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Localization and Internationalization in Translation

Localization and Internationalization in Translation

Adjusting a text to the target audience is a very important aspect of every translation process. Today we are going to present two approaches that allow translators to achieve this aim: localization and internationalization.


According to the Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA), localization means “taking the product and making it linguistically, technically and culturally appropriate to the target locale where it will be used and sold.”[1] This means that the process involves not only translation to a target language but also adapting it to certain support standards and including common examples from the target market. Localization is related not only to grammar and spelling characteristic for a particular group but also graphics, data formats etc.


Internationalization is used whenever a translator needs to adapt a particular text to meet the needs of very heterogeneous audience. Even though this approach differs from the former one, in most cases, better internationalization also results in better localization. According to LISA, it’s “the process of generalizing the product so that it can handle multiple languages and cultural conventions without the need for re-design.”[2] Globalization and the development of the World Wide Web made this approach popular since it enables to reach a wider audience. Therefore, it plays an important part in the development of various businesses.

Are you looking for translators who can also adapt the translated text to the needs of your target audience?  Contact our translation agency and find out how we can help you.

[1] Bert Esselink, “Localization and Translation” in: Computers and Translation – a Translator’s Guide, ed. H. Somers (Philadelphia: John Benjamins, 2003), p. 67.

[2] Esselink, p. 68.