Website Localization is the process of adapting an existing website to local language and culture in the target market. It is the process of adapting a website into a different linguistic and cultural context — involving much more than the simple translation of text. This modification process must reflect specific language and cultural preferences in the content, images and overall design and requirements of the site – all while maintaining the integrity of the website.
Extending your business' reach into both your local market and the international market is vital for your business growth. By simply localizing your website, you can effectively pull the heartstrings of target customers and experience maximized profits. Many companies lose great opportunities to acquire new customers and sustain existing customers because they have only one general website using single language!
In Translife, we can support not only language localization but also technical aspects in creating websites.
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The process of website localization is complex and involves three different levels of adaptation.
First is translation. Website localization involves adapting any text being used into the language of the country. It is important that translation of information be “clear and understandable” to avoid cultural misunderstanding or offense. In order to translate, the "target culture" must be known.
Second is the actual localization, which includes translation but also involves all other efforts and activities to ensure that the adaptation of textual materials, visual displays, illustrations and graphics are “linguistically and culturally appropriate for the target locale.” Target locale is understood as the “market segment defined by criteria including language, currency, and perhaps educational level or income bracket.” Among the many technical elements which can be localized are: date and time formats, currency formats, number formats, address and telephone number formats, units of measure and connection speed. In order to ensure effective communication during the localization process, it is important to consider the following items: information architecture, theme and navigation, graphics, photographs, audio, and visual.
Third is internationalization, which involves making sure that the software being used is fully compatible with the technology of the country in question.
There are two important considerations to keep in mind during the process of website localization. The first is to focus on the demands of the user. The readers of the “localized version of the website” want to be able to read and understand the pages in a way that makes sense to them. A second consideration is to take into account the goals of the client, whether an institution, government or individual, for example.