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Translation vs Localization

Why is our field creating a difference between translation and localization?

Isn’t translation the job of transferring source texts to culturally correct target texts for native speakers/readers?

There are different opinions on this issue.

Some say localization is part of translation. Translation means transfer of source texts to target texts, but localization goes beyond adjustment of source texts to cultural differences in corresponding target languages. Localization is not a fancy word, but a new “style” of translation. It is a coined philosophical terminology for translators. Something outside of the realm of translation. For that reason, there is no such thing as “localization vs translation”. Instead, localization is a specialized field of translation, primarily on software (desktop apps, mobile apps, websites, video games).

On the other hand, some argue that localization is not part of translation, but the inverse is true. To localize contents, you must step back from simple translation and start to use “the art of trans-creation”. Pure translation does not localize anything. Localization is not a matter of Cultural Pattern, but Public Relations, Marketing, and E-Commerce.

When a translator translates to another language, the translator works on intercultural field. And it is not localization.

Try a simple test: choose a product, go to Google, and search for the product. Try to do the same by using filters for a language and country.

Everyone knows that localization is the return of the beginning. English has been globalizing the world. Those who think that translation is the mother of localization forget studies on Metalanguage.

*summarized from a discussion with professional translators

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