This is one of the 52 terms in The Language of Localization published by XML Press in 2017 and the contributor for this term is Lori Thicke.

What is it?

The act of rendering content from one language into another, accurately reproducing not just the meaning but the tone as well.

Why is it important?

Translation makes content accessible to people who speak a different language, increasing both understanding and impact.

Why does a business professional need to know this?

Translation is the window that opens up content to a wider audience. But it’s about more than simply increasing understanding. Translating content into the right language allows users to connect more deeply with it. As Nelson Mandela famously said, “If you talk to a man in a language he understands, that goes to his head. If you talk to him in his language, that goes to his heart.”

This deeper connection with your content can increase engagement and loyalty, as well as sales and even profitability. The independent research firm, Common Sense Advisory (CSA), has identified a strong correlation between a brand’s financial strength and the number of languages on its website. Other studies have found that customers addressed in their own language are much more likely to make online purchases. The CSA also equates language with a positive customer experience.

Multilingual content improves user experience, drives sales, and creates loyalty. It also boosts profits by leveraging the investments that have already been made in research, design, production, marketing, and branding. Translation, once seen as solely as a cost center, is actually an investment in the local market and the customer.