Localization Testing – Think Global, Act Local

Zing offers a full suite of localization services including localization testing. Localization refers to the process of completely adapting a product to a market for the consumption of its targeted local community.

Localization dives deep into many cultural differences from accounting a region’s humour, to their customs and even stretches as far as legal and linguistic demands.

When it comes to localization services catered to applications, video games, websites and digital platforms alike, these can be provided by professional translation companies. The reason behind this is that localization can be very sensitive to legal, cultural and formatting needs, and thus, these can be only met by properly trained and certified language professionals.

Localization vs Translation

Localization and translation services are key and work in tandem to help brands properly convey their message to their target market. However, these two terms always often interchanged. These words appear synonymous with each other, leaving brands confused and highly misinformed.

Localization Testing – Case of KFC

Let’s start with a scenario. Some years ago, KFC first thought of extending their food services to China. KFC  directly translated their catch-phrase “Finger-lickin’ good” into Mandarin. Little did they know, the literal interpretation ended up reading as “Eat your fingers off”. Consequently, leaving many locals confused and maybe even put-off by such a gruesome catch-phrase.

Needless to say, this is not just an issue in the Chinese market. Some brands such as “The Jolly Green Giant” became “Intimidating Green Monster” when launched in an Arabic-speaking region, and Coors’ slogan of “Turn it loose”, literally translated to “Suffer from diarrhea” in Spanish.

You could just imagine how many more companies out there have made the same mistakes again and again. They ended up scaring their customers away, all because the translators lack the cultural knowledge and local mindset of the target audiences. This is how important the localization testing is.

Localization means going a step further than directly translating a message

This is what is meant by translation – accuracy in communicating a message to the target market. Now when it comes to localization, this means going a step further than directly translating a message. It is being able to make the most out of your content by using targeted keywords that could help optimize your search engine ranking (SEO) and conversion rate.

The priority of localization is to be able to convey and adapt the message in a certain way, thus, meeting the linguistic and cultural needs of a region. Additionally, it also has to do with adapting a certain marketing platform so as to meet the requirements of a specific locale.

Internationalization and Globalization:

When looking into localization, the terms of internationalization and globalization are not to be missed. Internationalization would be the step in implementing specific designs and development practices. Internationalization ensures that the changes match the company’s goals, making localization adaption much easier.

However, some challenges seen in this would be when there is a multilingual or multicultural audience. The challenge in this being that each culture within a market usually would require a specific set of norms, and standards. Thus, to successfully implement both internationalization and localization, this must be addressed by a brand.

Finally, when you product or business meets the localization and internationalization demands, you become truly a globe company. This means that by implementing globalization, one is able to successfully market and exchange goods with various markets worldwide. Thus, globalization is more or less the end goal for companies that wish to delve into the world of localization.