“Nothing sucks like an Electrolux” must have been a marketing disaster for the Swedish home appliance giant when they decided to explore the US market in the 60s. The slogan for vacuum cleaners was clearly lost in translation, or should I say “in localization”, just because of the misuse of the American slang “suck”. Up to today, there are still a handful of brand blunders, made possible only by the lack of cultural understanding of the target market.
The story of Electrolux tells us that without proper adaptation, it will be hard for your message to be understood and accepted by potential customers. So, what should you do if you have a high quality product and are ready to bring it to a new region? How do you transfer the core values of your product to speakers of different languages? A quick search on that matter can lead you to a jungle of translation and localization services that are both promising and overwhelming.
But before diving in and choosing a service, let’s find out what translation and localization are so you can have a bigger picture.
Translation and localization are often thought to be one and the same because both serve the purpose of transferring a text into another language to reach a new audience. However, they are two different processes that bring you very different outcomes. The key differences are summerized in the table below.
|Definition||Replacing a word, phrase, or sentence with its equivalent in another language.||Adapting a translated text linguistically and culturally to suit the taste of a specific group.|
|Main focus||Maintaining the original meaning of the source.|
→ The accuracy of the target is prioritized.
|Conveying messages and building a connection with the audience through that message.|
→ The target can be tailored to be more natural to native speakers.
|What needs to be considered||The lexicon, syntax, and grammar aspects of the source and the target.||Cultural elements such as symbols, visuals, units of measurement, date/time format, religion, etc of the target audience.|
Let’s dig a little deeper into the differences between translation and localization with some examples:
A well-translated text can convey the message, but localization connects the message to your audience. Understanding that, Hansem Vietnam has been working with professional native translators who know their native ways of life best to localize content and build seamless communication for you. Our in-house reviewers and QA-ers also play an indispensable role in ensuring the precision of the localized content so that our clients can have a perfect final product.
In over 7 years of experience in the industry, we have handled more than 9,000 localization projects with various subjects such as manuals, consent forms, brochures, websites, blogs, etc. For any document you need to localize, we can make it palatable to native ears while maintaining the original style and tone.
The translation is about expressing your ideas in another language, and localization is about resonating those ideas with your target audience. At Hansem, we use both processes to ensure that you can communicate smoothly with everyone everywhere. So when you are in Rome, let us help you do as Romans do.