Translation can be simply stated as the conversion of content into another language. It is a word to word alteration and pays no heed to the context of the content.
Pro Tip: When people talk about getting their content “translated” they are actually looking to get it “localized”!
Localization goes way beyond translation. It involves translating and adapting different forms of content or products as per a specific locale and culture, giving extra attention to the context of the content. It is a complex process, the main goal of which is to retain the essence of the message being transmitted in the content being localized. Localization requires a deep understanding of the market as well as the target audience.
Different problems require different solutions and localization works just like that. A “One glove fits all” solution is not possible as different markets have entirely different requirements. It’s all about polishing your message and organizing it to meet the cultural, functional, and linguistic requirements of the target market.
‘Localise or localize’ ‘color or colour’ which one is correct? They all are. It’s just an example of how spellings can be different and how we need to keep these small things in mind while localizing.