You may have heard the term localisation when talking to a translation company. So what does this term actually mean within translation services?

Well, put simply, translation focuses on the words, the grammar and the tone of voice within a piece of content, whether it is a document translation or translating a phrase from English into Hebrew.

Localisation, on the other hand, is where the linguist goes one-step further than a direct language translation and starts to take into account other factors that will influence the target audience, such as style, colour and imagery.

This might seem like an unnecessary step, but imagine you made a similar mistake to baby food manufacturer Gerber, where a baby is featured on the label. This was fine in countries with high literacy rates but in some small African countries, where labels on food packaging depict exactly what is inside the tin, this caused a lot of confusion!

Other things that need to be considered are slogan translations where suggestive wording might be too subtle or in fact cause major offence. Using in-country, native speaking linguists means that words, phrases, images and slogans that will not work in the target language and may even cause offence will be picked out and a sensible alternative will be recommended. This would have been useful when Pepsi’s “Come alive with the Pepsi generation” was translated as, “Pepsi will bring your ancestors back from the dead”.

localisation Services

Software localisation and testing

Software localization: Process of translating and adapting computer software from one language and culture into another

Testing is recommended for products that have already gone through software localisation. Our Translation and Interpreting services can provide you with a dedicated testing service, which can either take place on-site at your organisation, or off-site, depending on your requirements. This service provides high end quality assurance of a product that we have localised or translated for you. More can be read about the initial software localisation process here.

Localisation testing can be priced in two different ways. The service can either be on a fixed price basis with a very specific scope, or alternatively we can arrange a fee based on Time and Materials.

Off site testing can be undertaken to potentially reduce costs but unless it can be done in a virtual real-time environment with remote developers some of the synergies will be lost. Testers would have to be linked to fault logging and tracking systems so on-site testing provision is definitely the better option for most companies.

If you are interested in finding out more about the software localisation and testing process, contact us at

Website localisation

When our customers approach us about website translation we often recommend localisation as this will ensure images and themes will be engaging for the end users. For example, if a website is targeting both Russian and Jamaican customers then it is probably best to avoid a snowy theme on your January sale items page. Similarly, you would not target countries within the United Arab Emirates with a brochure featuring women in revealing clothing.

Colours can also cause all sorts of problems so using a particular colour in your logo or throughout the pages of your website translation or in a marketing brochure can be a major competitive disadvantage. White in Japan suggests mourning while Red in China is assumed an indication of success.

There is therefore a huge amount to consider when you first speak to your friendly translation company about translating into another language and this is where you need to be engaging with an experienced team of language experts. They can help work out the service that you actually require. Find out more about website translation and localisation here.

In addition to website localisation, we offer a number of dedicated localisation services to meet your language needs. Simply click on the tabs in the menu to find out more about:

Software localisation
Localisation for online gaming
iPhone app localisation

If you are interested in one of our localisation services, please contact

iPhone translation

Since its launch in June 2007 the iPhone has taken the world of hand-held multimedia communication by storm and Apple’s decision to support third party applications for the iPhone has opened up a whole new market for software developers.

The iPhone is localised to 31 different languages and available in 94 different countries, so why restrict your Apps to the English speaking market?

Getting your application translated will give you global exposure and access to millions more potential users.

Take Your iPhone App to the World

Whether you already have a successful iPhone App and want to open it up to a whole new audience or you’re developing a completely new application, we can help with all your language requirements.

We can work with any size of App translation, from the translation of a few text strings into one language, to a full localisation and testing project into multiple languages.

Our experienced linguists and project managers have worked on software localisation projects for some of the world’s biggest technology companies for many years. They can translate from any source language into any of the following languages currently supported by the iPhone, which are:

English (U.S), Japanese, French, Ukrainian, Traditional Chinese, Greek, Dutch, Romanian,

English (UK), Russian, German, Arabic, Simplified-Chinese, Hebrew, Italian, Slovak

Spanish, Polish, Portuguese, Thai, Swedish, Indonesian, Norwegian, Croatian

Brazilian-Portuguese, Turkish, Danish, Czech, Finnish, Malay, Korean