When it comes to creating a successful product in different parts of the world, it’s important to consider localization. This means adapting the product to consider differences in language, culture, and preferences.
There are dos and don’ts when it comes to language localization, and if you want your product to be successful abroad, you’ll need to follow them.
This article will discuss the dos and don’ts to make localization easier for you.
The dos and don’ts of language localization
When localizing content for a new market, there are a few dos and don’ts that you should keep in mind in order to ensure success:
Dos of Language Localization
1. Do your research
It is essential that you have a good understanding of the target market before starting the localization process. Research the country or region you’re targeting. This includes understanding the customs, culture, and norms of the market. Only by doing your research can you hope to create content that will resonate with your new audience.
2. Do Proper Planning
When it comes to localization, planning is key. Localizing content takes time and effort, so plan and give yourself enough time to properly translate and adapt all your content. Otherwise, you risk rushing through the process and producing poor-quality translations.
- Do use a professional translator or localization company
Get professional translation services. A professional translator will have an in-depth understanding of both the source and target languages and any specific cultural nuances that need to be considered. If possible, try to find a translator who is a native speaker of the target language; this will help ensure that your content sounds natural and fluid.
4. Do proofread your localized content thoroughly.
Even if you are using professional translation services, it is important to check the localized content yourself (or have someone else do it) to ensure that there are no errors or mistranslations. Remember, even a small mistake can reflect poorly on your brand and damage your credibility in the eyes of your new audience.
5. Do consider different writing styles for different markets.
Formal writing is preferred in some cultures, while informal writing may be more effective in others. It depends on your target market; research the style most appropriate for them before starting the localization process.
6. Do keep your content updated
Once your product or website is live in the new market, don’t forget about it. Keep your content up-to-date and relevant to your target audience. Regularly check for any outdated information and make sure to update the content accordingly.
7. Do monitor your results
Monitor your product or website’s performance in the new market. Check things like website traffic, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction levels. This will give you valuable insights into how well your localization efforts are working and what areas need improvement.
Don’t of Language Localization
1. Don’t literalize translations
When localizing content for a new market, it is important to remember not to use literal translation. What makes sense in one language may not make sense in another, and you risk producing poor-quality translations if you don’t consider this. So be sure to do your research before starting the localization process, and use a professional translator who has a deep understanding of both the source and target languages.
For example, consider this literal translation from English to Spanish: “The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak.”
In Spanish, this would be translated as; “El espíritu está dispuesto pero la carne es débil”
It makes no sense in Spanish because “ Carne ” can also mean “ meat ”.
A more accurate translation would be; “El espíritu está dispuesto pero la voluntad es débil.”
2. Don’t forget about context.
Words can have different meanings depending on their context; what may be considered offensive in one culture may be perfectly acceptable in another. When localizing content for a new market, it is important to consider the words themselves and their connotations and implications.
So always keep the context in mind when localizing content, and try to find a translation that conveys the same meaning as the original word without being offensive.
3. Don’t forget about cultural differences
Cultural differences can greatly impact how your content is received in a new market. What may be considered normal or acceptable in one culture may be offensive or taboo in another. It is important to research and consider cultural differences when localizing content for a new market.
For example, in some cultures, it is perfectly acceptable to show public displays of affection, while such behavior would be considered inappropriate in others.
You also need to be aware of things like humor, sarcasm, and idioms, as these can often be lost in translation. What may sound funny in one language may not sound funny in another, and what may come across as sarcastic in one language may be taken literally in another. Idioms are also often lost in translation, as they are specific to one culture and may not make sense in another.
So when localizing content, be aware of cultural differences and try to find ways to adapt your content to be appropriate for the target market.
4. Don’t make assumptions about your target market
Just because you’re familiar with a certain culture does not mean that you understand all of its nuances and customs. It is essential to research before localizing content for a new market and avoid making assumptions about your target audience.
5. Don’t forget about the little things
It’s easy to get caught up in the big-picture aspects of localization and forget about the small details. But it’s important to remember that even the smallest mistake can reflect poorly on your brand. So be sure to proofread your localized content thoroughly before making it live and to have it reviewed by a native speaker of the target language.
6. Don’t underestimate the importance of SEO
Just because your product or website is available in a new market doesn’t mean people will be able to find it. That’s why optimizing your localized content for search engines in the target market is important. This will help ensure that your product or website appears in search results when people are looking for it.
7. Don’t forget about your existing customers
When expanding into a new market, it’s important to remember your existing customer base. They are likely to be some of your biggest advocates in the new market, so be sure to keep them updated on your localization efforts and make it easy for them to share your content with their networks.
8. Don’t unnecessarily complicate things
Keep your sentence structure simple and easy to understand; try not to use too many idioms or colloquialisms, as these may not translate well. Also, avoid using puns, as they are often lost in translation.
9. Don’t neglect visuals
Remember, images and videos are also part of your content. When localizing visuals, remember things like color symbolism and gestures, which vary widely from culture to culture.
Localizing your content for a new market can be daunting, but following these simple dos and don’ts can help ensure success.
Just remember to do your research, use a professional translator or localization company, proofread thoroughly, consider different writing styles for different markets, and don’t forget about context.
With these guidelines in mind, you’re well on your way to reaching new heights with your business.