Localization. A beautiful and resonant word, meaning the translation of the textual maintenance software, the internet-site, and of any other information which has to be transferred wholesale into a new cultural context, not disrupting it and maintaining its beneficial effect. Localization involves the work of translators, advertising specialists, lawyers, programmers… Very many high-caliber specialists are employed in this mutual creative process. Why would you not limit it just to translation? There are many stories surrounding the naming of cars which illustrate this point. For example, the Chevrolet Nova in Spanish-speaking countries is associated with the translation of the phrase “no va” i.e., “doesn’t go”; the Lada Kalina also had its name changed in Finland since “kalina” means “clank, rattle”; the Mitsubishi Pajero in certain countries was turned into Montero. Similar examples can be found in the histories of every automobile manufacturing company.
In order to localize a website it is essential not only to translate the visible portions of SEO texts, but also hidden texts, headers, meta-tags, Flash-animations, and service commands. On the other hand, the terminology of the IT field is full of such words as browser, website, account, or user, which have migrated into the world’s languages without change. However, world class computer companies themselves often require the use of terminologies that differ from one to another. On the other hand, there always remains that certain vocabulary which will always create difficulties with its multiplicity of meanings. For example, the Russian word “свернуть” can correspond to the English “minimize”, “zoom out”, “fold”, “roll in”, etc. However, these examples only touch on the IT field, without affecting wider lexical layers.
Website localization actually encompasses the creation of translation memory. Vocabularies are created on the basis of texts, which have already been translated for the corporate client. It updates itself and changes with the website. Following completion of the localization process, the TM is transferred to the owner and is used by the translator only in the case of getting a contract for maintenance of a website – update of information, design, interface, SEO promotion…
The end product of localization is the website or text, which is just as understandable to a local user as the set of original resources. The content of the website is cast in the style most comfortable to the potential client, and the interface approaches as nearly as possible the traditions of the “host country”.
For whatever type of services you choose a translation company, note whether or not their portfolio shows localized sites. High quality performance of work on this order is a recommendation to you of a responsible and scrupulous translator.
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