What is Localization?

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What is Localization?


Are translation and localization the same thing? Not exactly.

It’s back-to-school season, so Lingotek is offering a few lessons on the basics of translation with our educational blog series, Translation 101. In this series, we will be addressing and answering the most common questions our customers have about translation terminology, products and services.

What is localization? How is it different from translation?

The number one search query in our industry is, “What is localization?” Most people are familiar with the term “translation,” but are less familiar with the word, “localization.”  You may also see it written as “L10n” because 1) it has ten letters, and 2) it’s a little faster than taking the time to spell it out.

Localization is translation plus.

There is an important distinction between translation and localization, especially when it comes to hiring a translation vendor. Language services providers (LSP) like to say they offer localization services because it’s a broader term for what we do. Localization is translation plus.

Translation and Localization Defined

Translation describes the process of taking a word in one language and translating it into another language so that it maintains the exact same meaning.

Localization is more than a word-for-word translation. It’s a very important and comprehensive approach that considers the expectations and norms for the target locale.

Locale refers to where the language is spoken. This is important because the same language may be spoken in different countries. Think of the difference between English in the US versus English in the UK or French spoken in France versus French Canadian spoken in Canada. They are the same languages but used in different locales, so when localizing, any cultural or regional differences will be taken into account.

Localization includes:

  • Spelling changes (Changing a US -z for a UK -s, for example)
  • Numerical differences (Units of measure and how dates and time are displayed.)
  • Page sizes (US 8.5” x 11” vs European A4)
  • Currency ($, ¥, €, etc.)
  • Text width, direction and length (Some languages have wider characters, and may be written horizontally, right to left, or left to right)
  • Images or colors (It is very important to respect any cultural taboos or norms when it comes to the images and colors contained in your content. For example, some countries may object to photographs of women, in Russia it is not common to show smiling faces, and in Japan white is the color of mourning.)

Global Content Needs Both Translation and Localization

For organizations that are new to translation or even for those who have been translating their content for a long time, knowing the difference between translation and localization is very important.

Translation alone is not enough if you want to offer global content that inspires trust and confidence in your organization.

Translation alone is not enough if you want to offer global teams, customers, and prospects multilingual content that is meaningful and communicated in such a way that inspires trust and confidence in your organization.

Global companies cannot afford to make a cultural misstep that can lead to lasting damage their carefully crafted brand reputation or messaging.

Lingotek Offers a Wide Variety of Translation and Localization Services

With a full range of language services, Lingotek helps clients succeed in the global marketplace by localizing their global content into any language. We have a network of over 5,000 + linguists who are the best in the industry. They are native speakers of target languages and recognized experts in their subject areas. Our people, processes, and technology ensure that all of your localized content is functionally, linguistically, and culturally flawless.

Lingotek Language Services include:


Lingotek | The Translation Network is the only cloud-based solution to connect all of your global content in one place, giving you the power to manage your brand worldwide. Our tech-enabled language services and industry-leading technology pairs with the best enterprise applications to continuously push dynamic multilingual content to all of your global markets. Lingotek is more than an enterprise-class TMS, it is a completely integrated, end-to-end translation hub.

Learn more.

Do you have questions or want additional information about Lingotek translation and localization services? Contact us US +1(801)331-7777 or outside the US +44 (0)1628 421525, send an email to sales@lingotek.com, or go to our website: www.lingotek.com


See How It Works

The Massive Benefits of Cloud-Based Translation Management System

Language is social. It connects people and ideas. But what happens when it stops connecting, slows down, and goes offline? What happens when your global audience is left in the dark because your translations are stuck in someone’s inbox? 

With the Translation Network, Lingotek makes your content accessible to your customers globally. By connecting your company with our technology and translators, we connect your ideas with the world. Lingotek makes going global possible.

Cloud Based Translation is Faster, Easier & More Efficient 
Lingotek revolutionized the translation industry with its cloud-based networked translation technology. With Lingotek, you get an enterprise-grade, end-to-end solution that you control. Bring your translation workflow into the 21st century and get out from under the old-school, on-premise, traditional IT, and proxy architectures that slow you down and increase your costs with budget-busting implementation processes and ongoing maintenance.

Agile Software That Offers Scalability and Responsive IT
Our next-generation technology continuously delivers multilingual content and scalability to meet your increasing needs for more content, storage, and translation management. Lingotek’s cloud-based technology can extract large amounts of data and scale to any project size on the fly. With our agile software, Lingotek can be more responsive and can match your evolving requirements with fast IT. 

Seamless Integration With Your Applications
Seamless integration with your enterprise applications and our translation management system lets you upload source content for translation, have it automatically translated, and download the translated content back into your original application.

Automated Workflows Put Your Translations on Autopilot
Put your translations on autopilot with customizable workflows that let you trigger actions throughout the project lifecycle. From notifying a reviewer when a translation is ready for review, to reporting project status to an external system, the Lingotek rules engine brings AI-like capabilities to your workflow.    

Continuous, Real-Time Collaboration for Round-the-Clock Translation
With a vast network of translators working in our powerful cloud-based translation management system, you get continuous, round the clock translation and real-time collaboration.

Centralized File Management Gives You Control Over Your Content
Out-of-the-box integrations with popular CMS, CRM, marketing automation, knowledge bases, and social business software means your information resides in your system, giving you visibility, access, security, and control of your files and information.

Scalable File Storage to Match Your Growth
Our cloud-based Translation Network offers scalability that auto-scales to increased volume levels, without no additional charge for more file storage. It  can scale as your usage grows. 
Secure Your Information With Controlled Access to Files
Content stored in the Lingotek cloud is fully secured and kept private to your organization. Role-based authorization ensures that users only see information if they have been granted access by your project administrator.





Translation Solution Needs

Lingotek offers a wide range of translation solutions to its customers. Whether you are in the enterprise or federal space, or want our world-class translation services team to take care of your localization for you, Lingotek offers corporate and global translation solutions that are custom tailored for your needs.













About Lingotek

Our Company

Lingotek | The Translation Network is a cloud-based translation services provider, offering translation management software and professional linguistic services. We are the leader in collaborative translation technology with an innovative cloud translation management system (TMS) that uses computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools to facilitate faster, more efficient, language translation. Lingotek was the first to introduce cloud-based TMS technology to the United States in 2006 with the launch of a fully online, web-based, computer-assisted translation (CAT) system that pioneered the integration of translation memories (TM) with main-frame powered machine translation (MT). Our multilingual application program interfaces (API) and connectors pair with the industry’s top enterprise applications to automate and integrate the translation process. They include:

  • Content Management Systems (CMS) 
  • Customer Relationship Management Systems (CRM)
  • Marketing Automation
  • eCommerce Platforms
  • Knowledge Bases 
  • Product and Support Documentation 
  • Social Business Software
  • Desktop Files
  • Software Localization

Customers can use their own language services providers (LSP) and linguists, or our global network of 5,000+ professional linguists. Lingotek is based in Lehi, Utah in the area known as Silicon Slopes. 

Our History

Lingotek was founded in 2006 and is funded by Signal Peak Ventures and In-Q-Tel

Signal Peak Ventures is a Salt Lake-based venture capital firm that focuses on early-stage technology investments in the Intermountain region. The firm was established as Signal Peak in 2011 after the spin out of Canopy Ventures venture capital team and the acquisition of portfolio investments in ten other companies. The Signal Peak team has extensive experience in sourcing, executing, managing, and divesting venture capital stakes across the Intermountain region. 

In-Q-Tel is a strategic, not-for-profit investment firm that works to identify, adapt, and deliver innovative technology solutions to support the mission of the U.S. Intelligence Community. Launched by the CIA in 1999 as a private, independent organization, In-Q-Tel's mission is to identify and partner with companies developing cutting-edge technologies that serve the national security interests of the United States. Working from an evolving strategic blueprint defining the Intelligence Community's critical technology needs, In-Q-Tel engages with entrepreneurs, growth companies, researchers, and investors to deliver technologies that provide superior capabilities for the CIA and the larger Intelligence Community. 

Our Clients & Partners

Lingotek  works with some of the largest, most innovative companies in the world, in a wide variety of industries and services including government, technology, finance, telecom, travel, and education. Our clients include departments in the U.S. Government and several large Fortune 500 companies. Here are some of the Customers that are trusting their translation processes with the Lingotek Translation Network.

We also work with a growing network of Partners--service providers, digital agencies, open sources technologies, and other strategically selected companies--to meet the unique translation requirements of our customers. 

Industry Recognition & Awards

Comparably Best Company Leadership 2018
Comparably Best Company Managers 2018
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 2017-2018
Comparably Best Company Leadership 2017
Comparably Best Company Culture 2017
Comparably Best Places to Work 2017
Comparable Best CEO - Rob Vandenberg 2017
Utah Business Book of Lists Top Telecom & Technology Software Developers 201
Utah Best in State Language Services 201
Silicon Review List of Inspiring 100 Companies 201
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Top 30 Drupal Contributor 201
Top Translation Services Company 2016 - PFin
Hot in Lehi Award Top Trending Companies - Owle
Top 100 Companies in the Digital Content Industry - EContent 201
Edison Award Finalist 201
CIO Microsoft 100 Solution Providers CIO Review 201
Edison Award Nominee 201
Gartner Cool Vendor of the Year 201
Oracle Gold Partner 201
Stevie Award Best New Product or Service of the Year SaaS Category 201
Most Innovative New Product Utah Valley Entrepreneur Forum 2006

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