The term ‘localization’ is often used to refer basically to the translation of software, websites and video games. Why isn’t the word ‘translation’ used, like in other areas? Because in these types of projects, which are technically considerably more complex than a simple translation, translating is just one phase in the process.

‘Localize’ means adapting a product or service so it can be sold in a specific market different to its own and where numerous non-language-based cultural factors must be considered, such as units of measurement, the currency of the target country, date and time formats, local regulations and a long list of other considerations.

From the technical viewpoint, once the text is translated, files must be compiled and a language and functional test run to ensure that the interface elements have been correctly positioned and there are no problems with the size or position of the font, or that the buttons work the same as in the software or original website, for example. This phase involves a software engineer, who takes care of this more technical side which falls outside of the translator’s expertise.

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