fail at this, they will also fail to be a valid marketing tool. Localization is of primary importance for grabbing customers’ attention, which implies much more than the mere translated text. It simplifies customers’ journey by reducing the effort companies require from them, which would then be perceived positively, thus helping improve website visits and conversions, accordingly. This, combined with product localization, would yield the best results.
Companies should ease most of the burden of efforts demanded from customers and get closer to them, not only linguistically, but culturally and, overall, “personally”. It means that if you want to convey your message to your target audience, you should start speaking not only their language, but their culture and, ultimately, their “personality”. So, don’t settle just for any linguistic solution, beware of machine translation and choose professional localization services!