Language translation is a large part of localization and we are able to assist companies who wish to go beyond translation and localize their documentation.
Localization takes a product or service and makes it linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale (country/region and language). A successfully localized service or product is one that appears to have been developed within the local culture.
Ideally a product or service is developed so that localization is relatively easy to achieve - for example, by creating technical illustrations for manuals in which the text can easily be changed to another language and allowing some expansion room for this purpose. This enabling process is termed internationalization and an internationalized product or service is therefore easier to localize.
Non-linguistic issues involved in localization include;
- Changing product names to avoid unwanted associations in target languages.
- Screen dialog boxes and field lengths may have to be altered; date, time and currency formats changed; delimiters for figures replaced; and icons and colors adapted.
- In the case of bi-directional languages (such as Arabic and Hebrew) and double-byte character sets (such as those for Chinese, Japanese and Korean), more extensive reprogramming may be required to ensure that localized text and numerals are displayed correctly on the target platforms.
- Programs often have to be changed to conform to national and cultural norms.
- In multimedia applications, the color, size and shape of objects such as coins and notes, taxis, telephones and mailboxes, buses and ambulances, traditionally vary from country to country. Dress codes will vary, and symbols take on a new significance.
- Business applications such as address databases and financial accounting packages have to be adapted to the procedures and conventions applicable in their new environments.