Based on Brian Nichols (Lionbridge Marketing) excellent article on the difference between a translation and localization, here are two clear definitions of Website translation and Website localization:
- ‘Website translation is the process of changing an original (source) language version of web content such as text, multimedia, ebooks, or apps into a different (target) language by simply substituting words from one language to another—in context.’
- ‘Website localization is a more specialized process of adapting your web content and applications for regional—or local—consumption. It goes beyond translation to modify the source language and other site elements to appeal to the customer’s cultural preferences in their own target language.’
A professional Website translation will bring a clean and clear translation of your products, company vision, etc.
However, if you want to go beyond the mere translation of your content in context, and actually have a breakthrough on the market you are aiming at, Website localization is the way to go. When localizing, a translator will become a ‘mini-marketing specialist’ for you, helping you reach your target audience not by means of a neat, dry text, but by using cultural and social means that will bring about the true effect of any good marketing campaign. The translator will aim at understanding your company culture, will document it in-depth and will try to transpose it so that it reaches the target audience, just as the original marketing campaign was design to reach its initial audience.