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What is the difference between Translation and Localization?    

Localization is a process which goes one step further than translation. Translation can be considered one of the steps in localization. After the translation process has been completed, the translated content needs to be adjusted to appeal to the target audience. It would be beneficial to show the localized text to a member of the target audience to make sure that the content is appropriate and suitable for them.
Translation is considered part of localization because even for the same language, there are colloquial differences for people of different regions. An example of this is the difference between Chinese which is spoken by people in China and Singapore. If we want to translate the phrase ‘coffee shop’ to Chinese, ‘coffee house’ would be familiar to Chinese-speaking Singaporeans, but to those living in China, ‘snack house’ would be a better term to use. Thus, from this example, we can see that even for the same term, translation to another language can be different for different locations.

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Written by Denyse Lum

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