Many people wrongly think that content localization is the same as translation. This is only partially true. Language localization, apart from translation itself, includes adjustment of a text to cultural and social specificities of a particular country. Therefore, with localization, market differences are taken into consideration in order for a product or service to be accepted.
Nowadays, localization mostly refers to the cultural adaptation and translation of software, video games, smartphone applications, web content, global internet services, user manuals, etc. Apart from particular regions, it can also be used for countries in which different languages are spoken, but also for those which use the same language. So for example, the Portuguese language spoken in Portugal can be adapted to the one spoken in Brazil, with all cultural differences. Or for example, the English language used in the United Kingdom may be adapted to the one spoken in the USA, Australia, India, Canada, etc.
Why is localization important? Research shows that over 70% of people would sooner buy a product or service if the information presented on it is in their own language. This is even more important to some people than, for example, an affordable price. When compared to text translation, localization may also include adaptation of the graphical appearance, national currencies, use of various types of date formats, meanings of names, phone numbers, specific holidays, cultural taboos, choice of colours, etc.
As a rule, at Spellcheck, translators who are native speakers of a language are engaged for language localization.