What is the difference between Internationalization, Localization and Translation?
Internationalization is the process or strategy of ensuring that your content – whether is software, Apps, website, documentation, marketing materials or any other type of content – is optimized for translation and localization. These include:
- Ensuring software/app strings are separate from code.
- Graphical text is in editable format
- UI design considers that text in other languages will both be longer and shorter – so design should allow for text expansion/contraction
- Address formats are designed to take into account that other markets use different formats.
Localization is the process of making your content – of any type – ready for a particular market. Translation is part of the localization process but there are other important activities. It can include the following:
- Formatting content with the right font for a market
- Generating indexes or table of contents
- Recreating translated graphics
- Capturing screen from software/apps for translated user guides.
- Testing software/apps to ensure everything works correctly in the translated versions.
In short, internationalization ensures your content can easily be adapted for other markets, translation changes the text into another language, localization ensures the translated content is market-ready.