Globalization, Internationalization, Localization and Translation

What is Globalization?
"Internationalization Definition"

You may be confused by the terms “Globalization”, “Internationalization”, “Localization” and “Translation” and when to use each of them. These terms can be used by journalists, marketers, product managers or within the language industry.

In this blog, you will read:

1- What is globalization 
2- Global market 
3- What is localization
4- Translating & Interpreting 
5- What’s the difference between Localization and Translation? 
 

Language Industry Terminologies in Review: 



If you look at the photo above, you’ll find that Globalization is a more generic whole big picture, then comes internationalization which is more specific for the process of engineering the product itself. Then, comes the process of customizing the product for specific audience which is localization. Finally, translation is the small part of the localization process and customization of your product to suit your audience’s preferences. In the upcoming lines, you’ll find more details about these terminologies.
 

What is Globalization?

“Think Global, Act Local” It’s true that the world has become one small village and everyone wants to “go global.” Globalization is a situation in which available goods and services, or social and cultural influences, gradually become similar in all parts of the world. (Cambridge Dictionary)
Globalization is also defined as the process of conceptualizing your product line for the global marketplace so that it can be sold anywhere in the world with only minor revision. It’s your global marketing strategy, in which you bring your product or service to the global market, involving sales and marketing.


Global Marketing

Global marketing is more than just promoting your product/service internationally. It involves the whole process of producing, pricing, placing, and promoting a company’s products and conceptualizing the products to fit in a worldwide market. This includes the whole process of planning and setting marketing plans and strategies. Businesses could either have offices in the foreign countries they market to or just have an online store by which they can reach their customers around the world.

Internationalization Definition

On the other hand, internationalization (or I18N, as known in the Language Industry), is the process of “Product Engineering” so that it can be easily localized. Product engineering usually deals with cost, quality, producibility, performance, lifespan and user features.
Product Engineering can involve basic document layout to enabling of software to handle double-byte character sets.

​What is Localization?

Localization is a long process of customization and adaption that is done to a product, software or content for an international customer in a specific target market so when they use it, they form the impression that it was designed by a native of their own country.
 
Types of localization include:
- Software Localization.
- Games Localization.
- Website Localization.
- E-learning Localization.
- Multi-media Localization.
And more..
 
Language Services Provider
A company or an individual providing language related services including translation, interpreting, editing, proofreading, transcreation, copywriting, etc. is known as Language Service Provider.
 
Locale
"One country, one language, one culture" a slogan that was commonly used among global companies, but now, it’s preferably to use the following: "The World speaks one language – Yours", reflecting on language penetration in every life aspect everywhere worldwide, even on the Web.
Locale refers to the place where something happens or is set, or that has particular events associated with it. In different locales there are linguistic, cultural, and technical differences. For example, English language is spoken in both the UK and the USA. The accent or spelling has differences. Take the spelling of "localisation" in the UK for example, which is spelled "localization" in the USA.

Translation and Interpreting:

Translation

is converting content into different languages, making sure of using language that is appropriate to the context and that the text is error-free. Translation is a crucial component of localization.


Interpreting

Interpreting is a translational activity in which the interpreter produces a translation on the spot within a one-time exposure to an expression in a source language. An interpreter translates orally, while a translator converts a written text to another language.
 

What’s the difference between Localization and Translation?

Localization and Translation are both included under the umbrella of Globalization. Localization process includes translation as a one part.
Localization is the product adaption process done for an international customer in a specific target market so when they use it, they form the impression that it was designed by a native of their own country. While translation is just converting content into different languages, making sure of using language that is appropriate to the context and that the text is error-free.
 
Conclusion
In the following table, you’ll find the conclusion of definitions, responsible people, and stage for every terminology included:
  Globalization Localization Internationalization Translation
Definition Your global marketing strategy, in which you bring your product or service to the global market, involving sales and marketing. The customization and adaption that is done to a product, software or content for an international customer in a specific target market so when they use it, they form the impression that it was designed by a native of their own country; translation is one part of the localization process. The process of “Product Engineering” so that it can be easily localized. Product engineering usually deals with cost, quality, producibility, performance, lifespan and user features. Converting content to different languages, making sure of using language appropriate to the context and that the text is error-free. Translation is a crucial component of localization.
 
People Marketing, Sales, Business Development Personnel. Translators, Proofreaders, LSP’s, Software Engineers, Project Managers, Testers, Publishers, DTPers, Localization Managers Software Developers,
Digital Content Producers, Product Engineers, Product Managers.
Translators, Proofreaders, LSP’s, Interpreters.
Stage Bringing to the market the internationalized and localized product. Translation and adaptation of the text, user interface, and cultural aspects. Development and designing of a product or service (pre-requisite for localization).  
 
After acknowledging the differences between the language industry’s terminologies, you should now have a better understanding of the whole picture of the industry. So, once you think of going global, don’t hesitate to contact us! 


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