In a business global, translation and localization are two terms which are interchangeably used. But they both are distinct and have major differences.
Translation is the method of converting a source version of multimedia, software, web material, or documentation to a target-language version by just replacing the words of one language to another. Unfortunately, it is notably a word-for-word swap. An accurate translation needs complete understanding of the source text and then converting it into the target language.
At the time of localizing, a translator (linguist or localization professional) will:
- Modify the language by generating a linguistic equivalent, but not a literal (word-to-word) translation.
- Determine color for cultural indications.
- Modify telephone number formats.
- Determine and change any icons or graphics which do not make sense in the target culture.