Challenges in Local Languages Translation and Localization

Translation in local languages is a multilayered procedure. Localising in any region of the world is an exclusive process that needs a lot of planning, dedication and overcoming challenges. But this does not automatically imply that translating into local languages has to be impossibly difficult. When businesses venture into a new market, they can expect the following initial translation challenges.

Communicating beyond language

Language is more than the literal translation of words. When people speaking the same language interact, they have some cultural references and can understand each other with an intuitive sense of their language that goes beyond words. For a translation to have the same effect in some other local languages, it is important to research the cultural background. Readers of a region don’t find word-by-word translated advertisements and content relatable enough. However, they can definitely invest in a product if their cultural expectations are fulfilled.

  • The Solution – Rely on Professionals

Use professional local translators fluent in languages with a deep understanding of cultural nuances, social customs, and business practices in the target language’s country. This ensures that the brand’s message is conveyed accurately and appropriately and that the intended audience understands it.

Brand voice adapting to cultural aspects

Brand voice adapting to cultural aspects

A brand’s voice and messaging can have a significant impact on its success in a new market, and adapting it to cultural aspects can be a challenge. When they try focussing on the individuality of their consumers, balancing it with the way a product/service is marketed clashes with cultural norms.

  • The Solution – Research & Implement 

Research the target culture’s values, beliefs, and customs to ensure that the brand’s messaging is relevant and resonates with the audience. It’s also crucial to work with translators who can adapt the tone, style, and messaging to fit the target local languages’ cultural norms.

Investing in localization

Investing in localization can be a challenge for companies expanding into new markets. Start-ups have much more to invest in, a professional translator is just a part of this. 

  • The Solution – Outsourcing 

Outsourcing is the best way brands can focus on other market goals and invest in LSPs for better localization in local languages. LSPs come with a package of professional translators, develop localized content, adapt marketing campaigns to the local culture, and create a localized user experience.

Incomplete company infrastructure/ planning

Businesses lose touch with multiple departments that function in-house while focussing on prioritised goals. Incomplete planning or setting up a department is more harmful than not having the team at all.

  • The Solution – Identify Shortcomings to measure depth of a challenge

The team should invest a good deal of time in research and planning to identify potential roadblocks and develop a comprehensive strategy that addresses each challenge. It includes building a team with the necessary expertise, developing a clear localization plan for local languages, and allocating sufficient resources.

Designing localised content

Designing content in local languages can be tricky, particularly multimedia content such as videos and graphics. Cultural influence on these designs is intense enough to have a direct effect on how people of the region view them. Something that matches the product design of locally available commodities is well-accepted. 

  • The Solution – Connect with native translators

Work with a professional native translator, experienced in local languages, adapting content to the target culture. They can help ensure that the content is culturally relevant, appropriate, and engaging for the target audience, while also maintaining the brand’s voice and messaging style.

Read More – Why Local Language is Key to Your Business Success

5 localization Challenges in local languages

5 localization Challenges in local languages

Regional Grammar – Figures of Speech

  • Local languages often have unique grammar rules and figures of speech that may not translate accurately into other languages. For example, in some African languages, the subject and object of a sentence may be expressed differently than in English, leading to confusion or misunderstanding when translated into local languages.
  • Understanding regional grammatical differences and figures of speech is crucial for accurate localization and effective communication.

Compound words

  • Many languages, including German and Finnish, have a high number of compound words. Translating each component of a compound word individually may not capture its true meaning, requiring a more nuanced approach to translation.
  • Localizers need to have a deep understanding of the language and its culture to accurately translate compound words and convey their intended meaning.

Indirect translation of Untranslatable phrases

  • Some phrases or concepts may be unique to a particular language and culture, making them difficult to translate directly into other languages. For example, the Japanese concept of “omotenashi” is often translated as “hospitality,” but it encompasses much more than just providing good service.
  • Translation in local languages may require indirect methods, such as providing a detailed explanation or using a similar concept from the target language to convey the intended meaning.

Cultural references

Cultural references
  • Localizing content requires a deep understanding of the culture and customs of the target audience.
  • References to specific cultural events, traditions, or even pop culture can be difficult to translate accurately without context.
  • Translators of local languages may need to provide additional information or use equivalent references in the target culture.

Technical accuracy

  • Localizing technical content, such as software or instruction manuals, requires a high level of technical knowledge in addition to language proficiency.
  • Technical terms may not have direct translations in other languages, requiring localizers to provide context or use accepted industry terminology.
  • Errors in technical localization can have serious consequences, making it essential to ensure accuracy and clarity in all technical content.

Fortunately, at MoniSa Enterprise, we take care of all these challenges efficiently! Our team of translators take up projects in 250+ languages, local languages are our speciality since our team excitedly pick the ones they’re natives in. Rest assured, beginning from management to delivering the end product, we personally solve every challenge to ensure you meet your localization needs.

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Read More – Benefits of Local Voice Over Services India for Your Business Growth

Frequently Asked Questions:

What is localization, and why is it important for businesses expanding into new markets?

Localization is the process of adapting content to fit the language, culture, and preferences of a specific region or target audience. It’s essential for businesses expanding into new markets because it ensures that their messaging is relevant and resonates with the audience, improving their chances of success.

What are some of the challenges of localizing content in local languages? 

Some of the challenges of localizing content in local languages include regional grammar and figures of speech, compound words, indirect translation of untranslatable phrases, cultural references, and technical accuracy.

How can companies overcome the challenges of localizing content in local languages? 

Companies can overcome the challenges of localizing content in local languages by using professional local translators with deep cultural and linguistic knowledge, researching the target culture’s values and customs, investing in localization service providers, planning comprehensively, and designing content that is culturally relevant and engaging.

What are some examples of cultural references that can be difficult to translate accurately? 

Examples of cultural references that can be difficult to translate accurately include specific cultural events, traditions, and pop culture references that may not have a direct translation in other languages or may require additional context to be fully understood.

Why is technical accuracy so important in localizing technical content? 

Technical accuracy is essential in localizing technical content because errors can have serious consequences, such as user confusion or even safety hazards. Localizers need to have a high level of technical knowledge and language proficiency to ensure that technical content is accurate and clear.

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