ULG's Language Services Blog

The Difference Between Translation and Localization

What is localization?

Localization is the use of translation with a cultural lens to create connection.

Many use the terms localization and translation synonymously. However, while the two words are closely related, they are not the same and understanding the nuances of when to use each approach is essential to bridging language gaps. Translation is defined as taking words from one language and transferring them to another language, with the same meaning. Localization is adapting your content on a more granular level to avoid taboos and appeal to local preferences. Connecting to your consumers with culturally relevant content is what takes localization to the next level and makes it more impactful.

Why is localization important?

It shows empathy and leads to engagement and trust.

Strong localization engages the reader of that material and makes them feel that the content was written in their language, not translated. It is not only accurate but feels relevant. This is particularly important when you have different countries speaking the same language, but the cultural norms may vary. For example, if you're targeting an audience in Spain and an audience in Latin America, they both may speak Spanish, but the wording you use for each audience will likely be quite different.

How can your team utilize it to your advantage?

Have a goal. Create a plan. Utilize experts.

Whether you are looking to increase web traffic, sales or audience engagement, localization is there to influence and support these business goals. Your content must be linguistically accurate and culturally aware to resonate. Localization is the bridge that connects language through culture to results. It maximizes your engagement at a local level, creating trust and building community.

How can our team help?

By bridging language and cultural gaps so you don't have to. Language is constantly and continually evolving, so companies must keep up with terminology updates and cultural nuances. To support this, our team employs linguists who are based in country. They provide a holistic view of what may be offensive and what is currently trending well. They are also subject matter experts in varied industries and verticals, which allows them to become a valuable team member and partner.

What makes our global team unique?

We start with outcomes in mind, employing experts with a minimum of three years' experience to manage strategic projects. We are proud to create cohesion and community each day for our language partners by sticking to our focus of Culture. Language. Results.


For more information on our team’s localization expertise please visit: https://www.unitedlanguagegroup.com/localization-services

Watch a recent video on localization here to start your journey with us: