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Most Common Implementation: Website Localization

Localization, in the context of translation, is the process of adapting content (language) to a specific marketplace (see language localization definition below). Localization is but one step in the translation process when the target audience is foreign to your home market. In effect, in a multi-lingual communication environment, especially with respect to sales and marketing, translation and localization are co-dependent.

The quickest and most obvious way to go after foreign business is by way of your website. Nowadays, this is where much of the emphasis of localization work is placed. A multilingual website signals that you mean business. It also delivers a clear message to the people in the target market that you are sensitive to their language needs.

Of course, in order to be effective, the message has to be crafted with local language requirements in mind. There is much that can go wrong ... (See Mangled Localization.)

In addition to appropriate language, the website localization process should also take into account the search engine optimization idiosyncrasies of the local marketplace. After all, it's one thing to have a multilingual website; it's a whole different story to have it rank in search engines such that it will readily be found.

In other words, there's little point in having a website translated into Spanish, if it's invisible to people who search the web using Spanish terminology that your website has not been optimized for.

And that's the rub. It's daunting enough to make an English language website search engine friendly, it becomes an even greater challenge for multilingual websites. Considerations like special characters and displaying them properly, translators unfamiliar with the search terminology of the local culture, regional search filters, etc., are but some examples. (See also: Translating for SEO.)

Going Global with E-mail Marketing

When it comes to selling products or services that have universal appeal, think in terms of the global outlook but execute with local markets in mind.

Translation, though critical, is but one aspect of the marketing requirements. Keep in mind that selling to consumers in different regions of the world will require that you apply techniques, wording, tactics and strategies that are suitable to a given locale. Selling a product or service in the province of Quebec would demand a different approach to the one used in, say Vancouver, British Columbia; the same would apply to a State of Maine audience versus a Los Angeles audience – same country, very different people.

You have to figure out how to relate to a multitude of local audiences. One important consideration is humour; what may be funny to a white New York audience may not be received or perceived as even remotely humourous by a hispanic audience in New Mexico, let alone Mexico. So tread carefully; play it safe, avoid playing the comedian.

Websites and E-mail Marketing: Target Market Considerations

  • Your online marketing program's targeting must go beyond a localized response page. The landing page of the URL should also be localized.
  • Content should be available in your prospects' native-language.
  • Non-roman alphabet languages (Russian, Arabic, Chinese...) will require a different page layout paradigm. Don't assume that an American design will be pleasing to visitors who read from right to left.
  • Don't lose sight of privacy legislation. Rules vary widely from one jurisdiction to another, from the very restrictive (Scandinavia is an example) to the permissive. "Opt-in" and "Opt-out" rules and controls also vary widely.
  • The bottom line is research. Online marketers need to do their homework for every country they wish to target in order to sell effectively and legitimately in far off locales.

    Language Localization Defined (in the context of translation)

    Language localization: Localization (from Latin locus (place) and the English term locale, "a place where something happens or is set") is the second phase of a larger process of product translation and cultural adaptation (for specific countries, regions, or groups) to account for differences in distinct markets, a process known as internationalisation and localisation.

    Language localisation is not merely a translation activity, because it involves a comprehensive study of the target culture in order to correctly adapt the product to local needs. Localisation is sometimes referred to by the numeronym L10N (as in: "L", followed by ten more letters, and then "N").

    The localisation process is most generally related to the cultural adaptation and translation of software, video games, and websites, and less frequently to any written translation (which may also involve cultural adaptation processes). Localisation can be done for regions or countries where people speak different languages, or where the same language is spoken: for instance, different dialects of Spanish, with different idioms, are spoken in Spain than are spoken in Latin America; likewise, word choices and idioms vary among countries where English is the official language (e.g., in the United States, the United Kingdom, and the Philippines).

    Source: Wikipedia – Content available under GNU Free Documentation License

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    The proofreading service is combined with light copy-editing: checking for grammar; improper language usage; run-on sentences; consistency issues; etc. Our objective is to improve the formatting, style and accuracy of your written material without changing the content.

    Albany Website Translation  Website Translation and Localization Services for professional practices: We have substantial expertise in the translation of website content. However, our website translation service goes well beyond the translated word. We approach website translation assignments with localization considerations in mind: cultural adaptation (appropriateness); target audience(s); search engine optimization (SEO).

    Our objective is to ensure that your translated website is effective in reaching its intended audience, delivers your business message strongly and succinctly, projecting a credible professional image while protecting your reputation.

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