Localization is a process that has become increasingly important in adapting goods or services to specific local markets or sociocultural contexts. It involves various elements related to geographical regions, such as cultural, legal, ethical, technical, representational, ideological, or political elements (Dunne, 2019). Localization has been described as a more sophisticated process than translation, which involves making a product linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale. The focus on cultural adaptation in International Business and Marketing, as well as the focus on technological and management processes in the language industry, has resulted in discourses that separate localization from translation (O’Hagan & Mangiron, 2013).
In the field of Translation and Interpreting Studies, localization has been defined as a complex process that involves not only linguistic and cultural adaptation but also technological, textual, communicative, and cognitive processes. It enables interactive digital texts for use or consumption in different linguistic and sociocultural contexts from those of original production, guided by the expectations of the target audience (Jiménez-Crespo, 2019). The localization process includes several physical and technical stages that cannot be accounted for if it is described solely in terms of linguistic or cultural interventions. In recent years, advancements in technology have revolutionized the localization industry, making it possible to localize content in real-time, automate some of the localization processes, and reduce costs (Dunne, 2019).
In conclusion, localization has become an essential process in today’s globalized world, enabling companies to reach new markets and audiences while taking into account the sociocultural contexts of reception. The concept of ‘glocalization’, which combines global and local perspectives, has also gained traction as a way to bridge the gap between global and local cultures. Overall, the field of localization is constantly evolving, driven by advancements in technology and the changing needs of the global market.
- Dunne, K. (2019). Localization. The Routledge Handbook of Translation and Technology, 117-133.
- O’Hagan, M., & Mangiron, C. (2013). Game localization: Unleashing imagination with ‘restricted’translation. The Journal of Specialised Translation, 20, 10-21.
- Jiménez-Crespo, M. A. (2019). Translation and Web Localization. Routledge.