The rise of the digital age made it easier for people across different countries to interact and do business. Despite the challenge of varying languages and cultural differences, methods like internationalisation and localization allow the world to progress. Cultural, scientific, and medical barriers are broken down to benefit everyone across the globe.
This guide explains what internationalisation means and why it’s essential for individuals and industries.
The rise of the digital age made it easier for people across different countries to interact and do business.
Internationalisation, with the short form “i18N” in technological terms, is the process of designing a product, typically a software application, which is adapted into different languages and does not require a modification of the source code. The “i18N” indicates eighteen letters between I and N.
In a business sense, internationalisation refers to adapting various products and services to local cultures and languages. It is the planning and implementation of different techniques that ensure a product’s readiness to be marketed in a specific location.
It is essential to prepare a product for internationalisation before it can be localized; otherwise, you might suffer from delays and additional costs.
Many people interchange them, but internationalisation and localisation are not the same. An internationalized product is designed and developed using best practices and methodologies to prepare it for localisation. Once it’s ready, the product is made to meet cultural, linguistic, legal, date format, and other requirements specific to the region or locale.
In a way, these two methods are complementary. You cannot have a localised item that did not undergo internationalisation, a necessary step for marketing any product and service to buyers in multiple countries. However, this process does not involve the actual translation.
For example, IKEA internationalises the instruction manuals using diagrams and illustrations since these tools are culturally neutral don’t require translated text to be understood. However, assembly instructions eventually need written content to pass international market standards.
Localisation or L10N (ten letters between L and N) adapts the product or service to the target locale. It’s the process that naturally follows internationalisation.
Take any food chain, for example. They have worldwide popularity and have a core menu that appeals to various international tastes. The brand can then enhance the menu to include regional specials without compromising its global brand identity.
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Internationalisation and localisation stress a common goal: globalisation (g11N). It is the development and marketing of multilingual products or services to a worldwide audience. International distribution networks, the Internet, and cheap flights all contribute to a brand’s capability to serve almost every customer base globally.
For streaming services like Netflix, globalization means applying both internationalisation and localisation techniques to make its products available in all countries except four: China, Syria, North Korea, and Crimea. The brand has a wide range of subtitles in multiple languages and locally produced programs as well.
Each globalization project should consider some of these elements, which are also crucial in internationalisation, to make every task successful:
Your product or service must be internationalized if you’re looking to introduce it to the global market for the first time.
Internationalisation provides many benefits for brands that want to reach a target market without overspending on infinite re-engineering, bug-fixing, and post-localisation works.
Here are some of the benefits of internationalizing a product or service:
Your product or service must be internationalized if you’re looking to introduce it to the global market for the first time. It should also be done during the design phase to ensure that your offering is viable for the worldwide audience. Additionally, you need to internationalise your product or service to launch your brand in new markets.
Internationalising a product takes a dependable team that can jumpstart the process for you. Circle Translations is composed of experts who can offer the best translation, localisation, and internationalisation services whenever and wherever you need them. You can contact us today to discover how our team can bring your brand closer to a global audience!
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