Localisation is the complex process of adapting your materials (website, software, brochure etc.) to your intended market. It can be part of the translation process or as a separate stage later on. It involves a thorough understanding of the local culture, its distinctive linguistic features and other characteristics.
Think of the following examples:
- Consider the word pants – while in the US they refer to trousers, in UK they denote underwear
- 02/04/2008 – is that 2nd of April or 4th of February?
- Colours can have different meanings in different cultures (white is generally regarding as denoting purity, cleanliness, but in China it is the colour of mourning)
- A picture is a thousand words, so choose them carefully. A picture of a cow may not mean much to you, but in India the cow is considered sacred
As you can see, localisation is more than the right words. It involves carefully taking into consideration aspects such as date, colours, images, currency etc.
Who works on your project?
When it comes to localisation (be it via translation or separately), we only use linguists with in-depth knowledge of the local culture. So, for instance, if you want to launch a new product for the Latin American market, we will use a linguist who knows the ins and outs of the cultural subtleties, the particularities of the Spanish used in that particular market.
You can have two situations where you may consider localisation services:
- You translate your materials or website into a different language which is spoken in various countries and differences may exist (for example, French is the official language in France, Belgium, Switzerland, Canada and 25 other countries). If you want to target a specific market (Belgium for instance), you will want to specify this when opting for translation services and we will use a linguist who can perfectly adapt your text to this specific audience
- You want to adapt your text to a new market where the same language is spoken, albeit with slight variations (e.g. British English vs American English); while the two variations of English are mutually intelligible, if you strive for perfection you will want to localise your content; British and American English sometimes use different phrases, idioms, spellings (localisation/localization; organise/organize; dialogue/dialog etc.)
How much does it cost?
If it is part of the translation, have a look at our translation fees for the language combination you require;
If it is adapting the text from one variant to another of the same language, it is usually around half the cost of translation, but each project is different. We would be happy to give you an exact quote once we have all the details.
How long does it take?
As a rule of thumb, a translator can translate around 1,500-2,000 words per day (sometimes more), but this depends on how specialised the text is, how legible the source text is, format etc. When you ask for a quote, we’ll be able to let you know what the turnaround will be. However, should you need it faster, we can also help by splitting the text between several translators, but this may affect quality and consistency and also cost if it is a rush job.
Giving us as many details about the project as possible ensures the best quality. What we need to know:
- The language combination and type of localisation
- Your audience
- If the text is intended for publishing or information only
- Your deadline if you have one
- Any reference materials (previous translations or texts, glossaries, terminology if available)