Reasons to Localize Your Product
Should you get your product materials translated? Surely an English language website is enough? Well, no… not if you wish to maximize your target audience. Did you know that English only accounts for 27.6% of online pages? It might be considered the world’s business language but that doesn’t mean that everybody speaks it in their everyday lives… Let’s see why you should have your product localized!
Translation, Localization, L10n…? I’m Lost!
Lost in terminology? No worries, we’ve all been there. Companies and linguists tend to use ‘localization’ rather than ‘translation’ – as the industry evolves, so do the concepts and terminology.
The Globalization and Localization Association (GALA) defines localization as follows:
‘[Localization] describes the process of adapting a product to a specific international language or culture so that it seems natural to that particular region, which includes translation, but goes much farther.’
Basically, localization is not just about translation; it’s about adapting all aspects of the text to the target market. And as for ‘L10n’, it’s just a common way to abbreviate ‘localization’ – there are 10 letters between the ‘l’ and the ‘n’, hence L10n!
Feeling better? Let’s move on!
Benefits of Localizing Your Product
If so many companies have invested money in localization, it’s because they’ve gained positive results from doing so!
Offering a localized product or text benefits both the company and the user, whether it’s software, a website, or a game. Localizing your product will help you to significantly expand your business – more markets means more users, which in turn translates to more return on investment.
In the case of a website, having it localized increases your online visibility and is beneficial in terms of international SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It also lets you improve the user’s experience by allowing them to use the product in their own language. For example, having the payment page of a commercial website in the user’s native language eliminates doubt about the content, gaining the trust of the user. Would you give money to a company who communicates with you in a language that you may not fully understand?
This is also true for software and games. Making the interface and support documentation available in the user’s native language improves their experience, which may in turn make them more inclined to be part of the product’s online community, allowing you to strengthen your market.
Another example for games is the fact that while a user might speak English, it doesn’t mean that they are familiar with the cultural references featured within a game (jokes, slang, accent transcription etc.). This kind of situation can give the user the impression that the game is culturally inadequate for their country, and this is bad for the image of both the game and the company.
Investment is Worth it!
Convinced that localization is worthwhile but still hesitant about the costs? A report from the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA) in 2007 showed that $25 USD were returned for every dollar spent on localization! Localization is the key to unlocking your potential to access vast new markets.
Kathy Way, French Translator and Language Reviewer, MO Group International
About MO Group International
MO Group International is a global localization, translation, and game testing provider. With linguistic expertise in over 40 different languages for every genre of game and software, MO Group International delivers high quality QA testing and localization services. Working on small-to-large-scale projects, MO Group International caters to the cultural and linguistic needs of both its clients and its customers. For more information, visit www.mogi-translations.com.