Pivotal Role of Localization in Internationalization
Globalization is the pulse of a thriving business that has aligned itself to the path of worldwide success. The two main components of globalization are – localization and internationalization. These two components form the basis of every global business success story that breaks the geographical and cultural barriers across countries and continents to reach that pinnacle of glory. Technically, Internationalization is the feature of any business framework that enables the process of localization to take place a number of times for different locations and dialects. Internationalization is done just once at the initial stages of product development in order to make the software framework flexible enough for the multiple localization procedures that will take place in the later stages.
The Internationalization of a product or service can never reach its full potential without the localization process. It goes way beyond just the translation of interface and documentation into the native language. It is performed only after a thorough study of the culture of target audience such that no written or visual text offends their cultural sentiments in any possible way. The campaign is also woven around the common interests of the local people only so as to gather maximum attention from them. All this requires a clear understanding of the local socio-economic dynamics and its equation with the product or service in question.
The key areas of localization application are:
- Language and script conversion
- Conforming the pictorial and graphical presentations to the culture of target audience.
- Adapting the user interface to local preferences.
- Local online and offline social platforms.
- Syntax and semantics of the translated text.
- Proofreading and quality assurance.
- Streamlining both desktop and printed publications with local interests.
- Maintaining proper sensitivity to local culture in every context.
Many reckless entrepreneurs and business houses often ignore localization and invest all their resources in age-old marketing tactics only and later regret their irrelevancy in global market and stunted growth. Few of many benefits in which localization benefits the internationalization process of a business commodity are as follows:
- Establishment of direct communication link with local consumers.
- Creation of more specific and effective marketing campaigns.
- Better information exchange between the consumers and the development team.
- Prominent visibility of your product in local markets.
- Relevance to local requirements.
- Competitive market share in global marketplace.
- Multiplying clientele across the world.
- Better reach and service quality of after-sale service.
- Brand sustenance during recession.
The importance of localization in the internationalization cannot be stressed enough in the age when the word of mouth on social media travels faster that million-dollar ad campaigns. The resources and efforts that an organization can save by implementing localization in its marketing strategy as well as documentation is enough to fund many more ad campaigns for different marketing collaterals. The main steps involved in a standard localization process are:
- Social and cultural analysis of target market.
- Creation of Software localization design.
- Text String Translation.
- Conformance of user interface and online help manuals to local standards.
- Local adaptation of the graphics.
- Testing and Quality Analysis.
- Project Delivery.
Conclusively, it can be stated that localization is the backbone of any international business enterprise that is planning on staying in business while braving through the highs and low of the business sector. The crucial integration of localization with internationalization makes this process one of the prime tasks which uplifts the brand value of a product in international market.