5 Interesting Facts About Localization

Localization is an enormous industry

The annual growth rate of worldwide language service market is reported to reach 5.52%. The Centre for Next Generation Localisation pointed out that localization and translation is the 4th fastest-growing industry in the United State. The size of global language industry in 2016 is estimated at $40 billion (USD) and is projected to increase up to $45 billion by 2020. Nowadays, the leap in technology has erased the geographic boundaries between nations and allowed people to freely explore the world by means of Internet. However, language barriers still exist. The need for localization and language services will continuously be on the rise as the world became a flat playground for any competent players.

Non-English speaking customers prefer their own language

A recent research by Common Sense Advisory found out that if customers cannot understand a website, they won’t make a purchase from it. It is surprising that 87% of customers would not buy from a website which is only in English. As you can see, the incompatible languages will only make your bounce rate rocket.

Language of a website is not the only factor that can affect customers’ decision. User experience is also important in providing customers with the pleasure and comfort to search and shop. You have to understand the culture and shopping habits of each market to tailor your website so that it will suit the local taste. Other details like currency, date/time format and measurements are also important for your website localization.

Localization is much more than translation

People often think that localization is merely a translation process and get confused between the two concepts. Translation is actually just a part of the globalization process.

In different cultures, people have different perspectives and different ways to describe the same thing. Translation is the process to find the equivalence between the source and target language, meanwhile localization is the adaption process in which other factors like culture, belief, habits, purchase preference are adjusted to best suit the local market. And it takes a team of professionals to manage your localization project. If you want to gain profit in a foreign market, first you need to understand the local people and then make your products suitable for them.

Different languages require different amounts of space

When you design your website or mobile app, you should keep in mind that other languages might take up a larger space than the origin one and they might be read from right to left. Languages with the logographic writing systems like Chinese or Japanese are read vertically, meanwhile Arabic backwards. If you don’t leave enough room for translated text in your design, it will ruin your intended layouts and cause reading troubles for customers. So, remember to consider this factor so that you won’t face any space troubles in your localization process.

Localization is not easy but it’s worthy

The more markets you want to enter, the more languages you need to adapt your website to. When it comes to localization, you have tons of things to contend with including languages, dialects, cultures and technical issues. You also have to do a lot of research before setting the localization strategies for each market. Localization is the work that requires a team, not just an individual. That is why you need the professional help from a localization agency who really understands the market. Even though it takes much hard work, The ROI from localization is very positive. A study from Distomo found out that the localized iPhone apps achieved 128% more downloads per country. And only one week after a localized app was offered, the revenue started to increase. So, as you can see, you won’t have to wait long until the localization pays off.


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