Globalisation or localisation of your translated text - which one do you need? - Langbay: tłumaczenia polsko-angielskie EN
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Globalisation or localisation of your translated text – which one do you need?

Globalisation and localisation of translation relate to adapting communication to the needs of those who speak different languages, live in other countries, and are immersed in different cultures.
Maja Walczak
Maja Walczak
17 November 2023
Langbay: tłumaczenia polsko-angielskie EN - Globalisation or localisation of your translated text – which one do you need?

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What is the globalisation of translation? When you don’t need literal 1:1 translation What is the localisation of translation? Tailored translation services for companies

Today, multilingual communication for various markets is already prepared at the product planning stage. You can approach translating texts that are meant to suit many different audiences in two ways — through globalisation or localisation. This article will explain the difference. 

What is the globalisation of translation?

The globalisation of translation aims to prepare a text connecting people of different cultures. To do so, the text must not contain references only understood in a small community. In the process of globalising translation, the translator must also take good care of any troubling thoughts and elements. The translation of such type of text takes work. While these might seem funny in one culture, they may confuse or be considered offensive in another. The translator’s task is to simplify communication, avoid idioms or locally fashionable but globally incomprehensible phrases, and, above all, ensure that the translated material is consistent. Therefore, the text will be universal and general at the end of this process. Its main goal is to build understanding between people who speak different languages. Having globalised the translation, you can use the exact text on a website or product packaging in multiple languages in other countries. 

When you don’t need literal 1:1 translation

More and more products, however, cannot function in distant local markets with a literal direct translation. Therefore, we mean the localisation of translation when it comes to adapting a product to the local market culture. This process makes the text embedded in the local context understandable at the level of a given culture. Companies decide to localise their communication in the target language as it brings measurable benefits. 

Research conducted by Distomo shows that localised applications are downloaded 128% more often than non-localized competitors. In addition, the profits of localised applications are 26% higher than those without local language versions. 

If you want the text localisation process to be effective, you should proceed with a series of activities I will not refer to in detail right now. Those activities include distinguishing all of the elements of culture and content characteristics for a given country already at the product planning stage and continuing until the product enters the market. This stage is called internationalisation. Omitting it extends the time it takes to launch a product on a given market. Localisation is broader than translation, but this text focuses only on language standards.

What is the localisation of translation?

Localisation is a process used by the translator to reflect the cultural context of a given country instead of preparing text for everyone. It is more than just a matter of good translation. It is also more than just a matter of literal translation. Regarding localisation, the translator must identify and neutralise linguistic barriers and embed the linguistic sensitivity of a given cultural circle. For example, they might omit incomprehensible cultural references or replace them in the translated text with clear and understandable ones. You can not employ machine translation for this process, but you need a professional translator who does not translate each word separately but looks at cultural and business context.

Localisation translates computer software, games, applications, websites, or marketing and advertising content. Wherever the translated text serves a goal (the goal might be to make a purchase or encourage subscriptions to a newsletter), localisation increases the chances of success. The point is for the communication recipient to be unaware that they are reading a translation and instead perceive the text as if it were written primarily for them. The effect of localising a translation is communication that sounds familiar and inspires trust. Localised translation can improve the perception of a brand in the local market and translate into more significant interest in its offer. 

Tailored translation services for companies

Regardless of the type and purpose of the text, the more natural it sounds to the communication recipient, the more effective it is. Irrespective of whether you need a literal translation or localisation — contact a professional translator. Translation will give you quality, and localisation will help you achieve your goals in the target language. 

List of contents

What is the globalisation of translation? When you don’t need literal 1:1 translation What is the localisation of translation? Tailored translation services for companies

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