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Localisation vs Translation: What’s The Difference?

When it comes to marketing translations, the terms ‘website translation’ and ‘website localisation’ are often used interchangeably. In fact, it’s not uncommon for marketers and business owners to be unaware of the differences between the two; or even know that there are any distinctions.

While the processes share similarities; an understanding of the two phrases and what sets them apart can benefit your knowledge of the industry. It can also help your brand effectively expand globally.

Firstly, it’s important to understand the difference between localisation and translation for marketing materials. When translating a website, a translator will change the original version of content such as a piece of text or ebook into a different language by simply translating from one language to another.

However, localisation is a specialised process where web content is adapted to regional or local lexical differences. It goes beyond translation to modify the source language and other site elements to appeal to your target audience’s cultural preferences. For example, changing site colours and images to resonate with your customers.

While translation services can be effective for technical and medical documents (where a faithful translation is key); issues with clarity and intent can arise where the source language is left in its primitive; word-to-word state in marketing copy. If a website isn’t localised by a professional translator, you may find it lacks a level of cultural nuance that may be required for your specific audience.

Similar to translation, localisation helps to bridge the gap between a business and their overseas consumers. However, localisation has the added bonus of refining your message so it is culturally relevant to your target audience. As well as developing your brand to meet the cultural, functional and language expectations of your global market.

At Absolute Translations, we have a team of expert translators living and working around the world. Our team of linguists can help you to execute your website localisation strategy by delivering high-quality website copy in your target language and culture. With a vast portfolio of expertise in marketing translations and website localisation, you can entrust your translation project with our certified translators.

For more information about our translation services, get in touch with our team on 0333 577 0767.