Localization is often confused with translation, but these terms actually mean two different things. Localization is the entire process of adapting a product or content to a specific location or market, according to the specific language, culture and idioms for this location / market.
Translation is the process of converting text from one language to another. Translation is one aspect of localization, but localization is more extensive.
Localization also involves adapting other elements to a target market, including:
- Modifying graphics and design to properly display translated text
- Changing content to suit preferences
- Converting to local currencies and units of measurement
- Using proper formatting for elements like dates, addresses and phone numbers
- Addressing local regulations and legal requirements
In short, localization gives something the look and feel expected by the target audience.