Web site translation tutorial


Website translation and localization: the difference

Difference between translation and localization explained

  Translation is the process of converting a text from one language to another. It is not, however, just a matter of a mechanical conversion of words: an accurate translation requires complete understanding of the original text on the part of the translator, who must 'render' it into the target language.

  Localization is the process of adapting the original contents to the linguistic and cultural systems of the destination geo-linguistic area. This process must take into account technical standards, stylistic requirements, and the expectations and needs of the target market. Web site localization involves the conversion of the text and the adaptation of the site's graphical structure to the target language, the construction of a parallel navigation structure to keep each linguistic version in sync with the others, page formatting in order to support characters in the target language, image and graphics processing with translation and adaptation to the linguistic and cultural specifics of the target language, and finally the reprogramming of any advanced scripting elements (Java, Javascript, VisualBasic scripts, CGI/Perl/Php scripts, Flash/Shockwave applications, RealAudio files, etc.).

When you decide to localize your website

  When you make the decision to localize your website, you should therefore consider that there is more involved than just... translation. The term localization is derived from the word locale, which traditionally means a small area or vicinity. Today, locale is mostly used in a technical context, where it represents a specific combination of language, region, and character encoding. For example, the French spoken in Canada is a different locale to the French spoken in France.

  Over the past 10 years, Website localization has progressed from being an added effort by some webmasters to a multi-billion dollar professional industry.

>> Differenza tra traduzione e localizzazione in italiano.