[Infographic] Translation vs. Localization – Similarities and Differences

Translation or Localization

[Infographic] Translation vs. Localization – Similarities and Differences

The terminology of the translation industry might be confusing for many people. While translation is a familiar concept to most people, localization is not. Many people don’t understand the term Localization and misuse it with the term Translation. So what are translation and localization? How are they different from each other? You will find the answer on the below Infographic – Translation vs. Localization.

Infographic The differences between Translation vs localization

What needs localizing in a document?


The localization process contains changes in many factors, especially three factors below:

1. Layout and Design: The length of the source and target languages tends to be different. A translated word in Japanese is likely to be much longer than the original word in English, for instance. This leads to a need to change in the layout or design of the document to make sure the final product is accurate and eye-catching.

2. Idioms and Expressions: Idioms, to some extent, show the culture of a country. That’s why an idiom in this country is meaningful but in another country, it means nothing. A professional linguist will find an equivalent expression in the target language instead of using the original idiom.

3. Local regulations and legal requirements: Each country has different rules for conduction business. In Japan, for example, you cannot say you are “The best” or “No.1” unless you conduct a survey to prove it. Therefore, when localizing a marketing material, translators have to change the slogan of the company if it states that the company is the No.1 in a market.


Translation and Localization is not as different as you think

The boundary between translation and localization is not as clear as black and white. Every translation has localization factors in it, even the smallest. For example, the date and time formats in a document will always be changed by translators during the translation process to fit the target language. Likewise, translation is the first essential step of a localization project. In fact, localization is one step beyond translation. A good translation is a solid ground for a successful localization project.