Two words that are often used instead of each other in the constantly changing world of language and communication are "localisation" and "translation". They may look alike at first, but they are used for different things and are made in different ways.



This refers to the process of converting text from one language to another. It focuses primarily on the linguistic aspect of content, ensuring that the meaning of the original content is retained in the target language.

A direct word-for-word conversion might not always convey the intended meaning, especially with idiomatic or culturally-specific phrases, so skilled translators ensure that the message retains its essence across languages.


While translation handles the linguistic aspect, localisation goes a step further. It involves adapting a product, website, or content to meet the cultural, functional, and linguistic requirements of a specific target market or audience.

This means considering local customs, values, and even regional dialects. Localisation might involve changing graphics, adopting local currencies, addressing local regulations, and other non-textual modifications.



  • Focuses on linguistic accuracy.
  • Ensures the meaning of the original content remains intact.
  • Might involve consideration of idioms, metaphors, and cultural references.


  • Involves linguistic adaptation and also takes into account cultural nuances.
  • Can include changing graphics, layouts, or even certain content elements to better fit the target audience.
  • Consider local customs, values, and traditions.



The primary purpose is to convey the same message and meaning from the source language to the target language.


The overarching goal is to make a product or content feel as if it was originally created for the target market, ensuring it resonates well with the local audience.



  • Translating a novel from English to Spanish.
  • Converting a user manual from German to French.


  • Adapting a video game for the Chinese market, which might involve changing certain characters or storylines to align with local tastes.
  • Modifying an e-commerce website for the Japanese audience, incorporating local payment methods and culturally relevant visuals.

While translation and localisation are essentially linked, they serve unique roles in the world of language and culture.

Translation is an essential first step in crossing linguistic barriers, while localisation ensures a holistic approach, taking into consideration the cultural, functional, and regional nuances of the target audience.

At Translationz, we understand the subtle yet significant differences between the two. Whether you’re looking for precise translation services or a comprehensive localisation strategy, our team is here to guide and assist you every step of the way.

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