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Translation and Localisation

What is localisation?

LocalisationLocalisation (also known as L10N) is the process of adapting products and services to meet the particular language, cultural and physical needs of a specific market. This market could be a region, a country, a language or a section of the population. Localisation is much more than a translation. It has to take all the cultural and linguistic aspects of the target market into account and adapt the text as needed so that future customers can understand a product or service properly.

The difference between translation and localisation

As we’ve seen in the previous sections, translation involves rendering a text from one language to another. In this process, the translators’ work consists of reproducing the message of the source text in the target language, while respecting the original structure and content.

Localisation take translation a step further and incorporates a cultural dimension. It’s a concept related to digital marketing, software development and the video game industry. The localiser is a translator who adapts the original text, modifies visual content (such as images and colours) and changes the structure of the texts or the way in which websites’ functions are performed, if this is necessary for the target market.

Localisation involves a wide range of cultural aspects, such as the different meanings of colours in different cultures. For example, red represents good luck in China, while many Western cultures associate it with passion and danger, while white is the colour of mourning in India. Different cultures also express measurements and names in different ways, using one or two surnames and placing the surname before or after the given name. Localisers also make technical adjustments to the text and make sure that the length of the translation fits with a website’s buttons, graphics and drop-down menus. Sometimes, the proportions of a website’s tabs or texts change when translated and the elements on the page do not line up anymore. The localiser is responsible for making the necessary changes to leave all the elements in their original format in the target language.

The importance of website localisation

Website localisationWebsite localisation is one of the digital market’s most useful services for translating any kind of web-based application, user interface or website. Localisation is extremely important for software development and website design and creation, a necessary step to ensure that products and services reach new markets when the website is translated.  This way, you won’t have to worry about getting the texts translated and then inserting them into the website after the fact; instead, your website or app is fully translated straight away, without having to procure additional programming services.

To do all this successfully, the translators must have knowledge of software and use particular tools to adapt websites.

At Acantho, we’re here to guide you throughout the localisation process, helping you save money when creating new websites in different languages. To do this, we make use of the most cutting-edge localisation tools.

What are the main localisation tools, and what do they do?

Localisation tools are used to determine which elements in any online content can be localised (menus, dialogue, system improvements) and adapt the different graphical elements in any digital medium, without needing to know the different programming languages. They allow the localiser to identify the localisable elements and separate them from the code. In other words, they separate all the programming and interface design elements from the translatable elements so the text can be translated without making any changes to the format.

While there are many different localisation tools, the most popular ones are:

  • Webbudget
  • Alchemy Catalyst
  • SDL Passolo

These tools serve as software that processes, categorises and checks the length of all the text that needs to be translated in an online file so that the localisation process can be carried out.

What content is most often localised?

Websites—hands down. Localisation is particularly useful for all those companies who want to expand their business model to another market in the online world. Through localisation, these companies are able to enter new markets with their websites optimised to the best advantage, not only at the content level but also at the cultural and technical level.

Languages we localise in

We work with more than fifty of the world’s languages!

The most in-demand European languages we work with include Spanish, English, French, German, Italian and Portuguese. However, we also work with the regional languages of Spain (Catalan, Valencia, Galician and Basque), languages from the Nordic countries (Swedish, Danish, Norwegian and Finnish), languages from Eastern countries (Ukrainian, Polish, Russian, Romanian, Bulgarian etc.) and other globally significant languages (Arabic, Chinese, Japanese, Korean etc.), as well as many other, less common languages (Slovenian, Czech, Greek, Serbo-Croatian, Dutch, Hungarian, Turkish, Hebrew, Hindi, Urdu etc.). 

If you need your website localised in a language not listed above, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a personalized quote at no cost and with no obligation.

Why choose Acantho to localise your website?

If you need a website in any format translated, leave this task in professional hands. At Acantho I&C we have localisation project managers certified by The Institute of Localisation Professionals (TILP). If you have any questions or need more information, please call us on (+34) 976 910 302, or send an email to, and we will be more than happy to assist you.