Posted by shahzad-bashir on July 13, 2021

10 Common Mistakes in Language Localization

10 Common Mistakes in Language Localization

With the advent of digitization and internationalization, localization has become the need of the global market. Having the agenda of expanding the market in every corner of the world helped the localization industry to grow at a rapid pace. Apart from its increasing demand, there are many mistakes that language localization is facing. Many multinational tycoons have also made some major mistakes in their language localization. That is why there is a need to shed light on some serious mistakes in language localization. Because if you think of your business going global, you do not want to repeat the same mistakes that can backlash your precious business idea. 

Following is the list of some mistakes which are seen rapidly in language localization:  

1. Intent Behind Content

 It is pertinent to take care of the intent while translating the content. Undoubtedly, machines are amazing translators but no machine can understand the intentions. The most observed mistake in language localization is the neglect of intention. Although the translation might be technically correct, the nuance and syntax of the content can convey a completely different meaning.  For instance, in Southeast China and many neighboring countries like the Philippines, Thailand, there is an ancient practice of dying one’s teeth black. But the launching of Pepsodent toothpaste, an American company, without consulting with native professionals raised the title of toothpaste that it whitens your teeth. Broadly, their purpose was quite clear but the intent behind the content was misperceived. So history is full of these kinds of tiny mistakes that have heightened strain.

2. Not Giving Adequate Script Space

English was considered the default language for introducing your brand in a globally competitive market. But, now, trends are shifting gradually. People like to understand in their native language to avoid misunderstanding. So every business platform should be localized but makers do not leave enough space for the local script. As English is a very precise, idiomatic language and it takes a small portion of the page in giving the qualitative language. In contrast to this, many languages like German, Korean, Mandarin Chinese have larger letters and, of course,  these languages take up more space. It is for this reason that developers should take this into account while designing a webpage or something accordingly. Otherwise, tighter space will leave no room for localized content.

3. Translation Regardless of Style and Tone

Every translation software or engine can translate the desired text. But choosing the style and tone is very important. For instance, if you are conveying a message in a very generic tone about any emergency, with the use of specific local jargon accordingly, it might not give a clear message to the natives of another region. Likewise, if you are using a harsh tone even for weather forecasting then you are making a mountain out of a molehill. In some cases, this mistake has led many countries’ relations to an awkward situation.

4. Neglecting Detailed Contrast among Local Languages

Different languages have many dialects and accents. During localization, many brands use one language for an entire country or region according to their perspective. But, unfortunately, this can prove wrong because every state, province, or city has its dialectic and language specifications. This is the most occurring problem because it follows minor specifications according to every region.

5. Diversity in Graphics

Localization platforms use graphics side by side with language. Pictures and graphic colors can be a problem as every region perceives different colors according to their customs and teachings. For instance, unlike many other countries, pink is the color of men in Japan, not of women. Likewise, the red color conveys the fertility message in India but in Africa, this very red color is the mourning symbol. So, graphics in the localization can cause serious issues and localization service providers should keep these little details into consideration while localizing your content.

6. Content Not Proofread by Locals

There is no denying the fact that giants of the business world always go for proofreading, and they revise the content (if needed) before launching. But the question is, do they give a chance to native language speakers to give a proofread? If yes, then why do we have so many examples of the mistakes done by even the top-notch brands of the 21st century. For example, Pepsi initiated the wrong stance when translating its slogan ‘Come alive with Pepsi generation,’ which gave clear wrong directions to Chinese people, as the public perceived that ‘Pepsi brings your relatives back from the dead!’

7. Initials Mistakes

Localization is more than just translation. Initials, localization is very important for every business. They hold vital importance to any cultural timeline. Date, time, and currency formats are the most likely overlooked mistakes. As developers usually don’t have a smart information library for every region, their mistakes can cause trouble during the translation, ordering, contacting, and pricing. For example, several countries have different standards of writing date formats, i.e., 23.06.2021 or 06.23.2021. So, these kinds of mistakes could be questionable during language localization.

8. Not Considering Language Format

Apart from neglecting the initial requirements, not considering the language format can also be a problem. The developers are facing problems in this regard and are failing to account for the format and style. Various languages have various writing styles. Like the Arabic language is read from right to left and the Chinese language is read from top to bottom. If enterprises do not take the slightest writing detail, problems could lead to failure in localization deliverance.

9. Politics and Religion in Business World

The promotion of any brand should not include religious and political content. Every country has a different nature of religious sentiments and relations with another country. Involving politics and the use of religious content with business content can hurt the feelings of citizens and raise the public alarm. As both have the power to turn the world upside down. That is why one must remain neutral in dealing and avoid mixing the politico-religious message in language localization.

10. Lack of Unicode Support

Another issue in language localization is programming languages. For example, when you use an English server and your users belong to China and, of course, they are browsing in Chinese, your letters will become impaired. Using the wrong character coding can break the required translation. This is also one of the main language localization mistakes.

Ending Note

Localization is important for your business growth. It is a tedious task and requires special attention to detail. Many professional localization platforms are offering their best services, providing localization solutions at affordable costs. MarsHub is one of the most designated platform in this regard. It’s a robust localization management platform making the process fast and easy. Get in touch for details.

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