Why is Language Flavor So Important in Localization?

20294931.thbHere in the editing office at Trusted Translations, we have many translators who work in different language pairs, from Spanish to English, English to Spanish, English to French…You name it, we have it! We are all native language speakers of the target language that we translate to. However, what happens when a client wishes to localize a certain text to a certain country?

Localization, for those that are not familiar, is the process of adapting something (whether a product, service, text, etc.) to a particular culture, language, or demographic.

Now, why is it so important for the proper editor or translator to localize a project? And also, why is it so important for the client to request their project to be localized?

For starters, many of our clients are involved with the public one way or another. We work with well-known marketing companies, governmental bodies, medical institutions, etc., and most of the projects we translate are usually intended for public viewing. So let’s say a company of a well-known beverage creates a commercial that is a huge hit in the US. Sales increase, people watch the video on Youtube, and its popularity goes up. In this case, wouldn’t it be wise for the company to have that commercial translated in order to be broadcast in other countries? Why, of course it would! But here is where it gets tricky: the client should be well aware which country they will be targeting, for that makes all the difference. If they want to create that same ad for Chile, for example, they need to have it translated and then edited by a native Chilean speaker. This person will give the ad the “feel” of their home country, and utilize words that are native to Chile. Whenever the client did not request localization, or did not specify language flavor, they run the risk of confusing the target audience. Just as there are English words that are utilized differently in the US and the UK, for example, the same thing happens with the many Latin American countries. What means one thing in one country may not make any sense at all in another. In this way, the company may lose sales, and even offend customers.

Rest assured, we have translators from all over the world working here, and we always adapt our projects to the client’s specific needs.