What is localisation?

An example of localisation is the translation of a software application. Localisation is a linguistic service whose aim is to adapt a product developed in a foreign language, so that it cannot be distinguished from a product developed locally.
Besides translation, which is the essential part of this process, localisation covers other activities such as creation of terminology databases, translation of software-related documentation, execution of tests or preparation of texts for printing (Desktop Publishing), which may alter software data and functions so that the product complies with the same objectives as the original.
However, the difference between translation and localisation is not only the purpose of the service. It also entails procedures. Translation is a simpler service. The client delivers the original text and receives it back translated into the target language. Localisation is a more complex service, which requires procedures based on a project and the use of the appropriate tools. It often takes place at the same time as product development by the client, which normally results in frequent modifications of the localised text during the course of the project.


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