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Translation vs. Localization: What Is The Difference?

Translation vs. Localization: What Is The Difference?

Translation and localization are concepts you probably have come across if you are familiar with translating services. Many remote interpreting agencies offer localization as part of their services. Businesses and individuals use both to help clients break new markets; many calls have been going global for the past years. Both often overlap, but the two are pretty different.

5 Differences Between Translation and Localization

Many language translation providers offer both to translate and localize content for individuals, and at a glance, one may assume the two to be interchangeable. Still, the reality is they are pretty different.

  1. Translating entails changing text from the source language to the target language while retaining the text’s meaning and considering language context. On the other hand, localization creates new content for a new audience while conveying the same message in the source text. 
  2. Certified translation mirrors the style and tone of the source content while keeping the text in mind; localization modifies the tone of the content and changes certain idioms. 
  3. When translating, the content is neutral to cultures; thus, it does not acknowledge culture while changing the text, whereas localization relies on a deep understanding of the target market’s culture. 
  4. When translating, one focuses on bridging language barriers and broadening audiences; as for localization, the focus is on bridging the message between people from different regions. 

Final Thoughts 

Although translation service marketing materials are best suited for technical information across different languages and localization for emotive content, both services are crucial in the industry. They can benefit a business when adequately integrated but ensure you understand what works best for your context.



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