Localization – l10n

Localization is the process whereby a product or service is adapted for a particular country or region.

Localization is often written as l10n where 10 is the number of letters between l and n in the English word.

Although often thought of as a synonym for translation, for the web in particular it is much more. It entails adaptation based on cultural, linguistic, technical and other locale specific requirements.  Remember that multilingual countries often have multiple locales.  In Canada, it’s often required to localize into Canadian French.  In Belgium, you can have an audience, depending on where they live that prefer to speak in Dutch, Flemish, French and German.  In Switzerland, there are locales/regions that speak German, French, Italian or Romansch

Examples include symbols, icons, and the use of colour, as well as text and graphics containing references to things which in another culture may be subject to misinterpretation or viewed as offensive.

What you want to ensure is that your locale specific online users not only click onto your site but feel comfortable and engage with it when they land on it.  If they feel comfortable with your site they are more likely to stay on it. That way you have a better chance of acquiring a new customer in a wider market.


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