Understanding Translation Vs Localization

Understanding Translation Vs Localization

If you’re looking to get into a language career, both translation and localization are great choices. However, there’s a lot of confusion between these two topics. While they may sound similar, there are some key distinctions you should understand.

In this blog post, we’ll break down the difference between translation and localization. And therefore you can determine which career path, if not both, is best for you moving forward.

What Is The Difference Between Translation And Localization

What Is Translation?

Translation means turning one language into another language. It typically involves written content. The original language is called the source language. The second language is called the target language.

In order to be an effective translator, you have to have a deep knowledge of both languages, cultures, and regions. The importance of translation. Even though English is spoken around the world, there are billions of people that speak other languages.

From documents to website content, there’s a huge need for quality translators. You can help businesses and organizations meet their goals.

What Is Localization?

Localization is a similar concept to translation. However, it goes one step further. You’re not simply translating word for word.

Instead, localization applies to making the content as relevant as possible for the secondary market. For instance, there are different phrases that you might use to describe something in the United States versus Australia.

Therefore, the locale is why the term is called localization. As a quick example, when talking about localisation vs translation, UK & Australian English would spell “localisation” with an “s” like we’ve just done in this sentence.

So if you were doing website localization vs translation, everything on the alternate English versions would be spelled differently.

Why Is Localization Important?

Localization is important because sometimes there are cultural or courtesy differences among different regions. The way that someone in Spain might express themselves could be different than someone in Mexico.

Understanding localization lets you make the content more appropriate for the market. Ultimately, it becomes more valuable and relevant.

Examples Of Localization

Some great instances of localization are:

  • SEO content
  • Geographical references
  • Jokes
  • Memes or political commentary
  • Date and time formats
  • Cultural values
  • Slangs
  • Translation examples
  • Business documents
  • Government regulations
  • In-depth industry reports
  • Technical manuals

The Benefits Of Becoming A Translator

Specializing in translation vs localisation is not a deal-breaker because you can always learn one or the other. There are several benefits to translating or localizing, such as:

Learn About New Cultures

It’s a culturally rich experience to continue to learn how to express yourself in various languages. It also opens you up to new opportunities if you travel or meet someone from another country.


If you become a great translator, you can control your income. There’s a never-ending demand for people who have mastered more than two languages.


As a translator, you can work online or in person. Ultimately, the world becomes your oyster. You can go where you want and still earn a great living. If you’re someone who loves to travel, this is one of the biggest benefits.

What’s Better? Localization Versus Translation

When it comes down to it, the question of which is better depends on the person. If you prefer literary texts, then you might choose to become a pure translator.

However, if you prefer more adaptable and evolving industries like mobile technology, digital marketing, e-commerce, and healthcare, localization could be the right choice. Ultimately, you have to know yourself and ask yourself what you would enjoy doing more.

Localization And Translation Difference – Conclusion

At Translatorsertification.com, you can become a certified translator. It will show employers that you’re professional, prepared, and ready to add value to their bottom line.

So if you want to boost your career, have more options, and feel more confident in your skills, visit Translatorsertification.com today. You’ll also learn about localization vs transcreation and everything you need to be masterful at your craft.