Most people are capable of typing a few words into Google Translate and getting the meaning in another language or thumbing through a bilingual dictionary to find how to translate a word from English to Burmese. These are great resources for learning how to order a soda in Spanish while you are on vacation but not a reliable means for translating large amounts of material into a foreign language or developing a website for your global business. In order to achieve optimal results, localization is required.
Localization goes beyond simply translating words, it translates culture. It takes into consideration the cultural importance as well as the meanings of words and provides an accurate translation. It is geographic-specific. To ensure accuracy, it is important to utilize the expertise of a native speaker, especially in the review process.
During the review process, the finished translation is proofread by a native speaker who will scrutinize the text for linguistic mistakes as well as ensure the translation paints a relatable picture of the culture and place being represented. This helps eliminate ambiguity and confusion for the reader.
For example, if you were to write a children’s book where the main character is a dog who speaks, you would want to localize the name of the dog so that it appeals and makes sense to your target audience. In the United States, Spot is a recognized and familiar name. In France, however, Bonbon may be a better choice. The key is to understand your target audience and their particular symbols.
A professional translation company, like World Translation Center, will understand the importance of using a native speaker for translation and review, so that you are guaranteed an error-proof, relevant product.