Differences between website internationalization and localization

The expansion of companies toward new markets entails a broad strategy that covers different areas. Two of the most important are website internationalization and localization. The fact that a user chooses our product or service many times depends on its functionality and the user experience itself. In this article we will explain both concepts so you can distinguish them a little better.

What is website internationalization?

Generally speaking, the idea of internationalization in reference to websites, and any IT development, refers to the process of designing and building software in such a way that it adapts to different languages and regions without having to change code or vary any computer engineering features.

The purpose of software internationalization is to subsequently localize the computer product.

It’s a costly task that computer engineers carry out when they code the website and which, in the long run, entails an important savings in companies’ globalization plans, as it greatly facilitates the localization process into different languages.

Here are some of the factors that are most taken into account:

  • The functionality of the website is common in all languages and does not need to be localized. That is why it is separated from the user interface, which does need to be localized, into several files in order to update the content in such a way that it does not affect the site’s graphic design.
  • It is important that the user interface allows for variations in spacing or transliteration capacity so that any user can insert text.
  • It is recommended to plan the company's globalization project in such a way that programmers can collaborate with the website translation agency and the necessary specific instructions are added to the source code.

What is understood by website localization

Website localization  is the process by which the software for a specific language and culture is adapted in such a way that users will have a positive browsing experience.

Website localization is an essential resource for any company that wants to sell their products or services in international markets. Localization is in charge of all the content the user does see. As first impressions are the ones that count, our website’s usability and user experience during their first visit will be key to whether they will return.

Localization is much more than just translating. Collaborating with professional localizers will guarantee:

  • Thorough knowledge of the target language and culture.
  • Use of appropriate terminology and adaptation of graphic elements and the place’s own format standards.
  • Adaptation of payment methods, currency, sizes, measurement systems... Whichever the symbol or element used, it must be correct.
  • Good website localization avoids making absurd or even offensive mistakes in the target audience's culture.

Localization makes the user feel the website has been created in their own language.

Differences between both concepts

As you can see, website internationalization and localization is not the same, even though both are part of companies’ globalization strategy and a good development of both is essential to success.

We could say internationalization defines the website’s internal structure that allows locators to adjust it easier to very different audiences so that each culture feels it as their own.

Linguaserve offers you the best website localization service so there are no barriers when promoting your product or service.