What does “localization” stand for? This word means “translation of software and websites to a foreign language”. But why do we need a separate term for this kind of translation, while other sections of translation studies make do with word combinations like “medicine translation” or “customs translation”? What was such a succinct and comprehensive term invented for?
At first sight, an answer to this question is not quite obvious, but there is a saying that there is no smoke without fire. In other words, every little thing in a language has its own purpose.
A good deal of words were spoken and tons of books were published about our modern technocratic civilization and daily routine automation. Computers of different size and purpose became a part of our everyday life long ago, it is impossible to imagine a modern city without them. We got used to computers delivering messages, ”communicating”, “conversing” with us. And in the modern global market they have to “speak” in different languages.
How can compulsory American software programming standards be aligned with Arabic lettering that goes in a reverse direction — from right to left? How can we adjust a website menu of a Russian make-up to a vertical direction in Chinese without loss of the design? (Or changing it for that purpose?) How not to lose the accents characteristic of the French language? How simply not to mistake a program code for content in order not to break logic of an application operation?
Necessity to align a program code with a human language multiplied by the total computerization in modern life were the reasons for the invention of the term “localization” with this process emerging as a separate notion.
“LinguaContact” translation agency works hard in the field of website translation and software localization. Every single day we accumulate precious experience in localizing into different languages, and localization theory in general. And that is exactly the area where a great potential of applied linguistics development lies.
We have a deep insight into and unswerving devotion for this specific field that is aimed at keeping linguistic thought alive within the framework of the objectives of modern information technologies.